In the last post I talked about what your best options might be for getting new windows installed in your home or any property that you might own. I went over how there are many different options and paths you can go done when looking to get any project done in your home. The big problem that we have with finding a good contractor for new replacement windows is the dilemma of checking the reputation of the contractor. The internet is obviously a great resource to find anything we want these days… but on the other side of the coin it makes it extremely easy for people to fake who they are or what they can do, and this makes it easy to trick people and prey on the naive. After I went into these negative factors with more detail, I started to go over some new solutions to these problems I found online. These would be the websites I found that cater to connecting contractors and home owners within a specific industry for repairs. Now one of the first ones I looked at was this website www.Depart-Ment.com that is made for my industry (window replacement). This came to my attention because it seems that the only city they are servicing right now is Phoenix Arizona and I have family in Phoenix that found them on facebook somehow. My cousin (the one who told me about the website) asked me what I thought because a friend of his needed new windows and he wanted to know if it was something I would recommend. I didn’t look at it all that much but from a quick review it seems pretty legitimate. In the “About Us” page it says that the creator used to be a Window Installer and now makes websites for a living. For me I think that is a good sign because he isn’t some web developer that has sat at a computer his whole life (Desk Jockey) and doesn’t know anything about the job. Because of his previous experience he knows the right people to recommend and I think he seems to be off to a good start, hopefully he can expand his brand to other cities.
So when it comes to getting new replacement windows there are many different options you can go with. Now I’m without a doubt the best window installer (and carpenter) this side of the Mississippi, but unfortunately I cannot be everywhere at once and do the work for everyone. Because of this I often get questions from friends and family that live in different states and different parts of the country on what they should do to find a top notch installer when they need to get new windows. Now unfortunately there are many washed-up construction workers out there that will tell you they can do amazing work with the highest grade of craftsmanship and there is usually no guarantee of this work until you actually receive the finished product, and by that time its too late to change your mind. You’ll usually have the end up hiring a new installer to remove the windows to fix any problems and the re-install your new windows, and if your lucky those brand new windows will not have been damaged. So that brings us back to the whole point of this post: how do you know the right people to hire for window installation and where do you go to find them? One of the first options I hear a lot of people go with is to start looking for a handyman or carpenter on Craigslist. I personally would not recommend going this route because anybody can just go on there and say they are an expert at anything and there is usually no way to check these claims. Then there’s Angie’s List. Now I have many mixed feelings and opinions on Angie’s List, I used to think it was a great service when it was fresh and new but then there were some questionable reports that surfaced. The whole point of their service is for customers to leave honest reports on contractors that they have used and you can look at these reports to help you judge the best man or company for the job. This is all great in theory until reports started surfacing that Angie’s List makes a large portion of their income by charging contractors money to have any “negative reviews” removed from their company profiles. This obviously defeats the whole purpose of the concept that they founded their website on. The best solution I have found so far is numerous different websites that cater to finding industry professionals for very specific jobs. These websites are great because they are made to find and focus on the exact professional you need. It’s too early for me to recommend just one, but I will definitely check some of these sites out and update my blog with my results and opinion on the best ones.
Now I’m someone who has made my living by installing windows and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I always loved showing up to an old building somewhere and starting the entire process of getting those new beautiful windows in there. I love the demolition and ripping out the old windows (practically free therapy) and then I love the carpentry that goes into the rough framing. Then I love putting the new windows in and all the attention to detail that is required for the the trim and all the finishing touches to look absolutely great. Now with all that being said; sometimes getting completely new windows and hiring someone like me to come in and do all that work is complete overkill. I cannot even tell you how many times I have gone to a new job to do all that work that I had just mentioned about when all the customer needed was some new window parts to make everything work smoothly again. The prices of these two different services aren’t even comparable, it is obviously much much cheaper to simply fix what you’ve got than go through the entire window replacement process. Most times the biggest problem people have is old worn out window balances. The window balance is what controls the windows and makes the window sash go up and down. Now more often than not a home owner will have trouble with a window that is not opening or closing correctly, and since they do not necessarily understand the mechanics of the window, they jump to the conclusion that they need new windows all together. Do yourself a favor; next time you are having trouble with a window either check it out yourself or get someone over there that is generally handy and it the DIY type. Chances are some new balances is all you need to breath new life into your windows. I would recommend ordering your balances from windowrepairparts.us, they have tons of great products, fast delivery, and will find the time to talk with you over the phone if you need help figuring out exactly what you need to fix your windows.
As you can see there are many different types of windows out there. There are Double Hung, Single Hung, Casement, Picture, Bay Windows, and that is just to name a few. There are also many different material you can get these windows made out of. There are fiberglass windows, vinyl windows, aluminum windows, wood windows, and some combinations of everything I had just mentioned. All of this can make it very confusing for the average person to know exactly what they are talking about when they decided that their home needs new windows. Because of this there are many homeowners who accidentally buy new windows for their home that might not be the best choice or combination that they could have gone with. There are also many times (which I have seen in my line of work) where a salesman or contractor knows that the person that they are talking to might work behind a desk everyday and does not know much about the industry… and unfortunately more times then not this contractor or salesman might try to take advantage of the average consumer because of their lack of knowledge. Now this gets even more complicated when you factor in the different companies that you can buy windows from. Like any other product in this world, there is high-end, and there is low-end. Some of the high-end window manufacturers out there are Marvin, Pella, Pozzi, and Parrot. Then some of the lower end windows (still perfectly reasonable for the average consumer) would be Anderson, Jeld-Wen, and some smaller and local window operations. So I know I just smacked you with a ton of information overload but hopefully that will be a good start and solid foundation to helo you with your basic understanding of windows.