Like many aspects of home remodeling, window and door replacement is something you rarely think about until something happens, like a broken window pane or skyrocketing energy bills. And when it does, you will likely feel overwhelmed by the endless designs and features available. That is why it’s critical to find a knowledgeable and experienced window and door replacement company you can rely on to give you good advice.
To help in your search for a reputable window and door replacement company, we’ve compiled a list of important questions to ask the companies you find. Based on the answers you receive, you should be able to make the right decision for you and your home.
Are You Insured?
Window and door replacement companies should have comprehensive workers’ compensation and liability insurance to protect your home against accidents. You can verify this by requesting to see their certificates of insurance for both general liability and workers’ compensation. Tell the contractors you would like the insurer to send the certificates to your home before the work begins.
A contractor sometimes carries other insurance types such as life, health and auto insurance. When some contractors say they have insurance, they may be referring to any one of these, so don’t let them confuse you. Request that they give you proof of workers’ compensation and general liability specifically.
A contractor who follows proper safety procedures and carries insurance has to pay higher overhead costs, and these expenses are often the reason insured contractors have to charge a higher rate. Depending on what state you live in, the premiums for workers’ compensation can increase the costs of labor from 20% to 100%. If a contractor charges a particularly cheap rate, it may be a sign they are not insured.
Beware of uninsured contractors, as they can be common. Typical reasons for why some contractors don’t carry full insurance include:
- They do not work full-time.
- They are self-employed and don’t have employees.
- They’re just starting out in the contracting business.
- They can’t pay the premiums.
- They do not stand behind their work.
To understand the risk, imagine you just hired a company without liability insurance and one of the installers drops a large window from the second floor, damaging your deck below. If this happens, it is unlikely your homeowner’s policy will cover you, unless you happened to buy extra coverage for in-home employees.
Also, imagine a contractor without worker’s compensation has an employee working on your home who suddenly gets injured. While your homeowner’s insurance may help pay the employee’s claim, that claim may still cause your rates to increase and may make it harder for you to get insured later on.
Can You Explain How Your Product Operates?
Although many people initially assume all windows and doors are more or less the same, after doing a little research, they quickly realize windows and doors vary significantly in terms of their styles and features. Certain windows and doors can be more suitable for your house than others.
Windows and door features to consider:
- Climate control
For instance, if you get tilt-and-turn windows, cleaning the glass will be no trouble at all. Choosing casement windows will provide you with better security, thanks to their advanced locking system. Low-E and energy-efficient windows are also available, which will enhance your home’s climate control and lower your energy costs.
One specific item on your list of questions to ask a representative is whether the manufacturer has ENERGY STAR rated windows and doors. ENERGY STAR qualifications mean windows and doors provide year-round comfort and energy savings.
If you are getting vinyl windows, ask about the exterior and interior finishes. If you are looking to have your windows replaced, you’ll probably want your new windows to match your existing exterior and interior decor. Picking the appropriate finishes is critical for maintaining the harmony of the design and optimizing the window’s performance.
The installation style usually determines the type of finish, so it’s important to know what you’ll be getting. Full-frame replacements typically come with vinyl brickmoulds that serve as both an aesthetically appealing border and a weather barrier. Keeping this in mind, some companies offer to complete the full-frame installation with aluminum cladding, which costs extra. You can save money by being more informed about the details of what your project may entail.
What Fees Does Your Quote Include?
There are several cost-related questions you should ask your contractor:
- Do you charge for your estimate? You will probably have to pay several specific fees for your installation. Ask the installer if you must pay for an estimate. If so, this isn’t a deal-breaker necessarily, but it is a good thing to know up-front. Remember, at Homespire Windows and Doors, all consultations are free.
- Does the installation include exterior and interior trim? It’s also a good idea to find out whether the contractor’s installation package includes exterior and interior finishes. If not, you’ll have to find someone else to complete that job or do it yourself.
