There is so much information out there – tons of window systems, door designs, and cool features. But are they necessary to solve your needs? What do you need to do? How do you get around to it? We gathered information about the entire process of installation.
If you’re a window installer or contractor looking for a guide to recommending the best products for your clients, this step-by-step guide will help you with your next project.
Hey you know what, you could even send this link to prospects who ask you for a quote, or new clients who are starting a new project with you. This will give them a peace of mind because they know what’s going to happen next.
PART 1: WHERE TO START
There’s a right time and right place for everything. Sounds familiar? It applies to windows too. In this section, we discuss the various window operating styles suitable for different locations, so you can give the best recommendations to your clients.
On the ground floor, there might have some security concerns. To keep a home safe, yet allow light in, you could consider these door options:
- Slide and Fold
- Lift & Slide
These systems are harder to pry open when locked, yet open up to give your clients a great view when needed.
In the kitchen, whoever’s preparing the food can get super busy with the food preparation and all they want is easy access, preferably a single-handed opening…these options let light and ventilation in and as you would usually have a window over a counter top, you would need something easy to open when reaching across the kitchen sink:
- Top Hung
These doors act as a gateway connecting the home to the rest of the world. There are usually three operating styles; in-swing (not so viable as this eats into your living space), out-swing and sliding. Choose which style suits best according to the amount of interior and exterior space:
- Lift & Slide
- Slide & Fold / Bifold
This is the common space where people will gather in the home. The amount of air and light shining through is a huge factor, that’s why many choose to go for large panel doors and windows here, even floor-to-ceiling tall ones:
- Lift & Slide
- Slide & Fold / Bifold
A bedroom is a place where almost any window would function well in.
- Lift & Slide
- Slide & Fold / Bifold
In the bathroom, you may want to consider at least one operable window for air circulation without relying on a fan. It’s also good to have a window that’s easy to clean here:
- Top Hung
- Casement/French (small size)
Privacy and Comfort
A well-chosen window and door offers the benefits of healthier living and comfort in addition to the aesthetics, while giving the necessary privacy.
Tinted glass offers shade from direct sunlight along with some privacy too. It gives a striking visual effect but is also energy efficient by reducing air conditioning usage costs!
Magic Glass will revolutionize the way you view privacy. Switch between clear or frosted glass at the push of a button to instantly enjoy either an open or private space. With technology this stunning, you’ll just have to see it for yourself.
Using thin pitted film or sandblasting, this translucent glass transmits light but blurs images. So, if privacy is a concern, this glass will do the trick.
Low-E glass refers to glass with a low-emissivity coating. It minimises heat gain or loss through the glass by reflecting the sun’s rays, hence reducing air-con usage. Installing this is a little like cashback on the household electrical bill!
Put simply, double-glazed glass comprises two sheets of glass, separated by an air-filled cavity that is completely sealed. No more condensation and no more unnecessary noise while doubling down on safety.
Systems that shut tightly also means no air leakage, which means cool air-conditioned air won’t escape. Even more savings on air-con bills.
Protection and Safety
It is a common type of safety glass, made by sandwiching a vinyl interlayer between two or more sheets of glass. This reinforces the strength of the glass and makes it more resistant to shattering so you can be safe from intruders and accidental breakage.
This is a very strong glass. When it breaks (which is quite difficult to), it shatters into little pebble-like pieces without sharp edges, reducing the chances of injury. Tempered glass is recommended for patio doors, bathrooms and windows in children’s rooms.
Heat strengthened glass is 2 times stronger than ordinary glass. Under thermal stress, it might crack but won’t shatter into small pieces so you can be assured of safety. Great for homes in hot climates or experience strong windy conditions.
Most of the time, frames are the first parts of the windows that give way. That’s why choosing a good quality frame is important.
Factors to consider for frames:
- Necessary protections when installing eg. aluminium plates
- Denting and scratching
- Energy Efficiency
- Corrosion/ warping
PART 2: WHO’S INVOLVED
The process of buying and installing windows and doors is a lot easier when working with other professionals. They will help ensure you order the right products, properly sized to fit and operate flawlessly.
Manufacturers are the window and door makers themselves. They know the ins and outs of every single product (of course, they made it!).
