Factors that Affect the Quality of Your Window Replacement


One of the causes for losing window quality is poor installation. Unfortunately, homeowners have a lot harder time noticing improper installation than low quality glass. This is why besides being specific about the type of framing, style and glass; you should also pay attention to the contractors which you are hiring.

Another thing you can do is check out this list of factors which significantly influence the quality of your window replacement project (during installation, of course):

Measurement of Windows

The most important thing is measurement. Any extra or lack of an inch can lead to a disruption in functionality. Luckily enough, there are some signs which indicate that the contractors didn’t take the right measurements:

  • Contractor trying to enlarge the opening
  • The appearance of big gaps on the window’s sides

Note: Discuss the process with your windows and doors contractor. Find the ideal solution instead of being angry with him/her. Sometimes it isn’t the contractor’s fault since the thickness of the wall is difficult to determine.

Leveling of Windows

You probably heard of level, plumb and square. These terms are commonly used in the world or replacement windows. They basically signify that the window’s horizontal and vertical axes are properly placed, resulting in the perfect window also known as square.

So for the window to be square, it must be level and plumb as well. If the requirements aren’t met, the crank mechanism will bent and the sashes will not close. On the outside gaps between the operating and fixed parts will be easily noticed and drafts will be a frequent occurrence.

Note: Proper installation requires the installers to use levels on each surface. Sometimes proper leveling isn’t an easy task since some walls can be badly leveled.

Shimming of Windows

After leveling comes shimming. The quality of this process determines the window’s lifespan and functionality. Shims give windows their strength since they represent the connection between the window and the framing.

Without shims, everything will fall out of place much faster. This is because windows usually expand and contract during temperature variations. Shimming is linked to proper leveling and insulation. In fact, the quality of the three is interdependent.

Note: Insulation foam is also a big factor in window replacement. The amount of foam will determine how your window works. If the installer puts too much, there will be difficulties operating the window. If he/she puts too little, draftiness and condensation will become part of your routine.

Positioning of Windows

Window positioning is whether the window will be placed closer to the inside or to the outside of the house. While doing positioning, installers should mind if the thickness of the wall matches the thickens of the windows since they must fit. Another thing that should be taken in consideration is the climate. “Closer to interior” positioning is highly recommended for cold climates due to 2 main reasons:

  • Reduced amounts of condensation
  • Longer lifespans, less wear on locking systems and sash

Note: Positioning on walls with thickness greater than 2×4 should be done according to the size of the jamb. Ask the installer about his/hers decision on the matter. Better to be safe than sorry.


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