How To Install PVC Windows

Choosing the right window

How to Install PVC windows is part of the final process of enclosing your home while under construction. The obvious benefits were discussed in my previous post roof quotes. Now I guess we should start with  how to choose the right windows. I have a bit of an advantage over most people. I worked for a window manufacturer for a few years and the best part was that the manufacturer was based in the UK. As most of you probably know, UK products are usually of great quality and this goes for this window manufacturer as well. London Elite Trades is a leader in the process of installing windows, curtain wall and facades in Europe and exports around the world.

How to install a window

Based upon my experience there are a few things to look out for in how to choose & how to install a window, without getting too technical overall for the price, vinyl windows have several advantages. The frame of the window is a great thermal barrier ( its slow to transmit the cold or warmth outside to the interior of the house ) it weathers well over time, and is easy to maintain. The clincher is that its priced very competitively. The thermal glass is another area to look into. Today Low E Argon filled glass is well worth it, specially when combined with an efficient frame. You see ,if the frame is not thermally efficient it will degrade the overall R value of the window. Most manufacturers will provide certain test results, which you should ask for, of which one is the R value of the window. But they will only usually state the R value center of glass. To be exact you must take into consideration the impact of the frame and get the total R value of the whole window including frame.

What to look for in a good window

Here are a few things most manufacturers test their windows for that will help you on your quest on How to Install a window.

  • Air-tightness
  • Water-tightness
  • Wind load resistance
  • Ease of operation
  • Resistance to forced entry
  • Condensation resistance
  • Screen strength

Finding a good manufacturer not an agent

As I mentioned vinyl windows provide the best bang for the buck. The key is finding a good manufacturer. Now I was blessed to be in a house that had vinyl windows in it that I knew performed well in winter for condensation as well as ease of use. It just happened that the manufacturers name was on them. So I gave them a call. They were a true manufacturer. I had called a few in the area but after visiting, found that they were just installers who represented manufacturers. You want to deal with a manufacturer direct who has no objections dealing  with you as a general contractor. My cousin and I could install them easily. Just as a note the installer reps rates for the window quote were about 25% higher then what we received from the manufacturer direct.

The type of window is also a key. Typically crank systems coupled with an awning window is great for water, wind and security resistance versus the much cheaper and therefore poorer performing sliding window systems out there. So that is what we went for. Low E argon filled vinyl awning type windows. The basement windows were an awning type that swung from the top and opened outwards and had two latches on either side for security. Once ordered they took 3 weeks to be delivered on site, another issue to consider seriously while choosing & installing home windows. Do not get caught during the busy season and have your windows arrive late on site. The security and comfort of the site depends on the right choice and installation of  these windows in a timely manner.

So provide the plans to the manufacturer and he will prepare a quote on your windows. Our manufacturer provided all of the fire/security doors i.e. Garage to house as well as the garage doors and openers as well. One key aspect is to correctly determine the right depth of the window. Take into consideration the type of siding your are going to be using and correct for different types of siding. At times some people will use a higher grade of siding in the front of the house then on the side or the back. Another consideration is the width of the gyp rock you are using. We went with 5/8″ most go with 1/2″. This all impacts on how to choose & install home windows.

Installing and thermally sealing a window

How to Install a window – you will need 2 people. It took my cousin and I two days to install all the windows in our house and  it went very well. The process we used was to cut small blocks of wood and then shim the window, screw the window in and determine if all was plumbing and square. The final test is to make the window function. If it cranks well and is not bowed out, its fine. We finally used a low expanding foam insulator around the perimeter of the window to ensure that the window is well sealed.

A word about the low expansion foam. If you are going to be insulating the perimeter of all of the windows in the house use the following Dow Chemical 20 OZ Pro Wind/Dr foam as well as the Pro 13 dispensing gun and the Great Stuff Pro tool cleaner.

The dispensing gun simply screws on top of the dispensing foam cylinder which makes it a lot easier. Word of caution, be meticulous and take your time as you screw the cylinder on being careful to NOT strip the unit. There is a screw on the back of the dispenser as well, close it once finished and use the Pro tool cleaner once the day is done. If you have any questions I would love to hear from you, just use the comment below.