Use This Checklist To Be Certain You Are Getting a Quality Replacement Window Installation

The day your replacement windows are installed is a very exciting day. You have shopped for the right window, you have selected the best window installer, and you have waited for your new replacement windows to arrive. Do not get too comfortable though, you still need to insure that the installation is done properly so you realize the full potential of your replacement windows. Use the checklist below to make sure your windows are installed cleanly and correctly.

1. Window is installed level – Reading a level is pretty simple. Have the installer place the level on the sill of the window. In the middle of the level is a small clear tube with two lines drawn around it. Inside the tube is a bubble moving back and forth. If the window is level the bubble will sit in between the two lines on the tube.

2. Window is installed square – To determine if a window is square in the opening you will measure the distance from corner to corner across the diagonals of the window frame. The measurements for each diagonal should be the same.

3. Window is installed plumb – When a window is plumb that means that it is installed in the opening straight up and down, not leaning in or out. Checking a window for plumb is similar to checking if it is level. Place the level on the side jamb of the window so that the level is on the interior side of the window frame. The level should be running up and down on the frame of the window. Instead of reading the center bubble, this time you will look for the bubble that will be located at one end of the level. It is designed to work when the level is straight up and down. Just like checking for level, the bubble should sit in between the two lines on the tube.

4. Sealant is evenly applied on the exterior – Sealant around a replacement window is the barrier that keeps the water out. Verify that there is plenty of sealant applied around all sides of the window. Check to see that there are no holes in the caulk. The sealant should be evenly applied around all sides. Areas with less sealant could dry and crack over time creating a water infiltration problem.

5. Broken glass is removed from exterior – Sometimes when the old window is being removed, the glass breaks. Most installers will make sure to pick up the large shards of glass, but sometimes the tiny pieces get left behind. Check the outside of each window and make sure the small pieces have been vacuumed up. This will insure a person or your pet doesn’t get a small piece of glass in their foot.

6. Windows operate properly – Open and close every window to be sure the operating mechanisms are working properly. Practice closing and locking the window to insure it closes easily and that you are able to operate the locks. If the windows have a tilt wash feature for cleaning you should open and tilt every window to make sure they work. If there are any other moving parts on the windows make sure you test their operation prior to the installers leaving.

7. Interior cavity around window is insulated properly – Depending upon how your windows are installed, you may have a gap between the new replacement window frame and the existing wall. To insure proper insulation around the window, this gap should be filled before the trim is applied. This can be done with a low expansion insulating foam or backer rod (a foam strip that can be pushed into the cavity to fill the space) being put into the opening. This will prevent air from coming in around the window and lowering the efficiency of your home.

8. Interior trim is even and corners are tight – One of the last things to be installed on a replacement window is the interior trim. This will surround the window to cover any gaps between the wall and the window and will provide a neat, finished look to the window. You should make sure that all of the trim is evenly applied around the window, making sure it is not waving or has gaps along the trim. Also check to make sure all of the corners are tight miters with no gaps at the corners.

9. Walls around windows show no damage – Make sure there is no cracking on the exterior facade (stucco, brick stone etc.). The interior sheet rock should also be free from any visible cracks or pieces missing. Check every window and point out any damage that you find to give the installer a chance to fix them before they leave the job site. If it can not be repaired by the installer, get a guarantee in writing that the installer will make arrangements to have the damage repaired.

10. All project debris is picked up and removed from job site – This may seem like a no brainer, but you should walk around your house when the job is complete and be certain that all the old window frames, glass, and other debris has been picked up and removed. If it is not in the replacement window contract to remove the garbage, have the installation crew consolidate the trash by your driveway to make hauling it away easier.


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