Selecting the Right Contractor to Replace Your Windows or Doors

Contractor replacing a window

Hiring a contractor for any project can sometimes seem like a difficult task. There are an abundance of options out there, and oftentimes it becomes impossible to tell who will do the best job. When looking at any professional, it is important to consider a few key variables. Ultimately though, a door or window that needs replacing can be costing you more than you realize in energy costs, so it needs to be addressed quickly. With that in mind, here are some ideas to help make the selection easier.

The Importance of Price

Naturally, the first place that most people go to when considering any sort of home improvement project is price. Whether you are looking to get new windows or doors for your own desire to change the home, or whether there is damage that requires them to be replaced, price is always a factor to consider. Beyond just figuring on the initial price of a project though, also consider looking at the long-term costs and benefits of a certain choice.

An all wood door might look nice, but it might not last as long as a composite door. Furthermore, you want to make sure that the home is well enough insulated, so energy efficient options begin playing a part. Before looking at any options, always establish a budget and write it down. No matter what tempts you through the selection process, always stay within your written budget.

Different Materials Matter

One of the biggest reasons for price variances between projects is the materials that are being used. For doors, the options are virtually limitless, with dozens of different materials to choose from. Though many doors are made from wood, there are many different types as well as composite options, metal choices, and the addition of windows within the door.

Windows are also quite diverse in what is available today. Beyond the obvious consideration of different glass design, there are also many different types of windows. Some of them open outward, upward, inward, etc. and some of them slide in various directions. Furthermore, with energy efficiency a concern, many of the new types of glass are made differently to help keep heat out and better insulate the home in general.

Energy Efficiency Is King

Since the introduction of the BC Energy Efficiency Act, many companies have been introducing new and better options into the marketplace when it comes to energy efficiency. In some cases, doors and windows can now be Energy Star certified, which means that the savings you can incur can be significant. Even if the initial cost is a bit more, it definitely can pay to look at paying that extra money to save in the long run. After a year or less, you will usually find that you've already saved more than the cost difference for buying the less expensive and less energy efficient option.

The Quality Difference

Installing a door or window may not seem like a difficult task, but without the proper knowledge and skillset it can be quite difficult indeed. In fact, there is much more involved than just simply measuring, placing, and drilling. Instead, there is a lot of fine sizing and fitting that comes into play.

When looking for a door or window contractor, always keep the difficulty in mind, especially if you want to have something more unique installed. One of the best ways to consider a contractor's quality is to search for that person online. Look to popular review websites such as Yelp or Angie's List, and also check out his Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages. You can find out a lot about a person by doing a quick and easy web search.

Additionally, look for contractors that will give you a free quote. Anyone who performs quality work is confident that his work speaks for itself. Giving a free estimate shows a level of know-how as well as an established presence within the industry. When you meet with the contractor, his attitude can often help to fill in any doubts you have about whether he offers quality service or not.

Convenience That Works for You

One concept that is lost among many who search for a contractor is convenience. You have a life and plenty of responsibilities, so when you are looking to hire a professional to help you complete a task, make sure that professional will not be more trouble than he is worth. Nothing is more inconvenient than calling up a service professional and being given a huge window of when he might arrive.

Instead, look for someone who can give you a real work schedule. When they are coming out for the estimate, have them give you a small window, maybe an hour or two where they would show up. This is not only important for your convenience, but it also shows that the contractor is really able to stick to a schedule.

The Consequences of Delay

If you are getting a new door or window simply for appearances, there really is no benefit to rushing, but if there is damage of any kind, there are plenty of reasons to make your decisions quickly. For starters, if a door is suffering from mold or other damage, this type of problem could spread. Perhaps more commonly, if there is physical damage to a door or window that is exposing your home to the elements, you could be losing money to energy wasting. With this in mind, always move quickly and don't leave a damaged door or window unattended.

Ultimately, you want to hire a contractor who will not only work with you on price, but be able to provide you the details you need to make an informed purchasing decision. If you want tips on energy efficient doors and windows, talk to potential contractors and see what type of options are available. When he makes a recommendation, ask him why and have him explain anything that leaves you wondering. In the end, your home matters. Hire a contractor that will give it the care it needs.

Posted by: Ahmed Muztaba
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