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The Top Questions To Ask When Shopping For Replacement Windows at a Home Show

It’s that time of year again, when building associations and contracting groups across the nation stage their annual home show events.  By gathering contractors, roofers, electricians, and other service providers in one location with retailers who offer everything from lighting to flooring to the hottest kitchen gadgets, home shows are designed to inspire dreams and infect shoppers with what is lovingly known as “Renovation Fever”.

Without fail, a home show will feature one or more exhibitors selling replacement windows.  You’ll find displays with vinyl replacement windows, fiberglass replacement windows, and wood replacement windows — often from leading manufacturers like Alside, Pella, Harvey and Champion.  Side by side with these reputable, well established companies, you’ll find exhibits from ‘discount’ replacement window vendors who promise you that they can provide top notch replacement windows at a fraction of the price.

Quality matters when you’re considering replacement windows.  This is one area where you truly get what you pay for: opting for the cheap, discounted replacement window may wind up costing you additional money in the long run, due to excessive energy loss, moisture and cold air penetration, and inferior construction requiring costly repair.

Do your due diligence.  Here are some questions you may want to ask vendors selling replacement windows:

  1. What type of guarantee do these windows carry?
  2. Do you stand behind your work?
  3. What about the installation?
  4. Do you do your own installation or subcontract the job to a third party?
  5. What kind of guarantees do you offer on the installation?
  6. Explain to me how this window will help me save energy here, in this area?
  7. What are the leading features I should know about this window?
  8. What kind of maintenance does this window require?
  9. How long has the manufacturer been in business? Are they in good financial health? Will they be around if I need help with these windows five, ten, or twenty years down the line?
  10. What about your company — have you been in business long? Do you belong to the Chamber of Commerce?
  11. Can I have references from five satisfied customers?
  12. How long would it take, from your initial visit to completion, to get new windows in my house?