When a homeowner decides to replace all the windows in their house, most are smart enough to hire a company that specializes in replacement windows. But sometimes you get hired for small projects – such as a small mudroom addition – that require just a window or two. If you fancy yourself a jack of all trades, here are three mistakes to avoid so you end up as the jackass of windows.

Level up

Windows, particularly those that operate (i.e. open), need to be levelled on both the horizontal and vertical planes, meaning that shims are essential for installation. If the windows aren’t properly levelled, the operating arms will bend and seize.

Right-side up

Believe it or not, many amateurs (and a few supposed professionals) have actually installed windows upside down, with the drain holes hanging uselessly up at the top of the window. Triple-check the orientation before you start screwing in place.

Seal it up

To ensure energy efficiency, you’ll need to make sure the gap between the window and the frame is properly seal. For anything larger than about ¼” you’ll want to use spray foam insulation. Trim back the excess after it’s dried and seal everything with a bead of colour-matching caulking inside and out. Just don’t plug the exterior drain holes. The drain holes are at the bottom, right?!?

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