Arming an in-house crew with a metal brake to bend sheet metal for flashing helps create leak-proof window installations.

To prevent leaks, Mark IV Builders’ in-house crew handles window installation. Production manager Andy Hannan, who is also a regular REMODELING contributor, says that subcontractor window installation requires close supervision to make sure the subs follow the flashing method his company prefers, so it’s usually better to have Mark IV field crew handle that portion of the project. “It’s a slightly slower process, but in the long term, it has been much more successful for us,” Hannan says, referring to the lack of callbacks the company receives due to leaks.

The crew uses a metal brake to bend sheet metal to customize flashing for each individual window. Hannan’s crew uses it for windows, as well as for door pans and kick-out flashing for siding. “The sizes and shapes in remodeling are not standard, so we bend our own,” he explains. Mark IV purchased the $1,500 brake from a siding distributor. “A leak costs $1,500, so a brake pays for itself in no time,” Hannan says. “It’s well worth the investment.” —Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.