Questions to Ask Your Window Replacement Contractor
Like many aspects of home remodeling, window replacement is something you rarely think about until something happens, like a broken window pane or skyrocketing energy bills. And when it does, you will likely feel overwhelmed by the endless designs and features available. That is why it’s critical to find a knowledgeable and experienced window replacement contractor you can rely on to give you good advice.
To help in your search for a reputable window replacement contractor, we’ve compiled a list of important questions to ask the companies you find. Based on the answers you receive, you should be able to make the right decision for you and your home.
Are You Insured?
Window replacement contractors should have comprehensive workers’ compensation and liability insurance to protect your home against accidents. You can verify this by requesting to see their certificates of insurance for both general liability and workers’ compensation. Tell the contractors you would like the insurer to send the certificates to your home before the work begins.
A contractor sometimes carries other insurance types such as life, health and auto insurance. When some contractors say they have insurance, they may be referring to any one of these, so don’t let them confuse you. Request that they give you proof of workers’ compensation and general liability specifically.
A contractor who follows proper safety procedures and carries insurance has to pay higher overhead costs, and these expenses are often the reason insured contractors have to charge a higher rate. Depending on what state you live in, the premiums for workers’ compensation can increase the costs of labor from 20% to 100%. If a contractor charges a particularly cheap rate, it may be a sign they are not insured.
Beware of uninsured contractors, as they can be common. Typical reasons for why some contractors don’t carry full insurance include:
- They do not work full-time.
- They are self-employed and don’t have employees.
- They’re just starting out in the contracting business.
- They can’t pay the premiums.
- They do not stand behind their work.
To understand the risk, imagine you just hired a company without liability insurance and one of the installers drops a large window from the second floor, damaging your deck below. If this happens, it is unlikely your homeowner’s policy will cover you, unless you happened to buy extra coverage for in-home employees.
Also, imagine a contractor without worker’s compensation has an employee working on your home who suddenly gets injured. While your homeowner’s insurance may help pay the employee’s claim, that claim may still cause your rates to increase and may make it harder for you to get insured later on.
Can You Explain How Your Product Operates?
Although many people initially assume all windows are more or less the same, after doing a little research, they quickly realize windows and doors vary significantly in terms of their styles and features. Certain windows can be more suitable for your house than others.
Windows and door features to consider:
- Climate control
For instance, if you get tilt-and-turn windows, cleaning the glass will be no trouble at all. Choosing casement windows will provide you with better security, thanks to their advanced locking system. Low-E and energy-efficient windows are also available, which will enhance your home’s climate control and lower your energy costs.
One specific item on your list of questions to ask a representative is whether the manufacturer has ENERGY STAR-rated windows. ENERGY STAR qualifications mean windows provide year-round comfort and energy savings.
If you are getting composite windows, ask about the exterior and interior finishes. If you are looking to have your windows replaced, you’ll probably want your new windows to match your existing exterior and interior décor. Picking the appropriate finishes is critical for maintaining the harmony of the design and optimizing the window’s performance.
The installation style usually determines the type of finish, so it’s important to know what you’ll be getting. Full-frame replacements typically come with vinyl brickmoulds that serve as both an aesthetically appealing border and a weather barrier. Keeping this in mind, some companies offer to complete the full-frame installation with aluminum cladding, which costs extra. You can save money by being more informed about the details of what your project may entail.
What Fees Does Your Quote Include?
There are several cost-related questions you should ask your contractor:
- Do you charge for your estimate? You will probably have to pay several specific fees for your installation. Ask the installer if you must pay for an estimate. If so, this isn’t a deal-breaker necessarily, but it is a good thing to know up-front. Remember, at Infinity from Marvin – Homespire Windows & Doors, all consultations are free.
- Does the installation include exterior and interior trim? It’s also a good idea to find out whether the contractor’s installation package includes exterior and interior finishes. If not, you’ll have to find someone else to complete that job or do it yourself.
- How and by when should I pay? Thirdly, you’ll want to find out what the contractor’s terms of payment are, including the form of payment and payment deadline. While these may seem like minute details, asking now can help you avoid a stressful situation later on.
- Are there any hidden fees? Hidden fees are every homeowner’s worst nightmare when they sign a contract. Before signing anything, we recommend you inquire about any potential hidden fees and what services you’d be responsible for paying. Generally speaking, you will only have to pay hidden fees in extreme cases, usually in bow and bay window projects where the installers must replace rotted wood. For other projects, replacing rotted wood is part of the installation process and does not incur any fees. Reinstalling the shutters and blinds may also incur hidden fees, so it’s best to ask about that as well.
What Experience Do You Have?
To get an idea of the contractor’s expertise, we recommend asking the following questions:
- How many years have you been in business? You should ask about your window replacement contractor’s experience, which can influence the price. Generally speaking, if your contractor has many years of experience and glowing references, you can expect to pay a bit more. You can also do some research on your own to confirm claims your contractor makes.
- May we see some of your past projects? Request to look at some examples of past projects, and if possible, direct references from past clients. Professional window contractors should be able to readily provide photos of their past work as well as customer references. If you’re assessing a contractor based on a neighbor or friend’s referral, see if you can look at their project more closely.
- Who will be performing the installation? Also, find out who exactly from the company will be installing the windows. Some contractors have hired crews, while others work with subcontractors. Is the employee you’re speaking with just a representative, or will they be doing the installation themselves?
Can I Get References From Previous Customers?
