DIY vs. Expert Window Installation: Which is Better?

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Installing new windows in place of old, inefficient ones can significantly improve your home’s aesthetics, but that’s certainly not all. Replacement windows can also help reduce your energy consumption along with your utility bills, allowing you to rake in savings over the coming years. However, getting new windows can be a significant investment. Because of the typically high cost involved in window replacement, many homeowners choose to take shortcuts and attempt to do the job themselves.

In theory, DIY window replacement sounds impressive – do it yourself, and save lots of money on labor. In reality, however, you could be making costly mistakes because you’re not really familiar with what you’re doing. Attempting to replace your windows on your own can also be dangerous. Without the proper tools, training, and knowledge, you could injure yourself as well as leave your family exposed to potentially hazardous substances. So, if you’re still trying to decide between doing your window replacement by yourself or hiring an expert, let’s break down the facts to help you make the smartest decision.

On Familiarity with Building Permits

As a typical homeowner, you probably aren’t familiar with the regulations, codes, and permits necessary to carry out residential improvement projects, such as window replacement. No one expects you to unless you decide to tackle a project on your own. By taking the DIY route, you will be responsible for ensuring that your new windows comply with safety regulations and for pulling the necessary construction permits. This can be extremely difficult if you’re managing your project alone.

Licensed and professional contractors, however, are well aware of local and state building codes and regulations. They are also familiar with the processes of obtaining permits for the job.

On Tools and Materials to be Used

Let’s face it: Not all homeowners have access to the right tools and materials for window replacement. And even if most of them can be found in your local hardware store, they can be costlier than you think, especially as you’ll be needing several pieces. Replacing an entire window and ensuring it is sized and sealed properly takes more than just skills—it needs to be done with the appropriate tools.

Professionals, on the other hand, have been doing this for years, and some, for decades. So, they are always armed with the right tools and materials. They’re also whizzes with the equipment, and, having acquired proper training and knowledge, can carry out even the most difficult installations with ease.

On Window Products to Install

Another reason it’s not ideal to go DIY for window replacement is the fact that high-quality replacement windows aren’t available in local big box hardware stores. What they offer instead are ready-made units that may be ill-fitting and cannot be customized according to your home’s requirements. While you can walk into any store and purchase new construction windows, they simply don’t guarantee desired results.

On the other hand, expert contractors have access to top-notch products manufactured by some of the biggest names in the industry. These are available in various styles, sizes, and colors. Plus, you can customize them according to the specific needs of your home.

On Safety Considerations

Did you know that 43% of all fatal falls in the last decade had something to do with climbing a ladder? DIY window replacement might seem easy. The truth is, however, it can be dangerous not just for you, but for your family as well. Many amateur installers do not have the right safety tools and are not aware of common safety procedures, resulting in fatal accidents down the road. With an experienced and professional installer, you do not have to worry about you and your family’s safety. Although the risk is still there, their unmatched years of experience helps them overcome common challenges in installing replacement windows. In addition, they’re equipped with the right protective gears and safety tools to help them carry out the job without too much difficulty.

On Turnaround Time

Window replacement requires a great deal of skill and knowledge to carry out. Sure, you can consult online tutorials and videos, but doing so can only result in an extended installation period. On the other hand, hiring a professional can ensure a more efficient turnaround time for your project. Professional installers do this job almost every day. They can install your new windows right the very first time, saving you a significant amount of time and effort.

On Warranties and Insurance

When you attempt to install the windows yourself, you could void the warranties covering your replacement units as most manufacturers require installation by a qualified professional for them to honor warranty terms. Working with an expert allows you to take advantage of strong warranties, not just on materials, but also on workmanship. That way, you’ll stay protected against additional expenses when an unexpected issue occurs after the installation.     

Yes, it can be tempting to just buy new units, grab a few tools, and start on the job of replacing your old windows yourself. However, it’s not really that easy. Don’t let your window replacement project become a DIY disaster. Hire the right team for the job, and take comfort in the knowledge that you’ll be getting top-quality windows suited for your home and for your peace of mind.

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Author Bio:

Dave Steffes is the owner of Renewal by Andersen of Des Moines. Surrounded by experts in the field, he enjoys talking about various topics related to home improvement and sharing what he knows by writing on the company blog. Check it out for updates from Dave!

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