Window DIY – can I install my own windows?
So you’ve decided that you want new windows for your home. But with any renovations comes not only expenses but questions around whether that expense can be reduced… quite often leading to the question, “can I do this myself?”? Good old DIY never goes out of fashion. So today’s blog is going to explore whether or not you should consider installing your own windows in your home.
At Integra Windows we have over 21 years of manufacturing and installing uPVC double glazed windows. Our team of installation experts have window installation down to a fine art and are happy to share some of our tips today with you if you are considering taking on this task yourself.
First things first
Before you can even begin to consider installing your new windows, first you need to actually order your new windows! Some points to consider when ordering new windows…
- What material will your new windows be made from? We would recommend uPVC as the most low maintenance, energy-efficient, fireproof/weatherproof and environmentally friendly option.
- Window styles – now you are installing new windows, it means you now have the choice to decide which window styles are best for each room in your home, to maximise visual appeal and take advantage of the available space.
- Measurements – last but not least, make sure that you take accurate measurements for every single window in your home, as this is crucial to ensure that you are ordering the right window size. So many of our customers who want to install their windows themselves fall at this first hurdle, often providing measurements that are incorrect, resulting in having to re-order the windows in the correct sizes (all of those DIY savings quickly disappearing). This includes not only the measurements for the windows but the spaces that you expect the windows to be able to open into.
If you are installing a brand new window, i.e. not replacing a window that was previously installed, please understand that windows are not designed to be load-bearing. A lintel must exist above the window, and if you are unsure of what this means then please consult an expert before taking this any further.
Out with the old, in with the new
Okay so you’ve successfully ordered your new windows and they have arrived… after checking all windows against your order you have everything you need, in the correct sizes, and can get started.
But of course, before you can install the new windows in your home, the old windows first need to be removed. Let’s start with some basics:
- Clear the site around the window – any curtains/blinds/ornaments (although this seems obvious you would be surprised the stories we have heard!).
- Cover the immediate site (inside and out) with dust covers, trust us this will save you a lot of heartache later on.
Now, let’s remove the window!
- Removal of glass – glass needs to be removed from the window, and please ensure that you are wearing the appropriate safety wear whilst doing this, such as thick protective gloves and safety goggles. Investing in safety wear may seem like a cost you don’t want to add to your window installation, but you are 100% better safe than sorry as accidents can and frequently do happen when working with large amounts of broken glass of varying shapes and sizes.
- Removal of the original window frame – in order to do this you will need to carefully break any seal that exists before you can then proceed to remove the actual window frame from the building. Please pay attention during this part of the process in order to minimise damage to plaster, brickwork and damp proof membrane.
- Clean break – now you have removed both the glass and the frame, you can now work away with your chisel to remove any final debris before moving on to installing your new windows.
The above steps to removing existing windows are incredibly simplified. Each window is going to be different, depending factors such as the age of the window, materials, original installation and the dependency of the surrounding building. So please don’t ever rush this step, no matter how tempting it may be once you are only a few windows in with many many more to go (especially working at a high height!).
Installing new windows yourself
The third and final step; your new windows are ready and waiting, the old windows have been removed successfully and without issue (hopefully), you are now ready to get moving with the final step of installing windows yourself.
Each home and window style is different, so our experts have given an overview of some hints and tips for successful window installation below:
- Positioning – when positioning the new window frame making use of plastic packers and always leave a small clearance (approx 5mm) between the frame and the brickwork.
- Level and fixing – always ensure that windows are level once in place, and make sure you never overtighten fixing bolts.
- Packing – wedge new window into place with plastic packers, being careful not to bend the framework by overpacking.
- Checks – gently unlock and open all window sashes to ensure no binding occurs.
- Seal – finally seal the windows in place with silicone, allowing for time for this to dry.
Please bear in mind that the above is a very simplified guide on how to install uPVC double glazed windows yourself.
Should I install new uPVC windows myself?
If you have managed to read this far and haven’t been put off by the long and complicated process of measuring, ordering, removing and installing the windows then you may well be capable of installing new windows yourself. However many find that as new windows are such an investment for any home, that the actual cost of window installation by a team of experts is worth the additional cost.
Installing your own windows may seem like you are saving costs compared to paying for installation, but consider the following costs before you decide:
- Safety wear – you will need to ensure that you and your team of helpers (yes this isn’t something that you can do alone), have the right safety wear during the entire process.
- Tools – removing and installing new windows requires specific tools that you will need to invest in, many that may only be used for this one-off occasion, so consider is this worth it.
- Building materials – there are a considerable amount of building materials required when installing your own windows, which of course come at an additional cost to the windows that you have ordered. An installation team use these materials day in day out, so are privy to trade discount/bulk buy prices, which unfortunately you would not be.
- Clean up – the cleanup effort may seem simple, but industrial clean up after such extensive building work can be long and also expensive, for example being responsible for damage to brickwork or plaster can result in having to recruit additional tradespeople to correct problems you may have created.
If you would like to know more about uPVC double glazed windows for your home and the costs of window installation vs installing the windows yourself, then please contact the team at Integra Windows today who would be more than happy to discuss this with you.