First let’s start off by saying that the many different window companies may have their own dedicated installers. Also, there are many specialized products or niches within the replacement window market. Some companies focus on energy efficient windows and some consumers have a demand for this pricey product as it saves them money and provides a tax credit. For hurricane impact windows this is tricky issue since a vinyl window will provide better energy efficiency but also much lower design pressures. And the list of different products continues with high design pressures for impact windows on beach front properties (those also often need “turtle glass”), hurricane windows with lower design pressures (& therefore lower cost) for inland properties, Miami-Dade approved hurricane windows for store front operations, etc.
Benefits and features offered between the different companies will also somewhat overlap and also differ in some areas. Companies try to offer exclusive and different styles, grid options and colors to differentiate themselves from other competitors. Other companies will simply sell you just the window units and you’ll have to find your own installer or install them yourself.
Ask each contractor which you are considering if they will furnish you with a Certificate of Insurance. This will cost them nothing but will greatly add to your peace of mind. A company that won’t do this must be immediately crossed off your list for consideration. Get this before work begins. When a home owner asks for a Certificate of Insurance, it also sends a subliminal message to the company that you expect a high quality and professional job.
Check each company’s record with the Better Business Bureau online. If a company is very large and has been in business for a very long time, don’t be too scared by a complaint or two; some people will complain as a way of negotiating the final price down and other particular people are just unreasonable and can’t be satisfied. Usually a complaint listed will detail the nature of the consumer problem.
Check with the local Bureau of Consumer Protection or Attorney General’s office for any complaints about contractors you are considering. This is free and will give you a good background history of any legal or informal complaints against a company.
The very most important tip is to ask for at least 10 references of customers who had the same product you are considering installed. Because any company can manage to have a few good references, it is best to call all 10 to get an accurate view of each company’s product and service quality. People who have already invested money with a particular company will usually give you very heartfelt and accurate advice. Consumers are just aching to brag about a good contractor they have found and equally energized to make other homeowners aware of problems they may have had. Consumers are anxious to reward good professionals for a job well done and also, exact some pay back for contractors who don’t live up to their promises.
This time spent in advance of purchasing, will assure you a professional window replacement job.