How to prepare for window installation day: Your checklist

The window installation process can make your home a little busier than usual, but the right preparation will help keep things on track.
A contractor stands next to a bank of newly installed windows.
The day you’ve been waiting for is nearly here! Using this handy checklist will help you prepare your home and your family for the smoothest installation possible.

Getting started

Before you start, you’ll want to gather a tape measure, pen, and paper. It can be useful to have a helper too, especially if you have large windows.

Tip: To help you track dimensions and make other necessary assessments, download one of our measurement guides, like this one for the 400 Series.

You also need to understand a few different parts of a window before taking measurements. These include:

  • Jamb: The pieces forming the top and vertical sides of a window or door frame.
  • Head (or head jamb): The horizontal piece forming the top of a window or door frame.
  • Sill: The horizontal piece forming the bottom of the window or door frame. Here’s the equipment you’ll need:

1. Contact your contractor a few days prior to installation day

No matter how well-prepared you feel, it’s always possible to overlook something important in this process. Reaching out to your contractor ahead of installation day will help make sure everyone is on the same page and avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary stress.

Here are a few items you’ll want to go over:

  • Ask how long they expect the window installation to take and whether it will be a multi-day process.
  • Confirm whether they will be installing windows from the outside, inside, or both, so you can prepare appropriately.
  • Finally, it doesn’t hurt to double-check that you both have the same installation date marked on your calendars.

2. Remove blinds, curtains, and alarms

According to contractors, these cause the biggest delays. Blinds can take hours to remove, and window alarms will need to be removed before new windows are installed. Sometimes, it’s best to get your security company to help with disconnecting alarms.

3. Clear space around windows

Although it varies by project, you should allow about 5 feet of clear space around your windows. Carve out time ahead of installation day to move any furniture that might be in the way, particularly if you have a piano or antiques that require more care to move.

A room with furniture cleared away from windows is ready for window installation day.

4. Cover furnishings

Installing new windows generates dust. Taking a couple of proactive steps will make cleanup a little easier. Cover beds, couches, and other furnishings with a drop cloth or old sheet, and remove pictures from the wall.

A man measures the height of a window inside a home.

5. Create a plan for kids, pets, and life at home

Your home is going to be a work zone. There will be dust and noise. You’ll want to make sure you have safe spots identified so kids and pets are away from the activity. Work with your contractor on a plan so the days are less disruptive.

Kids and their dog relax on a couch.

6. Clear the outside space around windows

Windows can be installed from either the inside or outside. If your windows are being installed from the outside, your contractor will need to access the area under your windows. Trim your shrubs and remove any lawn furniture or decor to provide a few feet of clearance around the windows.

7. Schedule a walk-through with your contractor

Plan time with your contractor to look over finished work to make sure everything was completed as planned. This will also give you the opportunity to learn how your new windows work how to clean them, take out insect screens, etc.) and ask questions that could prevent issues in the future.

Andersen contractor standing in front of white truck

Still have questions? We’ve got answers to more of your frequently asked questions below.

FAQs about window installation

Ready to learn more about living with your new windows? We’ve got expert cleaning and maintenance advice.

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