Have you ever wondered why your electricity bill is so high each month? No matter how much you conserve your energy usage, your bills still seem to be high.
Unfortunately, your windows play a significant role in energy costs. They are responsible for up to 25% of residential heating and cooling usage.
So if you have windows that aren’t insulated very well, your HVAC system will work twice as hard to maintain the optimal temperature. That’s why you’ll need to replace your windows.
It can be challenging to find a suitable window replacement company for your needs. However, we’ll break down various tips to help you select a contractor that will assist with window upgrade options. Read on to learn more.
Know Your Window Replacement Needs
Before you select a window replacement company, it’s essential to know your window replacement needs. It will ensure that your project is focused and won’t involve other unnecessary additions.
For example, let’s say a storm damaged your windows and shattered the glass. You’ll need to have them fixed immediately to restore safety and privacy. Also, with updated windows, you could increase your home’s property value.
However, not all window damage is distinguishable. So if it goes undetected, it could lead to structural or foundational damage.
Ensure you triple-check your windows to document any damage that you can see. It’ll be easier to find contractors who can provide the specific services you need with this information in hand.
Ask For Referrals
When most homeowners want to tackle their first home improvement project, they’ll start by gathering referrals. Commons places to collect information include:
- Asking relatives and friends
- Talking to neighbors
- Contacting your local Better Business Bureau
Don’t be afraid to ask people if you can come by and see the work done on their house. If they’re proud of the job, chances are they will allow you to see it.
Vet Your Prospects
Vetting is an integral part of selecting a window replacement company. It allows you to compare their work and other aspects of their business. Here are some factors that you should consider as you’re vetting these companies:
- Company website
- Customer reviews
Finding an affordable contractor is half the battle. You don’t want to fall into the trap of low prices. Cheaper doesn’t always mean better. So to ensure the company is legit, check out their company website.
Does it have a professional look and feel to it? If so, they may be a candidate to look into. However, before making any decisions, check out customer reviews.
They will provide important details about a company’s customer service. Each person’s experience will be different. However, if you see multiple bad reviews, it would be best to stay away from that company.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Window damage can happen at any time, especially if your home has older windows. However, you don’t want to wait until your windows get damaged to replace them.
If you have windows that are older than 20 years old, it’s time to replace them. Talking to local contractors beforehand allows you to gather knowledge about your current windows and updated models to enhance your home.
It’s better to look at replacing your windows now instead of trying to fix them when there’s an emergency.
Look Out For Dishonest Contractors
As with most home improvement projects, home window replacement can be full of dishonest professionals looking to make quick money. For example, if you’re in an area prone to storms, you’ll likely run into door-to-door contractors.
To avoid scams like these, you can check the physical address of these businesses or validate their licensing. Here are some other signs you should look out for in dishonest contractors:
- Businesses that request full upfront payment or a large cash deposit
- Companies that pressure you to sign a contract
- Outliers in your quotes
If you want to ensure you don’t get scammed, talk to locally trusted contractors. Their reliability and reputation will separate them from dishonest companies.
Ask About Hidden Fees
Replacing windows is a worthwhile but costly project. Budgeting will be integral as you decide on window upgrades. However, there are also some hidden costs that you should be aware of. They are:
- Old window disposal
- Framing changes
- Window delivery
- Lead paint test
Each of these fees may or may not be in your contract. So you’ll need to talk to your contractor about if they have included these costs. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Old Window Disposal
Before your home window replacement, you’ll need to discuss how you want to dispose of your old windows. Some window replacement companies will clean up and discard the windows for you free of charge.
However, others may not. Ensure you discuss disposal details with your contractor. It could be an additional $40 – $50 that you’ll need to add to your budget.
When you get new windows, they usually fit into the existing frame with no problems. However, some situations will require your frame to be rebuilt to accommodate the new windows, involving additional pricey costs.
Your frame will need to get rebuilt in these situations:
- If it is uneven
- The wood is rotting
- There’s a fire code
Rebuilding your window frames can cost up to half of what you’ll pay to replace your windows. So if you want to avoid this additional fee, provide your windows with essential maintenance.
A window delivery fee might be applicable depending on where you purchased them. There would be no delivery fee if you bought the windows from a home improvement store and brought them home yourself.
But if you brought them from a window manufacturer, you’ll have to pay a fee. Depending on your location, you could pay between $50 – $400. Talk to your contractor to see if they will cover the costs.
Permits are necessary for any window replacement project. Since the projects involve enlarging the window and editing the wall’s structure, there can be safety repercussions.
You’ll need to submit a building permit application to your local governing body. In some instances, you may have to apply for the permit yourself. But some contractors will take on the task for you.
Lead Paint Test
If you live in a home built before 1978, your walls are covered in lead-based paint. If the paint is undisturbed, it doesn’t pose any health risks.
However, once home renovations begin, they can create toxic lead dust, making room for lead poisoning. Windows have high lead exposure points since they’re exposed to various elements.
So your contractor will need to do a led paint test. They usually cost between $200 – $400. Talk to your contractor to see how much the paint test will affect your window replacement costs.
Evaluate the Quotes
As mentioned above, the cheapest contractor doesn’t mean they are the best ones for the job. So as you reach out to local contractors and receive their quotes, evaluate the information given to you.
If there is a detailed description of the window replacement process, that’s a company you should take seriously. Also, ensure there is a timeframe for the procedure.
You don’t want to work with someone who is leaving the answer open-ended. Knowing when the installation will get completed will add to your peace of mind and enable you to narrow down your choices.
Meet With Your Favorites
After narrowing down your list of window replacement companies, it’s time to contact your favorites. You’ve set out a budget, visited multiple websites, and evaluated quotes from various companies.
But now, it’s time to meet with your favorites to review specific details about your project. When you meet with the candidates, be sure to ask:
- To see proof of insurance
- About warranty details
- What the fixed price will be
Although you know these companies are legit, meeting with a contractor in person still bodes well. You’re forming a relationship, so you want to ensure you’re working with a cordial company.
Find a Window Replacement Company With These Tips
Finding a window replacement company can be challenging, especially when it’s your first home renovation project. However, follow our suggestions above to narrow down your choices quickly.
Gather the necessary information about your home’s window needs and the local contractors in the area. Once you do, narrow down your list and choose the best contractor that fits your requirements.
Are you interested in having your windows replaced? If so, visit our blog to learn more about the window replacement process.