(HIT) – When it comes time to replace the windows in your home, who are you going to call? Hiring a window installer is similar to hiring other professionals in the building industry — you should do a good amount of research on the person(s) you trust to install your windows beforehand to assure a successful outcome.

Once you’ve identified several potential window installers, it’s time to dig deeper. The experts at Simonton Windows have created the following checklist to help you hire the best window installer for your project.

  • Seek out written estimates from at least three different installers. If there are price variations, ask for an explanation and don’t simply select the lowest bidder. Have the installers itemize their estimates.
  • Verify professional licenses, insurance policies and bonding.
  • Do a background check through Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau or other agencies in your area on any contractor you’re seriously considering for the project.
  • Determine if the project bid being offered by an installer is an estimate or a fixed price. If it’s an estimate, determine a specific amount the price could increase by on the job and set a cap limit.
  • Visit current jobsites of installers you’re interviewing to see their safety practices, how they treat the homes and property, and to gain a feeling for their work skills.
  • Consult with your homeowner’s insurance company to see if there are any additional considerations you should know about when having work performed on your home.
  • Don’t be pressured into signing anything because of an installer’s limited availability or special promotions. Take your time to pick the right installer.
  • Make sure you completely understand all the terms and conditions of a contract before signing.
  • Discuss interior and exterior access to your home with the potential installers. Ask about their cleanup policies, bad weather policies and what other situations may influence their performance. Make sure the installers and their subcontractors are bonded.
  • If your project is estimated at more than $6,000, investigate the option of having the installer post a performance bond for the entire cost of the project.
  • Questions to ask a potential installer:
    • How long have you been in business?
    • How long have you been installing replacement windows?
    • Have you ever been sued?
    • Are you licensed and registered with our state?
    • How many window installation products have you done in the past 12 months?
    • Will my project require a permit? If so, will you obtain it for the project?
    • What building codes must be followed for this project?
    • What safety precautions will you take on this project?
    • May I have a list of references for at least four previous clients?
    • What projects are you currently working on and can I visit the jobsites?
    • Will you be using subcontractors for this project? If so, can you supply all insurance and licenses for them?
    • Do you carry personal liability, worker’s compensation and property damage insurance coverage?
    • Are you bonded?
    • What is your requested payment schedule for a window installation project?
    • How do you prefer payment? (do not pay cash)
    • Which manufacturer’s windows have you installed in the past?
    • How long do you think my window replacement will take from start to finish?
    • Is disposal of my current windows covered in the price of the project?
    • What kind of written warranties or guarantees do you offer on your services?
    • Which window brands do you recommend and why?
    • Where do you purchase the windows for your projects?

These are a listing of just some items homeowners should consider before hiring a contractor or window installer. Check with your local Better Business Bureau, home builder’s association and other local professional organizations for additional suggestions.

About Simonton Windows
Simonton Windows has been ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Windows and Doors, Four Years in a Row. Tied in 2013.” by J.D. Power and Associates. Simonton produces ENERGY STAR® qualified vinyl replacement and new construction windows and doors, including a line of impact-resistant products.

Simonton was also ranked #1 in quality in the 2013, 2009, 2007, 2002 and 1998 Brand Use Studies sponsored by Builder magazine and has won three Best In Class Awards administered by LBM Journal Research Institute.

Founded in 1946, Simonton’s hallmark has been to deliver the industry’s shortest, most dependable lead-times. Part of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS), Simonton delivers award-recognized products throughout the United States and North America. Simonton is a Founding Sponsor of The Weather Museum, a Lifetime Founding Sponsor of the Lead Safe America Foundation, and a supporter of Homes for Our Troops. For information, call (800) SIMONTON (1-800-746-6686) or visit www.simonton.com.

Simonton Windows received the highest numerical score among window and door manufacturers in a tie in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2010-2013 Windows and Patio Doors Satisfaction StudiesSM. (Tied in 2013). 2013 study based on responses from more than 2,554 consumers measuring 11 brands and measures opinions of consumers who purchased new windows or patio doors in the previous 12 months. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in January – February 2013. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

ENERGY STAR is a government program that helps consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency and is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Courtesy: Home Improvement News and Information Center