Windows and doors are typically only as good as their installation. Yet, when shopping for new windows and doors, people tend to think more about framing material, operating style, options and the level of energy efficiency they need. What's not on their minds at this point is the installation—from initial measurements to the completion of the project.
It really makes little sense to purchase the best product possible and then try to save money on the installation by going the “Do It Yourself” route, because poorly installed windows and doors will lead to on-going problems, poor product performance, and an unhappy homeowner. There are so many important factors involved—from measuring correctly to installing windows properly—that it really is a challenge for do-it-yourselfers to get it all right.
For instance, these are some of the many things to consider just at the time of measuring: Are the openings square and level? (This affects how the windows and doors are sized for proper fit and function.) How was house constructed? What type of material will the new window or door be anchored to? Are there any water-damaged areas that will need to be repaired prior to installation? What is best the type of windows or doors to use -- new-construction or replacement?
Once the products have been measured correctly, there are still many other factors that must be addressed to ensure a good installation. These include:
- Proper load-bearing shims—and where to use them.
- Effective anchoring techniques.
- Rigid or flexible flashing, based on whether it is a replacement or new construction product.
- Suitable insulation for the installation.
- Properly sized sealant joints for expansion and contraction.
- Sealant that’s compatible with the window and building material it may come in contact with.
- The possibility that there is exposed wood or other material that may need capped during or after the installation.
Many of the points mentioned are not only important for a good, long-lasting installation, but they also are important in terms of reducing air infiltration and water penetration --- as well as helping with sound reduction. Having a quality, professional installation with a premium product will lead to years of trouble-free operation of those new windows and doors.
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