March 19, 2011
Window Installation Mistakes
There are several common mistakes made by homeowners who embark upon do-it-yourself projects involving windows. While today's replacement windows are decidedly easier to install than the models of yesteryear, making even a simple installation error can result in lost money and wasted time. Those considering replacing windows in their home without engaging a professional to complete the job may wish to consider the following:
Cost Versus Quality
Although cost is a major factor with regard to any home improvement project, one should never fall into the trap of choosing a replacement window based on its price alone. The initial cost of the window should be reasonable; however, one must also give careful consideration to the window's overall energy efficiency, maintenance, cleaning costs, and the expected longevity of the model chosen. For instance, an expensive window that will last many years and is maintenance free is a better choice than a cheaper model that must be painted every year and wears out after a few harsh winters. Choosing a window based on cost alone results in a host of undesirable situations for the homeowner. These include energy loss, maintenance problems, short window life, and possible compromised security in the home.
Often, homeowners state that their windows are standard size; however, standard window sizes change approximately every ten to fifteen years. Nothing is less cost effective than getting halfway through the project only to find that the window cannot be made to fit precisely. Accurate measuring is vital to a successful window replacement project.
In addition, when the hole is cut in the exterior wall, care must be taken to leave a half inch gap between the frame and the opening. Cutting the hole to the exact size of the window leaves little or no space for adjustments. This is a very costly mistake, as there is no way to correct the problem of an unevenly installed window other than taking it out and starting all over. The same can be said for cutting a whole which is too large. If this mistake occurs, one must purchase a new window or attempt to fill the gaps with other material--generally a very bad idea.
Failing to Consider Security
Windows play a key role in home security. A window with adequate locks should be the only model considered by any homeowner. Preferably, the locks should not be visible from the outside. If burglars can see the locks on a window, they can determine how the locks can best be circumvented.
How well replacement windows perform with respect to security depends on their construction and safety characteristics. There are many models from which to choose and as long as durable windows with adequate locks are selected, the homeowner can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing his or her loved ones are safe. The result of choosing flimsy windows with substandard locks is obvious, and many individuals who have lost valuables and money as the result of a break-in wish they had given a little more thought to security when the windows were chosen.
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