HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my readers. I get this question frequently: “Is the installation of hurricane windows and doors a messy operation?”
It doesn’t have to be. I suppose it depends on the person doing the work. Also, it could be depending on the method and materials used to construct your home. The “messy” part is the removal of the old windows. For example, I recently renovated a home and had the windows and doors replaced. The old windows were awning type: two or three window panes in one frame, hinged at the top corners of each pane. First, the panes must be removed.
It’s not a difficult job: the framed panes are held in place by pins and can be levered open so the entire pane panel is removed. Next, the window opening frame must be removed. If there are visible screws on each side, these can easily be removed. Older homes may have the frame nailed in place which means they must be pulled out with a crowbar. At the vertical center of the opening, use a block of wood against the stucco or drywall surface of the window opening. Force the straight end behind the window frame and, using the wood block as a leverage point, bend the frame towards the opposite side. Do this on both sides of the frame. There may be some damage to the exterior stucco and the interior drywall or plaster. The main concern is the window sill.
Older homes may have ceramic tile sills and individual pieces are difficult to match and replace. Prior to the removal of the windows, the openings were measured and the new windows will be custom made to order. The new window is installed immediately after removal of the old window. In order to meet hurricane resistance, the frames must be anchored according to the manufacturer’s specifications and with the screws and anchors they prescribe. A bed of caulking is placed around the entire frame to stop water intrusion. So far, so good. The installer, or a helper, patch the exterior stucco and the interior drywall or plaster. The owner generally is responsible for painting. There is bound to be some dust and powder from the work. The installer will give the area a lick and promise to clean up, but it would be wise to have a vacuum cleaner handy. Messy? – a little. But think of the well-being and security your new windows offer. Also, you have window style options which can change the appearance of your home and may also allow more light while maximizing the insulation of the windows.