When you are thinking about replacing the windows or doors in your home, it is important that you end up with the best deal. We have all heard horror stories on renovation projects that turned out to be a disaster. To ensure you end up with a fully-satisfying renovation that you can be proud of, it is critical to select the best window contractor and negotiate a satisfactory arrangement.
That selection process is just like a job interview you might conduct with a potential employee. The outcome can be just as important. In this article, we will discuss how you make that selection and how you can end up with the best deal.
Making a Shortlist of Window Contractors
If you have a friend who has had a good experience with a window contractor then that is an ideal way to go. If not, the usual advice is that you should get at least three quotes. That sounds so simple. However in each case you would need to arrange a meeting with the contractor and discuss possible alternative arrangements and details of the project. Here we will discuss ways of shortening that process.
The first step is to make a short list of at least three window contractors who you would consider as possibilities. You might include recommendations from friends whose opinion you value. You could also do a Google search for window contractors in your area. Checking on the websites for these window contractors will confirm whether they should be on your shortlist. After that, you can begin to decide who ranks at the top of your list.
Checking the Credentials of the Window Contractors
Before you need to contact the contractors, you can easily check out their credentials. How long have they been in business? What is their rating in the Better Business Bureau? Do they have the highest rating, A+? Does a Google search for the company show any negative comments?
You should also check whether the contractor is a member of appropriate professional organizations: for example, the Siding and Window Dealers Association of Canada (SAWDAC). This Association sets tough standards that window contractors must live up to. This ensures quality, professionalism and guaranteed workmanship..
Checking the References of the Window Contractors
An even more important factor in making a choice is whether they leave their customers fully satisfied. You can often read reviews on their websites or on their social media pages. You can also check out reviews on sites such as HomeStars to see how they compare with their competitors.
At this point, even without contacting the companies, you will have a feeling about how they are likely to rank. You should reorganize your list from the strongest to the weakest.
Your Meeting Strategy With the Window Contractor Shortlist
If you have done your homework correctly, you feel that any of the window contractors on your list could possibly do the job. Meeting any one of them, you likely will gain some useful information on their reaction to your project. However you do not wish to waste your time. What is the best strategy for meeting these contractors?
You should first decide how many contractors you wish to meet. Basically you should meet the weaker ones first. You will then have the maximum of information including their quotes when you meet the strongest potential contractor. In this way you are well-placed to get the best possible deal. If by chance, there seems to be a problem with this strongest contractor, then you will return to one of the others to tie down the deal.
Making a Deal That Works for You
When you have a quote you find acceptable and an installation schedule that works for you, you should make sure that this is all written into a clear legal contract. This will specify all the precise details of the work including the time schedule. Perhaps the most important factor here is that the work will only be regarded as complete when you are completely satisfied.
For more extended reading on this, the following article (written for a US audience) covers many detailed issues when choosing a window contractor: Seven Critical Questions to Ask Any Window Contractor