5 Signs a Window and Door Replacement Company May Not Be Reliable

5 Signs a Window and Door Replacement Company May Not Be Reliable

October 31, 2022
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
window installer measuring window

From energy efficiency to water penetration damage or that pesky (re seriously dangerous and needs to be dealt with immediately) problem of lead-based paint in pre-1960s homes, there are a lot of reasons for window installation in San Diego. Whatever the reasoning, the time has come to make a choice.

But how do you choose the best window and door replacement company for your situation? From budget to spatial requirements and design elements, there are so many things to take into consideration. The good news is that we have broken down the work for you. 

We'll outline some red flags to look out for when you're researching any door and windows replacement company.

No Working Website or Social Media Presence

Every San Diego window installation company needs a working website and social media presence. Having a working website and social media presence legitimizes your business. 

In the age of digital technology, window and door installation companies need to prove that they are real people. Having a web presence where you can show pictures of your past home improvement projects along with testimonials gives a lot of credence to your claims. 

Not to mention, your website is a place to accurately describe your services and explain what you have to offer. Social media is a great way to gain social proof as well. Platforms like Facebook allow customers to like, comment, share and even review your services. As a consumer, seeing real people validate your business goes a long way to building trust in potential buyers. 

Lack of Reviews or Many Negative Ones

Most professional and reliable contractors today have plenty of reviews available online. So, if the contractor has no reviews at all, then be more alert and try to find out as much as possible before hiring them. And while no reviews are suspicious, bad reviews should immediately signal to step back and not move further with the contractor. 

searching for window replacement companies online

Hearing positive reviews is like getting a recommendation from a friend. Window and door installation companies benefit from this greatly because people are more likely to invest in potentially pricey home repairs with a trusted contractor recommended by a friend than a random, local business with no listed feedback online.

Keep in mind that many customers won't try out a new business if it has anything less than a 3-star rating. On top of this, customers read nine to ten reviews on average before making a purchase decision. It's in your business's best interest to seek out reviews and use them to establish your company's credibility.

Does Not Partner With Well-Known Brands

It is important to make sure whatever company you hire installs industry-leading, beautiful, energy-efficient, and durable windows. You'll also want to ask if the company will have your windows custom-manufactured for each window opening at your home. This helps to ensure a tight seal and seamless appearance, as well as the ability to select the frame color, window style, and the other features of your windows. Companies that install off-the-shelf windows may use inferior products that don't fit your home or style, which can lead to big problems down the road. Additionally, since the windows themselves are usually warrantied through their manufacturer, it's important to choose a company that deals with a reputable brand of products.

No License and Insurance 

Anyone can put a sign on their truck and call themselves a window replacement company. But you don't want to trust just anyone with this important home improvement project. Make sure the companies you are researching have proper certification and licensing in your area. Certifications can come from prominent organizations like American Window and Door Institute or InstallationMasters.

You can also look for Better Business Bureau ratings. The higher the rating, the more reputable the service. BBB also has reviews on the website, so be sure to read through those for more feedback. Customer testimonials from places like TrustPilot are helpful in this arena, as well. While you can't take every review at face value (often illegitimate services will fabricate reviews to make themselves look better), if there is a generally positive vibe (with a few negative reviews sprinkled in), then you are probably dealing with something that's legit.

The importance of certification is a detail that shouldn't be overlooked. Ask potential contractors if their installers are certified. Training that goes into the certification process is essential since hanging doors and replacing windows requires specific knowledge and experience with each different door and window manufacturer.


Certified installers have learned the best techniques for construction and replacement, which ensures your windows and doors will be installed with careful craftsmanship. This can save you time and money, getting it done right the first time.

Too Good to Be True Quotations

Many homeowners have regretted their decision to act on a "great deal" that turned into a bad deal. Some of these "bad deal" companies provided low-quality work or used substandard materials, while others engaged in questionable business practices like tax dodging, working without insurance, or using illegal workers. Some of the companies raised the price or added items that were not included in the original price after the homeowner was committed.

Although it may initially seem like a plus, a contractor whose rates are significantly lower than most others may be a reason to believe you've hired a bad contractor. Having extremely low rates or estimates is often a sign of inexperience and can also indicate desperation.

