The other day, I did a quick Google search for the number of window manufacturers in the U.S. And there was one listing that ranked the Top 100. ONE HUNDRED. And that is not even half of them. Which begs the question, how do you know which window to go with?
Well, no matter what salesman you have in your home, they will surely tell you that their window is “the best” and all of the others are “just awful.” But we all know that this is very far from the truth. To help you decide which window is “best” for you, here is a quick guide.
Ask yourself this question: Have you ever heard of them before? When I say names like Pella, Andersen, or Marvin, most customers know that these companies make decent windows with good warranties.
Sure, they have huge marketing budgets, and these manufacturers are giants it the game. But the fact remains: you knowthese brands.
The good news? They aren’t going anywhere. If you install Pella windows in your house today and in 10 years, there’s a problem, there’s a 99.9% chance that Pella is still going to be around to hopefully take care of it.
The bad news? Usually, these huge companies also have huge overheads which, quite naturally, drives up their prices. It’s no secret that Pella, Andersen, and Marvin are not the cheapest windows on the market.
When you invite the salesman to your house, does he (or she) just show you one or two types of windows? Sure, you only need “one type” of window, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know what’s out there. Windows can be made of vinyl, fiberglass, or wood. While vinyl is today’s most popular choice, that does not mean fiberglass or wood should be ignored.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I would want to at least know that the company I was dealing with had more than just a couple of choices. Do not be afraid to at least explore the different types of windows that are available to you, even if some of the choices are more expensive.
DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE
Most window manufacturers will tell you that you should replace your “old drafty windows” with new “energy efficient” windows because you’ll save lots of money year after year. Guess what? That’s not necessarily true.
If you live in the Northeast, all windows installed must meet Energy Star standards. This means, that, according to code, ALL windows must be energy efficient or else the building inspector will not allow them to be installed. And while Energy Star qualified windows will lower your energy bills, don’t get too excited.
For a modest 2,000 square foot home with storm windows, you’ll save, on average, between $126 to $465 a year. So, if new windows cost $10,000, it would take between 21 to 79 years to recoup that cost. Why bother?
Well, new windows can make your home more efficient (even modestly), quieter, more attractive, less drafty and they’ll be a lot easier to clean. Yes, new windows are a good idea, but maybe not for the reasons you thought.
Finally, don’t forget to ask about who is going to install your windows. It’s been said that a window is only as good as the installer putting it in. A great window installed poorly is a poor window. I’ve seen contractors build spectacular kitchens but hire me to install their windows. Why? Because installing windows correctly is not easy.
So be sure to ask these simple questions: 1) Are your installers certified by the manufacturer? 2) How many windows have they installed? Not all manufacturer’s train their installers (Pella does not) so make sure their experience is up to snuff.
This, by no means, is an exhaustive list of things to look for when choosing a window company. But hopefully, it is a good place to start.
If you have any questions about windows or how we can help you, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will gladly give you unbiased advice.