Tips For Buying Replacement Windows Online
When it is time for you to buy replacement windows for your home you may feel inundated by all of the options, and by some of the hard-sell approaches of salespeople selling replacement windows. By being equipped with some knowledge before you head out to shop for replacement windows, you will be in a much better position to determine which factors are most important to you when it comes to selecting windows and can therefore make a more informed decision.
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Buying Replacement Windows
The main factors to consider when shopping for replacement windows are what brand of window to choose, what materials the windows are made from, and what the cost of the windows is. It is also important to make sure that you have a reputable installation contractor that can get the job done right. There are also a few other considerations to keep in mind, such as warranty information, timing of the delivery of the windows, payment schedules and other aspects of the purchase.
Here are a few key points to keep in mind when purchasing and installing replacement windows:
1. Determine what types of windows you want before you start shopping. Do you want wood windows or are you looking to just get the cheapest windows you can? Are you set on a specific brand or open to anything? This decision may be based in part on how long you expect to stay in your home, the climate that you live in, and what the value of your home is. There is a wide variation of pricing when it comes to replacement windows so deciding up front what your goal is or what type of windows you are interested in will help you avoid being ’talked into’ something that you don't want.
2. Get a free in-home estimate. Companies that specialize in replacement windows will typically offer free in-home estimates. They will come out to your house, take a look at your existing windows, find out what your plans are for new windows and can then show you various window options and provide estimates. Just be aware that some replacement window salespeople can be rather pushy and are trained to close a sale, so don't allow yourself to be talked into anything you don't want. Make sure also that the estimates are free and you are under no obligation to purchase anything or pay for anything if they come out to your home. You should get estimates from more than one company, and preferably at least three, before making a decision.
3. Talk to multiple installation contractors. It is best to ask for recommendations from neighbors and friends to find a good installer. You should get estimates from more than one contractor before making a decision. Make sure that the contractor you select is bonded and insured and find out if they can get the windows for you. Some contractors work directly with certain window companies and can get you a contractor discount, or have more experience working with one type of window than another. They are also usually a valuable source of information about what type of window to choose, if you find one whose opinion you trust
4. Ask about all window models. When replacement window salespeople come to your home or you talk to them in a store, they will often try to steer you towards their higher end products. If that is not what you are interested in, ask them about lower priced models and make it clear to them that you have a specific budget you need to stick to. If they know that you cannot be pushed to go with the higher priced models, they will be more apt to tell you the benefits of the more moderately priced options, rather than talking you out of them. In many cases, the lower priced options are all that you need.
5. Decide what options are important to you. Do you really need a triple paned window when a double paned one may be good enough? Do you have your heart set on only using Andersen windows or are you willing to go with another company, such as Harvey, to keep costs lower? There are many options out there for you to choose from, so decide what is most important to you before making your decision.
6. Stick to your plan and your budget. If you know up front what your window budget is or have a specific type of window in mind that you want to purchase, do not allow yourself to be easily talked into another option. You should allow for some flexibility in your budget, but don't allow a salesperson to talk you into blowing your whole budget.
7. Ask for a cost breakdown. Make sure you understand how much of the price quote relates to the windows themselves and how much relates to installation. This knowledge will make it easier to compare estimates and will also allow you to decide if it's better to have the company selling the windows install them or to have an independent contractor handle the installation after you purchase the windows.
8. Ask about replacement window warranties. Ask about the length of warranties and whether they are transferable if you sell your home. Having a warranty that will transfer to a new homeowner can be a valuable selling point. Find out also if the warranty only covers the product itself or installation as well. Window replacement companies will often offer warranties on both product and service and independent contractors will typically not offer any warranty on their installation.
9. Find out how long it takes to get the windows. Some replacement window companies will lead you to believe that it can take a long time to get the windows in stock in an effort to get you to make a quicker decision so that you can ’get the ball rolling’ on the order. The truth is that most companies can get the windows in within two to three weeks, unless there are specific circumstances that will make it take longer, such as custom sizes or a serious backorder.
10. Inquire about payment options. Purchasing replacement windows can be a pretty big investment. Many companies will offer a three installment option , where they request a third of the money at the time the order is placed, a third of the money when the windows arrive and the final balance after they are installed (if the same company is ordering the windows and installing them). Some companies may offer extended payment options but be sure you are clear on what the terms of their payment schedule are and whether there are any additional fees or interest included.
11. Take your time to decide. Salespeople will try to get you to make a quick decision and are trained in closing a deal. Even if they tell you that the price they're offering is only good for that day, don't be pressured to make the purchase then. Take the time to compare prices and quality from other places before making your decision. If they still want your business, they will still be offering you the same price a few days from now. If not, you can go elsewhere.
12. Compare information. Keep all of the information you receive from the different companies that you get estimates from. In many cases, various companies will offer the same types of windows which will make it easier to compare window pricing based on comparable quality and options. You also need to consider the differences in quality and decide what level of quality you are seeking. When it comes to installation, you should also go with your gut feeling. If you feel comfortable or uncomfortable with a particular company or contractor, go with those instincts.
There are many considerations to keep in mind when you are in the market for new replacement windows. Each individual homeowner will have different priorities about what is most important to them when making a decision, but all of these points should be kept in mind so that you can make the most informed decision possible.