Replacement Windows: How Do I Get Started?

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By James Russo, Owner, Lawrenceville Home Improvement

The hardest part of any home improvement project is taking that first step. This is particularly true of replacing your windows. There are so many options to choose from and pretty much every salesperson you meet has the “only option you should consider.” Like everything in life, different people require different things—this is definitely true of windows.

Surf the web. Not everything on the Web is false. That being said, a dose of healthy skeptism is a wise com- panion as you scroll through sites. You will want to look for Websites that compare the major types of window products available—wood, vinyl, composite, and fiberglass. If you are reading a comparison without one of these options included, you are not getting a complete picture.

Brand buyer beware. Brands can be very helpful in any consumer endeavor. Unfortunately, brands can
also limit you. First, spend time thinking about the pluses and minuses of each window type—then find out which brands manufacture them.

Visit a showroom. This may be the most helpful and empowering step on your journey to replacement windows. Find a local showroom that offers a range of different window options, ask them why they chose those options to display, and get a feel for the differences between each window offered.

Settle on your timeline. Windows are expensive and the best windows are always built custom to fit your home window openings. Therefore, time is always a factor. Will you need to finance? How many months will you need to finance for? How long will custom windows take to manufacture? What is the delivery time? What is the installation time? Get answers to all of these questions in order to craft a realistic timeline to complete this project.

Read reviews. There are no more secrets on the Web anymore. Before choosing a partner in this project, check the reviews. One or two bad reviews isn’t the end of the world, but if a company has more bad than good, you need to look elsewhere. Keep in mind that people are more likely to write a bad review when they are dissatisfied than a good review when they are satisfied. So if you see a company with a majority of good reviews, chances are they are doing something right.