12 Reasons to Avoid DIY Window Installations

In this article, you will learn:
1. The Difference Between Full-Frame vs Retrofit Window Installations
2. 12 Reasons to Avoid DIY Window Installations

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Whether you are a first-time home buyer or long-term property owner, there are a number of reasons to prioritize energy-efficiency when it comes to your windows.

From regulating temperatures and reducing energy expenses to improving curb appeal and increasing resale value, your windows play an important role in maintaining the overall comfort and performance of your home!

Unfortunately, residential windows are not designed to last forever, and there will come a time when your windows will need to be replaced in order to sufficiently protect your home.

While window replacement projects are often associated with an expensive price tag, it is not uncommon for Canadian homeowners to consider a DIY window installation in an effort to reduce overall expenses.

Although some DIY projects can provide fantastic results, there are a number of common problems that can compromise the efficiency of your windows when installed incorrectly.

At Simpson Windows and Doors, we pride ourselves on product education to help our clients make confident decisions for their homes.

To help you get the most out of your replacement windows, the following article will explore the difference between full-frame vs retrofit window installations and 12 reasons to avoid a DIY window installation:

The Difference Between Full-Frame vs Retrofit Window Installations

While a window replacement may seem like an easy task at first, it is important to understand that there is more to it than meets the eye!

Depending on the age, condition and materials used on the existing window, a window replacement can either require a full-frame or retrofit installation process.

For full-frame window installations (also referred to as ‘brick-to-brick’ or ‘new construction windows’), each part of the window would be removed and replaced with upgraded, energy-efficient materials. This style of installation would replace the sash, trim, casings, frame, exterior and interior trims and even brick moulds, when necessary.

If your windows are suffering from moisture damage or visible signs of rot, it is essential to replace the full frame to prevent any damage from spreading further into your home.

For retrofit window installations (also referred to as ‘inserts’ or ‘pocket installations’), the window is installed by replacing a new sash into the existing frame. In this case, the existing frame should be in perfect condition to ensure long-term performance and reliable energy-efficiency.

In order to determine which installation process is best for you, it’s important to evaluate the current condition of your windows and know exactly what to look for. While some warning signs may be difficult to recognize by the untrained eye, it is crucial to consult a trusted professional before investing in your replacement materials.

12 Reasons to Avoid DIY Window Installations

While many DIY-enthusiasts enjoy the challenge of a home renovation project, window installations require a great deal of precision.

As any slight deviation can result in a number of structural and financial issues down the road, it is important to work with a trained professional who can ensure long-term performance.

To help you understand the potential risks and consequences, here are 12 of the most common problems caused by a poor/unprofessional window installation process:

1. Risk of Buying the Wrong Windows: with a variety of window options of the market, most DIY projects will search for a combination of budget and aesthetic. Without the help of a professional contractor, homeowners have a higher chance of selecting the wrong style, size and/or materials for their ideal budget and structural needs. 

2. Risk of Personal Injury: without the proper tools, training and experience, homeowners are at a much higher risk of personal injury while trying to install their own window replacement products.

3. Messy Caulking: when this clay-like sealant is applied incorrectly, it is unable to sufficiently seal gaps in order to keep air, pests and elements from entering your home.

4. Uneven Windows: a common problem for older homes, a poor sealing job (or even incorrect measurements) can compromise how well your windows sit within their frames.

5. Faulty Operation: as some windows require mechanical parts to open and close, an improper installation can damage and/or compromise the window’s functional abilities.

6. Condensation: while some condensation is completely normal, a wet window without rain might be a huge red flag. Without a proper installation, your window might not be able to keep moisture from building up and collecting on the inside of your window panes.

7. Mold, Moisture & Water Damage: where water damage and moisture build-up exist, the risk of mold is sure to follow. If you are noticing water stains on your walls or carpet, it will be important to contact a professional to assess and remove the damage before it expands.

8. Drafty Windows: if you are still able to feel the outside draft through closed windows, an improper installation may be to blame. Without a proper seal, your energy-efficient windows will not be able to perform as intended, creating inconsistent temperatures throughout your home.

9. Stains & Discolouration: discoloured glass is another common problem with poor window installations. With exposure to water and air leakage over a long period of time, homeowners will often report a yellowish tint developing on their glass panels.

10. Increased Energy Consumption: while energy consumption cannot be identified visually, homeowners will surely identify this problem through skyrocketing energy bills. As an improper installation can limit your windows ability to perform optimally, your heating and cooling systems will have to work twice as hard to compensate.

11. Increased Expenses: from increasing energy bills and preventable damage repairs, an improper window installation will often end up costing much more than a professional installation would have.

12. Voided Warranty: while many manufacturing companies offer attractive warranties on their window products, it is important to note that this may be voided if not installed by a licensed  contractor.

Although hiring a professional may seem expensive compared to doing it yourself, the risk of any small errors can dramatically decrease your windows ability to perform, impacting the comfort, value and efficiency of your home.

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If you are interested in learning more about your window replacement options, allow our trained professionals at Simpson Windows and Doors to help!

Click here or call us at 905-853-2519 for a complimentary consultation.

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