At some point in life your home will require minor or major improvements. Before you start any home improvement project, it's important to find a company that has experience with the type of project you're going to do. For example, if you're going to tear out a bathtub and add a shower in its place, you wouldn't hire an electrical contractor to do the job, you'd want a professional plumbing contractor that has experience with this specific type of work, right?
The same concept applies to replacing the windows in your home, you're going to want to find the best local company with the skills, experience, and products to do the job right. Not every window manufacturer or a dealer has resources and experience to install your new replacement windows. It may seem as if there are any number of companies out there that can get the job done, and you'd probably be right, but finding a company you can trust through every step in the process and afterwards should be a factor.
It's important to compare several companies as related to cost, but that's not all. There are specific questions to ask and actions to take before signing the agreement with your ideal candidate. Here are some key elements you're going to want to look for when choosing your best Vancouver window replacement company for your project:
How Much Will It Cost?
You likely have a budget number in mind before you start to get price quotes, and it's human nature to want to pay the least amount while still getting a quality product and workmanship. Be cautious about window companies offering bargain prices. Are there hidden costs or are you going to get an inferior product? What's the expected lifespan of the windows? Are there any maintenance costs? Special discounts for winter installations or special incentives like buy one/get one half off could help you save without sacrificing anything.
Familiar with Local Requirements
While it may be tempting to choose a big-name company to do the work, bigger isn't always better. Choosing a Vancouver based window replacement company will ensure that product selections will meet the special climate needs of the region. In addition, the company should be familiar with local regulations and building codes plus be certified to do the work. Reputable companies should also be aware of any rebates being offered by the municipality to help save you money.
The three most common window materials are wood, vinyl and fibreglass. Each has different quality levels within a series to meet various price points. Make sure your comparison includes an evaluation of the specifications. Are the interior and exterior finishes the same? Are trim packages included for a finished aesthetic? What's the mil thickness? Does the company offer a replacement window that will fit into your current openings or will a lot of extra work be required to finish the job?
Energy-efficient Glass Options
If you've got leaky windows, you know that a drafty house is both uncomfortable and costly. To save money on utilities, look for Vancouver companies that offer green renovation -compliant Energy Star certification and energy-efficient LowE coatings. Winnipeg’s extreme-temperatures may warrant triple pane glass but Vancouver’s winters bring more rain rather than snow that’s why double pane glass filled with Argon or Krypton gas will offer maximum efficiency. While these options may add to the initial cost, the lifetime savings and return on investment if you sell your home will offset the extra expenditure.
Styles and Custom Window Options
The competitive window replacement companies offer a large selection of window styles to meet your needs. It's important to compare window types —casement, hung, slider, custom shapes, paint and stain colours, hardware, grilles, blinds between glass, and trim. Need a narrow profile window to make a small space feel bigger? How about a double-hung window that opens in for easier cleaning? The window company that best meets your specific needs should have the highest consideration.
There are two types of replacement window installations—retrofit and full-frame replacement. Retrofit is the less expensive method that is generally used to maintain the current look of the house where windows are inserted into existing frames. Full-frame installations are more costly but are best suited to rotting or damaged frames. The complete existing frame is torn out, cleaned up, and all new materials (frame, brickmoulds, jamb extensions, and casings) are installed. This method adds approximately 15 to 20-percent to the overall cost but will save another replacement when untreated moisture rots out the existing structure and new windows. Ask for an on-site evaluation to make sure you understand the condition of your current framework.
Great windows require great installers. Without both, window performance will suffer. Compare installers by asking if certification is required, are they trained in both methods, are they employed by the company or a subcontractor? Is the company and its workers insured in case of jobsite accidents? Who is responsible for damage, clean-up, and unforeseen issues? For large window replacement projects, will a jobsite foreman oversee the project or work as part of the installation crew? Make sure you understand who is responsible for what and uncover potential hidden costs before the job starts.
Labour and Product Warranty
Most manufacturers offer a product warranty but they often vary by length and coverage. You'll probably notice that more expensive windows include more comprehensive warranties. The best window replacement companies provide a strong warranty that exceeds industry standards. When you hear companies offer you a “Lifetime” warranty make sure to clarify exactly what it means because in reality Lifetime window warranty does not mean forever. Some companies also provide a warranty on the installation. Ideally, you should look for companies that include protection for both.
Service During and After Installation
While most home improvement projects can be coordinated online, eventually you'll need to speak with a company representative. The interaction with staff members should instill confidence. Be wary of high-pressure sales techniques, vague answers to your questions, or slow response times to requests for information. A free in-home consultation should be included, not just a rough estimate. Ask about the type of service they offer after the job is done. Ultimately, you should choose a company you trust will do a professional job and provide any support you need once it's complete.
Reviews and References
Word-of-mouth is still a strong marketing method so use the resources available to find out the good and bad customer experiences. Ask friends and family members for recommendations. Check online reviews and browse the company websites for testimonials and completed job portfolio. Check out HomeStars and the Better Business Bureau to see complaints and how problems were resolved.
It's important to take your time and do thorough research before choosing an ideal window replacement company. By following the guidelines listed, you'll find the best company for your project and enjoy many trouble-free years in your home.