This is a guest article written by Kevin Boone of Best Door & Window. He and Jeff McGowan formed Best Door & Window in 1994. They had both worked for a local door and window installation company for 5 ½ years, prior to opening our business, for what they hoped would be a benefit to Logan and surrounding counties homeowners. Twenty two years later, they still strive daily to give their friends, relatives and neighbors the best possible service, installation and products available for the money! They tell people every day that if you are happy, tell everyone, and if ever unhappy, please call Kevin Boone! They aim to make EVERYONE happy!
When looking for a company to install replacement windows and doors, I would recommend asking the following questions:
- How long has the manufacturer been in business?
- How long has the installation company been in business?
- What is the warranty? Is the warranty transferrable?
- Have friends and neighbors had work done by the installation company, and what were their results and opinions now?
For me, a track record of satisfied customers means quite a bit. If a friend or neighbor has had, not only the installation, but a need for warranty service, how was it resolved? Over the years I have seen manufacturers with a well-known name NOT honor warranty claims because the installation company changed names, sold out, or even filed for bankruptcy protection and the manufacturer then refuses a claim for what should be a warranty problem. Quite often customers find they may save a couple dollars per window when installed and then the out of town installer refuses to come back, or charges a fee high enough that the consumer just gives up. I hate to hear things like that because it tarnishes the business for the rest of us that try to take care of our customers day in and day out!
We hear a lot today about buying locally and I am a firm believer! I find that home town or home county area people seem to care more about reputation. Because it is the LIFE of our current and future business success. Our area is not so big that word of a poor reputation really gets around fast. And most legitimate businesses welcome that kind of scrutiny. It can make or break a local business! We have to earn our reputations daily!
Your insurance agent can explain this better than I, but also make sure the window and door installers are covered by Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Quite often a sole proprietor or handy-man or subcontractor is NOT covered by this important insurance, and you, as the employer, become liable in case of injury. Worker’s Compensation Insurance is expensive! No employer likes to write those premium payments, it’s an expense that has to be added to the cost of every window and door. But, the end result to the homeowner is well worth the small cost per product, as it protects our customers from this type of liability. Do NOT hesitate to ask for a copy of your contractor’s Worker’s Compensation Insurance certificate. It is renewed every six months.
Another must for homeowners is to be sure the installer carries liability insurance to cover any damage to the home. In 22 years we have had to replace a toilet and a piece of ceramic tile because of a dropped hammer! Accidents happen. Not often, but be sure YOU are protected!
Another common misconception many hold true, is that the bigger the store, the better the price. While many items on the store shelf may be a great price, very often, custom sized windows and doors are actually less expensive from a specialty dealer. That small hometown dealer may actually sell 10 times more custom windows and doors than the big store and the supplier rewards the larger volume sales with better up front pricing!
Better pricing up front should equal a better installed price in your home!
A Better Business rating would be something to also consider, as the business history has been reviewed by an impartial board, to then decide upon and rate that particular business or service company.
Be very cautious about signing any contract that has to be decided upon that night. Ask yourself: why would or should the price goes up $100 or $200 per window the next day or two? Don’t be pressured into making a decision that you only want to make once? The quality and efficiency of replacement products SHOULD last the life of the home under normal circumstances.
Now, if you drive the car through the garage door, you MAY have to replace that again!
Many customers feel better with a couple of estimates. That is GREAT! But to try to compare eight or ten different products and installations would probably only confuse even the best comparative shopper.
Energy efficient, maintenance-free, beautiful windows and doors are available today that can really improve the cost to operate your home. They may not have even been available when the home was built or remodeled last. You may as well save money on heating and cooling costs while you improve the look of your castle and require little or no annual maintenance. Most manufacturers claim a 25-35% savings in energy consumption per year, with Energy Star rated products, if you replace the whole house of windows and doors. I have had customers call back and say they saved MORE! That is always nice for the customer and me!
I have only touched the surface on high points to be aware of in your decision making. I have not addressed the various window and door choices as to type of products and so forth. We, as most companies today, offer no charge estimates and are always willing to see what may work best for your individual situation. Sometimes we may have a brilliant idea you may not have even thought about! Experience is valuable!
We hope we have given at least some information helpful in making the best decision for your home and wallet! Thank you for taking the time to read this!