Distributors are generally affiliates of large window/door brands and provide excellent customer service.
Getting on good terms with them can help your project, especially if you need customisation or if your project is a little more complicated. They’ll also be able to help you select the best windows and doors based on your needs, maybe even give you a friendly discount.
For new home constructions or large scale home remodelling, you may want to consider working with an architect/ID. These folks stay current with the latest trends and codes, and can offer solutions to a variety of issues that come up with regard to a particular site, building limitations and they are more in tune with the creative side.
If you aim to give your clients the best homes, Interior designers and architects will help create beautiful yet functional designs, and oversee your project in terms of quality management.
Depending on the scope of your project, you might need to hire other subcontractors. These could include carpenters for trim work around the new windows and balcony doors, painters for areas that need touching up, electricians for lighting works…
Be sure to have their contacts on standby!
PART 3: WHAT TO EXPECT
It is absolutely crucial that a timeline is set. It’s good for both homeowner, contractor, subcontractor, engineer or any other party involved in the project. From milestones and deliverables to payment schedules, everything should be clearly stated so as to prevent any possible disputes.
The actual installation is quick and generally requires the least amount of homeowner involvement.
Before putting in the new windows, the installer usually is in charge of removing the old windows and doors. He should be trained to look for any structural or other related issues when fitting the new windows and will alert the homeowner if repairs are needed.
After the installation, it is usually also the responsibility of the installer to clean up any mess (which there usually is quite a fair bit) and ensure the appliances are functioning well and the parts are good to go.
There should also be a warranty attached to the windows and doors. At Sapphire Windows, we offer a 10 years warranty on all our products, the longest in the market.
Ensuring the warranty is passed on to customers is essential to maintaining a long-lasting relationship. The warranty also acts as a resource for any questions that might arise in the future regarding the product, and is an unspoken vote of confidence in the products used.
PART 4: BUDGETING
Write down what you want
It is important for the homeowner, contractor, manufacturer/dealer and any other parties involved to have a clear understanding of the expectations for the price of the project.
In any relationship, managing expectations is a keystone to satisfaction. Try to avoid suggesting or accepting revisions or add-ons in the middle of your project unless necessary. It will delay the work and may put your client over budget.
Consultations and Meetings
Give a consultation to the homeowner, or hop on a quick meeting with the other professionals involved in this project. Monthly or weekly site meetings are arranged for this very purpose.
Sometimes, the homeowner can enjoy long term savings by using certain materials. For example, uPVC is an extremely energy efficient material and is highly durable. Upfront it might seem like a higher cost but there are huge kickbacks in the long run. Having a meeting to iron out all these minor details will help with ensuring a smooth project.
PART 5: POST INSTALLATION
Check up on your customers after the installation is done to ensure everything is alright. Good customer service definitely goes a long way! At Sapphire, our job is not complete until our customers are 100% satisfied.
Keep all receipts/invoices and paperwork, including any product labels, so that you have something to refer back to if anything goes wrong.
Just some pointers for homeowners if you’re reading this…
Check the operation of your product. If something does not feel right, contact your dealer or installer.
PART 6: MAINTENANCE
Proper care for doors and windows is important. For aluminium or uPVC windows, they require much less maintenance. With just a little cleaning, the windows and doors will continue looking great and performing optimally.
Have a little smudge on one of the frames? No problem. Just wash it with mild, non-abrasive soap and water. If you’re using uPVC frames, even better; water will be enough. Wipe dry, and you’re done.
Note of caution: Refrain from using acidic cleaners like turpentine – they might cause permanent damage to the frame finish.
Similar to cleaning the frame, use a mild cleaner and water. When done, rinse completely with water and wipe dry with a soft cloth to prevent stains.
Note of caution: Although the glass might be strong, avoid using abrasive pads or strong acidic soaps. It might damage the lamination on the window, leading to poorer energy efficiency and insulation.
Periodically lubricating window hinges, rollers and the moveable metal parts with WD40 or a similar equivalent would help keep them working at their best.
FINAL: WRAPPING UP
Happy with the results of your windows and doors?
Lastly, be sure to ask your satisfied clients to leave a good review for the company. It’s a great way to reward contractors for a job well done and looks good on your company when people search for you. If you want to learn more, you can speak with us.