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Window Replacements

What is the window installation process and how to prepare for it

April 7th, 2021 | 10 min. read

What is the window installation process and how to prepare for it

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You’re in the process of having your windows replaced. You’ve prepared, researched, studied, and tried to learn everything you could about the entire process: what company, type of windows, and date you’ve chosen for the project.

When it comes to the actual time for the installation, is there anything you need to prepare? Do you know what to expect when the time comes? 


Video link down below: "What can you expect from a replacement window installation with Southwest Exteriors?" 


With Southwest Exteriors, we want to assure you of everything you need to prepare and what to expect during the installation process. While of course you will not be doing any work during the installation, it’s good to know what the process looks like. 

Knowing more about the process allows you to ask more questions before the installation which will help you better understand exactly what’s going to happen and feel more comfortable with the company you are choosing.

In this article, that is exactly what we want to do. You will understand in detail the installation process, from preparation to post-installation, that Southwest Exteriors follows for all replacement windows so for your next window replacement you can feel comfortable and confident in your project.

7 things to prepare before installation day

After you have had your window replacement consultation with a design consultant and have chosen Southwest Exteriors for your window replacement, a project manager will come out to your home as soon as it is convenient to take technical measurements of all windows to be replaced. 

They will also double-check all product decisions you have made such as color, window type, style, screens, and grid pattern.

During this time, you will be given a checklist with items to make sure you have completed before installation day. We will outline the main points of the checklist here.

1. Check with your Homeowners Association (HOA). 

Some HOA’s require prior approval before having any home remodeling done. If you live in an area that does, make sure to have that approval before installation day. If you need help with this, we are more than happy to.

2. Trim all shrubs and bushes around windows

This makes it easier for the crew to install your new windows and ensure the job is done as neatly and efficiently as possible. If you do not trim any plants surrounding the window, we will have to and do not want to cause dissatisfaction with our branch trimming abilities.

3. Remove all blinds, curtains, drapes, window treatments, etc.

Anything obstructing access to the window will have to be removed. If you do not remove them yourself, we will remove them and cannot be held reliable if anything were to break.

4. Move all furniture away from windows

We need at least three feet of space on each side of the window to work. We do not want to get any debris on your furniture. If a piece of furniture is too heavy for you to move, we can assist you. 

5. Remove all wall decor surrounding windows

Just like with furniture, we do not want to get any debris on your decor or be held responsible for moving it. However, we will assist you in removing wall decor if needed.

6. Schedule for your alarm company to rewire your system

When replacing windows, the security system surrounding them needs to be rewired and placed properly as they were before. This needs to be done by the security company you use so that it is put back and functioning properly. 

7. Confine all pets and make sure young children will be away

Our crew works with professional machinery to remove windows that need to be handled carefully. We kindly ask that all pets will be confined away from the work zone and children know to stay away. We do not want to risk a potential injury of a pet, child, or crew member if freely roaming the house. 

Again, a checklist will be given to you during the technical measurements of your windows so you know exactly what you need to have ready before installation day.

From the time technical measurements are made to the actual installation day, you will be in constant contact with Client Experience Champion Michele at our office. She will keep you updated on the order status of your windows and can answer any questions you may have along the way. 

A day or two before installation day, Jim or Joshua, our two project managers, will give you a call to make sure everything is ready and in place. He will introduce you to the crew that will be replacing your windows and go over all details including what time they will be arriving, what the weather looks like, and the game plan if the weather does not seem favorable.

Now the day has come, and it’s time for your new windows. 

5 steps to the window installation process

Replacing a window is an art, and the craftsmanship of how you take out that window and put a new one in is extremely important in making sure you have a quality installation. No matter if you buy the best, most energy-efficient window out there, if the installation is bad, you will not get your money's worth.

Southwest Exteriors installation crews are experts in what they do. Unlike other home remodeling crews that are hired by companies to replace windows, our crews that will perform your window replacement only do window replacements.

Here we will outline the steps during that installation process so you know exactly what is going to happen on the day of your window replacement.

1. Arrival and project walkthrough

On the day of your project, the crew will call or send you a text when they are on the way from our office to your house with an exact estimated arrival time. Once they have arrived, they will introduce themselves to you and walk with you through the entire project. 

Part of this walkthrough is to determine where to start first. Typically, they will replace the most difficult windows first which could be the largest windows or windows that require a ladder. However, if you prefer the crew to start in one particular room and get it done first like a home office, they will accommodate that. 

If the window project is large and will take multiple days, the crew will go over the plan for each day with you first thing. It is typical for a crew to complete 10-15 windows in one day however factors such as size and location of the windows can influence how many windows can be replaced in one day. 

One of the most important aspects of this process to us is communication. We want you to always know what is going on with your project and never want you to feel in the dark. 

