You’ve likely bought a home (or several) at this point in your life. No doubt you’ve got some car purchases under your belt. But windows and doors? Maybe not. And, believe it, or not there is a lot that you need to know to make a good decision. Especially considering that in all likelihood, you’re going to do this once.
And that’s why we want to give you some good information and some good questions to run by your salesperson. These apply no matter which window and door company you have come look at your home improvement project. But before we begin there’s a huge red flag that you should be aware of.
A Huge Red Flag
If you’re on the phone with any home improvement company setting up your appointment; and they ask, “Will both decision-makers be present?” Don’t just walk away, run! What that means is that they intend to use hard-sell, buy-tonight, high-pressure sales tactics. I know people who have literally had to kick reps out of their home because they just wouldn’t leave.
Buying replacement windows is, most often, a pretty big project and a big investment. At Houston Window Experts our goal is to provide you with great information and leave you to discuss it for as long as you need. The pressure sales guys will say, Oh, you need to discuss it with your spouse? Go ahead, I’ll wait.”
We don’t work that way. It’s just not fair to you. Now that ‘s out of the way, let’s get to those questions.
Top Ten Questions
10: Can I get detailed pricing?
You need to get a complete breakdown of everything that is being proposed. How much is each window? What are the specifications of each window, including the model and NFRC ratings? How much is the labor going to be? Are they replacing any trim? Will any painting be needed?
Detailed pricing protects both you and the company from misunderstanding one another. It provides you both with a clear expectation of the goods and services being provided. Once you have that detailed pricing, look over it and ask questions. Make sure that everything you are wanting is listed.
9: Can you tell me about your installers?
Are they using employees or are they using sub-contractors? Are they certified to do this work? If so, by who? The installation will absolutely make or break a window project. A great window with a bad installation is a bad window; and you want your windows properly installed.
8: How long is this going to take?
How long is it going to take for the windows to be made and shipped to the installer? How long will it take to get your project on the production schedule? Once the crew gets started, how long will it take for them to finish the job?
Believe it or not, some companies use two-person crews. If you have 30 windows to replace it could take a week or more. Do you really want that? At Houston Window Experts we strive to complete most jobs in one day. Yes, we sometimes have very large projects that can take two or even three days; but that’s because of a lack of manpower.
7: What materials do you use?
As I stated already, the installation is critical and the materials matter. If you have a $1000 window installed and it gets sealed in with $1.99 caulking that is cracked and falling apart after a few months, what good is that?
Find out what kind of caulk they are using. Do they seal the window in with foam first? What kind? What kind of screws do they use? Once you have all of this information, hold them to it. When they come out for installation verify that they are using what they said that they would.
6: Who is going to measure the windows?
Is the salesperson going to measure them, or the installer, or do they have someone who is specially trained and experienced in measuring windows and doors? What increments do they measure in; half-inch, quarter-inch, or will they go all of the way to a sixteenth of an inch?
Measurements are crucial because the window needs to fit just-right. Too tight and it could cause damage or even fail as it expands and contracts. Too loose and you end up with tons of caulk making up the difference.
5: Do you have insurance?
What kind of insurance do they have? Is it adequate? If there is an accident are you protected from liability? What if your windows leak and your flooring is ruined, is that covered? It’s easy to verify. At Houston Window Experts we will happily provide our certificate and you can call confirm yourself.
4: What do I need to do?
After your rep has told you all about what they are going to do; find out what they expect you to do. Will you need to remove curtains and blinds for the installers? Will you need to move furniture and protect you floors? What about the trash, are they hauling it off or do you need to get rid of it?
We do all of those things for you. All that you need to do is write a check and we’ll take care of the rest. Now, there are some small exceptions. If you have delicate collectibles or nostalgic pieces in the areas we will be working in; we’d much rather have you handle that.
3: What is the warranty?
How long does it last and what is covered? What about accidental breakage? What about the labor? How responsive are you? What if a window gets broken Friday night? Will you have to wait till the next Monday to speak with someone?
We have people on call around the clock. If you do have an accident that needs to be addressed we can send someone to get your window boarded-up and dried in so you don’t need to worry about it.
2: Can I get references?
You need to get references, in writing, with contact numbers or emails. Ask detailed questions about their overall experience, the cleanliness of the crew, was the promised timetable kept?
Ask if they have any addresses of jobs that they have done in your area. Houses that you can drive by and take a look at.
1: Do you have a showroom?
There is nothing quite like being able to pop into a showroom and get hands-on with the products; look at windows side by side, compare and contrast, see colors and grid options.
In addition to getting to see windows, a showroom lends some credibility to the window and door company that you are working with. It can provide you with some peace of mind by knowing that they’ll be around long after your project is finished.
Come by our showroom at 467 West 38th St in Houston Texas. We’d love to say hello and talk about your project.