If you want to replace the windows on your property, ensure that you invest enough time to find a qualified window installation professional and select the right windows. Good windows installed wrongly will not look or work as well as they should.
Improperly installed windows on your property could also use more energy, which raises your energy bills. Proper window replacement will seal your property’s envelope, reduce drafts, and save you time and money. Your window installer must also install all windows to perform to their manufacturer’s specifications.
When you think of replacing or installing windows, you need to find the right contractor to do the job right. Otherwise, you risk voiding the warranty and end up with underperforming windows. This post looks at the top things to look for when you screen window installers.
1. Check a Window Manufacturer’s Website
Visit a window manufacturer’s website to see if they recommend any window installation experts. Many major manufacturers recommend windows installers specifically trained and certified to handle their products.
Using the same contractor for both your purchase and installation can avoid any finger-pointing should problems occur later. Also, if you purchase your windows through a home improvement center, and use their installer program, find out how they handle complaints should any arise.
Look for certification from accredited sites such as InstallationMasters, or the American Window and Door Institute (AWDI). You can also check the installation programs of major manufacturers who feature certified installers of their products. Manufacturers promote preferred installers on their company website using a geographical breakdown, which makes it easy to find one in your locality.
A window installation company that has been in operation for years is doing something right. Such longevity suggests that the company knows what it is doing, has gained experience over the years form the amount of work it does, has satisfied its customers who sometimes refer them new business, and has put in place a full-proof system for handling unexpected problems when they arise.
4. Do Your Due Diligence
Even when the window installer is manufacturer-trained or certified, you should still do your due diligence by checking their references and customer reviews. Good sites to check include the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List. In your initial consultation with prospective installers, ask for their full name, company address, proof of licensing and insurance carried, and how long they have been in business.
5. Know What to Expect
Any seasoned installer should tell you how long they expect the job to take and give you details of the process they use. It’s always better if each new window is replaced right after removing the old one. Therefore, insist that the installer first measure the replacement windows before proceeding to take out all the old ones.
Since you don’t want boarded-up holes on your walls as you wait for the arrival of the new windows, think twice about using contractors who plan to remove all the old windows first before installing new ones.
6. Ask Around Your Local Area
You can ask your local area lumberyards, building product dealerships, and distribution centers for recommendations on quality window installation professionals. You can also ask friends, colleagues, and family members for recommendations of contractors they have used in the past. Select only those services that have impressed with the top stand-out quality.
7. Focus on the Details
During your search, get multiple contract bids and scrutinize them. The bids should include specifics such as window brand, size and type, number of windows, and any add-on features. They should also include installation details such as sealing and insulation techniques.
The bids should also break down the expected material and labor costs. If you plan to paint around the new windows, insist that your installer use acrylic-latex caulk that you can paint on, and not silicone. Also, ensure that the new windows fit and work well before the installer applies interior trim.
The best window installers will willingly walk you through their bid details and time frame. They will also answer all your questions about what to expect. It’s a red flag when a company does not answer your questions well or seems not to know the details.
8. Experts Stand by Their Work
Reputable window installation contractors stand by their work with credible warranties that protect you. Avoid any contractors who are not willing to offer you a warranty because you are left liable for any repairs done due to poor installation. Therefore, always ask about customer satisfaction guarantees and warranties when screening window installers.
The Bottom Line
Locating a qualified window installation professional in your area is easier than you think. Whether you find a contractor online, using the Yellow Pages, from local lumberyards, or through a loved one’s recommendation, it’s best to do your due diligence first. Always look at their certification, licensing (if required), insurance carried, online reviews, professionalism, and experience.