How Long Does It Take To Install Impact Windows?

how long does it take to install impact windows

Installing impact windows is a project that can significantly improve your home’s appearance, comfort, energy efficiency, and protection against extreme weather. But like most major home improvements, the process does require some time and effort. In this complete guide, we’ll look at everything you need to know about the time requirements for impact window installation.

Quick Answer:

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The installation time for impact windows can range from 3-5 hours for a single window, to 1-2 full days for 5-10 standard size windows. For a mid-sized home with 15-25 windows, expect the full installation process to take 2-3 days. Larger homes with extensive impact window needs of 35+ units may require 4 or more days for the complete installation. Exact timelines vary based on window number, sizes, accessibility, customization needs, crew size, and other factors. Proper planning and preparation can help reduce the installation time. Hiring experienced local installers is key for an efficient project.

What Are Impact Windows?

Impact windows, also known as impact resistant or hurricane windows, are specially designed to withstand the intense pressures and flying debris associated with major storms like hurricanes.

Unlike normal glass windows, impact windows feature a heavy-duty laminated glass core sandwiched between layers of plastic or vinyl. This sturdy construction prevents the glass from shattering on impact, keeping your home secure even during storms with winds over 100 mph.

In regions prone to tropical storms and hurricanes like Florida and the Gulf Coast, building codes often require the use of impact resistant windows. But even in other areas, impact windows can provide valuable protection against extreme weather events.

Key Factors That Determine Installation Time

Several important factors influence just how long the impact window installation process will take for your home:

  • Number of windows – The more windows your home has, the longer the installation time. Even experienced crews need more time to replace a large number of windows.
  • Window size – Larger windows naturally take more time to install than smaller ones. Great care must be taken when handling large panes of glass.
  • Window accessibility – Windows that are easy to access, such as on the first floor, can be installed more quickly than windows in hard to reach spots. Second story and high windows often require additional equipment.
  • Customization level – Basic window insert installations are faster than full frame replacements. Any specialty customization or reframing will add time as well.
  • Crew size – More workers means the project can be completed more quickly. Most installers work in crews of 2-4 people.
  • Experience level – Well trained, experienced crews can install efficiently. Inexperienced installers may take longer to complete the same job.

Knowing these factors can help you estimate the time needed, but the window survey performed by your installer is the best way to determine an accurate installation timeframe.

Window Installation Process Overview

To give you a better idea of what’s involved, here is an overview of the key steps in the impact window installation process:

  • Site evaluation – The installer will survey your home, take precise window measurements, and note any accessibility issues.
  • Window order/permit – Windows are custom ordered based on your measurements. Permits are obtained if required.
  • Prep work – The team prepares the work area, covers furnishings, and installs safety equipment.
  • Window removal – Existing windows are carefully removed and disposed of properly.
  • Installation – New windows are placed into the openings and securely attached at all contact points.
  • Sealing – Gaps and edges are sealed thoroughly for air tightness and water resistance.
  • Finishing – The installers clean the work site, remove covers/equipment, and haul away debris.
  • Inspection – Windows are inspected to ensure proper installation and performance. Any needed adjustments are made.

Actual installation time will range based on the factors we discussed earlier. But in general, you can expect the process from start to finish to take 1-3 days. Efficient crews can often complete installation in a single day.

Now let’s look at estimated timelines based on common impact window situations:

Single Window or Door Installation

For a single impact window or door, such as replacing a damaged unit or upgrading the most vulnerable window, the installation can often be completed in just a few hours.

Here is a typical timeline:

  • Site evaluation: 30 minutes
  • Removal of old unit: 30-60 minutes
  • New window installation: 1-2 hours
  • Sealing/finishing: 30-60 minutes
  • Total time: 3-5 hours

With just one window, the permitting process is faster too. In many cases, work can begin within a few days of your initial call.

5-10 Standard Size Windows

A mid-size project of 5-10 standard windows, like replacing all downstairs units or installing new windows in a sunroom addition, usually takes 1-2 days.

The timeline may be:

  • Initial site evaluation: 1-2 hours
  • Window order/permitting: 1 week lead time
  • Install day 1:
    • Prep work: 1 hour
    • Old window removal: 3-5 hours
    • New window installation: 5-8 hours
  • Install day 2:
    • New window installation: 5-8 hours
    • Sealing/finishing: 2-3 hours
    • Inspection: 1 hour
  • Total time: 2 full work days

For this scope of project, specialized equipment like scaffolding or lifts may be needed for high or hard to access windows.

15-25 Standard Size Windows

For most mid-sized homes, the installation of 15-25 new impact windows often takes 2-3 full work days depending on accessibility.

