While a big part of the appeal of window film is that it’s affordable and easy to install, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea to do DIY home window tinting.
In fact, if done incorrectly and without the proper knowledge, tinting windows yourself can actually do more harm than good.
Quality results are best achieved by hiring professionals with years of experience. But, we don’t expect you to just take our word for it. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about DIY window film application vs professional window tinting.
What to Know If You’re Considering DIY Home Window Tinting
The Facts About Tinting Windows with Window Film
If you’re thinking about taking on the task of applying window film to your home’s windows, we get it! It looks really easy to apply and it can be cheaper to do it yourself, however this doesn’t always turn out to be the case.
Pros of DIY Window Tinting:
- Can be $3-$4 cheaper per square foot than professional installation
- Can be applied to glass using just a solution of soap and water
- Requires few tools including a spray bottle, a microfiber cloth, a squeegee, and a utility knife
The actual application of window film is a breeze — IF you know how to do it right.
Before you even begin, you must clean your windows very thoroughly with a microfiber cloth and soapy water to remove absolutely all traces of dirt and grime. Then, to get started, measure a window and cut a piece of film to fit it perfectly with a utility knife.
Once you’ve got your piece of tinting film cut to size, lightly mist the glass with a solution of soap and water before peeling off the backing and pressing the film against it. You want to adhere the piece of film gradually from top to bottom.
Keep in mind that you might need a ladder or scaffolding to install window film on high windows. If you don’t have that equipment already, renting or buying it is another expense to factor into your budget.
After the window film is stuck to the glass, you just have to squeegee out the air bubbles to one side of the film and wait 4-8 days for it to cure. Sounds easy, right?
For the professionals, it is. But, if you don’t properly clean the glass first, if you miscut the film, or if you don’t use just the right technique to apply the film and squeeze out all the air bubbles at the end, you can totally ruin a piece of window tint and have to start over again.
If you’ve ever put a tempered glass screen protector on your smartphone or another electronic device, you might have a good idea of what can go wrong. One little piece of lint under the protector or an air bubble trapped in the middle means you have to take it off and throw it away.
Now, imagine doing this on a much larger scale and for every window in your home. DIY home window tinting is starting to look like a more daunting task, isn’t it?
There are no second chances if you mess up when installing a piece of window tinting film, so you can end up having to pay for more film than you actually need to cover all your windows.
Not only that, but it can be a very time consuming process to complete yourself, so you have to factor the cost of your time in as well when weighing the option of doing it yourself against that of contracting someone to do it for you.
Besides the high possibility for committing costly errors when tinting windows yourself, there are a variety of other reasons you should leave it to the professionals.
Cons of DIY Window Tinting:
- It’s hard to know what the right window film for your windows is
- Not all tinting films are compatible with all types of glass
- Installing window film yourself can void window warranties
- It’s hard to achieve professional-looking results
There are so many different types of window films that provide different benefits. Do you really know which kind of film is right for your home’s windows?
Types of Window Film:
- Solar/insulating/low-emissivity window films
- Privacy window tinting films
- Decorative films for windows
- Safety and security window films
Within each of the above categories there are so many different types of tinting films that are meant to be used with different types of glass. In fact, if you use the wrong type of film on your glass, you can actually end up damaging it.
For example, if you install heat blocking window film on the wrong type of glass, the thermal stress it places on the window can actually cause it to break.
This is because the film actually absorbs some of the heat that it’s blocking, so the glass that it’s stuck to heats up beyond what it’s built to handle.
Because of issues like this, window manufacturer warranties are often voided if you install window film yourself. So, if you end up damaging your windows, their replacement is going to come out of your pocket.
Even if you do manage to choose the right type of window film and are successful installing it yourself, it can be very difficult to achieve a professional appearance.
A measurement error of just a few millimeters or one trapped air bubble can really hurt the appearance of your tinted windows.
For large windows, you may have to apply two or more pieces of window film adjacent to one another, which can be very tricky to do seamlessly and with no overlap between the pieces.
Is Tinting House Windows Worth It?
Why You Should Skip the DIY Home Window Tinting and Hire Professionals
When done correctly, applying window film to your home’s windows can provide a myriad of benefits. That’s why you should always hire professional window tinters to get the job done and ensure you’re really getting the most out of your money.
Benefits of Professional Window Film Installation:
- Reflects up to 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays
- Can greatly improve the energy efficiency of your home
- Can add privacy and security
- Can significantly reduce glare
- Can help regulate indoor temperatures
- Upgrades the appearance/value of your property
When you consult with a reputable window film installation company, you can be sure that you’re going to get the best window film for your needs and goals that’s also compatible with your property’s specific window glass.
If your goal is climate control and energy efficiency, installing the right window film can save you a bunch of money on your monthly utility bill, without the risk of damaging your windows by attempting to do it yourself.
The proper solar control window film application has the potential to reflect up to 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays that cause fading, keep indoor temperatures comfortable year round, greatly reduce glare in areas like entertainment rooms, and more.
If you’re more concerned with privacy and security, a professional window tinting company can help you choose between dark tinted films, reflective films, and different types of safety and security window films to achieve the results you want.
With professional installation, you don’t have to worry about mismeasurements or poor applications. You’re guaranteed to end up with a sleek, effective window tinting application that can even raise your property’s value.
How Expert Window Tinters Achieve the Best-Looking Results:
- Help you choose the optimal window film for your specific window glass
- Painstakingly measure each window accurately
- Cut each piece of film to fit perfectly in your windows
- Clean every window meticulously prior to window film installation
- Apply film seamlessly with no overlap for large windows
- Won’t damage or scratch your window glass in any way
- Use the right technique to get air bubbles out
Conclusion: Choose Professional Window Tinting Over DIY
You’ll Get More Benefits of Window Film
We hope you’ve gained a better understanding of the pros and cons of tinting windows yourself vs letting the professionals do it for you.
Though the apparent affordability of doing things yourself can be appealing, it often doesn’t go as planned and can result in higher costs and problems down the road. That’s why we highly suggest hiring experienced window tinting experts to do the job for you.
When done correctly, window tinting is an investment that can pay for itself by saving you money on energy and increasing your property’s value, so it’s worth contracting the work out to someone who knows what they’re doing.
At Campbell Corporation, our team of courteous professionals has years of experience tinting windows. Whether you want to improve the energy efficiency of your home, add privacy and security, or change the appearance of your property, we can help.