Replacement Windows—DIY or Hire a Pro?

The Do-It-Yourself industry is thriving! You can find books and online tutorials on virtually every type of home renovation project. Some jobs, though, require some consideration whether you should DIY it or hire a pro. You don’t want to jump in over your head. Replacement windows fall into that category.

There are many reasons that Houston residents choose to replace their windows, hurricanes are right up there at the top of the list. Many people are choosing to upgrade to impact resistant windows for added hurricane protection. These windows actually increase your home’s structural integrity. They are a mighty force against the debris slammed mercilessly at your windows during the onslaught of a hurricane.

But, we digress.

You already know the reason you’re installing replacement windows. We didn’t intend to sway your decision, we’re just amazed at the durability of impact windows. Our apologies.

We were discussing whether or not you should tackle the job yourself or find an installer.

Ask yourself these questions

Before you begin any DIY project, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons. There are some pretty basic questions that you should ask yourself.

Do I have the proper skills?

Small home improvements or crossing tasks off the honey-do list is one thing. Window replacement, on the other hand, is a major project. In fact, we’d call it more than a project! It’s labor intensive, time consuming, and dangerous.

Do you have the tools necessary to complete the job?

  • Drill
  • Caulk gun
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Pry bar
  • Putty knife
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Screwdriver
  • Safetyglasses
  • Dust mask

It’s a pretty basic list. If you don’t have these things on hand, we suggest you consider hiring someone for the job.

Could I actually harm myself?

If we’re being frank, you could do more than that. You will be working with a heavy glass object which requires being on a ladder. We’ll just let that visual sink in for a second.

Can I do more harm than good?

Other than the above, you mean? The answer is possibly. What if you start and then discover hidden damage? Not to mention the fact that window installation requires precise measurements at every turn. For example, the terms plumb and flush are extremely important in regard to window installation. If you aren’t familiar with them, this may not be your cup of tea.

Put on the kettle and let the pros handle it.

What’s it really costing me?

Determining the value of your time is something else you will want to consider. A full-frame window replacement takes anywhere from four to six hours. If you’re an amateur, of course, you should probably figure that on the high side. Take that times the number of windows you are replacing.

Oh, and those stats pertain to ground floor windows. You need to figure extra time for the second story.

It could easily add up to sacrificing more than a couple of weekends. And, let’s face it, even if it’s a “staycation” this year, you don’t want to spend all of it on a ladder!

How big a concern is the safety factor?

We just mentioned ladders so now’s a good time to broach the subject. Seriously consider the fact that you’ll undoubtedly be required to work from a ladder. It’s estimated that over 500,000 accidents each year involve one. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, 36,338 people died as a result of falling from a ladder either at home or at work in 2017.

Add to that the increased risk of serious injury involved because you are working with glass. Do skilled professionals look more appealing?

What if I drop it?

Hopefully, no one will be on their way to the ER. The least of your worries then would be about a guarantee. However, we’ll mention that manufacturers often require that the window units be installed by professionals or the guarantee is null and void.

That’s something to think about, isn’t it?

What’s the call?

Now you’ve taken into account all the facets of this hefty DIY project.

Window replacement is a great way to improve energy efficiency. The savings factor offsets the initial cost as well. And, if we’re looking at things from that perspective, it will eventually pay for the time you sacrifice committing to the job yourself. However, life moves pretty fast. Make sure you are willing to commit to seeing the job through. The last thing you want is for your new windows to be propped up in the garage gathering dust.

If danger isn’t your business, this project is best left to the professionals. Think about the risks involved. Should you carry on and install the windows yourself make sure that you exercise caution. Encourage your helpers to do so as well!

All’s well that ends well

Ultimately, if you decide to press on and get those new windows in on your own, good luck! We will trust your decision on that. As with any DIY project, you are sure to experience the satisfaction of a job well done.

If you decide to hire professionals to accomplish the job, do your homework and find a reliable installer. Ask friends and family for references. Local online review sites are also helpful.

Find out how long the company has been in business. Are they accredited? They should also be ready to answer all of your questions regarding the windows you’ve chosen. In fact, if you’re having trouble making a decision, they will guide you in that process as well.

Installing replacement windows is a big decision, but once it’s made you certainly have something to look forward too. Money saving benefits are attractive features, all right. But, we can’t overlook the aesthetic value replacement windows provide.

When its all said and done, your home will be sporting a whole new look inside and out. Not only will you have a new view of your world, it will have a whole new view of you.

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