Every home requires upkeep and maintenance over time, and as a homeowner, you may even opt into an upgrade or redesign here and there. Some items in your home require regular maintenance or adjustments, and others can go 20+ years without you even thinking about them. Window replacement falls into the latter category, as most windows have a minimum life expectancy of 15-20 years, you may have never had to deal with this process before. There is more to updating your windows than just getting the look and functionality you want. You need to depend on and trust the contractor that is installing your windows, even the highest quality windows can yield poor results due to sub-par installation.
Being informed is one of the most important steps to choosing the right replacement windows, so we put together a list of several questions you should ask your window consultant prior to committing:
Tell me about your company?
Knowing about and being comfortable with the company that will be providing and installing your windows is a necessary step in putting your trust in them. The sales consultant should be passionate when relaying the company’s history including how long they have been in business, what services they provide, do they use their own installation team or do they subcontract, if they manufacture their own windows or who their preferred suppliers are should all be covered when asking about the company. After all, they will need access to both the interior and exterior of your home when they are working, trusting the team is not optional.
Can you explain the key features and operation of the windows?
All windows are not made equally or function in the same fashion. It is important that your consultant elaborates on the type of windows you are investing in. Efficiency, security, maintenance, and function should all be covered by your consultant. Things such as double-pane VS triple pane windows, low-e or Energy Star qualified, and how the window opens can all affect the price. You want to make sure that your investment gets you the windows that meet your needs and wants and that you are not just getting a quote you are happy with.
What type of warranty is there?
Understanding the warranty on both the manufacturing of the windows and the workmanship is important. If there is an issue down the road, you want the reassurance that your contractor will be there to support you. Many contractors provide a 1-2 year warranty on the workmanship, and usually, any problems with the installation or the manufacturing of the window will show up quickly, allowing you to utilize the warranty. Make sure the warranty details are provided in writing prior to signing an agreement.
How much time will my project take?
Many times, replacing your windows is just a piece of a greater home renovation project. In these cases, you have multiple contractors working around each other and possibly waiting for each other to finish. So, understand the time frame between ordering the windows until the installation beginning and how long it will take to install all the windows is key for planning other projects. Even if you don’t have other renovation projects on the go, it is still good to have an idea of when the replacement windows will be installed and how long the process will take.
What’s included in the quote?
Fully understanding the quote will reduce the potential for any hidden surprises down the road. Look for an itemized quote that outlines the cost of materials and labor separately. Is cleanup and disposal of your old windows part of the package? Are any additional materials covered, such as replacing any rotted wood? Is the interior and exterior window finishing included or do you need to pay extra or possibly find someone else to complete the task? Understanding everything that is included in the quote will help you plan for any additional work or any surprises that are exposed once the windows are removed.
Asking the right questions will help you make an informed decision on your windows replacement project and ensure you get the best quality and value for your investment.