Window Installation, How Do You Find The Right One?
Whether you’re updating your windows to sell your home, or regular maintenance, window installation needs to be thoughtfully planned out. Because new windows can drastically improve the energy efficiency in your home, who you choose to contract with for ordering and installation is just as important as the quality of the materials itself.
Instead of choosing the first window business that pops up on your google search, protect your investment and your home consider this 5 point checklist when searching for a window installation contractor.
1. Reputable business: how long have they been in service, and do they have the testimonials to back them up?
Businesses with years of service often hold more knowledge and skills in up-to-date services and practices. Contractors specializing in exterior renovations such as roofing, siding, and windows, understand weathertight installation and materials.
Big box stores that sell windows and doors are convenient; however, they generally lack expertise and specialization on your specific project.
Choosing a local, specialized business with window installation experience should offer substantial reviews from people in your community. On top of that, as an interested client, ask for pictures of past projects that align with your home update. It’s important that you’re able to vet a business through a roster of happy client reviews.
2. Is the business licensed, insured, hold a warranty, and have the correct permits?
Window installers are not required to be licensed; however, it is a true sign of professionalism and trustworthiness when contractors have licensed installers. Licenses show that businesses have made an investment to educate themselves to do the correct way.
Be sure to ask if a contractor holds insurance as well. This will give any homeowner peace of mind if there were to be any accident or damage done to your property during a project.
Permits may or may not be necessary for a project, but if so, it’s important for the contractor to know. A contractor should be transparent and helpful in the case of needing a permit for any property; guiding the owner the process and being honest with any fees and if it affects the cost of the project overall.
3. What warranty would I receive on the replacement windows I choose, and does your company offer additional warranty coverage on installation or workmanship?
The dealer or contractor you choose should be well-versed in the terms of the warranties offered by any manufacturer they are recommending, and should be able to walk you through the fine print.
They should also be able to explain the difference between a manufacturer warranty that covers the glass and any product defects, and a warranty or assurance of installation work, which can lead to significant issues unrelated to the quality or health of the window itself.
Problems related to workmanship or installation are usually evident fairly quickly, so even a short-term warranty on installation can be important. A reputable dealer or contractor should still investigate questions you have related to installation after an initial warranty has lapsed, because they want to stand by their work and protect their reputation.
4. How will a window replacement benefit the home in the long run:
Based on the location, age, and makeup of your current property, an experienced contractor should be able to walk you through the long term benefits of replacing your windows or doors. If you are having any issues or custom interests you want to address, the right contractor will point you in the right direction in terms of materials, energy efficiency, and increased home value.
When it comes to styles of materials, an experienced professional will be able to suggest improvements you might not have considered. Options include: noise reduction, durability in weather conditions and the latest enhancements in safety and home automation.
This could also mean finding a contractor who thinks outside the box, and helps create a custom, updated look for your property.
5. What is the process like? From estimate to timeline of entire project:
Being surprised at the end of a home renovation with a bill that has additional fees is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Asking for a contractor to be forthright and have all that is included in the original estimate will take some of the worry out of the process.
Remember to ask if the contractor disposes of existing windows or doors, and what the cost of that would be. Also, be sure to ask about the payment schedule for the project, this will avoid any unexpected work or costs.
Although updating your home can be exciting, it’s also a disruption to your daily life. Be sure to ask how long the entire project will take from beginning to end, from what hours and days you will expect people at your home, and if you have to make any preparations for the project to go smoothly.
It is key to ask what measures the contractor and installers take to protect the integrity of your home, both the interior and exterior. This includes covering and protecting any flooring and furniture, as well as cleaning up.
Bonus: Don’t Forget Overall Customer Service:
Receiving transparency and full communication with a contractor shouldn’t be asking for too much, right? Any reputable contractor will likely have a process to manage any questions, concerns or complaints from their clientele.
Keep in mind you’ll want to understand the types of issues that fall under the contractor or manufacturers responsibility to resolve, and within a certain amount of time.
A good place to check for any complaints, and to vet a business, would be the Better Business Bureau and other local review sites, like HomeAdvisor which is powered by Angi.com (formerly Angie’s List), Houzz, or the NextDoor app.
Check to make sure they are certified with the windows they are contracting to install, such as Marvin
Sean Kelly is the COO & President of Cutting Edge Contracting. His background in business, accounting, and the construction industry helped him become the award-winning manager of a nationally-known paint company before joining Cutting Edge.