Every once in a while it comes time to install new windows. Perhaps your current ones are damaged, or maybe they’re old single-pane windows and you want to boost the energy efficiency of your home. Whatever the reason for the new windows, the installation process is an opportunity to really ensure that you have a well-sealed and secure window for years to come. Or, if you are not careful, it’s an opportunity for a lot to go wrong that could cost you in future repairs and headaches.
Follow these tips for a top-notch DIY window installation!
Choose windows with multiple panes. Windows with multiple panes will be much better at insulating your house and saving on heading and cooling costs.
Make sure you get a window that fits your opening! It might seem like an obvious step to take to some, but it is undoubtedly an important one. Take the measurements of your opening before you go out and buy the new window. As an added precaution, it’s good to dry fit the new window in the opening before you start squeezing in the caulk.
Take measurements and check for level and plumb edges frequently to avoid crooked or bowed windows. At the beginning, measure the height and width of the rough opening along all sides as well as across the middle of each side. Again, after you’ve tentatively situated the window frame but before you secure it in place you should check vertical, horizontal and diagonal measurements as well as checking for plumb and level sides.
Don’t skimp out on waterproofing. If you cut corners when sealing your installation against water leaks now, you run the risk of serious water damage down the road. Go all-in to seal the opening to avoid future headaches and expensive repairs. Using a waterproof membrane and metal flashing along with plenty of caulk is a good idea, because if any one of these barriers fails in some spot, the other two are there to back it up.
Pay attention to those seams! You always want water to be directed out instead of in, so when you are putting in the flashing and waterproof membrane, make sure that it is layered so that the seams face down.
Precise fit is important. Just like with waterproofing, you want to guard against air and heat leaks from day one. Any gaps should be sealed with either expanding foam or fiberglass insulation. If you are using fiberglass, cover it with aluminium tape after fitting it in. In the long run this investment will save you money by being more energy efficient.