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Marty Schirber, CR, of Castle Home Services contacted me after he read my recent article, “The Measurement Process – Part 1 of 3”, and introduced me to a neat method for numbering windows. Mistakes cost money and the solution to avoiding mistakes is to create a process so that it doesn’t repeat itself.

After several costly mistakes, Marty decided to make a fool-proof way of numbering windows so that any installer would know the right window to replace.

Here is what he shared with me:

There are four basic sides to a home: Front, Right, Back, and Left. (Note that he used Back rather than Rear so that Right and Rear abbreviations are not mixed up.)

These sides become, respectively, F, R, B, and L.

Each window’s location can be designated by using 3 characters.

The 1st character is the side of the home – F, R, B, L.
The 2nd character is the floor of the home, where B = Basement, 1 = 1st floor, 2 = 2nd floor, 3 = 3rd floor, A = Attic
The 3rd character is the number of the window on that floor, counting from left to right.

So the numbering framework is: Side of the house/Floor of the house/Window number, counting from the left to right.

The procedure

Always start on the (F)ront of the house. Always start on the leftmost window. Count all the windows on the front (all floors on the front). Then move to the (R)ight of the house and continue, counting the leftmost window first. Then the (B)ack, and finally the (L)eft.

As an example, let’s say the front of the house has 2 windows on the 1st floor, and 3 on the 2nd floor and a small window in the gable (attic).

The numbering would be as follows:

  • F11, F12, F21, F22, F23, FA1
    • Where F11 is the leftmost window on the front of the home on the 1st floor.
    • F21 would be the leftmost window on the front of the home on the 2nd floor.
    • FA1 would be the only window in the attic gable.

An example of the Window Numbering System

front of home abbreviations

This is the front of the house so it is designated by “F”. There are two floors, 1 and 2.

Windows are always counted from left to right.

front of house window numbers

The 1st floor has 2 mulled windows and the 2nd floor has 3 windows (2 singles and 1 mulled).

The first floor designation

first floor window abbreviations

The first floor windows are F11, F12, F13, F14.

Marty notes: “Each window is given a number. If there are two windows mulled together, they each have their own number. If there is a bay or a bow, each window has its own number. That way all of the details for each window are called out. This works best if you are sending someone back to address a warranty issue and it is only the lower sash of the middle window. Sometimes one of the windows has to be tempered and the other one doesn’t, etc. And also, this helps when you are replacing sash, doing tilt-pacs or insert windows and not removing the whole frame of the existing unit.”

The 2nd floor designation

2nd floor window abbreviations

The 3 windows on the 2nd floor are designated as F21, F22, F23, and F24.

The breakdown of a designation

Breakdown of window designations

F stands for front, 1 stands for 1st floor, and the final 1 stands for the number of the window on that floor.

Marty notes: … that you can have an “Existing Window Schedule” and a “Proposed Window Schedule” – if you are adding on and changing the configuration of a house.

As a second example let’s move to the (B)ack of the home.

There is a walk-out basement on the back, a first and second floor.

  • The basement has 4 windows, the 1st floor has 5, and the second floor has 4.
    • Here’s the numbering system for the (B)ack of the home:
    • Basement level – BB1, BB2, BB3, BB4
    • 1st floor level – B11, B12, B13, B14, B15
    • 2nd floor level – B21, B22, B23, B24

Exceptions to the rule

  • When there is a window in a stairwell between the 1st and 2nd floor, call that floor 1.5. So a single window in a stairwell of the house would be F1.51.
  • Corner windows are also difficult to number – this may require a written note rather than a numerical designation.

Finishing up

Continue to move around the house in a left to right direction, i.e., Front, Right, Back, and finally Left.

That’s all there is to it. As Marty says, “Keep it simple if you want it to work.”

You can walk around a house and number all the windows in a matter of minutes using this method. Teach your installers how to use it, and you shouldn’t have to pay for a mistake again.

If you want extra insurance, take a picture of the sides and annotate the photo such as I did above. Between these two methods, you can rest assured that the right window(s) will be replaced.

This micro-process was created by Marty Schirber, CR, of Castle Home Services, and presented by Randall Soules, creator of the Scientific Remodeling System, showing you easier ways to advance your business, raise your profits, and improve your life, through the use of processes. If you would like to learn more about this eCourse, forms, contracts, and tutorials, click here.