Have you ever shopped for replacement windows? If you have, we know there is one thing you know for sure: There are a TON of options for purchasing windows. You can choose from a variety of national outfits such as Marvin, Pella, Andersen, or Provia, or you can choose to go with a local window provider (like HEGG Windows & Doors). That doesn’t even take into account the countless home improvement companies that offer windows in addition to other services. The options can be overwhelming and downright frustrating. We get it because we have seen it for years. But buying windows and doors is typically a once or twice in a lifetime gig, and it really does matter where you buy your windows and doors. Knowing what you want in the end and choosing a product and company that aligns with those goals can put you on the right path to the ideal window replacement experience.
Box Stores, Dealers or Full-Service
We don’t expect anyone to come to us with vast window knowledge. Windows are not that exciting, and until you need them most people don’t think twice about them. Spending your hard-earned free time researching the benefits of fiberglass versus wood for your home is not what most people look forward to. And that’s ok, that’s why we are here. But there are people who love researching and spending time on home improvement projects, and if you are one of these people, you may feel comfortable buying windows on your own and installing them yourself. Countless stores sell windows, but it is important to decide which options may be the right fit for you based on your comfort level
- Big Box Stores– Stores such as Menards, Lowes or Home Depot often stock windows, but the associates there may or may not have specialized window knowledge, so if you have questions you may not be able to get the help you need. Additionally, most big box stores offer standard size and color options, so if you need something more custom it may not be available. Installation services vary from store to store and may not be an option, so this is something to take into account while planning your project
- Trade Dealerships- Trade dealers typically operate as business-to-business outfits, providing various builders the materials they need for jobs. These organizations usually offer more custom options, but they often do not provide labor for the jobs, so you would need to handle the installation yourself.
- Full-Service Contractors- Full-service contractors often specialize in home improvement services, sometimes with windows and doors being the main offering (i.e. HEGG Windows & Doors). These are the best option for individuals looking for help and guidance throughout the window or door replacement project. Often, a project representative works closely with the customer to find the right product for the project, and the contractor handles measurement, installation, and service after the project is completed.
Options, Options, Options
As you begin your search for replacement windows and doors, it is important to consider your overarching goal for the project. There are many great options available, but something that works for someone else may not work for you and your home. Are you looking to stay with a similar style or color to what you have now, or are you looking for something totally different? Will you pay whatever it takes to get the product you want, or is the budget the deciding factor for the project? Another element to consider is the style of your house or your neighborhood. Many condo and homeowner associations have regulations as to what colors/styles/brands are approved, so it is important to understand if you are subject to those recommendations. Additionally, there are strict regulations in historic districts that may limit the options you have when it comes to replacement windows or doors (historic districts typically require an all-wood window to match the historic feel of the home).
By no means am I saying you need to have the exact window/door picked out by the time you set an appointment. In fact, having an appointment first may bring up some new considerations you have not have thought of. Plus, going to appointments gives me and Justin something to do all day. Just kidding. But all of these are things you should be thinking about when you are beginning your replacement project.
The Importance of Installation
The installation is arguably the most important part of the entire replacement project, although it sometimes becomes an afterthought when trying to sort through the brand and style of window or door to buy. The fact is, many home improvement organizations focus more on the sales and marketing side of the business, working hard to earn a sale but not focusing on the back end of the process. They typically subcontract the work out to crews who may or may not have been well-vetted prior to coming to your home. This can lead to an unpredictable installation experience, and it could go wrong in a hurry. There are a variety of well-made windows on the market, but if a product is installed incorrectly, its quality falls to the wayside. It is absolutely crucial that you have a well-qualified, dedicated individual coming to your home to complete the installation.
Here at HEGG, this is something we felt strongly about from the very start. Our installers are HEGG employees, and they are expert craftsmen who have been installing windows and doors for years. Because our installers are employees, we can control the replacement process from start to finish and provide outstanding customer service every step of the way. Many organizations cannot say that. In fact, some rotate crews so often that they may not know who is going to install your products at all. We are not saying all subcontractors are bad. In fact, there are some really talented subcontractors in the market. However, there are some really bad ones as well, and that is not a chance you should take when it comes to your home improvement project.
We have seen customers beat down by the window and door shopping process, almost to the point where they just want to pick someone and be done with it. It can be draining, and that is part of the reason why we approached the business differently. Who you use for your window and door replacement project matters, and it can absolutely make or break your project. As you shop, consider your comfort level and what you are looking for from a contractor, and consider some of the problems you are trying to alleviate by replacing your windows or doors. Make sure you always ask about the installation process and who is going to complete the project after you have signed on the dotted line. Having some direction will help you identify a company that aligns with your goals and can successfully complete your project.
Do you want to learn more about your options for replacement windows or doors? At HEGG, we offer a variety of brands, employee installers and a focus on creating an exceptional customer experience. We realize people don’t get excited about shopping for windows and doors (still breaks our heart a little though), so we work to guide you through the process and find the best choice for your home. We always offer free estimates and would love to meet with you to discuss your project. Oh, and if you want to learn more about who we are and the history of HEGG, read our debut blog here. Thanks for reading and make sure to offer your feedback on this post and any potential topics for future posts!