Four Pillars of a Great Replacement Window Experience: Window Installation (Part 2 of 4)
In our most recent post in this series, the first of four on the importance of a proper replacement window Installation we talked about how a poor installation can negate all the positive attributes of the window you select to replace your current windows. In this second of four posts regarding replacement window Installation, we will cover the critical start to a great replacement window installation: Accurate Measurement, Precise Manufacturing and proper Packaging and Shipment of your windows.
As with most things in construction, the first step establishes the foundation upon which everything else rests. To have a great replacement window installation, you need a window that is precisely manufactured to exactly fit the existing window opening. For this, the manufacturer needs proper and accurate measurements of your existing windows.
In order for your window to perform its best, it needs to fit the window opening as closely as possible. The smaller the gaps between the window frame and the house framing, the smaller the gaps the installer has to fill with insulation to keep your home warm in winter, cool in summer and keep the weather and insects on the outside where they belong.
Accurate field measurements are one thing, but if the manufacturing facility rounds those measurements off to the nearest inch or half inch, your new windows have no chance of being installed properly. Precise manufacturing at the factory to very strict tolerances is critical to the window fitting the opening properly. Renewal by Andersen manufactures its replacement windows to within 1/16 of an inch of the existing window opening to ensure the best installation.
Proper Packaging & Shipment
You can be confident that your windows are in good condition when they are manufactured. Most manufactures inspect and test their windows before they pack and ship them. The concern now is to ensure that they remain perfect on their way to you from the factory. Most window manufacturing plants are not located down the street and your windows have to travel many miles in a truck before they arrive at your doorstep. As building materials with many moving parts, some of them fragile (like the glass), windows are susceptible to damage in shipping. Until they are installed in a secure opening, improperly packaged windows can move and “rack” and be otherwise scratched or broken during shipment. This kind of damage is usually impossible to fix on the job site. In many cases small scratches or defects may not even be noticed until days or weeks later.
Improperly packaged and secured windows can be damaged in shipping by rubbing or knocking against other windows or other items in the trucks on their way to you. Be wary of manufacturers who simply shrink wrap your windows and ship them by common carrier. Shrink wrap is simply not inadequate to protect them from the rigors of shipping and handling. Be sure that the window manufacturer takes precautions to ensure that your windows will arrive at your home in the same condition as they were manufactured. This can include proper wrapping and boxing, but should also include some kind of protection of the glass and frame itself.
A Chain is Only as Strong as Its Weakest Link
It takes perfection at every step of the ordering and manufacturing processes for your replacement window project to turn out as you hope. One small mistake at any point along the chain is magnified later on and ruin your project before it even starts at your home. When considering the replacement windows for your home, ensure that you are confident in the measurements taken, the precision of the manufacturing facility and how your windows will be packaged for shipment and handling.
Next Up: Preparing the Opening
In our next post, we’ll explain the steps that must be undertaken on the jobsite to prepare your home for its new replacement windows.
For more information or a free design consultation, please call us at 1-888-826-2451 or fill out the form on this page.