Window replacement is a popular home improvement project because of the numerous benefits it can provide you. Homeowners want always to have beautiful, functional windows so it’s not so surprising that replacing old, faulty ones can be rewarding. Fortunately, it’s easy to ensure you make the most of the project – you just have to make sure that you’re working with the right window contractor.
Why Work With a Professional?
The first and arguably hardest decision to make when investing in this project is choosing who to hire to get the job done. You want to hire a contractor that you can trust and you’re comfortable with. An experienced, reputable contractor will provide the time and attention necessary for completing your project. Some homeowners think they can handle this project on their own, but, the truth is, window replacement is best left to the experts because of the intricacies of the installation process.
Expert vs. DIY Window Installation
Installing new windows of any style or type isn’t an ideal project for an amateur to tackle. The physical exhaustion from lifting and holding heavy frames for extended periods alone could be too much for the average homeowner. This could lead to back pain, and broken glass could lead to severe injuries. In addition, today’s energy-efficient windows only offer that money- and energy-saving benefits if they are properly installed by a professional. Investing in high-quality, ENERGY STAR®-certified units won’t do much good if poor installation work leads to drafts and energy loss. Although these replacement windows are built to last, you likely won’t be able to fully benefit from their energy-saving benefits and warranties if you do the job yourself.
EXPERT INSTALLATION: Although window replacement might seem like an easy task, it actually involves a lot of complex processes, making it a job best left to the professionals.
In some cases, many amateur installers may also attempt to “force” a standard-sized window into an existing wall opening. This results in not just awkward-looking windows, but also in significant energy loss and drafts because the frames aren’t properly fitted to the opening. When you hire a professional contractor, you can be sure they will take proper measurements to make sure your new windows are custom-fit to your needs. They’ll also have the training, tools, skills, and expertise necessary to complete any window project, fitting windows to your home’s exact specifications.
Things to Look for in a Window Contractor
Just because you’re hiring a contractor, however, doesn’t automatically mean you’re getting the best person for your project. Like replacement windows, contractors vary, especially when it comes to their skills and levels of experience. This is why it’s not unheard of for homeowners to have different tales about window companies. Some have gratifying experiences working with a specific installer while others have horror stories to share. You may start to think that it all boils down to luck, but it doesn’t. You can have a memorable and satisfying window replacement experience if you know exactly what to look for in a window contractor.
To help you get started, here’s a rundown of what reputable window contractors have:
- Vast Experience – How experienced is the window company you’re planning to hire? Level of experience is highly important when deciding which contractor to choose, especially if yours is a large project because it’s a sign of how capable a candidate is. When it comes to installing or replacing windows the right way, experience counts the most, so make sure your prospective contractor has a lot of experience, not just working on homes, but also the particular window style in which you’re interested.
ONLINE REVIEWS: Online reviews are helpful in narrowing down your window contractor selection. Do your assignment, and check reviews to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable professional.
- Positive Reputation – The number one goal of great window installers is to provide 100% customer satisfaction. When you’re considering a particular window contractor, make sure to ask for a list of references to get an idea of what to expect if you hire this person. Also, don’t forget to check online reviews and testimonials for honest feedback on the quality of their products and workmanship.
- High-Quality Products and Materials – Trustworthy window contractors only want the best for your home, which is why they will only recommend and install the highest quality of products for your needs. With that in mind, it’s smart to evaluate the features of their window offerings, from weather resistance and insulation to energy efficiency and everything in between. Be sure to steer clear of contractors who offer one-size-fits-all replacement units. These solutions don’t guarantee an exact, customized fit, which may lead to numerous problems down the road.
- Great Location and Quick Turnaround Times – There’s a reason you should consider local contractors for your project. For one, proximity can help you save on costs because transportation expenses, for instance, will be low. Additionally, you can easily reach them if you have concerns and questions that need to be answered right away. A local contractor is also familiar with applicable building codes and permit processes in your area, making it easier for them to complete your project as soon as possible without sacrificing quality.
PEACE OF MIND: To protect yourself from costly repairs in case of material defects or workmanship problems, be sure to hire a contractor who offers both material and workmanship warranties.
- Generous Warranties – While today’s windows are manufactured using premium-quality materials and backed by expert installation, strong warranties are still necessary to keep you secured for years to come. Look for a contractor who can offer both material and workmanship warranties so you can have peace of mind knowing you’re protected from costly repairs arising from material defect or installation issues for many years.
There’s a lot you can do before choosing a contractor to make sure you have the best and most rewarding window upgrade experience possible. Look into their background and history, dig into online reviews about them, and talk to their specialists. It can’t be stressed enough how much value you should put on expertise, experience and customer service when it comes to window replacement. Take the time to find the right contractor for you, and you’re sure to have the best partner to help you achieve window replacement success.
Jim Jones is the president of Seamless Exterior, an expert window contractor in Waterloo, IA. Working in a family business, Jim’s team is dedicated to offering the best products and services around, offering the ultimate in customer satisfaction. For more on windows, check out the company blog for updates from Jim.