8 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Installing Windows
New windows can transform your home, boosting curb appeal and making your space more comfortable at the same time. While installing windows takes some basic DIY skills, handy homeowners may be able to tackle this project without the help of a professional. Make the most of your new window installation by following all manufacturer instructions and avoiding these potential pitfalls.
- Ignoring efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat lost through the windows can account for 10-25 percent of energy costs. Sure, less efficient windows may cost less up front, but you'll pay much more over time.
- Improper sizing. Your new window must be at least ½ inch shorter and ¾ inch narrower than the rough opening to allow you to install it correctly. When you measure the opening, remember to subtract these dimensions before buying your new window.
- Failure to waterproof. Always cover the top, bottom and sides of the rough opening with a length of waterproofing membrane or building felt before installing a window. This is your final barrier against leaks, which can cause rot, mold and other issues in the home.
- Working solo. You need a partner to help with window installation, especially if you're working on the second level of the home. Even at ground level, a partner helps you determine if the unit is centered within the opening before you nail it in place.
- Lack of leveling. A crooked window will be an annoying eyesore for many years to come. Before nailing, use a level to make sure all sides of the frame are level. Use string to measure corner to corner within the frame to make completely sure the unit is plumb and square.
- Waterproofing only once. Sure, you used waterproofing around the rough opening, but you should add a second layer to cover the nailing fins around the frame once the window is in place. This extra layer acts as your first defense against water.
- Skimping on caulk. When you're sealing around a penetration in an exterior wall, it's hard to use too much caulk. Caulk liberally around the frame before you install any finish trim or flashing, then caulk again around the finished edges once trim is in place.
- Skipping insulation. Cold air can sneak into your home in gaps around windows. Keep your home comfortable and maximize efficiency by insulating around the frame from inside the home. Use expandable foam or stuff lengths of fiberglass insulation into the gaps before installing interior trim.
For more information, contact Screen Masters or a similar company.
24 February 2015