- How and by when should I pay? Thirdly, you’ll want to find out what the contractor’s terms of payment are, including the form of payment and payment deadline. While these may seem like minute details, asking now can help you avoid a stressful situation later on.
- Are there any hidden fees? Hidden fees are every homeowner’s worst nightmare when they sign a contract. Before signing anything, we recommend you inquire about any potential hidden fees and what services you’d be responsible for paying. Generally speaking, you will only have to pay hidden fees in extreme cases, usually in bow and bay window projects where the installers must replace rotted wood. For other projects, replacing rotted wood is part of the installation process and does not incur any fees. Reinstalling the shutters and blinds may also incur hidden fees, so it’s best to ask about that as well.
What Experience Do You Have?
To get an idea of the contractor’s expertise, we recommend asking the following questions:
- How many years have you been in business? You should ask about your contractor’s experience, which can influence the price. Generally speaking, if your contractor has many years of experience and glowing references, you can expect to pay a bit more. You can also do some research on your own to confirm claims your contractor makes.
- May we see some of your past projects? Request to look at some examples of past projects, and if possible, direct references from past clients. Professional window and door installation contractors should be able to readily provide photos of their past work as well as customer references. If you’re assessing a contractor based on a neighbor or friend’s referral, see if you can look at their project more closely.
- Who will be performing the installation? Also, find out who exactly from the company will be installing the windows. Some contractors have hired crews, while others work with subcontractors. Is the employee you’re speaking with just a representative, or will they be doing the installation themselves?
Also, check out online reviews, such as those on Google and Facebook, to find out what previous customers thought. If they’re a larger, established business, you should be able to find multiple, helpful reviews.
How Long Will It Take to Replace My Windows or Doors?
To get a better idea of the start-to-finish timeframe of the project, remember to ask the following:
- How long will it take to install? By knowing the timeline for your installation, you’ll be able to better accommodate your schedule. With Homespire Windows and Doors, many projects can be completed in as little as one day.
- How will inclement weather impact the timeline? Don’t forget to ask how bad weather may affect your installation.
- Will the contractor take measures to protect my home during the installation? When speaking about the timeline, make sure to ask questions regarding common concerns on the day of installation. Find out how they’ll protect your home during the installation while they work and how they’ll clean up the work area once they finish the project.
- Will I have to be present during the installation? If you have to be at home, make sure you won’t have any schedule conflicts.
If a contractor is able and willing to walk you through every step and update you on the status through the length of the project, this is a good sign. It means they’re knowledgeable and will communicate well as the project advances.
How Much Will I Save Once I Have Replacement Windows Installed?
The quality of your windows plays a significant role in your comfort, as they directly impact the efficiency of your home to retain your air conditioning in summer and heating in winter. Make sure to ask your contractor how much new windows will save you on heating and cooling costs. Once they have inspected your current windows, they can assess the current energy efficiency of your home, and provide an estimate on how much more you could save with new windows.
At Homespire Windows and Doors, we offer premium virgin vinyl windows that will not only improve your comfort, but can also decrease your energy bills by up to 35%, increase your energy efficiency by up to 54% and make your home more secure. Our windows are manufactured locally in Pennsylvania using high-quality, virgin vinyl in order to withstand the extreme Pennsylvania climate. We design our windows to fit your house specifically, and we can create windows to fit in openings of any size or shape.
To make sure you get high-quality windows that suit your style and budget, ask a Homespire Windows and Doors representative to come to your home and perform a window analysis, which is entirely free of charge. During this analysis, the representative will calculate how much money your home is wasting on energy costs and estimate how much a window replacement will cost.
Why Should I Replace My Windows?
A knowledgeable window replacement contractor can explain the different advantages and reasons your home will benefit from replacement windows. When you replace your windows, you may notice the following enhancements:
- Increased energy efficiency: Older windows may have leaks or faulty seals that cause the HVAC system in your home to work harder and less efficiently. Replacing your windows can lower your energy bills and help your heating and air systems last longer.
- Increased security: New windows can make you and your family feel safe knowing your windows can lock properly and are durable.
