Tag Archives: Sill

Window installation; its not for amatuers

Window installation is not a game for amateurs or persons with a lack of understanding of the building envelope.  A great example of this is when my best friend, who lives in North West Alberta, she was interviewing different window companies there when she was pricing out a renovation.  After the interviews she called me,  I was horrified to hear the flippant way the window contractors discussed installation.

When she asked how the installation would be managed and who would be completing the install one of the contractors told her ” Don’t worry about it, we know what we’re doing.” another contractor told her, “I’ve sold so much today I can’t really explain much else to you.”

There are three things you need to ask any window company or installer you are considering:

  1. Who is doing the installation and what are their qualifications?
  2. What is the installation process and procedure?
  3. Is the installation procedure written out?
  • What, how, when.  Do they have a plan and a process.  OR Is it left to the whims of the installer.  HERR window & door has a what, if, then scenario for each of their installations.  The Journeyman and Apprentice carpenters know the why, and the how.  They can take an old window out and make adjustments for a better install based on site conditions.  In the constructions industry we have  a saying when something is done incorrectly “It must  have been Friday afternoon”.  Which refers to when a job is done lazily and steps are missed to get it finished quickly.
  • If the person you are dealing with says” don’t worry about it, we’ll do a good job” without giving you any indication of what they will do during installation, major red flag.
  • Qualifications, just because someone has been installing for 25 years does not mean that they have been installing correctly

If they brag that they will have your whole home of windows switched out in one day, another red flag.  I would question that ability of a team of two or three people to properly prep a sill and tie in the sill to the vapour barrier within that time frame.

A failure of a window is 99.9% to do with the installation.  The window companies have put tens of thousands of dollars into the engineering of the windows.  What the envelope engineers have told us that its not a matter of IF water gets into your rough sill, its WHEN.

This is why the recommend a peel and stick to protect the sill as it is the foundation of the weeping system.  There will be another blog post in July all about the weeping systems HERR window and door uses.

What to look for when selecting a Window and Door company.

Knowledgeable installation teams with clearly, written out installation procedures.  They should know exactly how they will tie into the building envelope with an “if, when, then” scenario.  There are many unknowns when taking out an old window, it is typically hard to say the sill is rotten when the window is in place.  But there should always be a procedure an installer can follow to rectify the rot instead of covering it up.

At HERR window and door we ensure the time is taken to properly maintain the building envelope.  If you have any questions or concerns on window installation please don’t hesitate to call us 780-405-5929.