One of the smartest home improvement projects to tackle is to replace your current windows with newer, more energy-efficient units. Windows that are manufactured today offer more comprehensive benefits in terms of design, style and energy efficiency than those made a few decades ago. And if your existing units are beginning to show signs of deterioration, make sure you hire only a professional to help.
How your window replacement project turns out depends largely on the contractor you hire. This is the reason you need to be careful about your choice of installer. There are plenty of window replacement contractors out there ready to lend a hand for your upgrade, but not all of them will be able to meet your needs and help you achieve your goals for the project. In other words, the selection process will likely require some work, but you can be confident it will be worth the effort.
Why It’s Better to Hire a Window Expert Than Attempt to DIY
As the home improvement industry continues to evolve, a lot of homeowners are leaning towards do-it-yourself projects, and you can’t blame them. With the plethora of available DIY guides and online resources these days, it’s certainly possible to complete a project on your own. Nonetheless, there’s a reason some companies specialize in specific fields like window replacement.
When replacing old windows in your home, a professional contractor, such as Renewal by Andersen® of Houston, takes care of everything. Naturally, you’ll want to prepare your home for the job ahead to ensure a smooth process. Your contractor will start with taking custom measurements to make sure the windows you are provided with will perfectly fit your home’s existing wall openings. You should also expect some proactive communication, with the aim of ensuring all of your wants and needs are addressed. Do your own window replacement, however, and you’ll have no control over these things! What if the replacement units you purchased are damaged or if you damaged them yourself while installing them? Your dream project could end up becoming a disaster.
The truth is, working with a professional saves you a lot of stress. As fully licensed and insured window contractor, for example, Renewal by Andersen of Houston offers a number of advantages, including:
- Providing Extensive Warranties. If you install your new windows on your own, you probably won’t enjoy the benefits of product warranties. This is because manufacturers typically require professional installation to make warranties valid. Renewal by Andersen, for instance, offers a 20-year fully transferable warranty for glass and Fibrex® frames, a 2-year fully transferable warranty on installation, and 10-year fully transferable warranty for hardware and other non-glass parts. Opt to do your own installation, and you’ll get none of those.
- Guaranteeing Quality and Performance. Professional contractors go through rigorous training sessions to obtain certifications. For this reason, they are able to ensure top-notch installation every time, letting you rest easy knowing you’ll experience the full benefits you signed up for in your window brand.
- Ensuring Efficiency and Reliability. Hiring an expert saves you time, money and effort. All you need to do is to set up an appointment with the company and meet with them to discuss your project, and you’re good to go. You just have to wait for them to arrive at your property and install your new windows. No mistakes and no delays to set back your window replacement project.
What to Look for in a Professional Window Installer
When it comes time to install new windows in your home, it can’t be stressed enough how important hiring a professional installer is. Hiring a window expert is similar to hiring other specialists in the construction industry: you need to do a good amount of research to determine to whom you can entrust your home.
Once you’ve found several candidates for your project, it’s time to dig deeper. To find the best window installer for you, keep in mind these essentials:
The Necessary Credentials
When getting any sort of improvement work done on your house, you have to make sure the contractor you work with has the right credentials. There are so many things that could go wrong in a window replacement project. That’s why it’s always best to have a bit of a safety net, and the right credentials can provide that. Your window contractor should be:
- Licensed, making them eligible to perform this kind of work in your area. It also ensures that your windows are installed to safety standards. Licenses can range from simple registration to a more complex qualification process. Furthermore, the licensing requirements in one region might differ from those in the rest of the state. It’s important to check with your local building department to learn about licensing requirements in your area. Ask your contractor for a copy of their license, and make sure it’s current before signing anything.
- Bonded and Insured, offering both workers’ compensation and liability coverage. This will protect you in the event of worker injuries or property damage arising during a replacement. Before hiring, ask for copies of their insurance certificates, and make sure they are up-to-date. While you have the final say on who to hire, it’s smart to avoid doing business with installers who don’t carry appropriate insurance. Otherwise, you might be held liable for any accident and damage that occur mid-project.
- Certified, giving you access to high-quality replacement windows and the warranties included with them. Contractors undergo continuous, stringent training with the product manufacturer to make sure they stay-up-to-date with the latest techniques and practices in window installation. Getting a certification from the manufacturer also means they are among your best choices when it comes to installing windows from that brand.
List of References
To get an honest opinion on a window replacement contractor, you should check reviews from previous clients. Start by checking with family members and friends who may have hired them in the past. It’s always best to start checking with the people closest to you, but if none of them have experience with your potential installer, you can always ask your contractor for a list of references.
This allows you to interview previous clients and ask about the contractor’s quality of work. Regardless, if you contact them by phone or visit them personally, you can gain a first-hand insight on the type of work your contractor is capable of.
Exceptional Window Products
Keep quality in mind when choosing replacements. You should also consider:
- Framing material – Make sure your choice of contractor uses a durable, maintenance-free framing material for their replacement windows. One prime example of this are composites, such as Renewal by Andersen’s very own Fibrex. Made up of reclaimed wood fibers and PVC polymer, Fibrex combines the strength and insulative properties of wood with the low-maintenance features of vinyl. It also has a low thermal expansion and contraction rate, so you wouldn’t have to worry about warping, especially when exposed to extreme temperatures. Due to its innate durability, Fibrex can be made in virtually any size and thickness, even if you’re aiming for floor-to-ceiling windows with thin frames.
- Glass – Energy efficiency is among the most important features homeowners are looking for today. To maximize your window upgrade, it’s only fitting to install windows that can help you gain significant energy savings in the long run. For improved energy efficiency and performance, be sure to look for modified low-emissivity glass on your new windows for improved energy efficiency and performance. Check out this article from House Method to learn more about the amazing benefits of low-E glass for your windows and home.
- Style – Today’s homeowners are fortunate to be able to choose from a large, impressive selection of window styles. This means regardless if your home is Colonial, Victorian, Mediterranean or Contemporary, you can find windows that will suit your property’s architectural design and your preferences. From the traditional double hung and casement windows to the modern picture and sliding windows, there’s a style that will surely complement your personal taste. To help you choose the best replacement window for your needs, here’s a style guide made by Richard Taylor for Zillow.
Finding a contractor that offers the best selection for the frame, glass and style should be a priority. These factors play a key role in your upgrade, and therefore, should never be ignored when deciding which contractor to hire for your upgrade.
A Smooth Window Replacement Process
Your window contractor should have a set work process covering all bases of a replacement project, from helping you prepare your home and assisting you in customizing your new windows to installing your replacement units and post-installation cleanup.
Make sure the replacement windows offered by your contractor come with solid warranties covering material, glass and accessories. The longer the warranty period and the more extensive the coverage, the better.
A promise and a firm handshake aren’t enough. Every window replacement should come with a contract detailing the essentials involved, such as the scope of the project, a payment schedule and change orders.
While it might be tempting to improve your home using your own two hands, there are some projects that are better left to the experts. Window replacement is one of them. Having your windows replaced is one of the largest investments you can do for your home, so it’s fitting for you to want to get the most out of it. You can never go wrong when you entrust your project to the right team and to the right people.