- Improved curb appeal: Investing in new replacement windows is a home improvement project that will pay off in the long run. They’ll enhance the curb appeal of your home so you’ll love looking at your house and can help sell your home when you put it on the market.
- Increased comfort: New replacement windows will be a beautiful addition to your home. They can transform a room and allow more natural lighting. New windows can also help with noise reduction and make your home more comfortable for you and your family.
What Would You Recommend in Terms of Window Styles?
Replacing your windows is an opportunity to enhance your home and consider new styles and looks for your windows. A window contractor can help show you different replacement windows that will complement your home’s architecture and explain the different benefits of certain window styles.
Does the Window Include a Warranty?
Your replacement contractor should have comprehensive knowledge of the manufacturer warranties for all the windows they suggest. They should be able to explain what parts of the window are covered and the warranty of their installation work.
Homespire Windows and Doors offers a true lifetime warranty that covers both our products and service for as long as you own your home.
What’s the Best Way to Replace Windows: Full Frame or Pocket Window Installation?
It’s important to ask your window contractors what type of installation method they will use for your window project. Ask whether they’ll be performing a pocket window or full-frame installation. Both methods are good if the installer uses the right tools and skills.
A pocket window installation is when your window contractor leaves the window frame intact and only removes the operating sash. A full-frame window installation is when your contractor will remove the whole window, leaving just the opening of the house. A full frame window installation will cost you a bit more as there is much more framing work, finishing work and potential exterior modifications. However, both methods require proper technique.
Allow Us to Perform Your Window or Door Replacement
If you’re a homeowner in Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia or surrounding areas and are ready to update your windows and doors, choose Homespire Windows and Doors, the top window and door replacement company in the region. Because we understand the importance of this investment, we do our best to ensure our customers are satisfied with our work.
Here are some of the features that make our windows and doors the best on the market.
1. Varied Design
At Homespire Windows and Doors, we realize every homeowner’s needs are unique, so regardless of your request, we’ll have an option for you. We maintain a partnership with a manufacturer in the area, so we can make any kind of window. Our broad selection of windows includes the following options:
- Double-hung windows: This classic window contains two panes that offer vertical adjustment.
- Casement windows: These consist of a single-pane window that has hinges on one side.
- Sliding windows: These windows feature easily sliding panes and horizontal adjustment.
- Awning and hopper windows: These windows feature a hinge on the top and are typically in basements.
- Bay windows: Bay windows are a window space that projects outward from the walls, forming a bow-shaped appearance. They consist of three panes of glass, with the two panes on the sides angled.
- Bow windows: Bow windows are similar to bay windows, but have at least four panes.
- Fiberglass Doors: Made to last and available in wood-grain styles.
- Aluminum Storm Doors: Perfect for ventilation and protection of your exterior doors.
2. Quality Materials
Our windows and doors feature premium materials sourced in the United States. All of our products provide unrivaled security and efficiency.
3. Quality Construction
In addition to high-quality materials, we also use high construction standards. We are partnered with a nearby manufacturing company to maintain the integrity of every component during the manufacturing process. We pay attention to every detail and do not cut any corners — including our use of fusion welding on the frames to keep weak seams from opening up.
4. Quality Installation
One thing that sets us apart from many other contractors in our industry is that we don’t hire subcontractors to perform your installation. We have a team of installation professionals that we have trained to meet our high standards of service. This allows us to offer the only true lifetime warranty on both materials AND labor.
5. Energy Savings
Nothing decreases the energy efficiency of a home like windows with poor insulation. Homespire’s windows, which feature a glass system with 12 layers and window spacer technology, can save homeowners as much as 35% on their energy bills.
High-quality windows and doors provide an enormous advantage when it comes to preventing intrusions, and feature cutting-edge security technology to help. Security features include our 12-layer tempered glass and invisible security bars. The construction of our windows, which uses 12-point fusion welding and foam-enhanced casing, also boosts the strength of the window and makes it much more challenging for someone on the outside to pry it open.