DIY Window Replacement – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

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Some people look at the cost of window replacement projects and say, “If only I could knock down those installation costs by installing the windows myself. After all, how hard could DIY window replacement be?” We generally recommend people look long and hard at that proposition.

Don’t get us wrong. It’s not that you can’t install your own windows. A homeowner with the right skills, experience, tools and time can do just about anything. But should you? Unless you’re a home-improvement unicorn, taking on your own window replacement project is risky.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Wrong Strategy: Even if you have all the right tools on hand and high quality windows, proper installation is really the key to a successful window replacement project – starting with choosing the right installation method. There are two main ways to replace a window – a pocket replacement installation or a full frame replacement installation. Each method has its own installation requirements. If you have to change methods mid project, you’ll be in a peck of trouble.

Wrong Size Windows: Keep in mind that most replacement windows are custom made – based on your measurements and the installation type you choose. You can’t just go to the store and order off the shelf.  In most cases, if you buy the wrong sized window, you own it – no returns.

Poor Installation: Then comes the actual installation. Getting a nice tight fit with good seals, the right insulation and trim back in place takes skill and time. If you run into any problems or surprises like maybe an opening that isn’t level or wood rot around the frame, that weekend project could become a much longer and more expensive ordeal. 

Poor Performance: Proper insulation is critical to strong window performance. Without properly installed insulation around window frames, heat loss and air infiltration are bound to occur. In addition, improperly installed windows cause stress on the frame and sash, compromising the window seal. Once the seal is gone, your window will no longer be insulated or performing properly so all that work will have been for nothing.

Water Damage: Again, getting the seals right is critical to a window installation. With an ineffective seal around the window, water will have easy access into your home. Excessive moisture can also cause damage to the wall structure, weakening the support and seal around the window even further.

Voided Warranty: Probably the unkindest cut of all, most window manufacturers will void the warranty on their product if it’s not properly installed. Ouch.

As our owner Wayne Winn likes to say, the most expensive home improvement project around is the one you have to do twice. Our recommendation? There are a lot of other ways to save money around the house. Unless you are very confident in your skills, we recommend leaving window replacement to the professionals.

At Home Town Restyling, we have a wide range of replacement windows for every budget and professional installers on staff to complete the project on time and on budget. We also back up everything we do with a lifetime warranty. Do you have more questions about replacement window projects? Download our FREE Homeowners Guide to Replacement Windows and start planning like a pro or contact us today for a free quote.