Upgrading your home with new replacement windows is a big decision. There are many decisions to make during the process, and you should ask plenty of questions before committing to a contractor.
Upgrading to new vinyl siding is a big decision. There is a lot to juggle during the process, and most homeowners have a lot of questions when getting started. To help you choose the best window replacement installers to work on your home, get full answers to these discovery questions you can ask to learn more about the siding company, their previous work, and how they operate. They will help you select the right contractor for a stress-free experience.
- 1: Where Is Your Office?
Most replacement window contractors are honest and reputable. But it is important to protect yourself from potential scams, especially after big storms when there can be a lot of damage. “Storm chasers” – out-of-state scam artists – often take the opportunity to get a deposit from unknowing homeowners, while never having any intention of installing windows.
Protect yourself by asking where the company’s office is located. Insist on a physical address, not just a P.O. box. A stable contractor will have an office and perhaps a warehouse, showing a degree of stability that a fly-by-night scam artist cannot prove.
- 2: Where Can I See Samples of Your Work?
Authentic replacement window contractors will display their work on their websites and social media pages. Many also get permission from previous clients to allow prospective customers to drive by and see the work they have done. It also helps to look around for yard signs in your local neighborhood – the more signs the better.
Ask for references. Getting the inside scoop from a prior customer can help you make a good decision on choosing the best window company. Ask the customer about the work that was done, the daily work schedule, any delays, communication during the project, and quality of work. Finally, ask if they would hire the same company again.
- 3: Can I See Your Insurance Certificates?
A trustworthy window company will have both liability and workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Liability insurance protects the homeowner in the event that the contractor damages your home. Many homeowners are under the impression that homeowner’s insurance will cover damage during a siding job, but this isn’t typically the case. Workman’s compensation foots the bill if a worker gets injured on the job. Ask for current proof of insurance in the form of a certificate or insurance rider. Make sure the coverage dates are not expired.
- 4: Are You a Certified Installer?
This is not a question about licensing, but about certification from the manufacturers of the replacement windows they install. Most recognized window makers insist on a full range of training and certification before allowing their products to be installed. They want to be sure their windows are installed properly and professionally. This helps avoid workmanship issues, and protects both the customer and the manufacturer if a problem does arise.
- 5: How Long Have You Been Installing Replacement Windows?
Some contractors who install other products may also claim to be window replacement experts. But if they have only recently entered the window game, they may not have the qualifications and experience necessary to do the job right. While some of the techniques and “best practices” of window replacement are learned through training, the most skilled and experienced window contractors will deliver the high quality service that you deserve.
- 6: What Brand of Replacement Windows do you Install?
The brand of windows installed varies from company to company. Some window companies install recognized, brand name windows. But others use no-name mystery brands that don’t offer a lot of value. Ask about the brand of windows you are buying so you can research product performance, durability, and reputation. While you’ll likely learn about all of this during an in-home estimate, it doesn’t hurt to do your own detective work before you get started.
- 7: How Long Should My New Windows Last?
Another benefit of window replacement is that quality windows can essentially last for many decades. However, like anything else, you’ll find varying lifespans between companies. Lower quality windows may only last a few short years—around 10 to 15. This is dramatically shorter than how long quality windows can last, leaving you with a lower return on investment.
On the other hand, quality replacement windows can last anywhere from 25 to 50 years.
The quality of the window installation plays a key role in expected lifespan. Even the most expensive windows can fail if they are improperly installed. That’s why it’s important to hire skilled and certified window installers to get the job done.
- 8: What Window Styles, Colors and Finishes are Available?
It’s no secret that window replacement makes a huge impact on your home’s exterior. Preferences in style, color and finish are personal choices. You should be able to work openly with your window company to choose the window styles, frame materials and glass options that are the best fit for your home and budget. Beware of a window contractor who tries to sell you a “one-size-fits-all” solution.
- 9: Do Your Windows Come with a Warranty?
Replacement windows can be an important investment. You need to ensure that you have protection in the event that problems pop up after installation.
The best window contractors offer a manufacturer’s product warranty that covers many aspects of the window itself, along with an installation guarantee to cover workmanship issues.
You’ll want to read the fine details about the warranty coverage (terms and conditions) so that you are fully informed. Look for terms that mention what the warranty doesn’t include. While there are some great replacement window warranties available, none of them covers everything, such as abuse or neglect of the product. Read your warranty carefully, and make sure you understand it completely before signing on the dotted line.
- 10: Do You Use Subcontractors?
Some companies employ full-time window installers while others hire subcontractors. Subcontractor vs. full-time isn’t necessarily an indicator of skill level. If the company does hire subcontractors, make sure you get a guarantee that they are insured. Also, ask how the window company ensures that the subcontractors are qualified.
- 11: What is Your Payment Schedule?
Be wary if a window contractor asks for payment for the full project price up front. That is one sign of a scam in the making. However, a reasonable down payment may be required, although many promotions can feature “no money down.” Find out if you can pay in installments, or if the full balance of the project price will be due upon completion. Many companies offer financing to cover the cost of your new windows. The amount of money down and interest rates can fluctuate depending on market and promotions.
Contact Amazing Exteriors for the Best Value in Quality Replacement Windows
Choose Amazing Exteriors for the widest variety and highest quality professional installation of windows and doors. Call us at (817) 756-4004 to schedule a free in-home analysis.