How Messy is Window Replacement?
Any construction job can get messy. However, when done properly and with some preparation, replacing an existing window unit can be done quickly with a minimum of mess. You can do many things to mitigate and prevent a messy window replacement.
Professional installers typically make minimum mess and take about an hour to do the job. Homeowners may take longer but can accomplish the task without a large mess. Surprisingly, preparing the window opening and not the demolition portion of the project can be the messiest part of the project.
Whether you hire a professional installer or perform the work yourself, understanding the key steps in the process is critical. Knowing how to remove the old window and prepare the opening without generating huge clouds of dust and piles of debris can make your project less formidable.
Replacement Windows – Make Good Choices
The very first step in any window replacement project is finding the right replacement window for your home. There are several considerations and some information you need as you shop for your replacement windows.
You need to know the rough opening of the window in your home. The rough opening is different from the window unit’s size and measures from the header to the sill at the bottom. Measure the width of the opening from the bare stud on each side of the opening. This measurement is critical to getting the correct size window unit.
Choosing the type and style of window is important to maintain the look of your home. Most people want to match the style of their new window to the rest of their home’s windows.
Almost as important as the right size window is the material used to make the window unit. Material types range from aluminum and PVC to traditional wood frames.
Armed with this information, you are ready to begin choosing replacement windows. Many homeowners find that consulting with a professional window company makes the process much easier.
Professional like Nu-Vu Windows and Siding can gather the right measurements and assist you in selecting the best replacement windows for your home.
Demolition – Making the Old Go Away
The first stage of any window replacement project is the removal and disposal of the old window unit. Many homeowners fear this part of the project due to the potential for creating:
Often the fear is damage to the area surrounding the existing window. With a bit of preparation, most homeowners find that their fears don’t materialize.
Remove the Old Trim, Caulking, and Siding
Carefully remove the trim around the window unit. Removing the trim can be easier if you score any caulking or paint adhering to the trim. With care, you can reuse the trim. Outside, you must remove the trim as well. If your home has a brick veneer, be extra careful not to dislodge any of the bricks.
As you remove the trim and caulking, keep a trash can handy and toss the debris away as you work. Placing tarps or plastic sheeting under the window can protect your flooring. One key to doing window replacements without creating a mess is keeping your work area clean as you proceed.
Watching professional installers, you soon notice that they are meticulous in the way they work. The professionals at Nu-Vu take pride in working quickly without excessive fuss or muss in your home.
Making Way for the New – Getting Rid of the Old
Many homeowners find it challenging to get the old window unit out of the opening by dismantling the window into pieces. Trying to remove the window unit in pieces almost guarantees a huge mess. Sawdust, broken glass, and other debris are the results.
In most instances, the easiest way to remove an old window unit is to cut around the window frame using a reciprocating saw. A reciprocating saw fitted with a demolition blade makes short work of nails and screws that fix the window unit to the surrounding rough framing.
With the fasteners cut, you can lift the entire window unit from the rough opening. No muss, no fuss, and relatively little mess. Installers such as Nu-Vu Windows and Siding have the tools and expertise to make this part of a window replacement job look easy.
Making the Old New Again
Before you put the new window unit in place, you should prepare the rough opening for the new window. The manufacturer of your window unit probably has specific recommendations for preparing the rough opening. Consult the instructions that come with your new window unit and follow them closely.
Installing the Window Unit – Doing it Right
Typically, you will need to have some tools and other supplies to professionally install your new window unit. In most cases, you will need:
A level to ensure that your window unit is plumb and square
A tape measure to center the window unit in the rough opening
Nails or screws to attach the new window unit to the rough framing
A screwdriver or hammer to drive the fasteners
Wedges to hold the window unit in place as you drive the fasteners
Power tools make this part of the job much easier and faster. However, many homeowners may not have power tools. You can do the job with hand tools, but you should expect to spend more time on the project.
Having all the right tools for the job is an advantage for professional installers. The right tool at the right time makes all the difference in the quality, the speed, and the mess that can result.
Plumb, Square, and Straight – You Aren’t Done Yet
When your new window unit sits in the rough opening square, plumb and straight with the fasteners in place, you still have things to do. Looking around the window unit, you can see the gaps and spaces between the window unit and the rough framing.
These gaps and spaces need insulation and caulking to keep your home well sealed and to prevent drafts. Filling these gaps and spaces requires purchasing:
Installing these can be almost as messy as the demolition part of the project if you aren’t familiar with the best methods.
Professional installers include the cost of these materials in their bid and have the tools and expertise to insulate and seal your new window unit correctly. Companies such as Nu-Vu Windows and Siding pride themselves on doing the little things such as insulation and sealing efficiently and economically.
The Finishing Touch – Leaving Things the Way They Were
Adding the finishing touches is as important as installing your new window correctly. Replacing trim and siding can be challenging. Replacing these parts of your window often requires cutting and fastening materials that need special tools. Cutting and fitting trim work is not an easy skill for some homeowners.
Caulking your new window is a part of the finish work. Caulking seems like a straightforward and easy process until you try. Applying a clean bead of caulk to a brick veneer home can be frustrating and result in messy brick, windows, and yourself.
Professional installers who do these jobs daily develop the skills to perform these seemingly simple tasks without a problem. The window technicians from Nu-Vu Windows and Siding have the experience to finish your new window installation professionally to your specifications.
Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional
There is a lot to be said for saving money and installing your replacement window units. If you have the tools and skills, nothing prevents you from doing an excellent job.
However, a simple window replacement project can turn into a messy and expensive project without the proper tools and understanding. Buying the tools you need may reduce any savings you see by performing the installation yourself.
Purchasing your replacement windows from a company like Nu-Vu Windows and Siding ensures a quick, clean, and professional job. Your worries about the mess and hassles of a window installation can vanish a quickly as your old window.