Here is a sample 3-day timeline:

  • Initial site evaluation: Half day
  • Window order/permitting: 1-2 week lead time
  • Day 1: Old window removal
  • Day 2: Install lower floor windows
  • Day 3: Install upper floor windows
  • Day 4: Final sealing, finishing, inspection
  • Total time: 3-4 days

The entire first day is usually devoted to carefully removing all the old windows. Then the installation begins on the lower and more accessible windows first before moving upstairs.

35+ Large Impact Windows

Finally, for large homes with extensive impact window needs of 35 windows or more, you can expect the installation to take 4 or more days.

A sample timeline:

  • Initial evaluation: Full day
  • Window order/permitting: 2-3 weeks
  • Day 1: Removal
  • Days 2-3: Lower floor installation
  • Days 4-5: Upper floor installation
  • Day 6: Final details and inspection
  • Total time: 5-7 days

With so many windows to install and seal, the job is broken down methodically over several days. Time and care must be taken at each step.

What Factors Can Increase or Decrease Time?

Now that you know the estimated timeframes, here are some specific factors that can either shorten or extend the duration of your impact window installation:

Factors That May Increase Time

  • Old window frames that are stuck and difficult to remove
  • Discovery of hidden issues like rot or termites around window openings
  • Expansive custom window sizes requiring special orders and fabrication
  • Challenging window accessibility requiring lifts/scaffolding
  • Inclement weather delaying outdoor work
  • Permitting delays from the city building department
  • Replacing exterior siding or stucco around window frames
  • Unresponsive window manufacturer delaying order fulfillment

Factors That May Decrease Time

  • Efficient, experienced window crews
  • Basic insert installations rather than full frame replacement
  • Code exceptions allowing work to begin before final permit approval
  • New construction with unfinished walls allowing quick access
  • Ordering windows well in advance to avoid delays
  • Good weather allowing uninterrupted work
  • Simple window designs with no specialty shapes or treatments
  • Removal of air conditioners/security bars before work begins

Schedule Accommodations

The impact window installation process involves significant noise and disruption. Crews may be working both inside and outside your home for several days in a row.

While this is unavoidable, a quality installation company should do everything possible to accommodate your schedule needs:

  • Give you clear start and end times for each work day
  • Coordinate timing with your daily routine
  • Provide days off if needed in between work days
  • Schedule noisy removal early and cleanup late in the day
  • Work section-by-section rather than throughout the entire home
  • Allow you to remain in the home if desired

Be sure to discuss your scheduling requirements with your installer upfront so the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Boosting Efficiency Where Possible

If your timeline is tight or you need the job done quickly for any reason, there are a few things you can do to help increase efficiency:

  • Declutter window areas – Remove curtains/blinds, furniture, plants, etc from around all windows. This saves installers time.
  • Have easy access – Unlock gates, disable alarms, and provide ladders/keys for hard to reach windows.
  • Be flexible – Allow work days to be shifted around if necessary due to weather or other delays.
  • Provide power sources – Have exterior outlets available so crews don’t have to run long extension cords.
  • Stay offsite – Plan to be away during the noisy removal process. Less disruption means faster work.
  • Refrain from changes – Avoid making adjustments after windows have been ordered as this can significantly delay timelines.

Proper planning and preparation on your part helps the installers complete the job quickly and minimizes wasted time.

Furniture Removal and Protection

One concern many homeowners have is the need to empty rooms or protect furniture during the installation process.

This is what you can generally expect:

  • For insert installations, furniture can often remain in place if adequately covered with drop cloths.
  • For full frame replacements down to the studs, the room may need to be emptied to allow access.
  • Valuables should be removed from the immediate window area.
  • A reputable company will provide furniture pads, plastic sheeting, and temporary dust barriers as needed.

Be sure to ask your installer ahead of time about their protection plans and policies so you can prepare. Taking pictures of each room ahead of time is also wise.

Cost Savings vs. Speed

Installing impact windows is a significant investment for most homeowners. Some may be tempted to cut costs by hiring inexperienced companies that offer lower pricing.

However, cheaper prices usually translate to slower, inconsistent work:

  • Work quickly and efficiently
  • 2-3 day typical install time
  • Make rookie mistakes
  • 5+ days install time

The extra days of work involved with choosing a cut-rate contractor can actually end up costing you significantly more in the long run through added vacation/lodging costs and lost wages from missed work.

Paying a reasonable price for professional, rapid installation is almost always the most cost effective approach, even if the upfront price is slightly higher. The project will be completed faster, allowing you to get back to normal life sooner.

Scheduling Your Installation

Once you have an estimate of your impact window installation timeframe, the next step is scheduling the actual work dates.

