Replacing your windows—where do you even begin?
We get how overwhelming the task of window replacement can be. After all, there are so many window replacement companies out there, and it’s hard to know which of those companies is worth your time.
How do you find a trustworthy company that will give you the high-quality windows you need?
That’s the question we’ve set out to answer in this blog. We’ve put together detailed instructions for a five-step process designed to lead you to the best window replacement company in your region. Here are the steps:
- Visualize Your Ideal Windows
- Perform Online Research
- Consult People You Trust
- Meet with Window Companies
- Assess Your Findings
Below you will find instructions and useful tips for performing each of these steps. We hope you find them helpful!
Step 1: Visualize Your Ideal Windows
Before you do any research, you need to know what you’re looking for and why you’re looking for it. After all, if you don’t have an idea of what improvements you would like to make to your windows, then you’ll have a hard time determining which window replacement company is best for you.
Moreover, you need to know the reason you’re looking for companies in the first place. You need to be certain you need to replace your windows. Otherwise, the doubt will make this process a lot more stressful than it should be.
Here’s a quick guide to answering three key questions before moving forward with the research process.
“Is Now the Right Time to Replace My Windows?”
You may have some doubts about replacing your windows. It’s crucial to get those ironed out before even thinking about looking for the best window replacement company.
The first thing to do to put those doubts to rest is to examine your current windows. Do you notice any of the following problems?
- The wood is rotting or deteriorating
- You notice a draft when you walk by
- The outside noise is louder than it used to be
- There is excessive fogging on the glass
- The windows don’t open as easily as they used to
- Your heating and cooling bills have risen
- The windows don’t look as good as they once did
If you answered yes to one or more of these problems, then you will benefit from window replacement.
Of course, the state of your windows isn’t the only thing to consider. You should also take the time of year into account.
The best time of year for window replacement is in the spring and summer when the weather is warm. So, if you notice these problems in colder months, you’re going to have to wait for window replacement.
However, it’s never a bad time to start planning your window replacement. Current supply chain issues have made the lead times for window replacement projects multiple months. So, getting a head start even during the winter can put you ahead of the game.
“What Improvements Does My Home Need?”
It’s one thing to know you need window replacement. What’s better is to know exactly what you want the new windows to accomplish for you.
The best way to do this is to visualize how your new windows will function in your home. So, take some time to think about your desires for the following important factors:
- Aesthetic Value – What style of window will be best for your home?
- Financial Value – Do you need windows that will help lower your heating/cooling and repair bills?
- Functional Value – Do you need windows that open and close or filter light better than your current windows?
- Resale Value – Are you looking for windows that will make your home more appealing when you put it on the market?
We recommend writing down your exact needs as you answer these questions. By doing this, you will be ready to discuss what you’re looking for with companies when it comes time.
As you will see, the best window replacement company will cater its services to your needs—not the other way around.
“Why is a Window Replacement Company Better Than Doing It Myself?”
One final doubt we need to address before we start researching is the elephant in the room: Should you replace a window by yourself instead?
Obviously, anyone can replace a window. That’s why you see them for sale at your local hardware store.
And here’s the thing: doing it yourself is much cheaper than hiring a professional.
So, if you’re most concerned with saving a few bucks today, then no one’s stopping you from doing it.
But we’re guessing your main motivation for replacing your windows isn’t to save money in the short term. What you’re really looking for is long-term value and peace of mind.
For most homeowners, achieving both of those goals isn’t easy. But the best window replacement company provides both with professional craftsmanship. An experienced company knows how to install your windows in a way that provides lasting results and checks off the boxes for complete warranty coverage.
So, if you know what you want and that a professional window company is the best option to meet your needs, let’s get to finding that company! The process starts with online research.
Step 2: Perform Online Research
Let’s get one thing straight up front: Online research is more than just searching “top window replacement companies near me” in Google and going with the first option you find! That’s a surefire way to settle for a large company that won’t value you as a customer.
Finding a quality company that cares about you and caters to your needs takes more work. The good news is we’re here to walk you through that process.
