How to Install a Window: Tips and Tricks from the Pros

window installation, MI Windows and Doors

Grab your toolbelt, put on some gloves, and adjust your safety goggles, because it’s time to install your new windows. This is the big moment you’ve been waiting for. After finding the perfect new home windows and waiting patiently for their arrival, it’s finally time to install them and enjoy your home’s new look. 

We applaud your decision to take on this DIY project. But before you go any further, let’s review some tips and tricks to help you learn how to install a window.


Preparing for Window Installation

When it comes to window installation steps, the first thing you want to do is ensure that the area around the window is free of any clutter. You don’t want to be in the middle of your new window installation when you suddenly realize that you have tools and other assorted items laying on the sill and blocking you from proper installation. 

First, make sure you’ve properly measured your window and ordered the right replacement. You also want to make sure that you have all the tools and hardware for the job before you get started. With modern windows, at a minimum you’ll need safety goggles, a putty knife, caulk, and a flathead screwdriver.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some additional tips for replacing windows and doors:

  • To avoid injuries, at least two people are recommended for installation.
  • Do not store sliding glass door products in the sun or lay flat before or during installation.
  • Inspect the product thoroughly before installation. Do not install the product if there is any observable damage or other irregularity.
  • Before installation, confirm window size and rough opening size and make sure the rough opening is plumb, level, and square.
  • If the building has a weather resistant barrier (WRB) installed, prepare the opening according to the WRB manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Make sure the installer reads all installation instructions thoroughly.
  • Window and door installation may disturb finished surfaces. Take the appropriate precautions to avoid damaging existing structures.
  • Do not proceed unless you are able to achieve weather-tight installation of a properly functioning product, which includes waiting for the proper weather conditions to assemble or install.
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Tips for How to Install a Window

Now it’s time for the nitty-gritty: replacing your windows. We’ve compiled a list of new window installation tips below:

  • Always use a caulk or sealant that is approved and compatible with the windows and doors being installed.
  • Some areas, such as Florida and Texas, require more fasteners than those employed on the physical test unit. For fastener information regarding these areas, visit or
  • Do not apply sealant in a fashion that plugs the weeps at the sill.
  • Be cautious using PVC cement, as too much could damage the products.


After Window Installation

OK, the hard part’s over – you now know how to install a window. You just need to take a few final steps to ensure that your DIY replacement window project is complete.

  • With the exception of logo and NFRC labels, all MI applied labels should remain in place and not be removed (e.g. AAMA labels, warranty labels, warning labels).
  • If there is more work to be done on the job site after window installation, use extra caution around the installed windows and doors to avoid damaging them or negatively impacting the installation.
  • Take great care with any final caulking or trim work.
  • MI recommends a yearly inspection of its products, both inside and outside of the home. Taking care of your windows, including sealant joints, hardware, and weather stripping, can lengthen their lifespan and help them continue to function properly.


Window Replacement vs. Window Installation

What’s the difference between window replacement and window installation? A window installation project encompasses any kind of window installation, whereas window replacement refers to the act of swapping out an existing window with a new one. 

In other words, all window replacements are also window installations, but a window installation is not always a replacement job. However, new window installation is typically done when a home is being built, and isn’t a DIY project. 


When to Hire a Professional

Learning how to install a window properly isn’t easy. Ensuring a tight seal and level installation are important for a long-lasting, functional window. If you feel like you’ve reached your level of expertise and the window is still not sitting properly in the wall, you should probably consult a professional window installation company

There’s no shame in hiring an expert; installing a hung window can be tricky under the best of circumstances. Plus, while the average cost to install a window is reduced with a DIY window replacement, you’ll end up paying more in the long run if the window isn’t installed correctly. 


How Much Does It Cost to Install a Window?

The amount you’re going to pay for a window installation can vary greatly depending on the project. It’s also affected significantly by the types of windows you get and how many options you choose. With that being said, you can expect to spend at least $9,000-$12,000 assuming you have a standard number of windows (i.e., 10-12) in your home. However, in many cases, you can anticipate spending more than that.


Follow the MI Windows Guides for Installation Best Practices

With these tips and tricks for how to install a window in mind, proceed to our installation guides, which you can find online. Choose the guide that corresponds to your product and follow all instructions carefully. Keep in mind if you don’t follow these recommendations, local requirements, or good building practices, it may affect your ability to claim remedies under MI’s warranties. If you’re interested in purchasing MI products, find an authorized dealer in your area.


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