When to Replace Your Windows and How to Choose a Contractor

Why should I replace my windows?

One simple answer to this question is “money”.  One of the most expensive of all household bills is the energy bill. Heating and cooling a home can be expensive, so insulation is extremely important in lowering energy costs. Drafty or ill-fitting windows are major culprits of poor insulation.

Replacement windows are environmentally friendly. Most contractors offer Energy Star rated windows, meaning they are certified as energy efficient by the EPA and the Department of Energy.

How will I know my windows need replacing?

There are many reasons your windows might need to be replaced. The first thing that might come to mind is wear. If your windows are warped, cracked, or foggy, or if the frames or sashes are buckling or rotting, you should think about replacing them. If you live in a coastal area this will happen more rapidly than in inland areas.

Are your windows drafty? This is a sure sign that they are ill-fitting and might need replacing. Sometimes the issue is the weather stripping, which could possibly be repaired, but your safest route is replacement. Drafty windows can cost 10% to 25% more on your energy bill. Energy efficient windows can greatly reduce your bill, and if you’re considering listing your home on the real estate market they are a huge selling point.

How can I tell if a company is reputable?

There are many companies that sell replacement windows. There are big box stores, online deals, and national chains. If you watch television, you’ve seen the big advertisers with their flashy claims that are mainly based on a low price point. Buyer beware; these prices are most likely the base prices. Once all the “options” are added, the price can easily double and sometimes triple. Features that the company lists as “options” are often features that a homeowner would consider to be standard or essential.

Another tactic that some large outfits employ is subcontracting. This means the company can’t always guarantee that the workers coming to your home are highly skilled or highly trained. If work needs to be redone or the job isn’t completed in one day, there is a possibility that a whole new crew could arrive to complete the work. Ideally, a job should be started and finished by the same craftsmen.

How can I find a reputable company?

Look for companies that are local or family-owned. A quick visit to a company’s website can tell you the history. It’s important to know that your job will be handled with consistency and care. You should be able to call the company’s office and know that the same knowledgeable expert who consulted with you is consistently available to answer any questions that might arise.

Speaking of consultations, be sure to use a company whose associates are willing to meet you at your home and are able to “diagnose” potential issues. This person shouldn’t be trying to sell you the most expensive windows; rather, they should consult with you to find the best windows to suit your needs.

One way to know for certain that you’ve found a good company is if the crews are trained in-house. A company that invests in its employees’ training is invested in the quality of its work. You should expect that the people who are working in your home are fully vetted and trained, and that they know and respect your expectations.

Remember. A company that cares about its reputation will care about its customers, employees, and the quality of its work.
 

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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