2. Safety and cleanliness measures in place

Doing the job right and doing it clean is important to us. Part of that pre-installation checklist asks if you prefer the crew to wear protective booties over their shoes while inside your home. If yes, those will be on during the process.

Canvas runners and tarps will also be set down throughout your house so your floors will be protected from any debris. This is also an extra measure of cleanliness we want to take to keep your home as clean as possible and not carry any debris around your home. 

3. Removal of windows

Before any window ever leaves the wall, it will be measured again to make sure that the replacement window is the exact size it needs to be. If for some reason the window is not the right size, the project manager will be contacted and the correct window will be ordered right away.

The process of removing windows goes section by section or room by room. The old windows will be taken out in that section and the new windows will go in right after. Your house will never be left wide open with no windows in it.

This also ensures that we will remain on schedule for the day's work. If one section of windows took longer than expected and the crew was not able to get to the next section for that day, the old windows will still be in place on that section, so you do not have to worry about any security issues. 

Now, how does the window get taken out?

Removing any obstructions

If you have protective bars on the outside of a window or any other form of blockage, that will have to be removed before the window replacement can happen.

Heating the edges or removing the sash

The crew typically uses a handheld blow torch to heat the caulking around the window. Heating the caulk allows it to become flexible so the glass of the window can be removed easily with little to no damage to the surrounding of the window. 

With wooden windows, the easier way to prep the glass for removal is to take off the wooden sashes. A sash is just a wooden part around the glass that keeps it in place.

Removing the glass

Once the edges have been heated enough, it is time to remove the glass. 

Every window is different. Some will come out with no effort at all and others require a little more elbow grease. If a window is more difficult to remove, some glass breakage may occur. If any glass on the window breaks, it will be disposed of in a trash can immediately once it comes off. 

Trash is always being removed and the worksite is continuously cleaned throughout the entire day including any glass that breaks off of a window. 

4. Placing the new window

After the old window has been removed, the new is standing by to be put in immediately after all windows in the entire section have been taken out. The new window is set in place and long screws are inserted into the main vertical sides of the window known as the jambs.

Before the expanding foam is applied to seal the window, the window is checked to make sure it opens, closes, and operates correctly. If anything is off, it can be adjusted before being sealed in.

After the window is set correctly and screwed into place, the foam is applied. Once the foam has dried, then the caulk is applied and smoothed around the window to seal it all into place. The caulk is specially dyed to match the color you choose for your window and has a 50-year lifespan. 

The caulk takes 12-24 hours to fully dry, so it is important to make sure nothing will get in the way of that drying process. If something happens to the caulk that messes up its finish, it is covered in your warranty to have someone come out and fix it. 

5. Finishing touches

Once the window is set in place and sealed in with the caulk, a weather seal is then put in place on the exterior of the window to protect it from potential water damages. 

The last step of the initial installation is to remove the protective film on the glass of the window and clean the glass.

When the entirety of the project is finished, the crew will schedule to come back and paint the interior and exterior trim, mortar around the window, and finish with stucco if it is included in your contract. 

After the project is finished

Once all windows have been replaced and the project is complete, a final walk-through and trash check will be done to ensure everything is correct and nothing has been left behind.

The crew will walk with you again through the project and show you how to operate all windows and answer any questions or concerns you may have about your windows. 

We will also go over your warranty with you. Southwest Exteriors warranty ensures that anything dealing with your windows is covered for the entirety of your life in your home, no matter if you are there for five or 50 years. 

If the project will take more than one day, they will walk you through what was finished that day, the plan for the next day and the rest of the project, and exactly what time they will be back the next day.

Enjoy your new windows!

Once the project is completely finished, Michele will reach out to talk with you about your experience and ask if you would like to leave a Google review for Southwest Exteriors. Your honest review helps future clients learn more about our company and helps them get a feel for the job we will perform. 

As mentioned before, if anything breaks, does not set properly, or goes wrong with your windows as long as you have them, you can contact us at any time and we will fix it for you. This will be covered in your lifetime warranty.

Ready to replace your windows?

Now you know what all goes into the process of installing a window and what to prepare before your installation day. With Southwest Exteriors, we want you to be comfortable and confident in our ability to complete your project and want to be transparent and honest with you through the entire process.

Everything we do is filtered through the principle of what we call the Four C’s: compassion, craftsmanship, communication, and cleanliness. We strive to always treat you with compassion and care and pride ourselves in the craftsmanship of our work. 

Communication will always be open with you, and we want you to be aware of everything throughout your remodeling process. 

Ready to replace your windows or have a question about the process? Fill out the form on our website to schedule a free in-home consultation or a virtual consultation for your safety and comfort.