Conventional wisdom will tell you that whenever you have a home improvement project that needs completing, and you want to hire someone to complete it on your behalf, you should get more than one estimate. This is especially wise when it is a major home improvement project. For simple projects, such as having a ceiling fan installed or a new television mounted on your wall, for which you might simply hire a handyman, you might be able to get away with not getting several estimates, but for major projects, you’ll definitely want to get multiple estimates.
Why is this? Mainly, it’s because the cost can vary quite a bit from one service provider to another, but it also has to do with the types of products and materials that are used in the project and the level of service that is provided. In the replacement window industry in particular, knowing exactly what will be provided by the company you contract with for replacement windows is key!
The Materials Matter
When you get an estimate on replacement windows for your San Diego home, the estimate should spell out which brand of replacement windows the company will be installing. This is important because not all replacement windows on the market are the same. They may look very similar, but the quality can vary quite a bit from brand to brand. Some lower quality replacement windows will start to break down after only a few years. The vinyl frames may start to yellow, the seals will start to break (which will affect the window’s energy efficiency), locking mechanisms can break, etc.
You want to make sure you are spending your hard-earned money on replacement windows that will serve you well for many years to come!
Don’t assume that well-known brands are the best. Some of the brands you’ve probably heard of are not necessarily the windows you want in your home. They are just made by companies that are really good at marketing. On the other hand, some replacement windows made by smaller, regional companies are excellent options. At BM Windows, we recommend the Anlin and Monte Verde brands of replacement windows. These are windows that are made especially for areas like San Diego, which see a lot of sunny days and don’t experience very cold temperatures. They tend to be more affordable, but better quality than some of the “household name” brands of replacement windows.
Do your research on replacement window brands! To start, compare energy efficiency ratings. All replacement windows are tested by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), so you can easily compare apples to apples. You should also look at the warranties offered. If a brand offers a lifetime warranty, it tells you that they are pretty confident that their products will last for many years without issue. Just be sure to do some additional research as to how good a company is about honoring their warranty! Some windows come with a lifetime warranty, but when you dig a bit deeper, you will find that their manufacturer denies most warranty claims or takes a very long time to complete covered repairs.
What Services Are Included?
Another thing to look for as you are getting quotes from replacement window companies is what level of service is included. Are you getting professional installation, or is the installation of the windows being outsourced to subcontractors? We’ve even seen quotes that don’t include installation at all! The homeowner thinks they are getting a really great deal on new windows, but when their new windows arrive, the company then informs them that installation is an extra charge!
At BM Windows, when we give you a quote, it includes everything—the cost of the windows and their installation. We even provide you with our own warranty that guarantees the work and products used in the installation. When you work with BM Windows, you are a customer for life! If anything goes wrong with your windows down the road, whether it is a manufacturing defect or an installation error, we will make sure it gets taken care of!
So, How Many Quotes Should You Get from Replacement Window Companies?
We recommend that homeowners get at least three quotes from San Diego replacement window companies to compare. Once you do, go over them carefully to compare products and services, taking into consideration the reputation of the companies as well. If a replacement window company tries to pressure you into signing a contract before you’ve had the chance to get other estimates—run! They likely know that you can get a better deal elsewhere and don’t want you to compare their estimate to others. A reputable replacement window company shouldn’t have any problem with you getting other estimates.
For more information about the process of shopping for replacement windows, take a look at our ebook on the topic. Many homeowners—especially new homeowners—have found this ebook extremely helpful in the process.
If you’d like to receive a quote on replacement windows from BM Windows, contact our office to schedule an appointment. At your appointment, we can answer any questions you may have. We are also happy to review quotes you have received from other companies to help you compare.