Replacement windows are quickly raising in the ranks as one of the top home renovation projects being done in the marketplace today. Like any project in the home renovation marketplace, you will find good installers and bad installers; often times, you will get what you pay for.
Depending on where you live, the stakes in this game can get pretty high, it is easy to install windows in a hot, dry climate that hardly ever gets any rain or snow, but if you live in a city like Vancouver, British Columbia, where you usually get 5 months of almost solid rain a year, or if you live on the East Coast that gets pounded by Hurricane force winds, it becomes imperative that you have your windows installed by a company that understands “water management”; this means that if water gets in, it also has to get out, or you will be faced with some costly repairs in the near future.
Here are five things you need to know before hiring a window installer in a challenging environment.
- Ensure that your window installer knows more about construction than just installing windows. If your installer has a background in construction (builder, renovator, etc.) you will likely be miles ahead with an installer experienced in construction as they understand how homes are build and how to properly install replacement windows.
- Ask them what kind of tools and materials they use in the process of their installation. If your installer says they just eyeball the windows and slap them in with a couple screws or nails, then run away. Find an installer who cares that the look of your home will be taken into consideration; you want your windows to be square and level, if they are not, then they will likely not operate properly and will likely look odd and out of place. To install windows properly you need a level (laser levels are best) you need a good set of tools, proper shims that are meant for windows (beveled shims will cause the windows to fall out of square as the shims are larger on one end than the other) and a good caulking that will maintain flexibility for a long period of time, in particular to your environment.
- Find out how many people they have in their installation crew and what experience they have. While you may have one person on the installation team that has experience in the area of construction, the people that they have helping them may not. It is always good to have more than one set of knowledgeable eyes on the jobsite.
- What will they do to protect the inside and outside of your home when they are installing your windows? If your installers are walking in your garden, then into your house with muddy boots, you will quickly become upset with the fact that your home is now a complete mess. Choose an installer who will lay down drop sheets and will clean their work areas as they go instead of leaving you with the mess. When the windows are being removed, are they protecting your home from dust and debris? Will they put plastic over the inside of your windows to keep the mess out of your home? Or just let the dust fall wherever it may. Window Replacement is a messy job, ensure that you hire a company who will take care of your home while they install your windows.
- Avoid the low cost provider; “You get what you pay for” is never more true than in the window replacement business. If you are going to get your windows installed for $99 each, be prepared for a ton of problems down the road. Quality Window Replacement companies will typically charge between $350 – $650 per window (depending on the accessibility, size, removal type, etc.) and they will likely be the companies who do a better job for you in both the short and the long run.
New windows in your home can add a a number of incredible elements; architectural beauty, energy efficiency, ease of use, and much more. Save yourself from experiencing a great amount of grief by hiring an installation company that will ensure the job is done right the first time.