Nearly every homeowner, at one point or another, will face the task of replacing their home’s windows. In doing so, a variety of questions and considerations will spring up, from the choice between double and triple pane windows to the prices that accompany each option. However, in making the decision of which windows will both protect and beautify your home, do not forget about the actual installation. Putting your new windows in is every bit as important as the product you selected. You wouldn’t want a stellar product but shoddy workmanship, so always do your homework on the qualified window installers in your area. Follow 5 key steps to selecting a qualified window installer.
- What’s Your Track Record? In considering any installation company and its individual workers for your project, check up on the contractor’s record. You wouldn’t want a novice clumsily hanging windows in your home, so find out how long a contractor has been with the company. An installer with at least a few years under his/her belt with the company is very likely trusted by the employer to carry out an installation without error and has learned enough to provide sound advice to you. Expert contractors are able to tell you if the windows you’re looking at will look good in your home, if the selected products are energy efficient replacement windows, and may also provide additional insight.
- Can I See Your License? We want the best of the best handling our home improvement projects, and one way to ensure this is to find out about a window installer’s license status. Just as a doctor must be licensed to practice medicine, a window contractor must also carry a license for his/her trade. Installers get professionally licensed locally and/or regionally to certify their ability to successfully carry out their jobs.Just as important as the license, each contractor should also carry insurance. Why? Because no matter how good they are at their job, mistakes do happen. Insurance makes sure that if an accident happens or hardware is broken that you, the homeowner, do not suffer. Your contractor’s insurance pays for any damages so that you don’t absorb any financial burden from the mistake. If an installer isn’t insured, say “No thank you!”
- Are You Certified? It’s one thing to know that a window installer holds a valid professional license, but what about additional qualifications? These professionals have the opportunities to enhance their expertise and reputations by earning window installation certifications from organizations like Installation Masters. Additionally and perhaps more importantly, installers can also become factory trained in installing the products of specific manufacturers, guaranteeing that their performance meets with the expectations of each brand.
- Have You Done This Before? When you hire a contractor to put your windows in, learn whether they’ve been successful with similar projects before. This means determining if the contractor has installed your brand, style or type of window previously. The question of brand is easily answered by whether your worker is factory certified. However, you need to find out more for style and type. If you want replacement basement windows or double-hung windows, for instance, you’ll need an installer with experience dealing with these window styles. Also remember that glass isn’t just glass and that your installer should have the knowledge needed to work with types such as UV or self-cleaning.
- Got Any References? Ah, the go-to method for making decisions—finding out what others have to say. Reviews are awesome for getting the truth about any product, service or professional. And you can go about it in a few different ways, too. For one, try looking up the company on review sites. This is a good way to find out how satisfied customers have been with the overall experience—customer service, installation process, professionalism, etc. If you’re lucky, sometimes a reviewer even mentions the professional who did the job by name, too, giving a thumbs-up for both company and contractor. Alternatively, ask the contractor for their own references. He/she may be able to provide contact information for previous happy customers, who will be glad to share their experience with you on your would-be worker.