The cold months are slowly creeping in and if you have broken or damaged windows, there’s no room for procrastination- you need to have them fixed ASAP. And if you think this is something you can do all by yourself, think again. Fixing a broken handle or crank may be a piece of cake, but dealing with rotted or shattered window frames is a different story. This is where the help of window replacement services come in.
Bear in mind that choosing the right window replacement company is not based only on price but also on reputation. Make sure you find a window replacement service without hidden costs or you might find your bill skyrocketing when it’s too late to back out.
So here are some crucial facts you need to know before hiring a window replacement contractor.
#1 Don’t Get Stung
The construction industry is having a hard time these days and some contactors post ads or bids for work they are not qualified or licensed to do. Beware of websites loaded with these advertisements.
#2 Verify their Licenses
The only way to protect yourself prior to getting window replacement services is to have your contractor verified by the state contractor’s board. Don’t have second thoughts about calling to make sure the one submitting the bid is indeed licensed to get the job done. Once you fail to do this, you cannot avail any of the resources provided by your state board once problems arise. Seasoned and reputable contractors have no qualms about displaying their license numbers and if yours does, go find another one.
#3 Bid, bid, bid!
Yes, as mentioned earlier, having your windows fixed at the soonest time possible is of utmost importance, but not at the expense of compromising the cost and quality of the whole project. As a homeowner, try soliciting three to five bids from various contractors before making the final decision whom to award it to. This is the only way you can make informed decisions because you can freely compare the cost of labor and materials. Once you have made your choice, protect your project by having a solid, binding contract.
#4 Levelling the Playing Field
Contractors usually don’t do the physical labor anymore. In the past, they could have been masons or carpenters, but once they start running their own business, their focus changes as well. Aside from signing up clients, they concentrate on outsourcing subcontractors and managing budgets. Be careful if the contractor you are talking to is not clear about how involved he’s going to be on running the day to day tasks.
#5 Your Deposit Should Not be Astronomical
For homeowners who are hiring a contractor for the first time, know that you are expected to pay a deposit upon signing your contract. However, this is not to cover his set-up costs or initial materials. If his business has been standing on solid ground for a good number of years and he has earned a good reputation among his suppliers, there is no need for him to pay up front. A lot of states actually limit their advance. See your state consumer agency to find out specific laws that apply in your area.
#6 Ensure that His Mark Ups are Fair and Square
It is common knowledge that contractors mark up everything they pay out to in order to complete the project. That’s fine, because that’s how they pay for their salaries and overhead expenses. So here’s what you can do; see what items you can buy yourself so it can be taken out of the bid price. You have to agree on specific amounts regarding the things you are going to buy and make sure they are on site by the time they are needed. This can give you up to twenty percent in savings for the entire project.
#7 Jack of All Trades
Who wouldn’t want a contractor who is an architect/interior designer at the same time for the same price? They all have their limits and although there are some, who are also good designers, don’t get your hopes high because you might get disappointed in the long run. They are too busy managing their business that they don’t have time to sharpen these other talents. After he’s taken care of the windows, let him step aside so the real architects and decorators can do the job right.
Check and double check that the labor warranty is part of your contract. Once seasoned contractors have completed a project, they return to this home to ensure everything is working properly, there are no leaks, or further damages evident. If within a week damages occur after repairing the window, the contractor has to repair it with no extra cost.