What to Watch For From Contractors
Window replacement is a pricey endeavor. Investing in this kind of work requires a homeowner to place complete trust in a contractor. With so much money at stake and your home's curb appeal and performance on the line, you need to know that you can trust your contractor to do the job right and keep his promises. Gathering multiple quotes from different window companies is a sound approach. First of all, it lets you know where the market is for your particular window replacement job. You can select a company knowing you're getting a good value if you've tested out the market.
Questions to Ask Contractors
But it also gives you the opportunity as a homeowner to get a realistic preview of how different window replacement contractors work with homeowners, and insight into their willingness to answer your questions and help you to understand exactly what they intend to do. A full house replacement is a big job even on a smaller house, and a contractor has to realize that customers need a little assurance that things are going to go smoothly.
Don't be afraid to ask about a company's experience. Find out how many jobs they have done, and how long they have been doing replacement window installation. Check to see if this is their main line of work, or if they are generalists who do a bit of everything. Generalists might be handier around the house taking care of unexpected little items in the course of the job, but window specialists might be more adept and faster at the installation itself.
Don't Fall for Pricing Tricks
When you are gathering quotes, be sure you get things in writing. Don't settle for a replacement quote from a contractor scrawled on the back of a business card, either. Watch out for ballpark quotes; these can be pathways to jobs going way over budget. You might hear excuses like the materials cost more than the contractor expected, or his labor cost ended up higher because of unforeseen installation issues. Get a quote in writing and make sure it bears the contractor's signature and yours.
Look for Expertise and Integrity
When you are talking over your window replacement jobs with different candidate companies, don't be afraid to ask specific questions. Ask how long they expect the job to take, how many workers will be on the job, and whether the owner is on site during the window replacement work. The more specific you can be as a consumer, the more insight you can gain into the expertise level of each company. You're not trying to stump them necessarily; although if you do stump somebody, you may be able to scratch that company off the list of candidates. What you're trying to establish is a sense of expertise and problem solving ability. Window replacement jobs require ingenuity and the ability to problem solve. There is no telling what an installer might find until the old window is torn out. Talented installers are ready for anything and aren't easily outsmarted by a rough opening.
Find Out What to Expect
Watch out for these and other attributes of window replacement companies before you choose one to hire so that you will be much more likely to choose the right one to work on your home. But even after the hire, keep a watchful eye on your installation crew and make sure their replacement work reflects the promises made in your new window contract. Replacement windows are quite an investment. Make sure your window replacement contractor is the right one.