The process involves two types of research:
- Examining company websites
- Exploring ratings and reviews sites for each company
Here are some helpful guidelines for how to get the most out of these types of research.
Examining Company Websites
Start by searching the web for window installers in your region. Some search queries you might want to try for this are “best window replacement company near me” or “top-rated window replacement companies near me.”
As you scroll through the results, click on the companies’ websites and take a look around. You can learn a lot about a business from what they do and do not put on their website.
We recommend keeping an eye out for these key indicators of quality as you browse:
- Years in Business – A mark of a trustworthy company is if they’ve been serving your local area for multiple decades.
- Family-Owned – A family-owned company is much more likely to give you the attention and respect you deserve than a larger business.
- Options – The best companies offer many customizable window options to choose from.
- Portfolio – They should proudly display photos or videos of past work on their site.
- Accreditation – Stamps of approval from organizations like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are good signs.
- Warranty Information – Do they mention how long their warranties are? The best companies offer lifetime warranties for their windows.
Make note of the companies you find with these items on their site. These are the companies that might be worth reaching out to later.
We say might be worth reaching out to because you should never just take what you find on a company’s website at face value. Unfortunately, some companies can be less than honest with the information they provide.
For this reason, we also recommend looking at other websites and customer reviews as you research window companies.
Explore Ratings and Reviews Sites
Once you have a list of a few companies you think might be worth checking out based on their websites, it’s time to dig a little deeper. You can do this in a couple of ways.
First, search for each of the companies on helpful consumer websites like the Better Business Bureau and Angi. The information you find on these sites will aid you in determining if a window replacement company is a trustworthy business.
Another great resource for this is online customer reviews. You may have seen some of these when you explored company websites. However, you shouldn’t just take those as the only reviews you look at. (After all, what company is going to feature negative reviews on its site?)
Instead, search for both positive and negative reviews on some of the web’s most popular review sites, including Facebook, Google and Yelp. See what former customers are saying about each business and if it lines up with what you saw on the website.
You should also make note of whether the company responds to the reviews it receives. How a business replies to a negative online review says a lot about how it handles customer service.
Beyond looking at publicly published reviews, you can also seek out people’s private opinions as well by joining local Facebook Groups. These private forums are a great place to solicit recommendations from people in your area. You may even find a company you hadn’t heard of in your initial research.
Step 3: Consult People You Trust
Of course, you don’t just have to rely on impersonal online research. Another great resource to use is the people you trust the most: your loved ones, friends and family!
It never hurts to ask around to see if anyone you know recently had a great experience with a window replacement company.
The best part is if you do get a recommendation from someone you know, they’ll probably be okay with you examining the company’s handiwork.
If you do get the chance to look at a friend’s windows, be sure to keep an eye out for some key signs of quality:
- Window caulking is smooth and concave, not uneven and bulgy
- The trim is sealed to the window
- No gaps between the window and the frame
- You can open and close the window with ease
Beyond this, the window should also pass your eye test. If you don’t love the way it looks, then you probably won’t be crazy about how that same company will install your windows.
Step 4: Meet with Window Companies
Once you have a list of 3-4 window replacement companies you feel might be a good fit, it’s time to meet them face to face.
Reach out to each of the companies and schedule a consultation. Most companies offer this initial consultation free of charge. So, if a company charges for this meeting, that’s a big red flag.
At the initial consultation, you will meet with a sales representative from the company. How you feel interacting with this person will tell you a lot about the company he or she represents. So, pay attention to your gut feeling and trust it.
It shouldn’t feel like this person is trying to pressure you into a sale. High-pressure sales tactics have no place in the window replacement industry since getting new windows is such an important investment for your home.
Instead, the representative should put you at ease and answer all your questions thoroughly and honestly. If it feels like you’re being lied to, then you probably are. Your relationship with the company replacing your windows is important. So, it should never start out on a less-than-honest note.
Here are some other things to watch out for and keep in mind as you interact with the sales representative:
Puts Your Needs First
One of the most important things the sales rep should do is put your needs first. What we mean by this is you shouldn’t feel like you’re being sold a one-size-fits-all product. So, if the sales rep tries to persuade you that one type of window fits your home, that’s a reason for concern.
