DIY Replacement Windows
If you were to sit down and talk to 100 people who had installed replacement windows most would tell you that they ran into some type of problem along the way. Any time you consider installing replacements, you know there will be something that poses a challenge but the goal is to learn as much as you can so those challenges are small. In this article we have provided some helpful tips so when you get ready to put new windows in the process would be as seamless as possible. That way, once the job is done you can stand back to admire your work and feel good about the process. You can even get some discount blinds to compliment the beauty of your new windows.
One thing to remember is that because so many people are now going the “do-it-yourself” route that manufacturers have started coming out with diy replacement windows that are less complicated to install. In fact, while you could still purchase a standard window to install in your home, to lessen the chance of running into problems you might even consider looking around at the various replacement window kits now being manufactured and sold.
This may sound elementary and it is certainly not intended to insult anyone’s intelligence but whether buying a new window and separate hardware or purchasing an entire kit, before you do anything make 100% certain you have all the pieces and parts needed. You would be shocked by the number of individuals who have been involved with installing replacement windows and window treatments only to get to a critical point in the process to learn something is missing. This happens all the time so to save time, effort, and most importantly, frustration, triple check that everything needed for the job is there. This means making sure you have the appropriate number of shims, fasteners, and flashings too.
Next, depending on the new window being installed, the weight of the glass could be exceptionally heavy. Even if you were going to be installing replacement windows in your home that were on the smaller size, trying to maneuver glass into position can be difficult but also dangerous. Therefore, when you get ready to place the window into the frame, we strongly recommend you have someone available to help. Of course, if you were going to install a large window, the hundreds of pound weight of the glass could prove too much for even too people.
Another important aspect of installing replacement windows is to follow the manufacturer’s directions exactly as written. Even if they do not make sense initially, the instructions are written, as you would need them. Now, if the new windows were purchased from a reputable company, remember if you run into a problem or have a question, all you need to do is call the provided toll-free number for assistance. Another common mistake that do-it-yourselfers do when installing replacement windows is to skip steps in the instructions or not pay attention to them at all.
Finally, as the replacement windows are placed in the frame, you definitely need to make sure they are square and level. Using the right tools this process should be easy but one never to overlook. If for any reason after installing replacement windows they are off even a very small amount, you would experience a variety of problems with the two most obvious being air and moisture leakage. Of all challenges people face when putting in new windows, this ranks toward the top of the list so a little extra effort to make sure the windows are square and level would be worth it.
Avoiding Problems When Installing Vinyl Replacement Windows
If you want to install vinyl replacement windows as a do-it-yourself project but want to make sure the project is done correctly, the information provided will help. Although vinyl windows and other windows install much the same way, some differences do exist. The key is to complete the installation right so that the process goes smoothly but also that once the new windows are in you do not experience problems such as air and/or moisture leakage.
One of the biggest problems people face who complete the installation of vinyl replacement windows is water infiltration. Of course, along with doors, windows are the primary point of entry. Therefore, one of the most important considerations with a home project such as this is to use the newer type of flashing. The new flashings now being sold are made from modified asphalt and other types of rubberized material. You can purchase flashing in rolls, which can then be resembled using adhesive tape. By applying flashings for the installation of vinyl replacement windows problems of water leaking into the home would be prevented.
Another key element that comes with installing new vinyl windows is that the length, as well as type of fasteners used should be specific to the type and size window. If the included instructions do not provide the information, you could contact the manufacturer and get the information that way. In addition, you would need to know the location on the window frame for installing the fasteners. Typically, reputable manufacturers suggest these be placed every 12 inches even if studs are 16 inches apart. That way, the window would be far more secure.
You would also need to use shims when installing vinyl replacement windows. Shims are placed on the top, sides, or bottom portion of the window to help position it so as the installation process moves forward, the window is installed square and level. Keep in mind that using shims can be somewhat tricky if you have never installed windows but they are necessary. By placing the shims to keep the window square and level would ensure the fit is firmly flush to the jamb, again preventing the problem of water infiltration.
One important note is if your home were built in 1967 or earlier, it would be worthwhile to have a specialist come out to test the paint on both the exterior around the old window but also the interior walls. During these early years, paint often contained lead, which has since been proven a cancer-causing material. Therefore, if testing showed paint contained lead, you should consider having it professionally removed by a licensed hazmat professional before you go any further with the installation.
We also want to point out that while this might sound silly, some less reputable manufacturing companies will actually advertise vinyl replacement windows only to discover they are designed for new home install. If windows had integral nailing fins, this would be a red flag in that windows of this type are not designed to replace existing windows. Now, if you purchase vinyl replacement windows from a reputable company, more than likely you would not need to worry but otherwise, as the consumer it is both your right and responsibility to make sure you know what products are being purchased.
Best Replacement Window Manufacturers
When shopping around for the best replacement windows do not be surprised if you begin to feel a little overwhelmed and even confused. With so many options now available, trying to sort through the bad to get to the good is common. You could certainly purchase new windows for your home from a lesser known company and have absolutely no problems but if you want to be 100% confident in your decision the best option is to buy from a highly reputable source.
The thing to remember is that when it comes to replacement windows and doors, companies today are extremely competitive. Because of this, it is common to see all types of advertisements and hear a ton of promises from companies throughout the country, each claiming to have the best replacement windows. This means your job is to spend adequate time comparing different materials, features, workmanship, and warranties. In fact, before you make the purchase, we recommend you check out the company’s customer service record and see what other customers have to say.
We pulled information together to help get you started in the right direction so below is a list of the top five best replacement windows currently manufactured and sold based on company. Again, you can also find amazing deals and high quality products from companies that do not have the big name but because replacement windows are a serious financial investment, you may want to avoid taking the risk of facing serious problems.
1. Andersen Corporation
2. Atrium Window and Doors
3. Harvey Industries, Inc.
5. Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork
Each of the above mentioned companies have been rated by peers and consumers as offering some of the best replacement windows you can buy. Although the companies have been established for different periods, they each strive to produce only the finest products. This means that in addition to the best materials being used, the replacement windows are also manufactured by true professionals that meet or even exceed industry, as well as company standards.
In addition to the materials and workmanship being factors in the company’s manufacturing the best replacement windows they also have a strong reputation for unrivaled customer support, as well as warranties on everything manufactured and sold. As a consumer, there is peace of mind just knowing your hard-earned money being spent toward their product is protected. Unfortunately, not all replacement window and door companies put as much effort into supporting the product once sold or the customer when problems arise or questions need to be asked.
Along with the five companies mentioned for selling the best replacement windows you can find, several other companies are worth mentioning. For instance, Pella, International Aluminum Corporation, MI, Windows and Doors, Allside Windows, Elixir Industries, and Champion are also considered excellent choices. Some manufacturers specialize in certain types of replacement windows, like basement windows. No matter the company chosen, it is imperative that you purchase the type of window that would serve your needs best while provide the aesthetics wanted.