How to Compare Replacement Window Companies
The ads are prolific for replacement windows. Through the mail, on television and all over the Internet, replacement window companies make outstanding claims and offer specials and deals that can be tempting. A few basic rules can save you from making the wrong choice when you compare replacement window companies.
Visit showrooms that carry a number of different windows from various manufacturers to choose the windows you'd like to install. You can compare prices and quality of different windows in one stop. Ask the salespeople if they can come to your home to provide an onsite independent recommendation for the best windows for your needs. Pay for this service so you are not indebted to buy from that salesperson.
Ask for references from at least three window replacement companies once you've decided on the manufacturer. Many window companies carry, or have access to, various lines of windows, while others sell and install just one kind. Call the references to find out if the window company is reliable, finishes the job on time and represents the manufacturer well.
Consider warranties on the labor as well as on the windows. Reputable replacement window companies will put in writing that they guarantee their work for a limited time, typically up to one year. Ask for a business license and a copy of the company's bond to cover any problems that may occur during the project.
Find out what else is included in the quote in addition to installation, such as cleanup, removal of the old windows from the property and instruction on how to operate the new windows. Look for a firm time frame in which the job will be completed and ask what compensation the company offers if the job takes longer. Get any agreements in writing from the company representative.
Go online to a site such as Window Replacement.com to get free quotes from a number of contractors in your area. These kinds of sites typically send your information to local window replacement companies who will call you with an estimate. Have the measurements and number of windows ready to get reliable quotes. Include information about any special or unusual windows they'll have to replace.
Get the bids separated into installation figures and product costs. Get bids from handyman companies and private contractors for the installation portion of the replacement project. While a company that sells and installs windows may offer a special deal if you buy from them, the quality of the labor may not be worth the final price.
- Consider how long you plan to stay in the house when choosing the quality of the windows. You may not need top line windows with a 30-year warranty if you plan to move in five years.
- Replacement window salespeople are trained to be very pushy and might create a false sense of urgency to sign with them. Never agree to a deal until you have done some shopping around. Wait a day or two after an appointment with a salesperson to come to an agreement.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."