Importance of Proper Installation
Written installation instructions, which provide guidelines for proper installation are typically provided with Andersen products. They are also available in our Technical Document library.
Remember that every installation is different, and Andersen strongly recommends consultation with the local supplier or experienced contractor, architect or structural engineer prior to the installation of any Andersen product. The method of attachment for Andersen products, fastener selection and code compliance is the responsibility of the architect, building owner, contractor, installer and/or consumer.
When ordering, make certain you specify, then verify, the exact product, unit dimensions, configuration requirements, color and options you desire on each window or patio door. Before installing the product, we suggest you verify that it includes the features and options you ordered. When joining windows in combinations, contact your local Andersen dealer for specific joining and installation procedures.
1. Read and follow the installation guide in its entirety.
2. Use the appropriate drainage plane on the building (house wrap, building paper, etc.).
3. Make certain the drainage plane is continuous (proper overlaps to shed water, taped seams, etc.).
4. Andersen products should be installed only in the vertical position.
5. Check the rough opening to make sure it is sized properly, is square and is level.
6. Install the window plumb.
7. Install the window level.
8. Install the window square (diagonal measurements should be within 1/8").
9. Follow installation instructions to properly locate shims and to make sure that units are plumb, level and square. Shims are often required under the window jambs at the sill and along the jambs on the sides.
10. Check for squareness of unit before final anchoring of the product into the wall.
11. Anchor the window properly with appropriate fasteners (nails or screws spaced as directed).
12. Integrate the window into the drainage plane of the wall using high-quality flashing and sealing materials. (All flashing materials should be properly overlapped to shed water).
13. Allow 1/4" for a sealant joint around perimeter of unit between exterior finish materials and unit.
14. Insulate the interior cavity between the window frame and the rough opening. Do not overpack.
15. Check installation and operation of unit before application of interior trim.
16. Stain and/or seal all unfinished wood surfaces promptly to minimize moisture absorption.
Appropriate selection of Andersen products which conform to all applicable laws, ordinances, building codes and safety requirements is the sole responsibility of the architect, designer, building owner and/or contractor. Check with your local building code officials for specific information.
Drip caps are a specific type of flashing or trim that is used at the head of a window or door to divert water beyond the face of the unit.
Flashing is an important element in a building's moisture protection assembly, and is used to shed water and direct water to the building exterior or to the drainage plane. Flashing materials are typically applied starting from the bottom and working upward, with each successive layer overlapping the previous one in shingle fashion. Water infiltration problems in any type of building can be reduced by properly flashing and/or sealing around all building openings, including windows and doors, but the performance of any building system depends on the design and construction of the building system in its entirety, which should address local environment, climate, building code requirements, product and material limitations.
Sealants are elastic materials used to block the passage of water and/or air while allowing movement between the two sides of the joint. A sealant should bond tightly and be able to expand and contract to accommodate joint movement without cracking or tearing away from the substrate. Surfaces must be clean, dry and sound for adequate sealant adhesion. Choose a sealant that is compatible with, and that will adhere adequately to, all building materials used in the window area.
Proper sealant joint design is based upon the expected movement of adjacent materials and the movement capability of the sealant. A general rule of thumb is that the depth of the sealant joint should be equal to half the width (D=W/2), but generally not less than 1/4" or more than 1/2". Foam-plastic backer rod can be used to limit the depth of the sealant joint, to provide a firm surface for tooling the sealant and to act as a bond breaker to help minimize stress in the sealant.
Use of Shims
Shims are often used along the side jambs of windows and doors to center the unit in the rough opening and to position it plumb, level and square. In addition, shims are often required under the sill at the side jambs to lift it off the rough sill to allow for drainage, and to prevent sill crowning if the building should settle. Use waterproof sill shims capable of supporting the weight of the product over time. When using tapered shims, use them in pairs with the tapers opposing each other to avoid tilting the unit or twisting (rotating) of the jambs. Shims can affect window operation and performance if not placed properly.