First Things First
So you’ve decided that it might be time to replace the windows in your home so we’ll go over some of the most common window mistakes that we see but before we do, we’d like to cover some general advice to get you started off on the right foot. By virtue of the fact that you’re reading this, you’ve already nailed the first one…research. Buying windows is a big decision and you really just get one shot at it. Once they’re installed, they are yours. There’s no going back so you want to do your homework, take your time, and get it right the first go.
Be sure to look at your options and not just jump at the first window that’s pitched to you. It’s a good idea to select a window company that carries more than one window. If you don’t, and they have one window to sell of course they’re going to tell you that it’s the greatest window in existence, and even if it is a great product it may not be the one for you.
You really want to get hands-on with the window before you decide. Most reps will carry hand samples for you to see in your home but it’s really hard to get a good feel for it when it’s so small. A window company with a showroom that has larger samples that you can look over and operate is ideal. If you are also doing doors with your window project a showroom is a must, no sales rep is going to be hauling a door out for you to look at.
Mistake #1: Going For Cheap
Why replace a lousy window with another lousy window? It isn’t wrong to save money, but don’t confuse a cheap window with buying a window of value. Someone is always willing to go cheaper, but at what cost? Not all windows are made the same, and not all are installed the same. Price is always on the list of things to consider with any major purchase but it shouldn’t be the only thing on the list. Your new windows are an investment that should last the life of your home and the last thing that you want to happen is to need to replace your windows again eight years down the line.
In all likelihood, your windows are going to cost more than you think and if the cost of a quality window is out of the question today there are some options to consider. You could finance the project or go in phases and replace a section at a time. You should know that replacing them this way will ultimately cost more in the end.
Mistake #2: Going For Gold
Our brains psychologically think that if something is costly, then it must be excellent. That isn’t always true. A quality product at a low price doesn’t make sense in our brains. There are companies that will feed off that psychological concept. They’ll spend three hours in your home extolling the virtues of their window. You end up with Stockholm Syndrome and when they hit you with an over-inflated price you think it makes sense because they’ve convinced you that this window is the greatest achievement of Western Civilization.
The important thing here is to sleep on it, do your homework, and make a level-headed decision. Companies like this prey on the emotions of their clientele, don’t fall for it. Don’t go broke, and don’t go cheap. Find the quality and value you need for your project. Quality will cost a little more, but it will be worth your investment in the long run.
Mistake #3: Substandard Installation
Let’s imagine that you’ve done it; you did your research and found the perfect window for your project. It looks great. It works great. It’s efficient. It’s perfect. However, if it is installed improperly, none of that matters anymore. There are two key components to a successful window project. 1.) Find a window you like that does its job well. 2.) Find a great installer.
If you hire a great installer, even if the window is not the best, the installer may be able to make it work better than it should be able to. Rarely is skilled labor cheap, and cheap labor is rarely skilled. What you pay for is what you will get. Insist that your installer uses the highest quality materials like caulking, flashing, and foam. Finding a good quality company that will back up your purchase will save you time and money on your project.
Mistake #4: Private Label Windows
Big window companies make no-name or orphan windows, and then a private label is placed on them. Be careful of the no-name window. It will be hard to compare this type of window with others of the same quality because it is the only one with the name. Shopping is much easier with brand-named windows. It is comparing apples to apples.
Mistake #5: Skipping Homework
Learn as much about each company you are reviewing as you can. Each window company will have different packages and pricing, but be wary. Ask questions like Who is installing the windows; is there a supervisor to handle warranty claims; does the company have insurance and workers’ compensation; who will take down and reinstall my window treatments; will the company protect my furniture and flooring? Asking these questions can save you a lot of grief throughout the life of your windows.
If you’re in the Houston area, we’d love the chance to make your window installation dreams come true. If you live elsewhere in the country, check out Jeffslist.com for great window experts near you.