Can I do the Job Myself?

Installing a replacement windowWhen it comes to replacing the windows in your home many people think that it is a job that they can take on by themselves. This question usually comes after receiving a quote that is high from a window company. You think if I do this job myself I am going to save all that money.

Perhaps you have watched new windows being installed on one of your neighbor’s houses and think, that does not look that hard.

While saving money and the fact that it does not look that difficult are both true, there are a few problems with trying to install windows yourself.

On a scale of one to five the difficulty level of window installation is about a 3.5. It can be done on your own, but it takes practice to do it correctly.


The first problem that you will likely run into when considering do it yourself window replacement is availability. Most likely you will not be able to run into your local hardware store and find replacement windows right off the rack. You will be able to find new construction windows at your hardware store, but this is not typically what you are looking for.

Recently, there have been responses from window manufacturers for those that are looking to install windows on their own. Pella’s offers their Thermastar line on special order from retailers and allows do it yourself installation. It is important to note that you have to go through a local retailer to get these windows and they are likely taking a large cut of the sale.

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Exterior Cladding

Another problem with installing windows yourself is that replacement window companies will wrap the trim on the exterior of your window with aluminum that matches your windows. This exterior cladding provides the window with a tight seal, protecting against the elements. There are special tools that are required to form this cladding and it takes some practice to work with the aluminum.


One of the benefits of hiring a window company to install your windows for you is that they will have the job done in just a few short days. This is something that the company does on a regular basis and they will be able to come in and get the windows installed for you correctly in a short amount of time.

If you are planning to install your windows on your own you better block out a large chunk of time to do the job. Once you begin a window you have to finish it before you can do anything else for obvious reasons, you cannot go without a window on your home for very long.

Replacing windows on your own can eat up valuable time and you need to consider this when determining the overall cost of window replacement. How much is your time worth? If you have a busy schedule, paying someone to install your windows may be worth what they are asking.


When installing windows it must be done in the correct way or the window is not going to perform the way it should. There is no reason to spend a great deal of money on the highest efficiency windows if they are not going to perform up to their potential because they have not been installed correctly.

There are certain steps that must be taken in order to ensure that the window functions properly. You can end up losing money in energy costs if you install the window incorrectly and it is leaking air in places that it should not be.


If you are installing your own windows you are going to be responsible for the cost of replacing the window should you break it or if anything happens to it at all. If you hire a window company to install the windows for you and they do not do it correctly they will come back and fix them. This is if you hire a company that is reputable.

There are pros and cons of do it yourself window installation. For the most part, paying a professional to install your windows is recommended unless you are an experienced carpenter/handyman and feel extremely comfortable doing the work yourself. The cost of the professional services is worth it for the peace of mind in knowing that the windows have been correctly installed.

Got a Question?

We try to cover as much as we can I our post, but there is always more as everybody’s situation is different. If you need some help we would love to hear from you, visit the Ask the Advisor page and fill out the short form.

Or check out our Facebook page and post your question right on the timeline, just “like” page and post your question and you will be notified once we answer. Pretty neat, right. Also include pictures if you have them this really help us to best serve you in our answers to your question.

Next Time

We are going to discuss researching window companies in the next post.

by Brian Kiernan

Educating homeowners on replacement windows and providing simple information to get them a great product at a great price done quickly by a reputable window pro.

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