8 Replacement Window Shopping Mistakes to Avoid

Mar 24, 2022
Residential home with new replacement windows

As anyone who has worked in the window industry will tell you, replacing windows is typically more of a “have to” than a “want to”. Shopping for replacement windows can be laborious and time-consuming, with plenty of salespeople telling you why their product is the best and offering “today only” deals. The overall process can feel incredibly overwhelming, and since your house is one of the most important aspects of your life, it is daunting to choose a contractor to trust with your home improvement project. At HEGG Windows & Doors, we try to empathize with our customers, taking the time to answer questions and arrive at a solution that truly is the best one for their project. Our dedication to our customers led us to create a guideline for consumers just starting the window replacement process. Below we outline common pitfalls we see consumers falling into during the process of choosing a replacement window company. Have questions or want more information? Click here to contact us directly.

  • Not doing preliminary research
  • Not hiring a professional
  • Buying the cheapest option
  • Buying the most expensive option
  • Focusing solely on performance and not aesthetics
  • Over or under estimating maintenance
  • Not fully understanding installation options
  • Not reviewing product warranties

Not Doing Preliminary Research

It can be easy to jump right into the window replacement process without really doing research beforehand. You are watching the news and you see a commercial for a sale at a window company, you call to get an estimate, and within days you have submitted an order. While that may work for some, for many it is important to know what elements are important to you before you begin the process. Are you concerned about the price? Are you looking for a local company or do you want a big box store solution? Is there a specific style or color that you have always dreamt about? What do you like or dislike about your current windows? Getting an idea of the different options available and what may interest you is great to do prior to getting estimates because you can narrow down the number of companies to talk to based on what you are looking for. You can also identify qualified companies by reading online reviews and asking friends/family for recommendations for who to use. While you don’t have to have all your questions answered prior to getting your first estimate, having a general idea of questions you want to ask and what you are interested in can be enormously helpful as you begin the shopping process.

Not Hiring a Professional

Home improvement projects are expensive, and it can feel tempting to try to cut some costs by simply purchasing products and handling the installation yourself. However, while some people are capable of pulling this off, most of us need to rely on professionals to execute a replacement project properly. Windows and doors are important insulators of your home, and improper installation can cause a world of trouble down the line with drafts, usability issues, and potential water leakage. What started as a way to save some money could end up costing much more money in the long run. Hiring a professional to handle your window installation ensures that your project is done correctly and will address your needs now and long into the future.

Buying the Cheapest Option

As mentioned earlier, home improvement projects are expensive, so it can be tempting to simply find the cheapest option and chose that for your project. However, saving money in the short run may come back to haunt you if the project is done incorrectly or if the product you chose does not really meet your needs. It is important to consider your neighborhood and what kind of homes it features. If you live in a high-end neighborhood, putting the cheapest windows possible in your home could damage your home value and hurt if/when you decide to sell the home. Additionally, choosing the cheapest option may mean you get a product that does not have the lifespan of a more expensive product, meaning you may have to redo the project all over again in a handful of years instead of decades down the line.

Buying the Most Expensive Option

While some consumers gravitate towards the lowest-priced options, others go directly to the most expensive option on the market, thinking that the highest price means the highest quality. While there is often some correlation between cost and quality, the highest quality product is not always the most expensive, and the lowest quality product is not always the cheapest. It is important to review the company that is selling the product, not just the product itself, as the installation experience can play a huge role in both the cost of the project and overall customer satisfaction. It may feel tempting to choose a vendor based solely on price, but although the price is a very important element, it is only one aspect to consider when replacing your windows.

Focusing solely on Performance and not Aesthetics

Replacing your windows can and should have a dramatic effect on the energy efficiency of your home, so it is important to review the energy ratings of various products as you are considering what to purchase for your home. Nevertheless, while energy ratings are a crucial factor, don’t forget that you also have to look at and operate the windows on a daily basis. Choosing a window that performs well on energy tests but does not match the look or feel of your home may leave you as unhappy as a window that didn’t perform quite as well. Much like with price, energy ratings are a very important factor to consider but it is also necessary to review the entire package to make sure you are choosing the right option for your home improvement project.

Over or Underestimating Maintenance

Different window materials and styles may require different levels of maintenance in the short and long term, so this is another element to consider when shopping for replacement windows. Are you looking for windows with a wood interior? Keep in mind that the wood will most likely need to be painted or stained, and make sure to discuss who is handling that with your window contractor. Do you remove and clean your screens once a year? Make sure you purchase windows that have screens that are easy to remove. Do you know that you will never clean the exterior of your windows? Then focus more on other elements like color or style rather than the easy-clean features. Knowing your preferred level of maintenance for now and in the future can help lead you to the best product for your needs.

Not Fully Understanding Installation Options

The installation of your windows can make or break the overall success of the project, regardless of the quality of the actual product purchased. As a result, it is extremely important for consumers to find a contractor that not only is qualified to handle the project but who can discuss the various installation options with you and explain the pros and cons of each option. When replacing windows, there are two main options for installation technique: Insert and Full Frame. Insert installations keep the existing woodwork and frame of the original window, so the new window is “inserted” in that opening. Insert installations are typically easier to execute but may result in some loss of glass space. Full Frame installations take everything down to the studs and rebuild the entire window opening, which is more complex and invasive than insert installations but results in the same amount of glass as with the previous window. Some window contractors can also make openings larger or smaller and can put openings where there wasn’t one to begin with, so if this is something that you are interested in, it is even more important to vet potential contractors to find the best option for your project. Want to learn about installation techniques in more detail? Check out our blog post about installation types here.

Not Reviewing Product and Installation Warranties

So you did your due diligence and found the perfect product for your window replacement project, but what happens after everything is installed? Do you have a warranty that covers manufacturer defects or operational problems down the line? Many people get caught up in the color and style options or overwhelmed by the costliness of the project, so it can be easy to overlook asking about warranties for both the product and the installation. Does the window contractor back the manufacturer warranty? Does it provide a warranty of its own? Who do you call if something goes wrong with your new windows or doors? At HEGG Windows & Doors, we not only back product warranties from the manufacturer, but we also provide a 100-year warranty on our installation (more information on that here). If something goes wrong you call our office, and our service technician comes out to review and resolve the issue. After spending so much time and money on new windows, you should be able to count on the contractor to warranty them for years after the installation, so it is important to clarify this prior to signing a contract.

The HEGG Difference

At HEGG Windows & Doors, we understand that upgrading your windows and doors may not be the most exciting aspect of home improvement but finding a product that meets your needs can truly revolutionize the look of your home and your overall satisfaction. We pride ourselves on working closely with our customers to find the perfect solution for them, something that will make them happy now and for years to come.

Are you ready to start your window replacement project? Call us today at 614-761-0890 or click here to contact us.