Window installers who work as one-person businesses often have lower costs and estimates since they might not spend money promoting their company or other common larger company fees. This is a common situation where a contractor has a valid reason for having abnormally low rates.

However, when a rate is significantly lower than average, something's up. They may not have insurance, or they may not spend money on necessary materials, training, or tools. In the long run, choosing the contractor with lower prices may cost you far more than what they'll have you believe.

Finally, make sure your contractor is comfortable giving a detailed estimate, looking at all the intricacies of your job and factoring those into your quote. Make sure the contractor will write down all the steps in the job with figures and can provide you with a full written schedule and timeline. Not being able to present this information in written form is a warning sign.

No References to Show 

Great companies will never hesitate to show off their work. Even smaller contractors that may not have a detailed website should be able to show you photos of their past jobs proudly.

It's a good idea to ask the window company for references. They should be able to give you a list of names and numbers of people who have used their services before. You can call those people and ask about the job and the results they received from their new windows. If the company doesn't seem to have any references or doesn't want to give you any, there might not be too many people that have good things to say, and that's not a good sign.

Demand a Large Upfront Payment 

Never pay in full upfront. While a deposit may be required to begin work in some situations, it should not be more than half of the total estimated cost. A clearly defined payment schedule should be included in the contract and should be discussed to clear up any questions or concerns.

discussing home improvement project

During the hiring process, there's typically time to negotiate with your contractor about down payment prices; with a down payment, the window installation company can ensure they have enough cash for materials and permits. If your contractor asks for more than this, though, they might not have enough cash to manage the project. Keep in mind that if they aren't transparent about their finances, this could be a sign that you should consider going in a different direction.

Show Signs of Unpredictability or Inconsistency 

Maybe your contractor had a family emergency, or "something came up," but if they continually miss meetings, appointments, or calls, something's up with their professionality. This is a red flag in itself, and if multiple local contractor reviews point to this behavior, this should make it clear that you hired a bad contractor. 

A good window installation company is professional–they will be prompt, true to their word, and reachable. Also, if they're overworked to the point where they cannot respect your time and deadlines, a good contractor will communicate this to you.

Don't Have a Contract 

Before hiring a window and door replacement company, you should always ensure you have the service details drawn up in a contract. This is one sign that should definitely make you question your "contractor," or better yet, the person potentially trying to scam you. If you begin a project without a contract, there will be no record stating what the contractor agreed to do, and so you'll have nothing that holds them accountable. 

Furthermore, simply having a contract doesn't mean you're in the clear. A good contract contains specific components such as the contractor's identification information (address, email, etc.), a payment schedule, exact costs, and all items not included. Make sure all this information is there; if they're not willing to provide it, red flag alert. 

A contract is negotiable, so nothing should be set in stone, and sometimes contractors will try to skim over the contents, intending to hide something. If the contract seems vague or faulty or seems like the contractor is concealing something, this is a sign of a bad contractor.

High-Pressure Sales Tactics 

Another red flag when choosing a contractor is high-pressure sales tactics, like pushing a "temporary" low rate. Often prices will change over the course of a month or so because of material cost increases or general rate increases, but you should watch out for short-time frame sales tactics. Finding a contractor who offers market-value pricing with a detailed analysis of the costs is going to be the most reliable hire.

installing window in house

Also, beware of contractors who badmouth their competition when trying to win your business, adding that they should be talking about the strength of their own service rather than trying to drag down others you may be considering.

Finally, beware of contractors who talk up the return on investment you'll get for the project you're considering. Some window replacement companies may try to overstate this to get you to spend more. 

Why Choose US Window and Door 

At US Window & Door, we understand that choosing the right window and door replacement company can feel overwhelming, especially nowadays with so many to choose from.

With 30 years of excellence, our track record speaks for itself. We stand by the quality of our products and aim to deliver world-class customer service. Our pricing is competitive in the market while being clear and straightforward. If you're ready to learn more about the styles, designs, colors, and options we have available, schedule a free in-home estimate*. We'll learn more about your home improvement needs and give our recommendations for the best windows and doors available.