Choosing the right window installer for your replacement window project is just as important as picking the right replacement window. Even the best window on the market will only perform well if it is installed properly. Think of it this way: A Stradivarius violin is widely considered one of the best violins on the market. A Stradivarius in the hands of a master violinist creates the sweetest of sounds and is a pleasure to the ears. However, we all know what a violin sounds like when someone who doesn’t know how to play it properly attempts to make music. It is usually somewhere between cat screech and dying hippo. The same is true for a window installer: A good one can make your window replacement project seem like “sweet music” and a bad one can be just plain painful. While it is sometimes difficult to know if you are getting the right window installer for your project, a little research and being prepared can prevent you from choosing the worst.
How to find an installer
When it comes to finding a replacement window for your project there is no shortage of information available regarding windows available on the market. When it comes time to find a window installer it is not so easy. Finding a window installer for your project requires a little more leg work on your part, it is not a one step process. However, if you take the time to do your research, you will increase your chances of hiring a quality contractor. These four approaches are good starting points to get company names to start the process: 1. Referral 2. Yellow Pages 3. Internet – Company Website etc. 4. Better Business Bureau
The express Route – Get a Referral
One of the best ways to find a window installer is from a referral. A referral is helpful because you actually have another consumer that has been through the experience and lived to tell about it. Unfortunately not everyone you know is replacing their windows so it can be difficult to find a friend to provide you with a lead. Regardless, if you don’t ask around you will never know. Talk to friends at work, friends at church, tell your friends if they hear of friends who have had their windows replaced to let you know. If you get a positive referral from someone else your work has just begun. Keep in mind, just because they liked the the window installer does not mean you are done with your work, it just means you have an installer that is ahead of the others in your search.
Most contractors still rely on the yellow pages to get their name out. Some will invest in a large ad, others will simply list their name and number in the window replacement section. In the past you would open the Yellow Pages up and start calling contractors to ask questions and schedule estimates. However, at this point you are not concerned with how they present themselves in the yellow pages, you are looking for a list of names to start researching. Get a list of five or six companies you would like to research and begin the next step.
Web research – Company Website and more
In today’s world, the web is the place to go to really get a feel for a company before getting in contact with them. The first item on your check list is to see if the window installation company has a website. If they do, take the time to review their site. Is it a well developed, professional site that provides you with information about the company, or just the bare bones information about the contractor? Remember, a flashy website does not guarantee a good window installer, but it does mean that the contractor takes their business seriously and they have invested time and effort into their website.
Better Business Bureau
You can also look up a company through the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any outstanding issues that the BBB is involved with. A search in the BBB database will give you the names of accredited BBB companies to choose from. These contractors have made the extra effort to become a qualified accredited BBB company and will work hard to keep their qualifications.
Qualifying the Installer
Once you have a set of window installers to choose from it is time to start researching them and finding out more about the company. Again, treat this step of the process just like you would if you were interviewing someone for a job with your company. You should contact the list of contractors with a set of questions that cover the basic points about a window replacement project.
Narrowing the field – In House Appointment
From your initial list of five or six companies that you contacted for information above you should qualify two or three for an in home appointment. Coordinate an in-home appointment with the three companies that you are most comfortable with after your phone conversation. Allow at least one hour of time for each appointment and as a courtesy to the companies, don’t schedule them back to back.