11 Questions to Ask Your Window Replacement Contractor

11 Questions to Ask Your Window Replacement Contractor

March 22, 2021
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door

It’s scary to hire a window replacement contractor. The installer is as important as the product selected and nobody wants to spend your money on the wrong choice. After all, the cost of a replacement window ranges from $400 to $5,000 a piece.

Proper installation improves the energy efficiency of your home. New windows can add style and light. A bad installation can result in leaks and structural problems.

While searching for a professional window and door company for the installment or replacement of windows and doors, you must consider asking some important questions before having them on board. Think about the answers to these questions to make sure you know what you need and get exactly what you want for your home. It is crucial to ask the right questions before hiring a window contractor to get the most out of the project and protect your investment and your home. While it makes sense to get multiple offers for a job, it also makes sense to ask every contractor multiple questions about the job.

How do you find the right contractor for your project? Asking the right questions to different contractors is vital in determining which company most likely meets your desired expectations and which window contractor in San Diego will offer you the best ongoing support on your investment. An experienced contractor can answer these questions with ease. Here are 8 important questions that you should ask a window seller or installer before hiring them to work for you:

1. Does the Installer Specialize in Your Type of Windows?

Research the type of windows you want before you contact a contractor. Many installers specialize in certain types of window replacements. Or rather, most contractors have some types of windows they won’t deal with due to complexity, insurance requirements, etc…

Some contractors work on historic homes while others focus on modern structures. Some can install for downtown structures, while others are only insured for several floors. Many installers concentrate on a few select styles of installation.

Deciding on the windows and installation type first can save time and money. You’ll know the right questions to ask. When you meet with a contractor confirm he specializes in the installation you need.

2. How Long Has The Company Been In Business?

Contractors inspecting house rooms

When you choose a company to install or replace the windows or doors in your home, you want to be sure that they know how to get the job done properly and have a proven track record. For instance, the longevity of a company is often a good sign. You would want a company that has successfully installed window and door products for many years, is well-known in the industry, and up to date with best practices. The question should not only concern the windows themselves and the person who is leading the project.

This is an important question and can ultimately give you an idea of how the work will go forward. Plus, it can also provide you with insight into the quality of the replacement window installed. A skilled professional window contractor in San Diego will be able to answer all of the questions you have about the work as well as the quality of their work.

3. Can They Provide References or Connect with A Past Customer?

When you are looking for a new window replacement company, make sure that there are a few references that can guarantee their good work. References and reviews from past customers will help you know the quality of the company’s products and services as well as their customer service. Obtaining references and reviews from past customers is a powerful tool in selecting a competent contractor.

Check the reputation of the window manufacturing company as well. You want a reliable product to go with your expert installer.A reputable dealer or entrepreneur should have a list of satisfied customers. Choose companies in operation for five years or more. If possible, get photos of completed projects and they should be able to provide you relevant references so that their previous customers can share their experiences. Ask for customer references and find out how the installer and manufacturer resolve problems. It’s easy to check the reputation and references for a contractor so you can find if the issues brought up in other reviews affect how you believe the company will resolve any issues on your job. Consult Yelp, Google, and the direct company website for reviews. You may also be able to contact the company through their social media pages to receive this information in advance.

4. Why Should I Replace My Windows?

Be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of replacing your windows and the reasons the window company interests you. Experienced window dealers and entrepreneurs should be able to show you how you can benefit from the exchange in the long term. Depending on the issues you want to address, you should compare materials and discuss ways to improve energy efficiency and make your home more attractive.

5. What Would They Recommend in Windows Styles to Meet My Home’s Needs?

A trained professional window contractor in San Diego can be the difference between a good and a bad choice – according to the needs of your home. Suppose your contractor installs replacement windows that have a bulky frame and reduces the amount of natural light that comes through the window; you will only be left feeling dissatisfied with the end result and regretful about your decision. Replacing windows or doors does not always mean reinstalling the exact same one. You may want an improved version of your windows that can provide more value to your home. This could mean windows that work better in style and functionality and are easier to use or windows that are built with better features and security than the previous ones.

You might also be considering a better part of the room for your windows and would need expert advice on making that work. If the company has ENERGY STAR-rated windows and doors, please ask their representative about their benefits. You should also clearly identify which products are recommended under the manufacturer’s name, and your contractor should be able to help you understand the options available from one manufacturer to another, including the quality of the product, the price and availability of different options, and the cost of each.

6. Will the Contractor Provide a Detailed Bid?

installers and contractors

Once you decide on windows, call local contractors for bids.

When requesting a bid, let the contractor know you’re a good prospect.

Tell the contractor:

♦ You Want the Best Value, Not the Lowest Bid. Request a Proposal That Includes Good, Better, and Best Options

♦ Explain That You’re Requesting Bids From 3 Contractors

♦ Tell the Contractor How You Found Him. Did You See His Work? Did Someone Give You a Referral?

After you receive your proposals, compare them. Make sure each bid is easy to understand. The bid should cover all the details outlined next.

What’s Included in a Good Bid?

The best bids are specific. A thorough proposal eliminates misunderstandings.

Each bid must detail the materials, products, and labor included in the price. The bid should state the start and finish dates of the project.

Ask the contractor to outline the payment terms. Never pay the entire cost before work is complete.

A legitimate contractor asks for 20 to 30 percent at the start of the job. Some states put a limit on the down payment amount. Consult local laws to see how much a contractor can charge.

7. Is the Contract Clear and Concise?

Look at the bids you receive from the contractors. Are they estimates or proposals? It’s important to know the difference.

