Quarve Contracting
Friday 22 February 2013

Shopping for New Windows? How to Find the Best Value

Posted by at 9:00 AM

If you're considering replacing your windows, there are so many options and window contractors out there that you may be scratching your head trying to figure out the best value for your home.  Basically there are two steps - find a good, reputable window contractor you can trust, and then work together to find the best window option for you. Finding a Contractor While many home improvement stores sell windows, we generally don't recommend that a home owner take on a project like this themselves without a lot of exterior remodeling experience.  The quality window manufacturers usually require professional installation, and some only back their products if they are installed by a company-certified or recommended contractor.  If you are considering window replacement as a DIY project, be sure to read the window product warranty very carefully before purchasing.  Since windows need to fit snugly within the openings as well as be installed completely straight to operate properly and provide maximum energy efficiency, window replacement is a project best left to professionals. So with a variety of contractors out there, how do you choose the right one for you?  Often a good source is to check with friends or family who have had exterior remodeling done and would recommend their contractor.  The other is a trade organization such as the Certified Contractors' Network.   Once you have a few names, do a phone interview to get a feel for the company.  Ask what window lines and types they handle.  Some companies only deal with a few window manufacturers; others only recommend one type.  And since there is no one-size-fits all when it comes to replacement windows, your best bet is a company that has a range of products to offer. Then go ahead and schedule an in-person meeting.  Most companies should offer free consultations.  Ask for project references, and be sure to check them before signing any contract. Choosing the Right Windows Good quality replacement windows are available in a variety of materials - genuine wood, wood with protective cladding, vinyl, and fiberglass.  Aluminum windows were once the popular replacement choice, but they are outdated and extremely energy-inefficient;  their main benefit is that they are inexpensive.   Talk with your prospective contractor about what matters most to you for your window choice.   Is energy-efficiency your top priority?  Or is it cutting down your window maintenance chores?  If price is a major factor, be sure to discuss this as well.  But keep in mind, there is a lot more to good value than installation cost.  Communicating up front what's important to you is the best way to make sure you get replacement windows that are not only right for your home but right for you personally. There are many options to choose from in addition to window frame construction material, such as gas filling, double- or triple-pane, coatings, etc.  Whether or choose any of these will depend on your priorities as well.  A remodeling contractor with experience in replacement windows should be able to make good recommendations for you, but remember the ultimate decision is yours.  If your contractor suggests a window line,  you may want to do some background research before you sign.  Your new windows will be in place for a long time, so you want to be happy with them. At Quarve Contracting we believe in top-line customer service and good communication.  We''re not happy with a replacement window job unless you are.