The Risks of DIY Window Installation

When renovating or doing work around the home, the temptation is always there to try to save a few dollars with a little DIY work. And while that might be a great decision for some work, when it comes to working with glass, you might be better off leaving it to the glazing professionals.

Ensuring windows are installed correctly is incredibly important. They need to be able to withstand the elements, stand the test of time and meet all relevant safety guidelines and building codes. Getting it wrong can lead to serious problems, cost overruns and even potential safety and security issues.

So, let’s have a look at some of the risks associated with DIY window installation.

Risk of injury

Handling glass can be risky. Windows can be heavy and installation may involve working at heights. Improperly handling the glass or attempting installation without the proper tools and safety equipment can result in serious injury. Broken glass can lead to cuts and lacerations. You also risk injury from falls if you’re working at heights.

Improperly installed windows could also fall out or shatter, causing injuries to those nearby.

Professional installation will ensure that all work is carried out in line with the relevant safety standards and building codes.

Legal and financial issues

In some cases, it may not be legal to install your own windows. Carrying out DIY glazing work without the right documentation could lead to code violations and significant costs to remedy the problems. In some cases, you may end up having problems with your insurance company if sub-standard work is carried out, especially if it affects electrical or plumbing systems or is carried out without the appropriate permits. This could mean that you are unable to make insurance claims in case of an accident or that your insurance rates are significantly increased.

Energy efficiency problems

Your windows play a huge role in your home’s energy efficiency. Improperly installed windows can lead to leaks and draughts and excessive heat transfer, which can dramatically increase your utility bills. A professional glazier will ensure that the windows and frames are properly installed to minimise the risk of leaks and draughts and maximise energy efficiency.

Could create or exacerbate other problems

Poorly installed windows could lead to a range of other problems around the house. If windows aren’t sealed properly, you risk costly water damage to window frames and sills and walls and even structural damage.

If the windows are easy to remove, open or break, they can also present a security risk as they are an attractive entry point for burglars.

Additional costs

Pursuing the DIY option might not end up being as cheap as you think. While you are saving money on labour, there are other immediate and potential long-term cost considerations to factor in. For example, you may need to buy or hire various tools, equipment and materials to carry out the installation.

For first-timers, the risk of damage to your new windows or home can be quite high during installation. It’s worth considering that you will need to foot the bill for any damage that takes place.

In an effort to save money, you could end up cutting corners and using incorrect tools or poor quality materials. This could result in you carrying out repairs or replacements sooner than might be necessary if you had the windows professionally installed, which could end up costing more in the long run.

Warranty problems

Quality window products, including frames, glass, and opening and locking mechanisms, will usually come with a manufacturer warranty. However, in many cases these warranties can be voided if the windows are improperly installed or not installed by a qualified professional. This could lead to you being unable to make any claims on your warranties if any of the products prove to be faulty.

Time concerns

Living without windows, even for a short period of time, is not practical or safe. Installing your own windows can end up taking much longer than a professionally handled project. Whether it’s due to mistakes or accidents, unexpected problems or simply your day-to-day life getting in the way, there are any number of factors that can contribute to your DIY project being delayed.

To avoid these potential issues, it’s a good idea to leave your window installation or replacement projects or any other glazing services to the professionals.

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Moshe Ben-Zaquen

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