Replacement Windows—Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro?

You’ve been considering it for awhile now. At last, the decision is made. You’ve seen your way clear to install replacement windows.

Good call.

In addition to adding curb appeal, your new windows should last for decades. Newer windows should equal a more energy efficient home as well. And if you decided on replacement windows that are impact resistant, you are providing your family with added protection. Both from storms and burglars!

You’re reading this so we’re going to assume that now you’re trying to make the decision whether to tackle this yourself or hire a professional.

Since you’re looking for advice, we’ll just put it out there.

First things first

We can think of two reasons you may want to have a professional install your replacement windows right off the bat.

  1. In the event that you botch the job, it’s going to be costly to have someone come in and set things right. Not to mention that you will be entirely responsible for the mistake. Most manufacturers won’t stand by their guarantee if the job wasn’t handled by an expert.
  2. You’ll be working with glass and ladders. Both of these equal a chance of a very serious accident in their own right. You’re taking both into your hands… at the same time! Not to mention that windows are bulky. Should bulky and balancing even go together in a sentence? It sounds a bit foreboding to us.

On the other hand

There’s a first time for everything. If you feel like you’re ready to take on this project, we’re behind you! Not under you though… just in case.

There are a few things we want to make sure you’ve considered first however.

Tools of the trade

Odds are if you’re an avid DIY’er you have most of this stuff already. It’s a pretty basic list. However, if you don’t, well, maybe window installation isn’t the best idea.


It can be dangerous.

That said, here you go.

  • Safety glasses
  • Caulk gun
  • Waterproof shims
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Power drill
  • Screwdrivers
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Small pry bar

How’d you do?

Time is money

When you consider the amount of money you will save versus the amount of time this job will take, you may reconsider too. Here’s some food for thought.

On the average, it takes 4-6 hours per window depending on your skill level. And, that’s on the ground floor. The second story involves more time and…

Taller ladders.

What’s your schedule look like?

Life is busy! Are you sure you have the time to commit? In short, this is one project you don’t want to shift to the back burner mid-way through.

It just wouldn’t look right.


Then, again

We should mention the straight up advantages of hiring a professional. You shouldn’t just call the first name you see and set up the deal though. Ask friends and family for references. You can even search local reference sites. People aren’t shy about telling you what they think on the net, that’s for sure.

Contact a few companies for comparisons.

Questions for your quest

Ask some pertinent questions. We have a few in mind to get the ball rolling.

  • Are they certified? Professionally certified installers complete a training specific to the manufacturer. Or, instead, they have a stringent set of credentials to gain certification.
  • How long will the job take?
  • Will weather be an issue? Oh, by the way, what’s the wait for the rain date?
  • Do you need to be present?

We’re just going to throw a yes on that last question. It just makes good sense all the way around for obvious reasons. Also, what if an unexpected question comes up?

They’re here!

A team of professionals should be on top of their game. Therefore, on installation day, your installers should arrive on time and ready to go.

You can and should expect the following:

  • They should protect your space, using drop cloths is a sign that they’re serious about that.
  • The removal of the old windows should be done with care.
  • Your windows should be finished inside and out. That includes installing interior and exterior trim, in addition to the necessary hardware.
  • They should leave your home like they found it. After clean up, you should not even know they were there. With the exception of the new look provided by your replacement windows, of course!
  • All the debris, including the old windows should be removed from the premises.

Albeit, if you put your new windows in the hands of a pro, all of the above should be included in a normal day’s work.

By and large, there’s something to be said for that.

The final view

We strongly recommend hiring a professional to install your replacement windows if you don’t have experience in the field. It really is a big job and you don’t want to get in over your head. Becoming frustrated and overwhelmed could lead to an accident or a costly mistake.

Furthermore, if you’re confident that you’re ready to tackle installing your new replacement windows, study up on the subject beforehand. By the way, you’re going to need some help. Find someone that feels confident they can handle the job as well. On the whole, the power of positive thinking goes a long way toward success.

Make sure you’ve gathered all your tools and materials beforehand. Map out the details of your project before you get started. Knowing the order of the steps you’ll take is a good idea. Moreover, plan to take all the time you need. You want the job done correctly. That is paramount.

Poorly installed windows lead to problems later on. If moisture gets past the windows and enters the walls, mold and wood rot will eventually set in. Accordingly, if you install your windows improperly, their energy efficiency rating is literally out the window. Guaranteed.

Oh, and be careful on that ladder!