General Window Installation Tips

Jim Snyder
July 27, 2016
THE TALK... | Methods & Techniques
Quality window installation involves more than following a series of steps. It also requires using the proper installation method for the application with the proper supplemental products and in the proper sequence. This may or may not be specifically spelled out. For either case, here are some tips from the field that will help installation go smoothly.
  • Be familiar with the Standard Installation Practice ASTM E2112. Understanding this foundational fenestration document is critical to sound installation. Many manufacturers even reference this document in their own installation instructions.
  • Be familiar with regional code window installation requirements for your area. Most manufacturer installation instructions defer to code. Yet, in many cases, construction code(s) specify manufacturer installation instructions. Ultimately, there’s a shared “balance” of information.
  • Communicate dealer to manufacturer, dealer to installer, installer to homeowner, and every other possible channel. Communication can fail an installation or save it. 
  • Order windows as factory-complete as possible. Include installed jamb extensions, exterior trim and completed mulling whenever possible. Ship with “sash out” if manageable weight is a factor. A thorough order will save significant installation time. Sweat the details on the takeoff. 
  • For full-frame replacement sizing, factor in all three perimeter widths and heights of each opening. Consider interior trim-to-trim (or returns), exterior veneer-to-veneer and rough opening before ordering the windows. You may have to settle on the highest priority perimeter but, if you don’t, you’ll spend much additional time fitting the window.  
Do you put all of these theories into practice? Want to share some of your own installation tips and tricks? Leave a comment online, email your tips and/or review the results of this week’s poll. And, for more general installation tips, click here.
Survey Results for 07/27/2016:
How many of Window Jim's installation tips do you incorporate on a regular basis?
Jim Snyder is an AAMA-certified FenestrationMaster and InstallationMaster who shares his years of installation field experience as an industry writer, speaker, trainer and project/product consultant for dealers and manufacturers. A member of various industry organizations, Snyder also is involved in instructional document creation and revision. Contact him at

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My windows are coming away from the wall, so air keeps on leaking through them. It's not energy efficient or kind to my wallet. I'll need to get some new windows installed. That's a good idea to make sure that you get factory-complete ones.