Getting the right windows for your home is a matter of smart shopping and decision-making. However, the decisions don’t end after you choose your window style and material. Even with a high-quality window, the end result could still be subpar without proper installation.
Shoddy or inexperienced installation, higher than expected fees and delayed timelines are commonplace. If you’re not careful, it can become your reality. So if you want to ensure that you get the most for your money and that your windows are set up for peak performance, you need to ask your window installation crew a few questions in three key areas.
Window Installation Cost
It seems like common sense. However, there are a few specific fees that are important to keep in mind before beginning the installation process.
1. Is there a fee for the estimate?
Ask your installer if they charge for an estimate or consultation. If they do, it isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but just an important piece of information to keep in mind in the overall picture. If you work with your local Pella showroom, you can get a free in-home or virtual consultation.
2. Do you handle trim work?
Check and see if the window contractor handles interior and exterior trim and finishes as part of the installation package. With some contractors, that’s an add-on, while others don’t do it at all. So you need to find out whether you have to find someone else to finish that task or plan to spend the following weekend on the project.
3. What are the payment terms?
Make sure to ask about the contractor’s payment terms. Do you have to pay up-front, after completion of the project or both? What form of payment do they accept? While it may seem like a small detail at the start of a project, asking early can save you from a headache later on.
Professional Window Installation Experience
It’s a great idea to ask your window installer about their past experience. You need to know if you’re paying for a team with years of experience and hundreds of window replacement projects under their belt or someone with limited experience.
1. What experience and certifications do you have?
Experience can be a factor that justifies a higher rate. In general, you may expect to pay a little extra for years of experience and quality references from the best window replacement companies. If there are different members of the installation team, ask about their individual experience in window replacement.
Certification can also signify experience. Pella and other window manufacturers certify contractors who have proven the skills to get the job done. But a contractor may only be certified in one brand’s windows. When you work with a Pella installation team, you can trust that everyone on your project is certified.
2. Do you have examples of your past work?
Ask to see examples of their previous work — in-person, if possible. Quality installation contractors should have references and examples of previous projects. If you’re evaluating an installer based on a referral from a friend or neighbor, ask to get a closer look at the project.
It can be fairly simple to do a bit of your own research to validate the installer’s claims. Check online review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List to see what past customers have to say. If it’s a bigger business, chances are you’ll be able to find more than one helpful review.
3. Who will be present during the installation?
Make sure you know who specifically in the company will be handling the installation. Contractors will either have their own crew or will work with subcontractors. Ask questions regarding the crew members designated for your installation. Is the person you’re speaking with the salesman or the one who will actually be completing the work? You need to know whether the crew at your home has the skill and expertise you’ve been promised.
Window Replacement Project Timeline
To keep installation day from turning into installation week, you’ll need a clear idea of the timeline for the installation process in order to accommodate your own schedule — and how the weather or other factors can cause delays.
1. How long does window installation take?
A whole-home window installation takes a lot longer than replacing a single window. Make sure that your contractor has a clear idea of the project scope and a detailed timeline before beginning.
Avoid window installers who give too vague of a time estimate. This is especially true for larger projects, since a poorly planned window installation can put a major strain on your home life.
2. How does weather impact the timeline?
A lot of factors can impact your project but weather is a big one. Ask your window installer if they work in poor weather conditions or if the weather may potentially delay your project. Some contractors may have other projects lined up so a string of bad weather may push your window replacement off a lot further than you’d like.
3. How do you protect my home during installation?
Things get quite messy during a window installation project and clean-up takes time. Make sure to ask questions surrounding your installation concerns, like how they ensure your home is protected and whether the crew cleans up after themselves.
What to Expect When You Work with a Pella Installation Expert
1. Careful preparation.
Upon arrival, your installation team will:
- Park where it’s convenient for you.
- Clearly display their Pella identification.
- Review the installation plan with you.
- Cover their work area with drop cloths to protect your space.
2. Expert installation.
Using Pella’s exclusive installation methods,your replacement team will:
- Install your windows and doors inalmost any weather.
- Contain their work area so there’slittle to no disruption to your home.
- Update you on the status of the job throughout the day.
3. Thoughtful cleanup.
Your team will take extra steps to respect your home, like:
- Cleaning up after themselves, leaving their work area cleaner than it was when they arrived.
- Hauling away your old windows.
- Showing you how to operate your new windows and doors.
- Finishing your job in as little as a day, in many cases, so you can enjoy your beautiful new view sooner rather than later.
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