Are you finally ready to get rid of those old, leaky windows in favour of new, energy-efficient ones?
Making the decision to install replacement windows in your home has probably been time-consuming and a little intimidating. You’ve already done a lot of research on what style of windows you want, what framing material makes the most sense, and what glazing options will give your home improvement project the best return on investment and comfort level.
But your job isn’t done yet.
Whether you’re tackling the project on your own or hired a professional contractor to do the job, doing the proper prep work before the installation work begins will help the process go more smoothly.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to make the project go safer and faster, while protecting your belongings:
Schedule a Good Time
You may think that your window replacement job is going to cause chaos and inconvenience no matter when you schedule it, and that’s probably true. To reduce the impact on your daily routine, you may want to take time off work or make arrangements for the children and pets to spend time away from the house while a contractor is there.
The same applies if you’re doing the work yourself, to keep distractions to a minimum and little feet safely away from the work zone. Consider blocking out enough time to do the entire job instead of doing it piecemeal. This will help you methodically move from room-to-room quickly and efficiently.
Clear a Path
Now it’s time to clear a walking path around the windows inside and out. Remove furniture, area rugs, plants, and anything else that’s located along the route to and around the windows.
Walk around the outside of your home and make room for equipment like ladders, scaffolding and lifts to access the second-storey windows. Remove patio furniture, trash cans, sculptures, landscape features, potted plants, toys and any decorations in and around the window area. Don’t forget to take down any exterior holiday decor like wreathes or lights that may also be hanging in the way.
Remove the Accessories
Now that a pathway is available inside and out, you’ll need to remove window treatments like curtains, draperies, sheers, shades and blinds. If you’re doing a retrofit installation for your replacement windows, you may be able to leave the window covering hardware in place. Ask your contractor, if applicable.
You really should also take down any artwork, photos or hanging wall decorations that could be damaged during construction. Vibration from tool use may shake them off the wall or they could get dirty from airborne particles during construction.
Plan for Storage Space
If you’re doing a whole-house replacement job, you may have difficulty finding safe and adequate storage space for all your belongings. You may want to consider moving items to a garage or basement area or rent a portable storage container. These are available in various sizes and can be delivered right to your home. This is a simple solution to avoiding misplaced items as everything is in one dry, safe location. You’ll want to research your options and schedule delivery ahead of time to get the best rate and avoid last-minute delays.
For those items that must remain in place (inside and outside), it’s important to provide protection. Replacement window installation is a messy job. While you or your contractor will take care in keeping the work area as clean as possible, removing and replacing windows will require disturbing dusty window frames, scraping away old paint and glue, drywall work, sanding and painting. This will cause dust and debris build-up on everything from floors, carpeting, walls and anything left in the room. Outside areas underneath the windows will also be exposed to falling debris when the windows are pulled out.
Your contractor will try to minimize mess by putting down a drop cloth, but you’ll want to provide extra protective coverings for furniture and flooring inside to catch any debris and make clean-up easier. Cardboard in the bottom of a bathtub will protect the bottom if workers need to stand inside to replace a window. Outside, you can cover shrubbery and plants with drop cloths or plastic sheets or tent delicate greenery with a wood frame to minimize trampling or breakage.
Allow for Access
Window installers must have easy access to each room so they can carry old windows out and new windows in. Consider removing interior doors from their hinges to make more room for equipment access. Trace a path from the entrance door to each room and make sure to remove any obstacles along the way.
Don’t forget to identify the power source in each room so electrical tools can be operated without stringing extension cords everywhere.
Plan for Clean-up
If you’ve hired a window installer to do the job, they’ll have a clean-up plan for removal of the old windows and any debris generated from the job. If you’re doing the work yourself, you’ll want to arrange for a dumpster to be delivered to the site prior to the start of work. This will help keep the work area clear and safe from hazards.
While the majority of the big mess will be handled, you should plan for a major overhaul clean-up after all the drop cloths and protective coverings are removed. Consider investing in a good shop vac to pick up drywall dust, splintered wood and other heavy debris. It will make clean-up easier and save your regular household vacuum from damage.
Finish the Job
Once your new windows have been installed, you’ll want to reserve some time to put everything back in place. Re-hang window treatments or purchase new ones to fit new sizes, replace artwork and pictures, move furniture back from the temporary location or storage container.
Don’t forget to contact the container or dumpster company to remove their equipment. Delaying pick-up may result in extra fees.
Installing replacement windows in your home can be a monumental task, but with the right preparation, the project can be accomplished quickly and efficiently. Putting in a little extra effort at the beginning of your home improvement will pay huge dividends in lower energy costs, increased comfort, improved curb appeal, and a huge return on investment.
If it’s time for your tired, old windows to get an update, contact Ecoline Windows for a free, onsite evaluation today. Serving Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Toronto for your convenience.