During his 25 years with Western Window Systems, service manager Todd Hayhurst has learned – and taught – a lot about installing our door and window systems. Here are his top three tips for a successful installation.
1: Make sure the opening is properly prepared.
Measure the rough opening to make sure its dimensions exactly match what you need for the width and height of the door you’re installing. (Add 1/2" to the actual width of the door size and 1/2" inch to the actual height of the door.) Always fix the rough opening before installing if necessary. “The most common mistake is not having a properly prepared opening and trying to make it work,” Hayhurst says. “If you start with a good opening and do a good install, you never really have service issues or problems with the product. Before you drag the product to the opening, measure it and check it for square, plumb, and level.”
2: Look at the reveals to troubleshoot problems.
When installing hinged doors or windows, check the space between the door or window panel and jamb to see what needs to be adjusted. Ideally, there should be a 3/32" gap between the slab and the door jamb all the way around the door. “I teach people to look at our reveals,” Hayhurst says. “If you have a hinged door, you look at the reveal between the door leaf and the jamb, all the way around. That’s usually telling of what needs to be adjusted.”
3: Don’t put anything off.
There are about 30 steps in the installation of a high-performance door system. Taking an extended break between any of them, especially those closest to the finish line, is not an expert move. “A great teaching statement that I always give the installer is, ‘Finish the installation before you walk away,’” Hayhurst says. “Don’t leave something to come back and do tomorrow. Finish the door and adjustments, get everything locking and working before you walk away and put your tools up – because chances are, you’ll never get back to it, and then it’s a problem.”.
To learn more, including how to sign up for Western Window Systems’ installation classes, log into the dealer website at westernwindowsystems.com.