Once you’ve chosen to upgrade your windows, your next step involves finding the best window installation company. There are plenty of these window installers out there. Some advertise on television, others on the sides of trucks or even on signs in front of houses that they’ve presumably worked on.
Either way, it’s up to you to find the very best window siding contractors for your home. Here are eight important things to keep in mind while doing your research. They’ll help you make a good decision.
1) Do Some Online Research
It all starts with a little online research. Obviously, you’ll need to go to one of the search engines and include the keywords “window installers near me” or “window replacement in my city.” From there, you’ll receive plenty of results that you can sort through. It’s best to start a list or a spreadsheet so that you can take notes on the companies that you’ve researched before you start contacting them.
2) Ask For Recommendations
In lieu of doing online research (or if you’re unhappy with the results of your search, you can always ask your friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations.
Whether they know of a window installation company or just used one themselves, they might be able to give you some names and numbers, and possibly even a verbal recommendation, based on their knowledge of the business.
3) Make Sure They Are Licensed (If Required) and Bonded
You want to choose a window installation company that’s licensed and bonded. At least, one that’s properly bonded. Depending on where you live, the company might not need to be licensed. This is often a state, county, or city requirement, but it isn’t always. There are plenty of reputable companies out there without a license.
Bonds or insurance, on the other hand, are important. If something goes wrong with the window installation, then the company’s insurance will pay for the repairs. This gives you some additional assurance that everything will turn out okay in the end.
4) Ask Plenty of Questions
In addition to checking to ensure that the company has all of the necessary legal information squared away, ask them plenty of questions. The best companies will be more than happy to respond to any inquiries that you may have. If they aren’t then they either have issues with their customer service (which is a red flag) or they are hiding something (another red flag.)
On the other hand, if they answer every question politely and include plenty of information in their responses, then they might just be the company for you.
5) See If They Have Before and After Pictures
Many companies have before and after pictures of the work that they’ve done. Window siding contractors are no exception to this. Ask if you could see these pictures so that you can gauge the quality of their work. You should be able to see some close-up photos of the installed windows. Look to make sure that everything fits properly in the frame and is sealed correctly.
6) Ask About Who Will Be Doing the Work
In addition to the many questions that you need to ask the companies that you’re deciding between, make sure to ask about who will be doing the work. You don’t want any surprises when your window installation begins, so you’ll need at least names and photos of the workers, especially if the boss or supervisor won’t be present at first.
On top of this, you want to hire a business that employs knowledgeable workers, not one that will have inexperienced people handling your windows.
7) Get a Written Estimate
Always get a written estimate. This estimate should include the general amount of time that it should take to get the job done (barring any contingencies, of course), as well as how much it will cost. Again, this is just an estimate and things may change as the work is underway.
The window installation company may run into some issues with, for example, your window frames, or there might some additional damage that will need to be repaired first. These things will affect your final costs. However, the written estimate is essentially a contract that states that the work will get done.
8) Make Sure That They Don’t Require Full Payment Up Front
If the window siding contractors require full payment up front, then steer clear of them. The best companies will request a deposit of some sort, such as one-third of the cost, and then break the rest down into payments with the final amount due once they complete the project.
Any company that wants the total upfront or who asks for cash instead of a check should be avoided. You may never see your money again and the work may not get done.