How Do I Buy Replacement Windows?

December 9, 2016

That is a question many of my clients experience but do not verbalize. Buying Replacement Windows can be very overwhelming and confusing because most of my clients do not understand windows or how windows are installed. What many of my clients do verbalize is “ I am doing my due diligence by getting at least three different quotes.” I actually hear that all of the time. Many of my clients tell me that they are “doing their due diligence” by meeting with three different window and door companies so they do not get taken advantage of. First I would like to say that it is really sad the the window and door industry has left such a negative taste in people's’ mouths that they automatically assume they will be taken advantage of and are fearful of the industry as a whole.  

With that being said, from my experience with our past clients what we have found is that many times when they have gotten additional quotes or “doing their due diligence” they have been left more confused than when they started the process. This is because most people do not know how to buy replacement windows. They do not understand the installation process or even the differences in the products. So they are left trying to compare quotes from three or more different companies with different products and different installation methods.  This is essentially like buying a car and getting quotes from three different dealerships, the difference is you are getting quotes on three different kinds of cars. Your first quote is for a Lexus SUV with complimentary oil changes for three years. The next quote is for a Toyota Sedan with complimentary oil changes for one year. Your last quote is for a Chevy Compact Car with no complimentary oil changes. So you compare your quotes and determine that the Chevy Car is the most cost effective quote, so that must be the company not taking advantage of you and whom you should choose, correct? Now obviously we all know that these three quotes are significantly different. Different products and different services. But, because most people do not know the window industry, it is not apparent to them the differences in the windows and providers.  

DSC_0341.jpgWhat I have recommended for people who are in the investigating phase of a window purchase is to really do your “due diligence”. Research the window products you are considering. Read reviews and blogs from local and national experts about the products specifically. Once you have researched the window brands and are confident regarding which window is right for you.  It is time to start researching the window providers. If you are not sure which brand or product is right for you then discuss this with the window providers you meet with. Be honest about what criteria is most important to you.  If you plan on selling your home in the next five years then it doesn’t make sense to put in triple pane windows because you will never recoup your up front costs. On the other hand, if you plan on living in your home for the next 30 years, you are better off to invest a little more in up front costs with a window that will last so you do not have to replace them again in 10 years. The more upfront and honest you are with your sales consultant, the more they will be able to direct you to the best fit for you. This is like going to the doctor and omitting important health information about yourself and expecting them to know how to treat you!

Other important steps to take when selecting your replacement windows provider is to visit their showroom, ask about their service department and their installation warranty.  Make sure that they are able to address any of your current needs as well as any future issues you may have.  Most importantly when selecting a window provider, choose the one that you feel most comfortable with.   Ask your sales consultant whether they have visited the plant where the DSC_0651.jpgproducts are made and whether they have gone through specific training at the window manufacturer's facility.  This will separate the “high pressure salesman” from the window and door consultants or experts.   

It is also important to do your research on the different installation methods.There are three main types of installation methods which work best for different homes and applications. Ask your sales consultant specific installation questions so you really understand what you are getting. You can buy the very best window, but if it is installed incorrectly or poorly, you have just wasted a ton of money. Not to mention, you will have ongoing problems with the window.

Just like any other large purchase if you do a little research you can make a better selection when it comes time to buy your new windows. We are so fortunate now because all of the information we seek is at our fingertips. With the internet we can become the experts and be confident in our purchase.


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