What to Do Before Getting Replacement Windows

Lydia Schapiro
Written by Lydia Schapiro
Updated October 5, 2021
Woman works at desk in front of big windows
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Take the stress out of replacing windows with a few simple prep steps

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So, you’ve decided to get new windows. Whether it’s to increase your property value, change your style, or increase security, there are a few things to prepare before getting replacement windows. To prevent stress on the day your pros arrive, we’re here to help you construct a well-thought-out plan for what you need to do before installation day.

1. Remove Window Coverings and Wall Hangings

The first thing you should tackle is removing any type of covering from all windows getting replaced. If your blinds or sheers don’t match your new windows, consider donating or selling them. To allow workers complete access to the wall around the windows and prevent your items from getting damaged, also take down any window decorations, such as paintings or wall hangings.

2. Cover Floors and Furniture

Because you don’t want to damage your antique end-table or fragile grandfather clock, it’s essential to cover your items. The window installation job can be messy, with lots of sanding, scraping, and potential for debris buildup. The installers usually bring their own sheets or cloths to cover the space around the installation. Still, you can be preemptive and use protective coverings such as cardboard, cloths, and old sheets to protect your furniture and floor.

Note: Don’t neglect the outside area—since the work will carry over to the exterior of your house, cover any outdoor furniture, flowerbeds, or shrubs near the window areas with cloths or tarps.

3. Deactivate any Alarm Systems

If you have alarms connected to your current windows, deactivate them so they don’t cause any disturbances during the installation. If you’re not sure how to do this, contact someone from a home security company near you and make sure you know how to reconnect them.

4. Keep Your Children and Pets Away

Windows along three walls in living room of traditional home
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For all parties’ sake, keep the children and pets away from the installation. Remove any treasured toys in the area before installation begins. Prop up a baby gate to keep them out while work is underway.

5. Clear a Path

You’ll need to clear space around the existing windows for your pros. This includes removing all furniture and decor, plus anything that may get bumped and broken. Make sure you remove all outdoor decor as well, as the installers may use scaffolding, ladders, or lifting machines to access the exterior parts of the windows.

6. Ensure Installers Have Access

Whether you’re planning to stay away from the installation or not, it’s a good idea to have a solid form of communication with your pros so they know how to get into your house when you’re gone and that they have access to all areas that are part of the installation.

7. Consider Getting Storage Space

For large installments, your contractor might recommend using storage space for your belongings, particularly if you have many fragile items. This could be a garage, basement, or a rented storage unit. This prevents damaged furniture and misplaced items and allows you to feel more assured during the installation.

8. Plan for Clean-up

Your window installers will likely have a clean-up plan to remove the old windows and materials in addition to any debris that accumulated (dust, sand, glue). Communicate with your pros beforehand to put a plan in place. If you do the clean-up yourself, rent a dumpster before the installation to prevent a buildup of materials around the work area and make disposal easier.

Note: It can be challenging to clean up all the dust, so definitely be prepared for more dust in more places than you’d expect. Consider this your excuse to get a new vacuum if your current one isn’t sufficient.

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