Don’t settle for an estimate with a single price and general description. An estimate is legitimate, but it isn’t detailed. You can’t guarantee the products and services when they aren’t in writing.

quality windows

A proposal is a tentative agreement between the consumer and the contractor. It provides detailed information on:

♦ Product Choices

♦ Prices

♦ Services

♦ Change Order Charges

♦ Financing Options

Disputes result from misunderstandings. Stop potential problems by putting all the details in writing in the contract.

Along with the points above, include the following:

Local Codes and Ordinances

Compliance with local regulations is vital. Have a plan for permits, inspections, and zoning notice.

Are the permit costs included? Decide who obtains them.

Product Details and Choices

Does it explain differences in style, durability, and glass between various window products?

If you requested the good-better-best proposal expect three product choices.

Make sure each choice includes the brand and manufacturer information.

Start and Stop Dates

Scheduling dates can fluctuate since the weather is a factor. State what is and isn’t reasonable. Include a firm finish date that makes completion of the project clear.

Right to Rescind the Contract

Include a clause that allows you to cancel the contract without penalty. Some states demand a right-to-rescind clause.

The usual period to cancel without penalty is three days. If you cancel after the allowed time, the contractor can request a percentage of the contract’s value.

This is important when custom-made windows aren’t returnable.

Product and Workmanship Warranties

Check that the contract includes workmanship. This guarantees the installation meets the manufacturer’s warranty and installation requirements.

The standard warranty for window products is 10 years. The contractor should include a workmanship warranty.

Window Installation San Diego

Inspect the Property

Meet with the project supervisor to inspect the property before the project begins. Note the condition of the building and landscaping. Discuss where equipment and the crew can set up and work.

Remove any items at risk for damage. Prepare a checklist and have both parties sign it.

Reinspect the property when the job is complete. Determine if any damage claims are valid.

Payment Terms

Put details about the payment terms, schedule, and method in writing. Don’t leave room for confusion or misunderstanding.

Most contractors ask for a deposit to cover the cost of the materials. Often, another payment occurs at the start of work. The final balance is due upon completion.

8. Are There Any Unexpected Costs in My Estimate?

No one wants to be surprised with an invoice for additional services or upgrades after work is done, so ask for everything that is included in the estimate the company will provide. Before you agree to a contractor or window replacement company to install or replace the windows in your home, it is important to find out the cost of replacing and installing windows and their services.

If you are looking for a window replacement company, you can call them and ask if they will charge you for a quote. Full transparency, including information on payment deadlines, helps you avoid unexpected work and unplanned costs. Some companies also include costs for the re-installation of blinds, shutters, and disposal of the existing windows.

lifetime warranty coverage

Therefore, you should always double-check with them about it. The price you pay to replace your home’s windows depends on how many windows you need to install, the style, material, and design you choose. When you are considering replacing windows, compare the costs of the window replacement company with the above factors so that you can work out a reasonable total price. Weigh all these factors and more, such as the quality of the window, and you will ultimately make a well-thought-out decision.

9. What Warranty Would I Receive?

The window replacement company or contractor you choose should be well-informed and be able to guide you through the fine print. What guarantees would you receive, for example, for the replacement windows you have chosen, and what additional warranty claims does the company offer during assembly and processing? Different window manufacturers may have slightly different processes, and you want to be fully informed about their project process.

This is one of the things you should check if you are looking for a new window manufacturer or window replacement company in your area. You should be familiar with the manufacturer’s warranty terms and be aware of additional warranties and claims from your company. Do they state that the manufacturer’s warranty covers glass product defects? Do they guarantee that they stand by their work and protect their reputation?

10. Is Your Company Licensed and Insured?

Ask if the dealer or contractor has insurance that provides security, and if so, what insurance they have. While window manufacturers do not require a license, most reputable dealers and window contractors in San Diego hire installers who opt for a license and demonstrate their expertise in window and door replacement. Ask if the window replacement contractor has a license for your city and state. Some cities have professional licensing requirements as well. Check with local government for details.

A contractor’s license isn’t the same as a business license. A business license is a tax rule. It doesn’t relate to a contractor’s ability or training.

Some window manufacturers provide certified training programs. Ask contractors about specific credentials.

How to Install a Replacement Window: Everything You Need to Know

Contractors should have comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Verify coverage by asking to see certificates of insurance.

Be wary of uninsured contractors. It’s risky to hire a contractor without coverage. You risk liability if an uninsured worker gets hurt on your property.

11. What Kind of Service Will I Get After the Installation?

Ask the builder what to do if there are problems with your newly installed replacement windows. A window replacement company or service provider is trustworthy and stays in contact with you throughout the entire installation process.

The dealer or contractor you choose should be able to guide you through this process of obtaining the necessary permits to carry out the job on-site, and he will do so safely and efficiently. Permits can come with fees, so plan your costs with this in mind as it may not come with the quote from the installers.

You’re Ready to Hire a Contractor

Now that we know what questions you need to ask, combined with the advice of a trusted window professional, you have all the information and knowledge you need to carry out your window project with confidence. Follow the steps above when you hire a window replacement contractor. You’ll get a quality installation for the right price. If you need more information or want to schedule a consultation, contact us. We’re ready to help with your project.We hope these notes will help you make the right decisions while choosing a window and door service provider. Questions like these help you build a relationship and trust with the contractor and ultimately help you choose the right window replacement company.

US Window & Door has decades of experience in installing windows in San Diego. Our team of experts can answer all of your questions concerning your windows. From queries on window selection to the installation process and maintenance, we ensure you get the perfect results from your investment in your window renovation project.