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Choosing the Right Window and Door Installer

Choosing the Right Window and Door Installer f
Choosing the Right Window and Door Installer f

Posted on Monday, June 26, 2017
Categories: Hiring Home Improvement  |  Windows & Doors

Having windows and doors installed in your home is a good investment. Not only do they provide a new appearance, less maintenance, and greater energy efficiency, they can also increase the value of your home.  Complete window and door replacement is a large investment, requiring you to do your research in advance for not only the items that you will have installed, but who will be installing them.

Who is the best choice for you and your home to make sure you get quality workmanship, warranty of work, peace of mind, and someone to talk to down the road if you need repairs or parts?  Here’s a breakdown of the ins and outs, ups and downs, do's and don’ts that you need to consider when choosing an installer in order to protect your investment and minimize your aggravation.

Independent Contractor

If you are hiring a local independent contractor, always make sure that you check there references and make sure that they are registered with the state as a Home Improvement Contractor. In Pennsylvania, you can visit website of and find if a contractor is registered as required by the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (“HICPA”). If they are not, move on to someone who is. Also check their rating with the Better Business Bureau, and make sure that they have current insurance coverage. 

It’s wisest to get quotes from three or four different contractors and choose the middle price, never the lowest. Always have a contract before allowing work to start and do your research to know what window they are selling.  Choose a quality window from a reputable national manufacturer with a top American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) rating and Energy Star certification.

Independent Building Materials Dealer

If you are not comfortable hiring an independent contractor, choose a reputable local independent building materials dealer that also provides installation services. Although you may pay a little more, you will have the peace of mind in knowing that they will still be there whenever you need replacement parts or repairs. They also provide a higher-quality product with all of the required government certifications and manufacturer warranties.

They will have a greater variety of manufacturers and options from which to choose, and their employees are generally full-time, well trained and educated local career people who will provide you with the greatest professional assistance. Additionally, the order process is much easier, often requiring only one stop at the store to choose your windows and set up an installation schedule that’s convenient for you. Most often, the person that comes to your home to measure is the professional installer, not a salesperson. The installer will be able to answer more questions, make suggestions, and explain the installation process in great detail. 

Additionally, they are experienced to know what they are looking at, be familiar with the housing construction in the area, and will make far fewer mistakes in measuring properly and ordering the correct materials.

Big box Home Improvement Chain

It is often stated by wise shoppers that if you know the exact widget that you need and exactly where to find it, then you are probably okay going to a big box home improvement chain. Beyond that, pack your lunch and your patience. Generally the employee assistance that you receive on any given Sunday is very unlikely to provide you with the professional facts, figures, and options that you should have when making a major investment into your home. 

Additionally, the installation that they provide is usually subcontracted out to another large organization from out of the region. Scheduling can often be difficult and if everything doesn’t go right (which it seldom does), plan on spending hours or days on hold being bounced from department to department.

Big Fancy Manufacturer Direct Advertiser

Hold onto your wallet and prepare for the ride. The big fancy TV ads and promises of huge rebates have to be paid for somehow.  By huge profits at your expense. The ads are designed to get their salesman into your home… for hours.  The high-pressure sales pitch and negotiating process is more painful than buying a car, and far less rewarding. Expect to pay 2-3 times more for the same product and installation. That’s far more money than is justified by the $50 gift card for dinner that they will leave with you as a thank you gift for overpaying.

Tagged:installer, contractor, windows, doors, replacement

Add a Comment
I'm glad that you talked about making sure you check to see if you are using a state registered contractor. I have been looking for someone to install some things on my home and I wasn't sure how to make a decision. I can see how it would be good to choose someone registered, because it shows that they have the knowledge required for the job.
Posted by Scott on Monday, September 18, 2017, 6:09 PM
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