While the very first step to installing new windows on your home is to be mentally prepared for the process – as it will interrupt your home life and your regular routines until the work is done – you also need to prepare for the job in several other ways. Why? The main reason is that you need to have the project completed properly.
You can’t just cut a hole in the wall and then install a window without any forethought. The results could be disastrous. Here’s how the process should work.
Determine Where You Want the Window to Go
The number one thing that you need to do is decide which wall you want the window to be installed in. You probably have a pretty good idea already, so all that you need to do is make sure that it’s feasible.
For example, if the wall already has a few windows, then everything will be fine. If it doesn’t then you run the risk of potentially putting a hole in a load bearing wall, which can be quite a problem. (For the record, load-bearing walls are what support the ceiling and anything above it. If you mess with them, then your house might collapse around you.)
Other things to think of when planning window positioning include how much sun will get into the room once you place a window in that space. You also need to consider the other windows in your home. You need to keep everything in alignment and choose a window that fits the other styles. Otherwise, it will literally be the “odd one out” and will never look quite right.
Get Estimates on the Materials
Once you’ve decided on many of the important factors, such as where the window will be placed, how big it will be, and what it’s overall style will look like, you next need to get some estimates. Obviously, you’ll need to purchase the window itself, but there are some external factors involved here. You’ll need to support the window in the wall, which involves using wood bracing, and you’ll also need to put in some trim that matches what you already have.
Since you’ll need to remove any drywall that’s installed on the interior of the wall, you’ll have to replace it once the project it. Yes, this job involves both some destruction and some construction, which is why you need to be mentally prepared for the work. You could always hire a contractor to do the work (more on that next), but there’s nothing wrong with pricing all of the required pieces yourself. The more research you do, the better this will go.
Find a Contractor
Okay, now you’ve gone through the initial “discovery” steps. It’s time to make an important decision – do you want to try to do this job yourself, or do you want to hire a window installation contractor? A professional knows what he or she is doing, so they’ll be able to install your new window relatively quickly. The downside is the cost.
Obviously, having a professional do the job will cost more because you need to pay for their labor. On the plus side, contractors are licensed and insured, so if something goes wrong, then you won’t have to pay any additional costs out of pocket – depending on what they are, of course.
But, if you’re truly on a budget, then you could always do the job yourself. You’ll just have to pay for the cost of the materials that way.
Prepare Yourself for Some Construction Dust
You’ve made all of the major decisions, so the next step is that mental preparedness. Installing a window in your home can be a messy endeavor. The interior part of the wall will be dismantled, and a hole will be cut in it. The window, obviously, goes into that hole. There will be dust, debris, and even wood shavings in your home that you’ll need to clean up. You’ll also need to move furniture and might even have to close off that room during the project.
While the installation process may not take that long, it will still be messy. Yes, the end results are worth it, since you’ll have a new window in a place where there previously wasn’t one, but you’ll have a few minor headaches to get through first.
Admire Your New Windows
The last step is to admire your new window (or windows, depending on what you chose to do. This is the very best part because the work is done. Your home has been put back together. The contractor is finished (or you are if you chose to do the work yourself.) Everything is completed. You just have to step back and admire the finished project. It was worth it, wasn’t it?