Choosing a Window Installer

What to expect when talking to vinyl window installation companies.

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This is the most important step. If you don't know someone with 100% positive feedback about their window installer, send me an e-mail and I can refer you to mine.

 

Choosing an installer

Most window installers prefer to work with a particular brand of vinyl window and window hardware, and they will install those windows in the way that they prefer. For example, some of the companies interviewed worked exclusively with Anderson Windows. Others swore by Milguard Windows. Still others put their reputation on Simonton Windows, or others.

 

Being a consumer, and not in that business, there's now way for me to know if one window is really any better than the other, or if there is a financial incentive, or what the reason any particular window installer will use only one manufacturer. Each window installer will insist that his manufacturers windows and hardware are the best.

 

So far as which manufacturer any installer uses, the most important thing is the reputation of the installer. If the window installation company has been around for a good long time, if they stand by their installation and product warranty, if they are responsive to problems after the installation, then which manufacturers product they use is secondary.

 

Obviously there's no way to know if a window installation company is responsive to problems 1 year, 2 years, 10 years down the line, that's where word of mouth referrals come in. Any legitimate window installation company relies heavily on word of mouth advertising.

 

Check that warranty

Warranty is obviously something to be considered. Not just that, but who actually warrantees the product? Manufacturers all offer X number of years warranty against problems in their product. And all installation companies will offer a warranty on their installation work. But who do you call if you see condensation inside your double pane windows after 5 years into a 10 year warranty?

 

This is something you will want to consider. An honest sales rep will tell you, that the warranty is with the manufacturer. But in the event of a problem, a good installer will stand by their manufacturer and try to handle everything so that you don't need to jump the hoops a manufacturer would require you to jump through. Again, this is where the installer relies on word of mouth advertising - keeping happy customers happy, and making new customers.

 

Window options

Next thing to consider are the options that most window installers will offer. Double pane windows help insulate your home by slowing the transfer of heat or cold from the outside to the inside. The gap between the panes acts as an insulator. The lowest cost options are windows with plain old air in between the panes.

 

Plain old air in between the panes works well, but double pane windows can work even better. Gasses such as Argon can be manufactured into the windows, between the panes, replacing the plain old air. Argon conducts heat much more slowly than plain old air, so this option insulates the home better. Obviously there is additional cost involved, and that is something you will have to factor into you cost / benefit / budget considerations.

 

Tinting too is an option. Tinting, not in the sense of automotive window tinting, but more scientific formulas that reflect much of the solar radiation that heats the home in the summer. These tinting options do very little to reduce the visible light coming into your home, or darken your view of the local scenery, but they do an extraordinary job of blocking the heat causing solar light from entering the home.

 

Privacy tinting

In addition to the insulating properties of the tinting, they offer greater privacy, since it is much harder for anyone to see inside a home having the low-e tinting. Not only do low-e tinted windows offer better insulation and better privacy, but the insulating options can qualify for rebates from your energy provider, and tax breaks from local and federal governments - that aint bad.

 

Unlike the previous issues concerning which manufacturer a window installer might prefer, or which installation option they use, these options are available from all installers, and probably are not a consideration when choosing a particular installer. Only the additional cost of these options quoted by any window installer should be of any consideration.

 

One last consideration - don't interview window installers with the intent of finding the lowest cost bid. Any scheister can come along and offer an unbelievable price. We've all heard horror stories of contractors that take the money and don't do the job. Or they rush the job to meet the buds at the bar to watch the game.

 

What, no referral?

If you haven't got a referral for a friend or family, then consider this technique - toss out the high bid, toss out the low bid, make a choice between the remaining bids. This medium is where you should find a majority of bids, and you can feel safe that you're not over paying, and you're not under paying a - too good to be true - scheister.

 

A few last things - Don't forget to ask for a deadbolt lock for all sliding glass doors. They add only a few dollars to cost, extra security for when you're away, and your window installer will install this piece of window hardware for you - handyman or not, you've got better projects to do around the house, so don't forget to specify all sliding glass doors are to be deadbolted.

 

Choosing a window installer - conclusion:

Above all, be comfortable with your window installation company. Evaluate your conversation with the sales rep. Does he or she let you finish a question before giving and anticipated answer? Is there any language barrier with this person that could result in misinterpretation? Do they seem honest or more of a smooth operator? Do some research with your local commerce departments, and trust any referring sources.

 

If you've asked friends and family for a referral, give a strong preference to that company. Forget about finding the lowest bid - you get what you pay for. Don't pay to get yourself gypped! They'll only laugh at you instead of sympathizing with you.

 

Don't worry too much about the manufacturer, worry more about the warranty length, and who services the warranty Whether you go with Anderson Windows, Milguard Windows, or Simonton Windows, if your window installer is in business for the long haul, you'll do just fine with either manufacturer.

 

 

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If you are located in service area of northern california - san jose - santa clara county - sonoma county - san francisco - oakland - sacramento etc, and would like a referral, send me an email and you'll get contact information, nothing more - I solemnly pledge NEVER to spam you or sell your email address to anyone. Double pane vinyl windows. Window installer.