Placing windows yourself

If you place a window yourself, you will save money on the placement costs. A professional will ask 35-61 GBP per square meter, so the price can get very high when a large window or multiple windows have to be replaced.
Imagine living in an average terraced house with a window area of 20 m² and you decide to provide your entire house with new PVC windows. If you use an expert, you should count on a total price between 4400-7000 GBP. When you decide to place your windows yourself, however, you can save up to 50% on the costs!
A self-installed window does not have to be lower in quality than a professionally mounted window, though a few factors must be taken into account.

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Should you install your own window?

1. Consider your window installation skills

Do you have the necessary skills to perform a window replacement? This can vary depending on the type of window that needs to be replaced; a full-window replacement is harder to execute than an insert replacement window. An insert replacement window allows you to keep the existing window whereas a full-window replacement window requires a complete removal and replacement of the existing one. A good place to start for determining the magnitude of a replacement project (and if your skills match the project) is to review the product installation instructions.
If you do not yet have the necessary skills, there are a number of ways in which you can learn to replace a window. These are highly recommended, since it is very important to install a window correctly; a small mistake can lead to damaged windows or bad insulation!

  • Ask the vendor: The window vendor will provide instructions for placing the window. This describes what you need to do, step by step. Make sure that you follow these instructions carefully and contact the seller in case of doubt. It’s better to inquire than to make a mistake.
  • Watch videos: On YouTube, there are several videos that explain how to place a window. It is wise to view these videos in advance. If you’ve seen someone place a window before, you’ll be able to better apply this knowledge.
  • Follow a workshop: Workshops are available to teach you how to place a window. This is especially useful if you have little experience or if you do not feel comfortable doing this all alone. The workshop will give you the assurance that you are able to place windows. A workshop will cost time and money, but the costs are a lot lower than the cost of an expert!

2. The Right Tools

Do you have the right tools to do the replacement job yourself? Installation requirements will vary depending on the type of window, but most installation projects require a few standard tools:

  • Safety glasses
  • Caulk gun
  • Waterproof shims
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Power drill/driver
  • Screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Small pry bar

3. A Realistic Schedule

Do you have enough time to set aside for your project? A full-window window replacement requires at least 4 to 6 hours per window on the ground level—and more for windows on upper floors. Insert windows may require less time. It’s always best to set aside additional time for reading through your installation guides thoroughly.
Replacing a window yourself is complicated and somewhat risky, but it can save you a lot of money. The below table should give you an idea of the costs of replacing windows, if you do not have to take into account placement costs paid to an expert. (This does not, however, take into account the costs of any tools you may have to purchase for such a DIY project!)

Window Window area Price incl. VAT and insulation
Fixed window
PVC 1 m² 87-174 GBP
Wood 1 m² 130-220 GBP
Aluminium 1 m² 220-300 GBP
Tilt and turn window
PVC 1 m² 130-220 GBP
Wood 1 m² 220-300 GBP
Aluminium 1 m² 350-440 GBP
Hopper window
PVC 1 m² 153-240 GBP
Wood 1 m² 220-300 GBP
Aluminium 1 m² 370-460 GBP
Sliding window
PVC 1 m² 610-700 GBP
Wood 1 m² 700-780 GBP
Aluminium 1 m² 950-1200 GBP

 

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