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One of the easiest and most effective ways of sprucing up the home is to have your windows replaced. After all, windows are not only a functional component; they also lend your home character and appeal. When your windows begin showing wear and tear, however, they can also significantly detract from your home’s beauty. That’s reason enough to get them replaced, and the quicker the better. Some of the warning signs that should point you towards getting new windows to include:
- Serious damage to the framing material, such as gaps, cracks, and rot.
- Difficulties in operation – windows do not open, close or lock properly.
- Cracked or broken glass, which is a safety risk.
- Cold drafts in your home caused by damaged windows with a failing seal.
- Increased energy costs.
Should you be tempted to save yourself some money by skimping on a professional replacement, I’d strongly advise you against doing so. Before hauling out your tools and caulk from the shed, or looking up window products you can purchase off the shelf, ask yourself if you really have the skills and knowledge to DIY. While seemingly straightforward, window replacement actually takes careful planning and execution.
Going With a Pro for Your Window Upgrade
It pays to hire a professional for the job, believe me. I’ve seen too many shoddy attempts at getting windows replaced by amateurs to advise that you go that route. A pro will ensure that the work is done properly right the first time around – meaning zero mistakes and additional costs. You can start searching for a good window replacement contractor by asking friends and family for local referrals. Referrals are a good way to tell whether a given contractor will live up to your expectations. Are they efficient? Will they protect you and your investment? Referrals can better help answer questions like these.
Narrowing Down Your Selection
If there’s any work for you to do, it should primarily involve meticulous research to shortlist potential window contractors and weed out the undesirable ones. Because almost everything is online these days, you can easily Google potential contractors, and check that they have the necessary credentials. To ensure that you hire yourself a reliable window contractor, look for these qualifications:
Licensed. Does your choice of window installer have the applicable business licenses? They need to be registered by the state to perform this kind of work in your area. Because window replacement can result in significant changes to your home, including ease of access and egress, choosing a licensed contractor is crucial. Not only will they have undergone proper training, but they can also ensure that the project adheres to local building codes and safety regulations. Moreover, they’ll make sure to acquire all the required permits prior to the start of work.
Insured. Insurance is also crucial. As with most home upgrades, it’s possible for accidents to occur during window replacement. An insured contractor will have workers’ compensation and liability coverage, which means they’ll be responsible for any issues that arise during the installation. This lets you off the hook for any liabilities associated with worker injuries and will ensure that you are properly compensated for any damage to your property.
Bonded. Not all contractors make good on their word. For your greater peace of mind, make sure your contractor is bonded: this will ensure that contractors fulfill their end of the bargain. Bonded window contractors can guarantee you’re protected should they neglect their responsibilities or even fail to complete the job.
Certified. There’s a lot to be said for a contractor who goes above and beyond providing quality work. Some undergo stringent training and meet high industry standards that earn them certifications from prominent manufacturers. How does this benefit you? A certified window contractor can provide access to high-quality replacement windows. They guarantee products that will be durable and long-lasting while allowing for extensive customization options.
A certified contractor will also make sure the installation follows the manufacturers’ quality specifications. Not only that, you’ll benefit from the generous warranties included with their replacement windows. Some premier manufacturers, for example, will cover the glass, framing material, accessories and even the installation of their windows.
Experienced. Window replacement involves painstaking work. For the proper installation of your new units, leave them in capable hands. An experienced window contractor will make sure the work is finished in a timely and efficient manner. They’ll go through the entire installation process methodically, covering all possible pitfalls and dealing with issues promptly. Because of this, there’ll be less potential for costly mistakes and unnecessary property damage.
Other Essentials to Consider
Aside from the necessary credentials and experience, make sure to take a good reputation and timely communication into account when hiring a window contractor. Look through prominent trade sites like Angie’s List and Better Business Bureau to find those who’ve earned the most satisfactory scores and reviews.
If you want to go a step further, ask your contractor for a list of references. To establish trust between you and your prospective contractor, take note of how they answer your questions or concerns. A contractor who shrugs things off or provides vague answers to your concerns is a red flag. A contractor should deal with your questions in a courteous and professional manner, and be able to recommend possible solutions.
Window replacement is no minor investment, so it’s critical that you hire a trustworthy and reliable window contractor if you want the job completed without a hitch.
Alex Esler is the marketing manager for Renewal by Andersen of San Francisco. She is an integrated marketing professional with a digital focus, driven and inspired by her work to help homeowners find the window replacement solutions they are looking for. For updates from Alex, check out the company blog!