Ok, so you've finally decided this is the year for replacement windows and patio doors in your home or building. Great! I want you to know this article is specifically written for you, the replacement window and patio door shopper.
Because buying replacement windows and patio doors is something we don't get much practice at, many people frankly go about it the wrong way. This is understandable; especially considering "How to Buy Replacement Windows And Patio Doors" is not currently part of any high school or college curriculum across the country.
But we live in a day and age where information abounds at every corner. And with such information now available to everyone, the replacement window and patio door shopper of today is nothing like the one of just five years ago. However, with more availability of information comes with it more of a responsibility on the replacement windo and patio door shopper's part.
So let jump into the 5 things you need to know BEFORE you start getting estimates and why.
1. Know that all parties involved want replacement windows and patio doors.
2. Know what's MOST important to you about the replacement windows and patio doors.
3. Know what's MOST important to you about the replacement window and patio door contractor installer.
4. Know your true budget.
5. Know the general difference between wood, vinyl, metal and composite windows and patio doors.
1. Know You (All Parties Involved) Want Replacement Windows And Patio Doors.
I know, you probably think this sounds silly, but trust me it's not. In fact, knowing that you do or do not want replacement windows and patio doors in your home or building is the key to your ability in making sound and rash decisions on what will be a pretty expensive project.
Just the other day I was passing through the showroom here at Jantek Windows headquarters in Medford New Jersey. I overheard a lady telling one of our estimators that she has wanted to replace her windows for over a year, but her husband had to be convinced that he also wanted to have the windows in their home replaced. Although I certainly empathized with this lady's dilemma, I was happy to hear our estimator’s response. He simply told her “ Mam, convincing your husband is not my job. That's just not what I do. That’s not what we at Jantek Windows do. I help people, who know they want replacement windows and patio doors, choose the right windows and patio doors with the right options that will meet their needs not just today but years from now as well.” So, in the case of this lady, the estimator referred her to multiple articles on our website, but as far as the 'convincing' was concerned, that would be contingent on the husband's efforts to seek the right answers.
2. Know What's MOST Important to You about the Replacement Windows and Patio Doors.
Low maintenance? Energy Savings? Comfort? Aesthetics? Customization? Functionality? Warranty?, etc., etc.? These are just a few common goals replacement window and patio door shoppers normally have when considering what they want their replacement windows and patio doors to be. This is why every replacement window and patio door shopper should consider what's important to them about their replacement windows and patio doors and then rate these in order before they meet with the replacement window and patio door contractor installer.
Trust me when I say that by doing this, your ability to focus on the right replacement windows and patio doors with the right options will be enhanced drastically.
3. Know What's MOST Important to You about the Replacement Window and Patio Door Contractor-Installer.
Are you looking for turn-key? Are you solely focused on lowest price? How much do quality and workmanship come into play regarding your decision? These are incredibly important questions that every replacement window and patio door shopper should answer before they meet with a replacement window and patio door guy. In fact, I believe the question of price is maybe the most important question shoppers will ever ask themselves.
This is because if a consumer is solely price-motivated then they likely don't even need to have a bunch of replacement window and patio door guys come to their home for estimates. And to be honest, I've had replacement window and patio door shoppers tell me their biggest concern was getting the lowest price to which I responded we probably weren't the company for them. I say this because it is impossible to be the lowest priced guy and give the best workmanship and quality. The whole idea is contradictory and simply not feasible when running a business.
Over the 25 years in the replacement and patio door industry, Jantek Windows has given thousands of replacement window and patio door estimates and on most of these, our company was the middle guy in terms of how much the quote was. Notwithstanding, I've also witnessed roughly 60% or so of the replacement window companies I've competed with go out of business during this time.
Fact is, companies must make a profit in order to establish longevity and be able to offer great service down the road. So please consider these questions as you shop for your replacement windows and patio doors. Write down your priorities and let these priorities be your compass as you seek to find the replacement window and patio door company for you and your family.
4. Know Your True Budget.
I wrote an in-depth article about financing replacement windows and patio doors recently but the key is that you, as the homeowner, take the time to figure out how you will pay for your replacement windows and patio doors, whether it be cash or credit, before you actually start getting replacement window and patio door quotes. I know for many this might seem like putting the cart before the horse but in reality the exact opposite is true. Simply put, are you going to pay cash, or use your credit card or some other form of financing? You need to figure out how much funding (cash or credit) is available and from what sources?
For example, at Jantek we have had customers get an estimate, give deposits, and get on our an install schedule, and then find out the financing (cash or credit) was going to be available to them.
This is why I strongly suggest to homeowners to determine your financing resources before you sit down with the replacement window and patio door guy. I can assure you that if you do this neither your, nor their, time will be wasted.
5. Know the General Difference Between Wood Clad, Vinyl, Metal and Composite Windows and Patio Doors.
I find in general that the internet is much less biased than replacement window and patio door guys when it comes to explaining the pros and cons to different types of windows and patio doors. Personally, and anyone who has dealt with me can attest to this, I try not to be 'that guy.' Despite the fact that my company only designs, manufactures, sells and installs vinyl replacement windows and patio doors, that doesn't mean I haven't told people before that we simply didn't have a product to fit their needs. Fact is, vinyl, although it fits the needs of most consumers, isn't for everyone. Read the article "Comparing Window And Patio Door Frame Materials: Vinyl, Wood Clad, Metal and Composite/Fiberglass" to learn all the details.
If a homeowner has a distinct idea as to the pros and cons of each type of replacement window and patio door before they receive an estimate, they will be more able to make logical decisions on the type of replacement window and patio door that will fit the needs of their family for years to come. So do your research on the different types of replacement windows and patio doors and I can assure you it will greatly help you as you go about this replacement window and patio door shopping experience.
So there are the 5 things you should know before you receive a quote for your replacement windows and patio doors. I've literally given this advice to window and patio door shoppers all over the country with great results and I hope you implement these suggestions into your window and patio door buying experience as well.
If you'd like to learn more about the different replacement window and patio door options available to you, check out our article "Comparing Wood Clad, vinyl, Metal and Composite Frame Windows" …and remember… save energy… capture comfort!