Whether you want to improve your home’s appearance or lower energy bills, replacing your old windows can go a long way towards achieving both. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates you can save up to $501 per year by replacing single-pane windows with Energy Star approved windows, depending on where you live.
If you’re considering replacing the windows in your home, you’re going to need the right window and door replacement services to help you do it. The following are some good things to keep in mind during your search for the perfect contractor for the job.
1. Know What You Want
In order to work best with the contractor, you need to have a clear idea of what you want done. Determine which windows you’re going to replace. Define your priorities for buying new windows—are you mostly interested in energy efficiency? Or is enhancing your home’s appearance a big factor, too?
Do some research to find out what kinds of windows are out there, and which ones might best serve your purpose. How would wood windows compare with vinyl windows? Arm yourself with information. This knowledge will help you communicate with window and door replacement services more easily.
2. Ask the Contractor for Advice
Besides having your own clear idea of what you want, you should get as much information out of the contractor as possible. Ask them what they think will work best, based on your priorities. They have insider knowledge from working with windows all the time, so respect what they have to share. Even if you don’t take their advice on everything, getting their expert perspective is a key part in finding the best solution for your needs.
3. Don’t Settle for the Cheapest Contractor
When looking for the best services for you, be careful not to prioritize savings over quality. If your windows aren’t installed correctly, it could lead to significant problems down the road. To make matters worse, some windows come with installation warranties that are only effective if the windows are installed by an expert.
As if all that isn’t bad enough, there are lots of would-be contractors posing as professionals online, bidding on projects on sites like Craigslist for work that they aren’t qualified for.
To make sure you get the job done right, be sure and check for proper licensing and positive customer reviews for the window and door replacement services you’re considering.
4. Get a Detailed Bid
When you finally reach out to the contractor you’re considering, describe to them exactly what you want done, and try to get a bid that’s as detailed as possible. The bid should include the cost of materials as well as labor, and should include when the project will be started and finished.
5. Never Pay 100% Upfront
No matter how good a deal you’re getting, if the contractor asks for full payment upfront, you should probably take your business elsewhere. A good professional contractor should never ask for more than 20-30% of the price before the work is started.
6. Read the Fine Print
Before agreeing to a contract, make sure you’ve read and understand all the fine print. Ask as many questions as you feel you need to. After all, you’re the one paying for the work. The contractor should be more than happy to address any concerns you might have.
7. Ask About Workmanship Warranty
Just as you’ll want to buy windows that include a good warranty, you should make sure the contractor you hire offers a workmanship warranty. Ideally, this warranty will cover problems resulting from poor installation discovered anytime within two years after installation.
8. Look at Past Work
When you find window and door replacement services to work with, ask for pictures of projects they’ve already done that are similar to yours. Try to get a feel for the overall quality of work you’ll end up with by working with them.
9. Choose a Contractor That Specializes in Windows
When installing replacement windows and doors, you should usually avoid hiring a general handyman. If the contractor you’re considering spends most of their time remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, you can’t be sure they’ll be the best at window installation. You’ll feel much better knowing that the window replacement services you hired knows what they’re doing.