Having a list of questions to ask your potential window replacement contractor is nothing new. Most homeowners have at least a handful of questions to ask a potential contractor before they even request a quote. And although some obvious questions will be in the front of your mind, there are some questions you absolutely have to ask any potential contractor before you let anyone onto your property to commence any work. Here are 9 questions you absolutely have to ask your potential windows contractor.
Question 1 – How long have they been in business?
A windows contractor that’s been in business for many years must have encountered their fair share of window installations. Naturally, a well-established company will most likely have systems in place to avoid many problems that could occur during installation while being able to anticipate many others. That being said, remember that a relatively new company may still have years of experience behind them, so this is a good time to try and establish how much window installation experience they actually have. Your best bet is to do your research ahead of time so that you have some background information on the company before you first contact them.
Question 2 – Do they have a list of references?
A good follow-up question when trying to establish the contractor’s actual window installation experience is to ask for references. Being able to talk to previous customers or even view any of your potential contractor’s previous installations could really give you peace of mind.
Question 3 – Do they have proof of insurance?
Asking about insurance isn’t just to establish whether or not they actually have. Contractors should carry both worker’s compensation and liability insurance, and provide proof of both before you accept any quotes.
Question 4 – Will they be applying for all the necessary permits?
Not all window replacement or repair jobs require special permits. If it’s a small decorating job, you probably don’t. But any remodel or repair that changes the structure of your home will require permits. Your contractor should be able to tell just by your description whether or not permits are required. Moreover, they should be able to get the permit from the building department, saving you the time of doing it. If they aren’t able to, this should be a red flag.
Question 5 – Can they tell you about regional incentives and discounts?
Smart homeowners always check if they qualify for any discounts when tackling home improvement projects. When it comes to windows, reliable and well-established contractors should be knowledgeable about your local and federal tax cuts as well as other incentives and rebates.
Question 6 – How are they going to clean up after the job has been completed?
A reliable contractor is going to ensure they leave nothing behind. All the rubble removed by their own crew and clean-up costs should be set out in the original quote if there are any. Discuss clean-up charges and be sure that everything, including the method that will be used, is clearly listed when you receive a quote.
Question 7 – What measures will be taken to protect your property?
Some contractors may not like this question because of the tone, but window replacement is messy, firstly, and secondly…you’re letting strangers into your home. Will they be covering the furniture with tarps? Will they wear shoe coverings when walking through your home? Can you rest assured that they will lock up after themselves if you are not there? Will they recommend items you should move before they arrive?
Question 8 – Do they offer warranties?
Almost all contractors offer warranties. This is the assurance that they stand behind their work. Additionally, the materials being used should automatically come with a manufacturer’s warranty, so be sure to check.
There should be no hidden costs, but window replacement projects can be unpredictable. Once underway, circumstances can change and costs can be affected. However, every item and service being provided should be clearly listed in your quote. Of course, some costs cannot be calculated before a contractor has actually visited your property to assess your particular installation requirements, but this is where quality installation experts take the opportunity to what other possible discounts you may qualify for as well as foresee any possible problems that may end up affecting your price.