The time has come for a window or door replacement on your residential home – maybe you’ve noticed a crack in the glass and a build-up of condensation, or maybe you’ve noticed a steady increase in your monthly energy bills – either way, you’ve deduced that the time for a replacement is now.
Like most home improvements and renovations, thinking about where to begin can be daunting and overwhelming. On top of that, you haven’t replaced your windows and doors in many years, if at all, and you’re not really sure what you should be asking or looking for.
Because windows and doors play such a large function in the health and integrity of your home, it is critical to not only find an experienced contractor to perform the replacements for you, but one that can help educate and guide you through the myriad of choices that may lie ahead.
Choosing window styles and materials can be interesting and engaging, but the decisions don’t end there. If you don’t choose a window style that functions best for the needs of your home, or if the installation isn’t done properly – you’re looking at likely subpar results.
In order to help you better sift through the contractors in the GTA that you’re considering, we’ve put together a list of questions you should be asking each and every one of them. These questions will help you determine which companies are reputable, and which you can safely put your trust and hard-earned money into; resting assured that high-quality materials backed by proper installation will be the end result for your window and door replacements.
The Questions You Should be Asking Your Windows and Doors Contractor
1. Are you insured?
Reputable and safe contractors should always be working under comprehensive insurance coverage in order to protect both themselves and you from any accident liability on your property. You may go ahead and request to see their insurance certificates before you hire them or ask for additional details.
It may be worthy to note that those operating without proper insurance, and therefore at a much higher risk may be able to offer significantly lower window and door replacement quotes. Premiums from comprehensive insurance coverage can increase labour costs significantly, so if you have spotted a quote that seems like a low outlier, it may be a sign that the contractor is not insured.
2. How many years have you been in business and may I see past work?
Contractor experience level can play a role in the pricing of your new windows and doors. It is a good idea to ask them about their past experience, how long they have been in the industry, and whether or not they are able to share some of their previous work with you.
When it comes to experience, asking about any certifications or awards the company has received in the past may also be of interest.
Contractors should be able to provide you with photos of their past work, and point you in the direction of online reviews where you can learn more about their past customer experiences.
3. Who will be performing the installation?
This is an important question to determine whether or not a window and door company has their own crews or is subcontracting out to third parties. If a contractor is using their own crews, you can rest assured that the quality level will be up to par because they have sought out crews with specific standards and qualifications that align with company values and needs. If a third party contractor is used, the company will not be able to confidently identify and confirm all qualifications; leaving you with potentially more questions.
It is also important to note that if a contractor is using third parties, you may be left in the dark in terms of their insurance coverage.
4. How do your products function and differ?
Depending on the style of window or door you choose, you are going to encounter a number of different stylistic and functionality options and decisions. This is where expertise will come into play, as a reputable contractor will be able to help guide you to the option that is most suitable for your home.
Different window and door styles offer varying levels of performance when it comes to security, ventilation and climate control, cleaning needs, operational performance, and safety. Knowing that your contractor will be able to explain these nuanced differences and answer any of your questions is key.
Keep in mind that energy ratings are something to ask within this question as well. It is important to know whether or not the contractor offers Energy Star rated products.
5. What is included in your pricing structure?
When getting to know a contractor, knowing what exactly is included in their service quote is important. It’s important to know up front whether or not the consultation is complimentary, what is included in the installation package (such as exterior and interior trim), and whether or not there are any hidden fees that may be possibly involved.
If trim work isn’t included, you will have to find an alternative contractor to finish the task. Hidden fees may arise in the form of encountering rotting wood in your existing structure, and installing any pre-existing blinds or shutters – make sure you get clear on how additional fees are dealt with.
Lastly, you’ll want to know what their payment structure is like, including the accepted forms of payment and due dates, in order to make sure everything aligns.
6. How long will it take to complete my replacement?
Knowing the type of timeline you can expect from project start to completion can be extremely helpful when evaluating the right windows and doors contractor for your home. Timing information can let you know how the installation may affect your daily schedule, and to what extent.
Note that it is important to ask about how inclement weather may impact the timeline of your installation, and how the contractor deals with poor weather conditions. If contractors have multiple projects lined up, it is key to know how a shift in weather can impact and push your installation.
7. How do you protect my property during the installation?
Expecting some mess during a window and door installation project is normal, but it’s important to ask how a contractor plans to keep your space both protected and clean throughout the project. It can also be of benefit to ask what is involved in their clean-up process and how long it usually takes.
8. What kinds of warranties do you offer?
Reputable windows and doors contractors should offer warranties on all completed projects to help keep your new investment protected for years to come. Warranty types and coverage varies between companies, so it’s important to clarify what exactly is included when it comes to both labour and material warranties.
Simpson Windows and Doors is here to Take Care of You
With numerous modern and energy-efficient window and door options, transferable lifetime warranties, and over 25 years of experience, we’re here to answer any of your questions and walk you through your next home project.
With high-quality materials and a professional installation process, we are a team of contractor well equipped to guide you through all your window and door options and to help you ensure your home is protected for years to come. If you’re ready to start thinking about your windows or doors, please contact us here for more information.