Let the buyer beware.
Sold as is.
With more and more products being advertised, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between the real deal and an inferior knockoff. Savvy marketers can be masters of deception by claiming to offer high-quality products to unsuspecting customers then providing items that are poorly constructed or cheap.
So, how can you tell if you’re going to get what you paid for when choosing replacement windows for your home?
Here are some crucial lessons you’ll want to learn before committing to a specific window manufacturer:
Lesson #1 – Choose an Experienced Team
Finding a skilled team with experience in the industry is crucial to the design and manufacture of high-quality windows. With experience comes a unique understanding of the complexities and intricate details associated with all aspects of window systems for the replacement, new construction, and custom home markets.
Lesson #2 – Expect a Modern Manufacturing Facility
A modern manufacturing facility is a key element to superior window production. A large, organized plant with easy access to dealers, suppliers, and distribution routes will ensure your windows will be manufactured with high-quality standards and delivered quickly.
Be sure to check the accreditations and certifications for all products. Written documentation and product labels will identify your replacement windows are certified and meet performance requirements from the National Building Code of Canada and Energy Star®.
Lesson #3 – Must-Have State-of-the-Art Equipment
High-tech, state-of-the-art equipment is needed to produce the best performing windows. Modern machinery allows for quality, precision, consistency, and reliability on every window. Old equipment or windows constructed using hand tools may be reminiscent of old-world craftsmanship, but in reality, will have poor quality and poor performance.
Intricate processes can be achieved like close tolerances, precise bending, full-coverage painting, clean glass cutting and sealing for the best window designs and features.
Lesson #4 – Look for Innovative Designs and Features
The right window manufacturer should offer a good selection of innovative designs and features you want for your home. Look for low-maintenance vinyl plus energy-efficient options like Low-E and Argon-filled units.
Many styles of windows should be available and come in a variety of custom shapes and sizes to meet your specific needs, such as:
- Casement and Awning Windows
- Single and Double Hung Windows
- Single and Double Sliding Windows with lift-out and tilting options
- Bow and Bay Windows
- Custom Shape Windows
You should also be able to include between the glass window grills, plus be offered a large selection of material and colour hardware choices.
Replacement windows should be available in designs to match your specifications. Installation should include both retrofit and full-frame methods to end up with the best windows and doors your money can buy.
Lesson #5 – Is There an Integrated Ordering System?
Communication is critical when ordering windows for your home. Window Manufacturers with advanced software technology can control the construction and assembly process and maintain close communications with the dealer, sales team, shipping, and service departments. This will help keep you informed about the status of your order from contract signing to delivery.
Today’s advanced systems provide everything from accurate quotes, step-by-step order tracking, quality control, and support. Choosing a company with an integrated system in place will give you peace-of-mind knowing that what you’ve ordered is what you’ll receive.
Lesson #6 – Needs Comprehensive Warranty Coverage
You may not be aware that warranty coverage varies significantly between window manufacturers, so you’ll want to obtain a comprehensive, written document that details specifically what is covered and for how long
You should expect long-term coverage for seal failure on insulated, specialty, and tempered glass, as well as vinyl components, and hardware. Installation warranties should cover things like levelling, insulation, and water leakage due to negligence.
Normal wear and tear is rarely a warranty item and many window manufacturers will stipulate that window must be maintained properly for replacement coverage. The warranty is for your protection, but it’s also to protect the manufacturer from false claims. Be sure you completely understand the warranty coverage including registration requirements so you won’t be disappointed if you need to file a claim.
The Final Lesson
Before deciding what type of windows you want for your home improvement project, you’ll want to educate yourself about the different window manufacturers and what they have to offer.
You’ll want to choose a company with skilled and experienced team members to offer advice, answer your questions, and make recommendations on the best solution to your window problems.
Next, you’ll want to be sure the manufacturing facility offers state-of-the-art equipment in a modern atmosphere. All products should comply with EnergyStar® and National Building Code of Canada. Labels should also include a North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS) certification that identifies energy performance ratings so you can make clear comparisons and informed purchasing decisions. Check their accreditations and other certifications as well as their references from previous customers. These can often be obtained through customer testimonials on their website.
Innovative designs and features are a must. New materials, technologies, and manufacturing methods have improved significantly over the years. Your research should verify that the company offers the styles, materials, and colours you need, double- and triple-pane glass options, energy-efficient Low-E and Argon gas fill.
A leading window manufacturer will also have the latest integrated ordering system. This will give them control over every stage of the manufacturing process. This will ensure that your order will be handled quickly and efficiently.
Warranty coverage is a critical component to the selection process. Understanding what is considered a warranty issue before you order will help any claims go smoothly.
Learning the crucial lessons for working with window manufacturers will take a little time up front, but will be worth the effort when you experience a smooth, trouble-free project.