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The dos and don'ts of replacing doors and windows yourself

Everyone thinks that "doing it yourself" will save you $$, but if something goes wrong, it may end up costing more in the long run. Below are some of the typical "Don'ts" we see at Aluminium Plus and some of the "Dos" that might help prevent costly mistakes.


Remove a window or door without the replacement already ordered, paid for and there on site with you.

It's surprising how many people barrel ahead with the demolition phase without a replacement all ready to go or a plan on what to do next once the existing window or door is out. Many window and door manufacturers don't keep stock on hand as everything is made to measure. If you go ahead with your own demolition and take your existing window or door out before you're ready for installation, you may be left with a giant hole for 2 or more weeks during which time your home is vulnerable to the elements or intruders.

Expect manufacturers can work miracles

Just because your brain can dream it up, doesn't mean it's always possible. Windows and doors are manufactured and installed the way they are for a reason. Whether it be due to the materials that are needed to manufacture the product, the width or height constraints of a window or door and your building's weight bearing points your dream choice may not be suitable for the space you have.

Blame others when it goes wrong

Sometimes when you measure yourself things can go wrong easily and of course your first thought may be to find someone to blame. Unfortunately this doesn't solve the original problem... as a customer and manufacturer team we just have to move on and see how the problem can be fixed.

Sometimes measurement problems are able to be fixed quickly e.g a simple cut down of a window to make it smaller, but other times the fix can take just as long as the original build e.g. toughened glass can't be cut down so if a window was made the wrong size and needs to be cut down, you will still need to wait for reordering of the glass as that can't be cut down - a new piece needs to be ordered.


If you DO decide to go ahead with your own replacement of your window or door, here are some handy tips on what to do to make your job successful.

Measure more than once - millimetres count!

The saying "measure twice cut once" in the building industry is there for a reason. Incorrect measurements lead to mistakes, which can end up

Some things to consider when measuring:

- make sure your measurements are taken in millimetres

- measurements are taken from outside edge to outside edge


Unfortunately 3-5mm can be the difference between your window or door fitting snugly in an existing wooden........ or your window not being sealed correctly and letting the weather and rain in.


Differing from other building industries, windows and door measurements are written down your measurements for your window or door in HEIGHT x WIDTH

If your measurements are not given with HEIGHT first then Width, your window may be manufactured incorrectly.

Double check your configurations

Although it can be confusing, if you are expecting a window or door to work in a certain way it's super important to check and recheck that everyone is on the same page when it comes to expectations about configurations.

In the window industry sliding window configurations are taken from the outside of the window looking in. This means that if a customer is envisioning their new window over their sink to slide from right to left, when window manufacturers are talking about which direction it slides they would describe that window as sliding left to right. This is due to the fact that from an outside view, as that's what way it would slide.

Also, in the window and door industry an X means that panel slides, and an O means that panel is fixed. XO (as pictured above) would mean this window or door slides when looking from the outside slides from left to right, whereas an OX configuration means the window or door slides from right to left.

Know your limits

Sometimes when things are going wrong, you need to just call in the experts. It may cost a little more, but then the job gets done properly the first time by a trained professional.

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