Window Warfare: How Poor Installation Can Leave Your Home Vulnerable

Windows are a big investment in your home. Whether you’re replacing one or your whole home, you want to be sure you’re getting a high-quality product that will last.

While the window itself matters, how it’s installed is one of the most important factors in the longevity of your new window. With decades in the business and exceptionally trained window installers, Bell Brothers guarantees beautiful, energy-efficient windows that will last a lifetime.

Find out the risks of low-quality window installation and why you need professional installation for window safety, durability, and longevity.

Seal Failure

Seal failure is one of the most common problems that occurs with poor installation. This is when the caulking or weather stripping around the window frame starts to crack, peel, or break off, allowing air leaks in your home.

One of the purposes of a window is to protect your home from the elements, including extreme cold or heat, wind, and rain. If the seal fails, you can have interior damage and high energy bills from loss of heat or cooled air.

Seal failure can happen if caulk isn’t applied properly around your window, the wrong caulk is used, or poor-quality caulk is used. Caulking isn’t meant to last forever, but quality caulk can last up to 50 years.

The signs of a seal failure include fogging windows, water leaks, drafts, and wood rot. Moisture can get into your home, rotting the wood and causing leaks. Another problem can arise, however – condensation can get trapped inside your windows. They’ll always look foggy, but you can’t properly clean the inside once the moisture is there.

Poor Window Operation

The installation of a window plays a role in how well it operates. If your installer doesn’t have the proper training or experience, they may not install the window properly. Windows have to measured down to 1/8th of an inch to ensure they fit into the window opening. Otherwise, there could be gaps on either side that allow air and moisture inside.

It’s possible for an installer to install a window sideways, upside down, or crooked, which can affect how easy it is to open and close it. For example, a double-hung window that isn’t level will slam down if you try to tilt the sash.

Early Window Replacement


Windows can be a pricey investment for your home. If you skimp on installation, however, the windows may not last the time they’re supposed to. Seal failure, foggy glass, rot, and a poorly operating window will require a replacement much sooner than expected – costing you more in the long run.

You may also pay more because of water damage and drafts that cause you to lose heat or cooled air, leading to higher energy bills. All things considered, trying to save with an inexperienced installer or a DIY window installation isn’t the most cost-effective option.

Can I Install My Windows Myself?

Even if you’re a capable DIYer, replacing windows is a difficult task. You have to have knowledge and experience to ensure it’s done correctly. Here’s why:

DIY Methods Are Dangerous

Professional contractors have training to minimize the risks of home renovations. As a DIYer, you may not. There’s always a risk of serious injuries when you take on DIY projects, especially something like installing a window.

You’re not only dealing with expensive and heavy glass materials, but you may have to work on ladders or scaffolding that puts you at risk of falls.

DIY Work Is Slow

Safety isn’t the only risk of DIY window installation. It can take a lot of time – much longer than a professional installer would take. Professional installers are prepared for the obstacles and considerations that come up along the way. You may not be.

Removing and replacing windows is a major home disruption, especially if you’re doing a whole-home replacement. During that time, your home will be wide open and vulnerable to the outside world, so insects, weather, and debris can get inside. You’re also losing warm or cool air during that time.

If you’re not experienced with window installation, it’s more difficult to predict how long it may take to complete your replacement. Worse yet, you may realize you need different tools or supplies, so you’ll have to run out to the store during the work.

Poor Installation

If you start a window replacement without considering whether the job is right for you, it’s possible to end up in the middle of the work when you realize you’ve taken on work that’s out of your scope.

Window installation isn’t forgiving of beginner mistakes. At best, your mistakes may cost you money – more than a professional installer would have. At worst, it can be dangerous for you and your home.

If you have cracks or gaps, your windows will leak or lose heat or cold air out of your home, increasing your energy bills. Gaps around your windows don’t look nice, either. Your windows may be difficult to open as well.

DIY May Void Your Warranty

If your windows have a warranty, it’s likely that self installation will void it. Then, if something goes wrong with your windows, you’re no longer covered.

Some places have strict requirements for home renovation work as well. If you have a Homeowner’s Association in your neighborhood, there could be ramifications for doing the installation yourself. HOAs often regulate the appearance and aesthetics of the homes under their purview and don’t take kindly to DIY work.

In addition, some neighborhoods require an insured and licensed professional to do all the home renovation work. If you take the risk, you could end up spending more money to have a professional fix your work.

Benefits of a Professional Window Installer

The risks of poor or DIY installation alone may be enough to have you calling a professional installer, but there are also advantages.

Experience and Expertise

Experience matters with virtually all home renovations, but particularly with window installation. Our window installers at Bell Brothers have decades of expertise to help you choose the right windows and overcome any obstacles along the way, preventing costly mistakes that can arise during window installation.

Customized Window Solutions

Professional window installation isn’t simply taking an old window out and putting a new one in its place. Every home is unique, and a professional installer will take the time to develop tailored solutions that fit your home’s aesthetic, your budget, and your energy-efficiency goals.

Quality Assurance

There’s no point in investing in high-quality, durable windows only to have them installed incorrectly. No windows, no matter how good, can overcome the potential risks of poor installation. A professional installer will ensure that your windows are installed correctly and precisely to maximize their functionality and longevity.

Speed and Convenience

Home renovations are time consuming and disruptive, more so if you do them yourself. A professional window installer can get the job done as quickly as possible – correctly – and prepare you for what to expect. As a result, you won’t have wide open spaces in your home or a major disruption in your daily life for any longer than necessary to get the job done.


Anything that’s potentially dangerous should be done by trained professionals, including window replacement. With this work, equipment misuse, material mishandling, and other problems can arise. A professional knows what to expect for the work and will come in with the right preparation and knowledge – including protective gear to ensure everyone is safe during the work.

Building Codes and Permits

Many homeowners aren’t familiar with the permits required to carry out a window replacement project. Professional installers do window replacements all the time and know what permits are needed, the process required to obtain them, and what to expect from the process. You can count on windows that are installed correctly and in compliance with local regulations.

Warranty Protection

As mentioned, DIY installation may void your window warranty. When you have professional installation, it’s likely that any problems that may arise after installation will be covered by your warranty.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Windows


Whether your windows are reaching the end of their lifespan and it’s time for an upgrade, or you suspect your previous installation wasn’t done properly, here are some signs it may be time for a window replacement:

  • Windows that let in a lot of sound or weather may not be sealed correctly – or they may be poor quality windows in the first place.
  • If you feel a draft when your windows are closed, that’s a clear sign you need new windows.
  • If your window frames are chipped or soft to the touch, that’s a sign of rot and water infiltration. Eventually, your windows will sag.
  • Windows that were not installed correctly tend to have balance problems, so they may be difficult to open and close. Rust and rot can also cause problems when opening a window.
  • Clouding between the panes of glass means that there’s moisture getting in, which you can’t fix. Your windows will need to be replaced.

Hire Professionals for Your Window Replacement

If it’s time for new windows, you can count on the pros at Bell Brothers. Our seasoned, certified, and professional vetted installers will get the job done right the first time. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!