When it comes to home improvement projects, window replacements can feel like a daunting task. With the numerous products, process options and contractors to consider, it can easily become very overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to pick the right contractor. Many times it is difficult to know the right questions to ask of a window contractor to ensure your window replacement gets done right. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of questions to ask potential contractors.
- How long have you been in business?
- The answer to this question should not make or break the deal, but you might want to reconsider working with a company that has only been in business for a short time. Experienced companies have created systems to ensure work gets done on time and within budget.
- Where are you located and would you charge additional fees to come to my house?
- Many contractors will charge a driving fee if your home is outside a particular radius. Try to find a contractor that is as close to your home as possible.
- Do you carry insurance and can you show it to me?
- A reputable contractor should have comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance and should be willing to show it to you. While it might be tempting to go with an uninsured company that provides a cheaper quote, you might also find they cut corners on your home window replacement.
- Do you have a contracting license?
- The state of Arizona requires contractors to carry a general contractor license. Anyone can pretend to be a contractor so you want to make sure they can validate their claims with a license. A business license is not what you’re looking for as that just allows them to operate the business. You can search licenses on Arizona’s Registrar of Contractors website for any contractor you are considering.
- If a permit or inspection is needed, do you set that up?
- Not every project requires permits or inspections, but many larger remodeling projects do. Make sure your contractor knows the right permits involved and can pull them for you.
- What’s the payment schedule and how long will it take to complete?
- A good contractor should not make you pay in full up front. Clarify with them how they operate and also the steps involved and timing for completing the project.
- Who will be working on my project?
- Consistency in a larger project is important. Ask your contractor who will be working at your home, who the project manager will be, how often the business owner will check in and if they work with subcontractors. Make sure to get proper contact information for both the project manager and owner.
- Do you offer a warranty for both your services and the materials used?
- Usually, contractors offer some kind of warranty on their services and the manufacturer of the materials also has warranties. Ask for copies of these warranties.
- How do you clean up and protect my home?
- This may seem like a rude question, but you want to make sure your furniture, floors, etc. are protected and they are properly cleaning at the end of each day, especially for a larger project.
- Can you provide references?
- Ask for a list 5-10 past clients you can call. You don’t need to call all of them but pick 2 or 3. To take it one step further, ask for a client that involved a complaint to hear how that contractor dealt with it. If a contractor has before and after pictures of previous projects that can also be very helpful. Not all do though.
If you want to impress and surprise your potential contractor ask him/her these questions:
- Would it cost less money to replace all my existing glass to a more energy efficient glass in my existing windows-doors or would it be best to do entire replacements with a more energy efficient overall assembly including frames?
- Can you replace my existing windows with a retrofit type assembly minimizing the impact on existing surrounding substrates?
- Can you make my existing glass panes more secure by applying a clear security film to the interior surface?