Book sooner rather than later
From a time standpoint, installing new windows is one of the simpler projects you can do to instantly upgrade your home. After all, it only takes about an hour or two for a local window replacement professional to remove old windows and install new ones.
But when you factor in tasks like selecting new windows, replacing old glass, or making sure what you’re installing is energy-efficient, the job may be a little more challenging than initially advertised.
Use this step-by-step guide to help you hire a great window replacement pro and make the job easy.
Before Hiring a Window Replacement Contractor
First thing’s first: you have to understand your needs. Before hiring a pro, do a little research to see what type of new windows will best fit your desires, needs, and budget.
Window replacement contractors typically diagnose, determine what type of window frames you need, cover the areas around windows, remove, and install new windows for you.
Plan Your Window Replacement Project for Accurate Quotes
Deciding in advance what type of windows you want can save you money and make your contractor’s life easier. Higher-end items, such as triple pane windows, may only be installed by certain types of contractors, too, so you may need to order and schedule the work sooner rather than later.
Do your research to see if you need any of the following:
Weather-specific windows (i.e., for strong winds or hurricanes)
Here’s one important question to ask yourself when shopping: Will you be installing replacement windows or new construction windows? Replacement windows are more affordable, but you may be limited by the number of products you can install or retrofit into your existing frames.
Check Your Window Replacement Pro’s Qualifications and References
Window replacement pros should have a contractor’s license and liability insurance. Both are important—otherwise, you might not be covered financially or legally if something happens to a worker on the job or if installation isn’t completed properly.
Asking for references or reading reviews online is a good way to identify who may be worth hiring. Aim to call and receive quotes from at least three different companies.
Questions to Ask Your Window Replacement Contractor
Questions to ask your window replacement professional include:
Are you an independent contractor or certified installer?
What type of windows do you specialize in?
What type of windows do you recommend for my budget and needs?
Are you licensed, and do you have insurance?
How fast can the windows be replaced?
What type of warranty do you offer (10 years plus two for labor is pretty standard)?
Do you have references and referrals I can contact?
Hiring Your Window Replacement Pro
Once you make a list of potential candidates and receive quotes from each one, ask for all the estimates in writing. Most contractors provide free quotes, but be sure to check if the estimate costs money before scheduling an appointment.
Window replacement typically costs between $200 and $1,800 per window. This large variance could mean one quote is much higher than another. The bulk of these costs come from window materials themselves, but about a quarter of them will cover installation.
Get a Contract and Arrange Payments With Your Window Replacement Contractor
Your contract should specifically lay out the final price tag with installations or payment milestones. Both you and the contractor should be comfortable with the terms as they’re outlined.
Some contractors may offer to reduce the price if you pay 100% of the cost upfront, but it’s a better bet to only put down 20% to 30% to protect yourself in case something goes awry. In some states, contractors are only allowed to charge a certain percentage of the job up-front, so do your research before making a big payment.
Keep in mind, warm weather months are the most common time to replace windows. Tackling the project at the beginning or end of the season could speed up your timeline for installation.
Keep Records of Your Window Replacement Project
Keeping records as the job progresses is also smart, especially if you’re installing construction windows or simultaneously working with a local window glass replacement company.
Generally speaking, it takes about an hour per window for installation. But it’s not uncommon to wait four to six weeks for windows to arrive once ordered, so documenting milestones and dates helps you be sure that work is completed on time.
After Your Window Replacement Pro Has Finished
If you’re satisfied with the work your window contractor has done, be sure to leave them a review and pass along the good word to friends. This simple step helps support local businesses in your area and helps other homeowners find solid professionals to complete their window installation or repair jobs.