Deciding to replace the windows in your home can be a daunting task. What type of windows do I get? What’s a reasonable price for installing new windows? Who can I trust to do a great job? At Window Guardians, we don’t just replace windows; we build relationships. We’re passionate about our work and strive to provide the best service for our clients.
Below are the top ten mistakes homeowners make when purchasing windows.
- Hiring a Contractor and not a Window Professional
Contractors have earned quite a nasty reputation over years of poor service, misconduct, and rip-off prices. While a lot of companies enlist subcontractors while promising to keep your house clean, include background checks, and provide a fair price, it’s still hard to find companies with truly experienced professionals. When it comes to specialty construction like window installation and replacement, general contractors are vastly inexperienced compared to a window professional that focuses primarily on just that. I mean, would you rather employ a mechanic who only works on cars or a mechanic who spends half the work week as a pet groomer?
- Product is important, but windows installers are more important
Today, almost every window includes a warranty which covers your windows in the event of any manufacturing issues or defects. Unfortunately, these manufacturers warranties mean nothing if the window is incorrectly installed (and there are many ways in which a window could be incorrectly installed). Most importantly, a lot of installation companies will allow a salesperson to sell high-end windows without the proper resources to install them. You cannot overstate the fact that window replacement is serious specialty construction, because it is often misconceived that replacing windows is somehow easier than new construction when, in fact, it’s the opposite—window replacement requires responding to underlying issues caused by the old windows, while new construction doesn’t have that same ‘element of surprise’. That said, knowing how to respond to the problems beneath your old windows is a skill that only experience can teach. For these reasons and more, an experienced window professional is the only person that should be hired to replace windows.
- Not Understanding Warranties
Currently, most window manufacturers offer a warranty that will cover any defects in your window and most of these warranties are for a lifetime. It is hugely important to know that this DOES NOT cover the installation of your windows. Now, only professional installers will offer an installation warranty (Window Guardians does, of course), but it’s even more important that you know that. To explain (because everyone offers a warranty) warranties are basically standard. Since warranties are standard, there’s no reason to let a salesperson convince you that it’s a reason to choose their business over another. At the end of the day, only the best installer is what matters, because warranties will be null and void by the time homeowners need to respond to window problems caused by spotty work.
- Getting Wood Windows
There are many different window styles out there, but what style is right for your home? There is also a misconception that if windows are made of wood, they are superior to windows made of other materials; like vinyl or composite. The truth is that wood windows have both benefits and flaws when compared to windows made with other materials. For example, wood windows are recommended to increase the value of your home because of their traditional look; however, today’s vinyl and composite windows are much sleeker in their design. More than that, vinyl windows can perform better than wood windows at a lower cost than popular wood brands like Andersen and Pella. That said, spending more on wood may not pay off as much as one may expect, so make sure to talk with your real estate agent before making that decision.
- Spending too little Money
We often hear that clients are overwhelmed when shopping for windows because there is such a wide range of price points. For instance, there are large window companies that will charge astronomical amounts for top-grade, premium windows, and there are large retailers like Home Depot or Loews that will charge the smallest price for low-grade, dangerous windows. Although it’s possible to overpay for windows, it’s much worse to underpay for windows because replacing windows is considered a specialty construction job that requires proper materials and experience. Understanding what you want from your windows, and finding a company to trust is vastly more important than saving a few dollars. The best advice is to treat replacement windows as an investment because (if done correctly) your new windows will be in your home for decades.
- Getting a National Company, not local
While it is dangerous to hire a department store to install windows because they use general contractors and stock windows, you should also be weary of hiring national window companies because they’ll often do the same. Sometimes, large window companies that control both the manufacturing and installation spend more time marketing and hiring sales sharks instead of providing true window knowledge and creating superior products. By choosing a local company that focuses on installation and recommendation, you can be more confident in the price and quality of your windows. In other words, using a local company gives you a choose of several manufacturers so you can compare options, instead of just deciding which features you can afford.
- Hiring a company with no reviews or bad reviews
If you spend any time working for a window installation company, window manufacturing company or any company at all, then you surely understand how important reviews are to maintain a successful business. In fact, the Window Guardians family began offering discounts and cash rewards for clients that give us feedback. The reason that reviews are so important is because they generate internet traffic that helps local people find our business. In other words, good reviews are worth their weight in gold. A company that doesn’t post their reviews or doesn’t care that their reviews are bad is also a company that doesn’t care about their clients, doesn’t care about the quality of their work, and clearly doesn’t care about customer service.
- Not getting foam or e-coat
Energy-efficiency is a term thrown around a lot when it comes to windows. Most commonly, you’ll hear that energy-efficient windows will lower your heating and cooling bills. This is true. Energy-efficient features like foam filled window frames and e-coated glass will significantly impact your heating and cooling bills; however, these add-on features do a lot more than just save on energy. For example, energy-efficient window features will help to prevent weather damage to your windows and the surrounding construction. By sealing your home better, you’re also better securing your window investment. The tougher your window, the longer it will last, so it’s adding energy-efficient features like foam and e-coat is highly recommended.
- Not asking for financing
Once again, replacement windows are an investment—they are part of your home and meant to last decades. When you choose cheaper window options, it is not the same thing as choosing to opt out of a stereo system upgrade when you buy a car; instead, when you choose cheaper window options, you sacrifice attributes that will save you money in the long-run. Because window companies understand how important it is to spend a small amount more to save a lot more in the future, e.g., on energy-efficiency, maintenance, and sooner replacement, most companies offer financing for window projects. Always ask about financing to learn about options to make your buying decision easier because price shouldn’t get in the way the right investment for you may be.
- Not getting educated before a window showing
The most important mistake to avoid while purchasing replacement windows is not educating yourself about windows. By misunderstanding the window business, you’re vulnerable to making a bad purchase. Now that you’ve read through these common mistakes, you should have a much better understanding of how to avoid spending too much, spending too little, hiring the wrong person or choosing the wrong company. Always remember that your options are vast, but the installer is the most important characteristic to judge a window company. Even if the amount of options seems overwhelming, by the time you place an order for windows, you should be ABSOLUTELY confident that you’ve made a good decision, the right decision.
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