Sponsored By American Vision Windows
Installing new windows is a big investment that can potentially pay off by boosting your home’s curb appeal, increasing its market value, and reducing energy usage and cost. Like all contracting jobs though, it’s a good idea to get several quotes for comparison. There are also some important questions you should ask your window installer before entering into a contract. Check out the list below.
1. Do you charge for an estimate?
You should know if there’s a fee for estimates before scheduling an appointment time. It’s never fun to get hit with unexpected expenses on the spot.
2. How long has the company been in business and can you have referrals?
Obviously, the longer the company has been around, the better. More years in business means more years of window installation experience and more jobs completed, and they should have the testimonials to back up their excellent service. A newer business (under three years) may still be learning about the process. If you are considering working with a new company, ask for customer referrals or addresses where you can look at finished installations. If you call several contractors or do online research, you are often working sight unseen. Therefore, it’s great to see photos of finished jobs or get addresses where you can drive by to see their work. Quality workmanship should visibly speak for itself. It shouldn’t be difficult for the company to grant this request. If they seem resistant to show you anything, you should probably work with another company.
3. Is the company licensed, credentialed, and insured?
Not all states require contractors to be licensed. However, state licensing is potentially good because the contractor may have to pass a written test in his field. Plus, many cities also require professional licensing. NOTE: This is different from carrying a business license, which allows the company to operate its business. Also, ask for any other credentials they can show you that demonstrate their professional knowledge and expertise in windows and window installations.
Furthermore, the company should carry a comprehensive liability insurance and/or workers’ compensation insurance to protect you if there is a job-related accident. You should also ask the contractor to present proof by showing you the insurance certificates directly covering general liability and workers’ compensation. Don’t just accept a verbal assurance of coverage. A reputable contractor should be happy to show you certificates and any other proof you are seeking.
4. What are the payment and warranty terms for both the windows and the installation?
It’s important to fully understand a contractor’s payment terms. Are the windows and installation paid in full up front or is a deposit required with the balance paid in full when the work is done? Is the price quoted on the estimate firm? Or, could unexpected variables increase the price? Does the company offer financing, if needed, for the windows or the entire project? Finally, what payment methods does the company accept?
Warranties on both the windows and the installation are very important, because they suggest the company intends to stand behind its product and its workmanship. Ask what the length of the warranties are for each, what are the warranty exclusions, and how the company would handle a warranty claim if one arises. If the company doesn’t offer a workmanship warranty, you should probably steer clear and hire a company that does.
5. Can the company give you several window options to choose from?
Most window companies, such as American Vision Windows, have a wide range of window options to fit many home styles and budgets. Make sure you are given options and that a contractor is also willing to give you professional recommendations so you can decide what type of windows best fit your needs and budget parameters.
6. How long will the job take from start to finish?
Home improvements of any kind can be stressful. Make sure you fully understand how long the job will take from authorization to final completion. Will the windows need to be ordered? Will you need to make any adjustments at home while the windows are being installed? Problems may arise in any contracting work. But, a company should be able to give you a solid, realistic idea of how long the job will take.
7. How are complaints/issues handled?
Of course, you want your window installation to be a smooth and problem-free process. However, it’s a good idea to understand how a company handles complaints and concerns, should they arise. Is there someone at the company that specifically handles complaints? And, how long does it take for them to respond and resolve a concern once it is reported?
If you’re looking to get new windows installed in your home, call American Vision Windows to schedule a free estimate.
By Lori Melton

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