Be sure to discuss scheduling with your installer early in the process so you can:

  • Plan your personal schedule around the installation
  • Make lodging arrangements if vacating home during work
  • Obtain any necessary permits in advance
  • Take care of pre-installation tasks like removing window treatments
  • Avoid planning other home projects or appointments overlapping with the window installation schedule

Locking in your window install dates ahead of time ensures you aren’t stuck waiting weeks for an opening in the contractor’s schedule.

Preparing for Window Installation Day

With your install dates set, now you can focus on readying both your home and yourself. Key preparation tips include:

  • Remove window treatments, coverings, and screens
  • Clear out furniture and belongings around window areas
  • Clean window frames and walls to assist work
  • Take pictures of each room before installation
  • Set out drop cloths and protective coverings
  • Trim back branches or bushes against windows
  • Ensure easy access to all windows
  • Unlock gates and disarm outdoor security systems
  • Set up scaffolding or ladders if needed
  • Arrange to be offsite if possible during noisy removal work
  • Pack supplies like medications and pet items if vacating home
  • Back up computers and protect sensitive electronics
  • Remove valuable items if workers will have interior access
  • Adjust schedule for installation timeframe
  • Notify security company about worker access
  • Program alternate lodging accommodations as needed

Being well prepared minimizes disruptions and helps the installation process go as quickly and smoothly as possible.

What to Expect During the Installation Process

If this is your first major window project, you may be unsure what to expect on installation day. Knowing how the work progresses can help you plan and stay out of the crew’s way when needed.

Here is an overview of the installation process and what to expect:

  • Morning: The crew will arrive first thing in the morning, remove any final furniture or belongings from the work areas, and set up protective sheeting and barriers.
  • Old Window Removal: Taking out the existing windows makes the most noise, so this often begins immediately. Crews will work safely from ladders or lifts to remove each old window completely. Debris is quickly bagged and hauled away.
  • New Window Preparation: With the openings cleared, installers carefully unpack and prepare the new impact windows, verifying proper fit and operation. Flashing, fasteners, shims, and sealants are made ready.
  • Installation: Crew members work together to lift each window into place, shim and level it, then permanently anchor it into the opening. A perimeter sealant is applied for air tightness. Any adjusting and finishing also occurs.
  • Interior Finishing: Exposed openings and walls are trimmed out for a clean interior look. Sheeting and barriers are removed. The team thoroughly cleans the work areas inside and out.
  • Inspection: Windows are checked to confirm proper sealing, operation, glass clarity, and lock function. The crews perform an initial cleaning as well before packing up.

The team foreman will keep you informed of progress and let you know when the noisy removal portion has been completed so you can return home.

Return Home Checklist After Installation

Once the impact window installation is complete, use this checklist before moving back into the home:

  • 🟒 Walk through each room and check all windows
  • 🟒 Note any missing screens or other follow up issues
  • 🟒 Test window operation and locking
  • 🟒 Look for any lingering dust or debris and point out to the foreman
  • 🟒 Check for wall or floor damage and take pictures if found
  • 🟒 Turn on and test electronic devices unplugged during work
  • 🟒 Replace window treatments and furniture
  • 🟒 Change alarm system codes if workers had access
  • 🟒 Review the warranty packet and terms
  • 🟒 Request any manufacturer care documents for the new windows

Thoroughly checking the completed work ensures you can settle back into your home smoothly. Notify the installation company immediately about any remaining issues.

Finding the Right Installer for Timely Work

As we’ve covered, a quality installation company is critical for completing your impact window project on time. Here are tips for choosing the right installer:

πŸ” Look for:

  • An established local company with years of experience and a stellar reputation
  • Proof of licensing and insurance specifically for window installation
  • Extensive experience with impact window brands and building codes
  • Crews that work year-round to avoid long wait times
  • A detailed timeline showing prep, installation, and finishing times

πŸ” Avoid companies that:

  • Subcontract work or use temporary labor
  • Cannot provide local project references
  • Have vague time estimates or excessively long timeframes
  • Lack proper licensing and insurance
  • Try to pressure you into booking immediately

Investing the time to vet potential installers helps ensure your project stays on schedule. Reputable firms stand behind their workmanship and timeframe estimates as well.

Impact Window Installation Provides Peace of Mind

While the installation process takes concentrated effort and some temporary disruption, keep in mind the invaluable benefits you’ll enjoy from impact windows:

βœ… Peace of mind knowing your home and family are protected, even in extreme weather

βœ… Reduced energy bills and improved comfort year-round

βœ… Enhanced curb appeal and increased home resale value

βœ… Ability to qualify for home insurance discounts by fortifying against storms

βœ… Long-lasting durability from window frames engineered to withstand punishing conditions

βœ… Clear, secure views without shuttering up before each storm

So while the installation requires an investment of your time, the rewards will be realized for decades to come. Follow the preparation tips and timeline estimates in this guide, and your impact window project will be completed smoothly, efficiently, and with minimal disruption to your household.

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