A legitimate window replacement contractor will have reviews on their site or Google. Make sure they have numerous reliable reviews with good ratings — a few bad ratings here or there is okay, but the vast majority of people should be praising their services. If it’s a local business, you might be able to consult others in the area who have used that contractor. Knowing someone personally who was a customer is a great way to find out if you can trust the contractor.
Also, check out online reviews, such as those on Google and Facebook, to find out what previous customers thought. If they’re a larger, established business, you should be able to find multiple, helpful reviews.
What Warranty Would I Receive?
Make sure you get the specifics of your warranty. If your window replacement contractor is in good standing, they’ll have faith in their windows and supply you with the services you need in case something does happen. Ask multiple questions about the warranty, including:
- What duration does the warranty cover? A short warranty might start raising questions as to the durability of the windows the contractor is installing.
- What does the warranty cover? Get specifics on what the warranty actually covers. If the contractor starts getting vague about the warranty, this could be a bad sign.
- What is your response time? You’ll want to look for a contractor that accommodates quick response times. Having a faulty window in the middle of a freezing winter is a big problem — make sure your contractor can make repairs quickly and efficiently.
How Long Will It Take to Replace My Windows?
To get a better idea of the start-to-finish timeframe of the project, remember to ask the following:
- How long will it take to install? By knowing the timeline for your installation, you’ll be able to better accommodate your schedule. With Infinity from Marvin by Homespire, many projects can be completed in as little as one day.
- How will inclement weather impact the timeline? Don’t forget to ask how bad weather may affect your installation.
- Will the contractor take measures to protect my home during the installation? When speaking about the timeline, make sure to ask questions regarding common concerns on the day of installation. Find out how they’ll protect your home during the installation while they work and how they’ll clean up the work area once they finish the project.
- Will I have to be present during the installation? If you have to be at home, make sure you won’t have any schedule conflicts.
If a contractor is able and willing to walk you through every step and update you on the status through the length of the project, this is a good sign. It means they’re knowledgeable and will communicate well as the project advances.
How Much Will I Save Once I Have Replacement Windows Installed?
The quality of your windows plays a significant role in your comfort, as they directly impact the efficiency of your home to retain your air conditioning in summer and heating in winter. Make sure to ask your contractor how much new windows will save you on heating and cooling costs. Once they have inspected your current windows, they can assess the current energy efficiency of your home, and provide an estimate on how much more you could save with new windows.
At Infinity from Marvin – Homespire Windows & Doors, we offer premium composite windows that will not only improve your comfort, but can also decrease your energy. We design our windows to fit your house specifically, and we can create windows to fit in openings of any size or shape.
To make sure you get high-quality windows that suit your style and budget, ask one of our representatives to come to your home and perform a window analysis, which is entirely free of charge. During this analysis, the representative will calculate how much money your home is wasting on energy costs and estimate how much a window replacement will cost.
Allow Us to Be Your Window Replacement Contractor
If you’re a homeowner in Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia or surrounding areas and are ready to update your windows and doors, choose Infinity from Marvin – Homespire Windows & Doors, the top window and door replacement company in the region. Because we understand the importance of this investment, we do our best to ensure our customers are satisfied with our work.
Here are some of the features that make our windows and doors the best on the market.
1. Varied Design
At Infinity from Marvin – Homespire Windows & Doors, we realize every homeowner’s needs are unique, so regardless of your request, we’ll have an option for you. We maintain a partnership with a manufacturer in the area, so we can make any kind of window. Our broad selection of windows includes the following options:
- Double-hung windows: This classic window contains two panes that offer vertical adjustment.
- Casement windows: These consist of a single-pane window that has hinges on one side.
- Sliding windows: These windows feature easily sliding panes and horizontal adjustment.
- Awning windows: These windows feature a hinge on the top and are typically in basements.
- Bay windows: Bay windows are a window space that projects outward from the walls, forming a bow-shaped appearance. They consist of three panes of glass, with the two panes on the sides angled.
- Bow windows: Bow windows are similar to bay windows, but have at least four panes.
2. Quality Materials
Our windows feature premium materials sourced in the United States. All of our products provide unrivaled security and efficiency.
3. Quality Construction
In addition to high-quality materials, we also use high construction standards. We maintain the integrity of every component during the manufacturing process. We pay attention to every detail and do not cut any corners — including our use of fusion welding on the frames to keep weak seams from opening up.
4. Quality Installation
One thing that sets us apart from many other contractors in our industry is our installation. We have a team of installation professionals that meet our high standards of service. This allows us to offer warranties on both materials AND labor.
Contact Infinity from Marvin – Homespire Windows & Doors Today
When you need an efficient and trustworthy window replacement contractor, trust us. Infinity from Marvin – Homespire Windows & Doors is a trusted source that can answer all the questions on this list thoroughly and carefully. We have over 25 years of home improvement experience, so we know what it takes to give you the quality job you need.
One of the great things about us is that we know our area intimately. Unlike the big-box stores, we have advantages that make us truly unique:
- Superior local knowledge: Our local knowledge helps us craft windows tailored to the surrounding area that can withstand regional weather. In contrast, big-box brands often manufacture their windows from knowledge that doesn’t derive from the local region.
- Reliable reviews: Our reviews come from real people in our region. We take pride in serving Central Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia areas and satisfying our customers.
- Communication: If there’s a problem, we can speak directly to you and take care of the issue with our own team. Instead of going through various calls and people, you can straightforwardly reach out to us.
To learn more about our products and services, contact Infinity from Marvin – Homespire Windows & Doors by filling out our contact form or calling us at 833-684-1873.