Buying new windows can be a challenge. You’ve got a pile of ads. You’ve got some special offers, but what comes next? How do you know where to buy and what to buy? Here are five considerations.
1. The Company. Windows have become a “hot” item with rising energy costs. That’s probably why you decided to buy replacement windows. But, the popularity of replacement windows also means that there has been more and more people going into the window business. Know the reputation of the company you choose. Check with all licensing agencies such as a Registrar of Contractors and reporting agencies such as the BBB. Read online reviews. Check out how long the business has been in business. Unless they have a fairly long and good track record, you may want to keep looking.
2. Follow Your Instincts. You’ve met the salespeople – and liked them. They gave you a bid and you tell them you want to interview more companies. The next thing you know that first company has called you back with an extra-special special. If that makes you wary of what the real price of the windows are, you could be right. Don’t be pressured by a “price goes up if you don’t buy right now” message. Don’t buy until you are completely comfortable with the salespeople and the company.
3. Know the Warranties. You need to know both how the windows are covered and how the installation is covered. Who is responsible for what? If you are buying for a name brand window manufacturer look for one with a long, strong warranty. You can even find lifetime glass breakage coverage. But, read the fine print, what is a lifetime? The quality of the installation is as important as the quality of the glass. Know what kind of a warranty you have on the installation.
4. Know Your Climate. The fact is that you probably don’t need triple-pane windows unless you live where it is very, very cold. Ask about payback – how much will you get in return for the increased energy-efficiency? Don’t let someone oversell you. Investigate and know what kind of window is best for your climate.
5. Check Referrals. Ask for references and check them out. Drive by homes that are similar in style to yours and where the company you’re considering has installed replacement windows. Read Internet reviews – remember people are more likely to write a negative review than a positive one, but the positives should still greatly outweigh the negatives.
As you interview window companies, make sure that they have followed all the licensing requirement of your area. Ask if they use their own installers or if the contract that work out. It’s better if they do all the work so there can’t be any grey areas where the warranties are concerned. Make sure that the carry workman’s comp – it protects both their workers and you. Ask lots of questions and then pick a window repair company with a great reputation!