How to Hire a Roofing, Siding or Windows Contractor
Putting in new windows or doors is an important investment. Making the right decision adds curb appeal and lasting value to your home, could possibly save you thousands of dollars in energy bills, and can enhance your comfort and privacy. But it’s important that you understand that all windows are not the same.
Here are a few key things we would consider before hiring a window replacement contractor.
You don’t want your windows from a big box store. First of all, the quality isn’t there. And with replacement windows, you want your contractor to order windows that are custom-built for the exact size you need. (It’s actually more cost-effective for the factory to adjust the size of the window than it is for us to adjust the size of the window opening on your home. Stock windows often require additional wall construction.)
Consider the impact your existing windows have on the beauty, value, and interior comfort of your home and what you want to achieve with replacement windows Along with that, make sure your contractor works with the style and type of windows you need.
Make sure the windows you choose are tested by the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council). They are a third-party nonprofit that certifies window and door rating and labeling.
How low is the air infiltration rating? Air seeping in around the window frame and sashes will impact the performance of your windows in a big way.
How durable are the windows and do they come with a limited lifetime, transferable warranty?
How much maintenance do you want to do on your windows? Do you prefer low or no maintenance vinyl windows or do you prefer genuine wood windows that will require scraping, painting, and/or staining to maintain their beauty?
Are the windows designed for easy cleaning? Will you need to climb up on a ladder to clean your windows, or are they cleanable from the inside?
What is the U-Factor and the solar heat gain? Energy Star ratings matter. A window that works well in Arizona won’t necessarily work well in Wisconsin.
Years ago, windows were built with single panes of clear glass. They offered a view to the outside and helped to keep the weather out, but they didn’t keep you very comfortable. Now quality windows are built with two or more layers of glass, usually with at least one Low-E coating. Low-E coatings improve energy performance and provide varying levels of clearness, reflectivity, and UV protection. High-performance spacers and sealants keep insulating gases sealed inside the unit.
The glass you select is an important choice. Glass affects the look of your home from the curb, how clear your view is from inside the house, the amount of light allowed into your home, and how comfortable you feel throughout the year. It can help you save money on heating and cooling bills and protect your belongings from fading.
Last but not least, how experienced are your installers? The best window in the world, if not installed well, will not perform as it is designed to perform.