The company that installs your window is just as important as the company that builds the product itself. You not only want a quality window that you love; you want a window company you can trust to help you throughout the window replacement process and beyond .
When you’re comparing competing window companies for a window replacement, consider the following criteria. By comparing more than just cost, you will find the best of both worlds — a high-quality, stylish window and an installation company that can get the job done right.
What to Look for When Comparing Window Replacement Companies
Cost of Replacement Windows
It’s easy to get hung up on price. When you’re shopping for big ticket items like replacement windows and doors, you want the best deal you can find. Beware of bargains from window companies you’re considering, though. The quality of the materials, craftsmanship and installation all factor into the cost of replacement windows. Where you may feel like you’re saving by going with the “bargain” option, you could be sacrificing quality that will diminish the life of your window and cost you more in the long run.
Look beyond the sticker price and consider the potential cost of the window throughout its lifetime. For instance, ask yourself:
When you take these important factors into consideration, you may find that the higher upfront price tag more than pays for itself over time.
Vinyl, fiberglass and wood are the most common window materials, and you’ll find a range of prices in all three categories as well as a range in price based on window type, size, and manufacturer.
When trying to find the right window replacement company to work with, go deeper than the type of material. Make sure you’re comparing the material’s quality, too. For example, some windows have solid wood interiors, while others do not. This can impact the longevity of the window and affect the interior aesthetic of your home.
Window Glass Options
Though you may not be able to see the difference when browsing your available window glass options, there are many. To decide which is right for you, consider your climate, privacy needs, and energy efficiency concerns. Many manufacturers claim that their windows are energy efficient, which is an important part of any replacement window equation. However, not all window companies can back up their claims. Ask to see an actual ENERGY STAR® certification, then look at the specifications and ratings of the glass so you can compare your options based on a standardized system. You should also consider your climate and your home’s needs. For instance:
- Will your windows face extreme temperatures or large fluctuations in temperature?
- Is environmental noise an issue?
- Do you need more strength with tempered or impact-resistant glass?
- Is Low-E glass something you want to consider?
- Are there major privacy concerns with any of your replacement windows?
Finally, be sure to compare the intended uses for each brand’s glass options and the materials that go into the products.
Selection and Customization
You will find basic window types and styles offered at almost every window company you consider. But that doesn’t mean you should go with the first window provider you see. Some companies may only offer the basics, and being boxed into a stylistic corner is no fun. You are more likely to find the perfect fit when you are able to select from a wide array of options or have the ability to customize a window that uniquely suits your home.
As you compare the available options for wood types, designs, paint or stain colors, glass, hardware, trim and grilles, ask yourself:
- Which window company has the widest selection?
- Which choices are limited to a standard set of options?
- Which can be customized to your tastes?
Rank the options by what matters most to you so you can compare your selections based on the factors that will have the greatest impact on your final decision.
You can buy the highest quality window on the market, but if it’s installed poorly, you won’t get what you paid for in performance or aesthetics.
As you narrow down your installation options, make sure to check the certifications between manufacturers and the contractors that install their products. Some window manufacturers, like Pella, certify expert installers for their products. These installers have specific training and expertise in the brand’s product line, which gives them a unique advantage when it comes time to installing your Pella windows and doors.
At Pella, we have a transparent and well-informed journey, so we encourage you to ask questions about the window installation process. Other manufacturers should offer the same. If you find that you’re uncertain about what’s included in the window replacement fee, feel uncomfortable with the expertise of your installer or discover hidden costs anywhere in the process, it may be time to reconsider your choice of window replacement company.
Pella’s Window Warranty
Most people don’t think about a product’s warranty until something goes wrong. This is why a good manufacturer’s warranty can be helpful in the long run. The length and level of coverage varies by manufacturer and product. Warranties may cover the window unit itself, its installation or both.
A strong warranty shows the manufacturer is confident in the quality of their windows and will rectify problems that occur outside the normal wear and tear of daily living.
Window Replacement Service
Online research is an important part of the window buying process. Eventually, however, you’ll need to interact with a live person. Talk to the sales staff at your local window replacement branches. Ask questions. Visit a showroom. Get an in-home consultation.
Customer service is important, and should be considered in your comparison. Ask yourself:
- How does the window company make you feel?
- Do they adequately answer your questions or brush them off and try to pressure you into a quick decision?
- What service or support do they offer after installation?
Window replacement can be a big investment. Only choose a window company you can trust to get the job done and support you after it’s complete.
Crowdsource Window Company References
Good or bad, testimonials are persuasive cases that can help you decide between window replacement companies. Ask around.
- Who have your friends, family and neighbors used in the past?
- Are they happy with their windows?
- What did they like about working with their last window company?
- What do they wish had been different?
You probably won’t be able to find many people who have used more than one window company, but their experience can help guide yours. You may even get to inspect their windows more closely to check the quality of work.
If you don’t know anyone who’s used a particular company, request references from your top contenders. Companies should be able to provide a few names to contact. Browse each window replacement company’s website and social media accounts to see examples of window replacement projects in your area. Some companies even have a map of projects they’ve completed near you. You’ll get a good idea of their work and might even find related reviews.
Compare window replacement companies yourself
As you go through the window replacement process, it can be hard to keep track of everything you learned or experienced along the way. Download this comparison chart to help make an informed decision based on the eight criteria and find the best company for your window replacement project. If you're ready to see what Pella can bring to the table, request a consultation today.
* View written limited warranty for details, including exceptions and limitations at pella.com/warranty.