5 reasons window installation should be left to the pros

December 31, 2011

Tempted by the do-it-yourself possibilities for window installation? Think before you grab that hammer. Though it might seem to make financial sense to handle installation on your own, this can actually raise the cost of your windows and doors. Prices can go up much more than expected, when a homeowner tries to tackle this job, only to find himself with a blue thumb and crooked frame.

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Why hiring a window contractor is a good idea

Even if you think you have what it takes to install your own windows, you might not be getting the most out of your investment. Here are a 5 good reasons to call in the pros:

  1. Serious skills are required. Window installers must be excellent carpenters. They might need to install a window in a frame that is not entirely square. That can include a great deal of shimming and creative trim work. These skills are learned on the job, and not something you would expect of an amateur.

  2. It might take a second pair of hands. Replacing windows requires serious muscle and sometimes, more than one set of experienced hands. Even if you have the skills to install the window, do you have friends with equal ability? Contractors definitely do.

  3. Measurements matter. Measurements as little as a quarter-inch off can make the whole project much more difficult. Accurate measurements are crucial, and contractors know exactly how to measure window, so that those little inconsistencies don't turn into big consequences.

  4. Energy efficiency depends on it. Even the most expensive Energy Star windows are only as good as their installation. Contractors know how to make the most of your space, so that the window is free of drafts for many years to come.

  5. Mistakes cost more. Starting the job yourself and then getting into trouble with it can cost more in the long run. Improperly installed windows can lead to water damage and other issues that might mean extensive repairs.

Windows and doors: prices for installation are often included

In many cases, the cost of installation for windows is included in the purchase price. This takes the guesswork out of the bottom line. However, it can also mean that the contractor who comes to install your windows is someone working for the manufacturer, not someone you have chosen to do the work. In most cases, this turns out just fine. But for homeowners who want more control over the process, choosing your own contractor might make more sense.

If the sticker price for a single window including installation shocks you, consider buying in bulk. If you replace the windows in your entire home instead of one or two, the cost of installation can drop significantly, and that can make the investment easier to handle.


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