Instead, the sales rep should listen to your needs and then give recommendations for how the company could custom make a window to meet your specifications.
The company should be willing to adapt the design of the window to your home instead of forcing a pre-designed window into your home.
That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the customization options a company provides when doing online research. The more variety they offer, the more likely it is they can create the perfect window for your home’s unique design.
Offers Competitive Pricing
Each company will give you an estimate of the price for the project. However, evaluating these prices isn’t as simple as going with the lowest one. In fact, you should be wary of estimates you receive that seem too low because you get what you pay for when it comes to window replacement. So, if a price seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
The lowest prices you receive will probably give you the lowest quality work. So, instead, when evaluating price, you should consider the upfront cost alongside the value you expect to receive from the project.
Ask yourself what you’re getting for the price. The long-term benefits should vastly outweigh the short-term drawback of paying a little extra up front.
The best window replacement company will provide those benefits at a price that is similarly priced to its competition. We call that competitive pricing.
Installs Factory-Direct Windows
You should also ask the sales rep if the company is factory direct. What this means is the company works with a manufacturer that designs its windows and certifies its installers to install them properly. Reputable window replacement companies do this, and it makes a huge difference.
To understand why being factory direct is so important, let’s consider the alternative. Companies that aren’t factory direct buy the windows they install from a manufacturer they don’t have a relationship with. This manufacturer has particular guidelines for installing its windows properly. And if the installer fails to follow even one of those instructions, then it will make the window more likely to malfunction and will void the product warranty when it does.
Five years down the road, when that window malfunctions, the installer may be out of business and the company won’t provide warranty coverage since it was installed correctly.
In other words, you’ll be out of luck.
This nightmare scenario won’t happen with a factory-direct company. Since the manufacturer and the installer are a team, you will get the proper installation and complete warranty coverage you deserve. So, make sure you ask if the company is factory direct.
Upfront About the Process
One of the best ways to weed out disreputable sales reps and companies is by asking about how the window replacement process will work at the initial consultation. The sales rep should be more than willing to give you a detailed rundown of how it all will work.
If the sales rep can’t or won’t give you a very detailed preview of the whole process, then that’s a bad sign. It means the company cares more about selling to you than about giving you the best possible service. You’d be much better served going with a company that can give you a clear preview.
The sales rep should also give you an honest answer when it comes to lead times for the project. The supply chain issues caused by the pandemic are making these longer than usual for the foreseeable future. So, it’s important to ask about this and get accurate information to set clear expectations for the project up front.
Other signs of honesty include the sales reps’ willingness to give you information about licenses, insurance and references. You will especially want to get references of past customers you can reach out to because that will give you more opportunities to see samples of the company’s past work.
Step 5: Assess Your Findings
Once you’ve met with all the companies, it’s time to make your final decision. Go over all the information you’ve received and all the notes you’ve taken to assess which company you think will best meet your needs.
The ultimate decision will be up to you, but we recommend basing it on the answers to these three most important questions:
- Which company seemed most trustworthy and honest?
- Which one offered the most long-term value?
- And which one seemed most willing and genuinely interested in meeting my window needs?
The best window replacement company is the one that keeps boiling to the top when you ponder those questions. Once again, if your gut feels like there’s one that best answers those questions, then go with that one.
You can never go wrong trusting your gut.
Find the Best Window Replacement Company in Lake in the Hills
We hope you’ve found this guide useful on your quest to get the best home window replacement. If you’re still looking for recommendations for a top window replacement company and you live near Lake in the Hills, IL, may we humbly suggest our own?
We’re Your Window Solutions, a family-owned window replacement company that has been serving the greater Chicago region for over 30 years. We offer a wide variety of factory-direct window options and custom tailor our solutions to your needs.
If you’re interested, please give us a call at 1-833-FOR-YOUR to schedule a free consultation. We’d be happy to help you get the beautiful and functional new windows you deserve.