New windows add value to your home and can add energy efficiency. A window replacement is also sometimes necessary after a storm. Whether you’re replacing a broken window or upgrading your windows for increased home value, it’s important to know what to expect during the installation project.

Table of Contents

Acquiring Windows Permits

Check with your local building department to find out if a permit is needed for new window installation. This is usually the case if the current window opening will be modified to accommodate a different size or type of window. A permit may also be required if you live in a state considered to be in the hurricane zone located along the East Coast and Gulf Coast where impact-resistant windows are mandatory.

Scheduling the Window Installation

The number of windows being replaced will determine the number of days the project will take. On average, expect between a two to three-day timeframe to start and complete the project. This is contingent on everything running smoothly and no additional repairs needed or inclement weather interfering with the installation schedule. There are a few things you may want to consider before installing replacement windows.

Preparing for the Window Installation

To help prepare your home for your window replacement, consider doing the following:

  • Remove shades, blinds, and window treatments. All plants, or decorations, on window ledges and sills should also be moved to not interfere with the project.
  • Clear a pathway to each window both indoors and outdoors. Remove any obstacles such as flowerpots, patio chairs, barbecue grills and toys located outside. If hedges or vines are covering the windows, trim them back so the installer can access the window easily. Inside, move tables, lamps, throw rugs, breakable items and wall hanging art and pictures. You don’t want anything in the way that could slow down the crew or cause them to trip.
  • Turn off any security features you have on your windows. You don’t want to sound a false alarm during the project.
  • Make room for the crew’s equipment so they can reach it quickly and easily. Since there could be cutting, caulking and painting involved with the project, lay drop cloths over the floor and furnishings for protection. Some installers bring their own drop cloths and padding, so check with them before they arrive.
  • Decide and communicate with the installation team which doors will be used to gain access to your home and what procedures you feel most comfortable with for home access.
  • For safety purposes, if you have pets, put them in a safe and secure location and keep children away from the work area.

During Your Window Installation

When your windows are delivered, triple check to ensure the windows are the correct brand and spec. Take note if you see any broken glass or damage when they arrive. You will want to bring any errors or accidents to the attention of your contractor. 

When your contractor and team arrive, they will prep the project area with protective coverings.

Your old windows will be carefully removed, and the replacement windows will be installed. As a general rule, only one window is removed and replaced, at a time. This ensures that your home is not exposed to the elements, especially if the project runs over time.

Old windows will be properly disposed of by your contractor.

Unforeseen Circumstances

Be prepared for the unexpected. Nothing may arise, but until a window is removed, the contractor won’t know if there are underlying issues that need attention. This can mean an increase in the initial cost of the project or a longer project time.

Should weather become an issue, this can also prolong the project. Find out your window installer’s weather policy. While they may be fine working in the rain or snow, you may not want the interior of your home to get muddy or wet. Decide together what are acceptable weather conditions for your project.

After the Window Replacement is Complete

After your windows have been installed, perform a walkthrough with your contractor. Take note if:

  • There are visible gaps between the window frame and the sill or the wall. Windows should be measured precisely and should sit flush again the wall with no gaps.
  • Depending on the type of window installed, you should be able to open and close the window easily. If there is any creaking or sticking, the sash could be installed incorrectly.

Lastly, review any window warranty questions you may have with your contractor. Save this information, and your window labels, in a safe location.

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