Window Replacement: Top 5 Questions Homeowners Wish They Had Asked

Want to turn your window project into a blissful experience?

Keep your window install from being a sob story by arming yourself with the top 5 questions customers wish they had asked their contractor before hiring them. If hindsight truly is 20/20, let Bordner help you “open your blinds” and see clearly through your new window install. 

In this blog we will explain:

~ How to focus on what you need.

~ How to estimate your project’s time-frame.

~ The many facets of pricing.

~ How to balance value and budget.

~ What to expect from your warranty.

Question 1:  You might be surprised by the first question you should ask, because only you can answer it. “What is right for me?”

We understand that a home remodeling project can seem daunting. Making wise decisions on style, product materials or features and even which contractor to trust takes research. It can feel like you might as well be writing a college dissertation! With so many great options and almost too much information available to sort through, it’s easy to get stuck in option paralysis. To narrow in on what you need, you’ll want to balance quality and budget.

big task

Quality. You need a product worth installing as well as a skilled contractor. Not many think about it, but a great window can be ruined by a bad installation and there is only so much an expert contractor can do with an inferior window. You need both. Finding a reputable contractor should be the first step. We suggest you schedule a consultation with an established company who has excellent reviews and BBB ratings. 

Budget. Do not be fooled by the lowest prices that could mean inexperienced workmanship, or a lack of correct installation knowledge. Also don’t assume that larger contractors always cost more, though sometimes higher quality is worth more. This is another reason to check the reputation of your contractor before you schedule with them. Most contractors have access to high-quality windows, but their reviews will reflect whether a higher price equates to better craftsmanship too.

Above is a great example of a review a buyer should look for. Notice they talk about quality and budget. Also, look for reviews of return customers, like the one below. No one will have a contractor back to their home again if they fail to provide quality (superior windows and excellent craftsmanship) at a fair price.

Question 2: Do not sign until you ask this, “How long will the process take?”

There are two time tables you’ll need clarification on. 

First, how long will it take to get your windows delivered from the manufacturer once you’ve decided what you want? 

Supply and demand issues have drastically increased in the last two years and become more of a concern than our 21st century brains are used to. In the midwest, new windows are in higher demand in the spring and summer, since most home renovations will be affected by autumn and winter weather. Higher demand equals a greater strain on the manufacturer’s production capabilities, which ultimately means longer wait times.  This should not deter you from moving forward with your window dreams, but it can help you set realistic expectations for your install time-frame. 

Second, how long will the installation take? 

Every project comes with its special touches. Every window has different variables that will affect your project’s scheduling. For example, Bordner can replace approximately ten windows a day provided there are no trim or specialty modifications. Specialty shapes, framing, sizes, and modifications to existing openings all extend the total installation time. 

Your timeline needs to be flexible to surprises as well. Factors such as hidden rot or damage that must be fixed can delay the installation. It is important to address what is otherwise hidden, because a new window should never be placed in a compromised structure. 

The key to an efficient install is to hire a contractor with the resources of manpower, equipment, and expertise to handle the full scope of your project. Delays due to unknown conditions are part of the process that the best contractors are equipped to handle.

Question 3: Get educated, not anxious before you ask, “How much is this going to cost?”

This is one of the most complex and important questions. There are many factors that affect the cost of your project, but every choice should be filtered through the value it brings to your life and home. Some options are completely subjective and based on preference. Whereas others will be based on the window’s performance. As far as enriching your life. Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Does this option or upgrade make me happy? Will it make cleaning my windows easier? Does it represent me? 

Some aesthetics options that will affect price include: trim, etching, color, fiberglass or wood interior, grids (simulated or divided light), size, shape, and glass options such as number of panels, tempered, glazed or decorated glass.

It is less subjective when it comes to increasing the value of your home. Make sure the windows you are considering include durability and efficiency ratings. Comparing performance on energy rating, IGUs, pressure rating, and material (fiberglass, vinyl or wood) will help you navigate your options.

As you can see, there are tons of options and styles to choose from. What it really comes down to is what do YOU want from your new windows. Do you want hyper energy efficiency, fiberglass durability or the special aesthetics vinyl offers? “The vast range of possibilities often makes it difficult to navigate through what you want and that is okay. It is better to have options then not. A quality contractor will provide a Design Consultation to answer all your questions and offer you expert advice.” We want to allow you to create a unique design to fit your budget, your home, and your energy efficiency needs. 

Let’s take a look at a basic pre-made window insert, which is the only type you can purchase without a consultation. They fall in the lowest price range, usually due to lower quality. They also will never fit your opening perfectly and may require more money in stud build-outs, insulation, and sealers so as to negate the savings. Example: Anderson single-hung 100 series, 30 x 54 inch window is a good product, on the lower rung in pricing. It runs for $330. You will also need:

Insulation: depending on the size of the gap to fill $10 – $30
Composite shims: to fit and level it $15.
Weather stripping inside window  $13
Water guard sealant around outer window $90
Flashing  $45
Trim boards $40-200
Installation knowledge You decide

Keep in mind you will likely have to purchase hardware such as handles, locks, latches and sashes separately so look carefully at what’s included. There is a wide range of prices for these as well, based on style and preference. If you do not already have the correct tools you can spend thousands of dollars investing in items such as a saw (if the opening needs to be changed), drills, nail gun etc. As you can see a three-hundred dollar window can easily cost upwards of seven hundred dollars!

If you want to do the installation yourself or pay a friend to do the work on the side, then expect to make a few last minute trips to the hardware store as well. Plus, since old windows often leak there is a chance of finding rot or damage you will need to repair before you can start the install. 

OR you can have a custom fit, ultra-durable, double hung window of the same size expertly installed by Bordner. Not to mention the lifetime craftsmanship and manufacturer warranties that come with it.  

Custom fit double hung 30x 54 inch Marvin Infinity window Base: $385 

With all specialty options: $1,000

Installation expertise Base: $80

Hazards or extremes (aka lead paint removal / metal tear outs etc) $800 

Don’t let the wide range scare you. The vast array of options available for your windows is why we send an expert design consultant to review your project in-home and provide you answer all your questions. This will allow you to create a custom design that fits your specific needs. At Bordner, our consultations completely remove all the guesswork. Your appointment will last between sixty to ninety minutes and leave you with an exact down-to-the-penny proposal.  

*Prices are based on averages at the time of writing and may vary.

Question 4: Deflect disappointment, ask in advance, “How do I know I’m getting the best value?”

Isn’t it better to  know what you’re getting beforehand? We all know the saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in the words of Salma Hayek, “The most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that YOU are the beholder.” Therefore, take a step back and define what you value, so that you receive what you want. If you value top quality windows that will last a lifetime, then Bordner would be honored to help you realize that dream. 

Bordner serves homeowners who value high quality craftsmanship and customer service. We provide you with lifetime warranties, a people focused approach to the project, and proven craftsmanship. We help answer your questions and narrow in on what you need. You know you are getting the best value with Bordner and our proven process because we are passionate about you and your project and provide you with a great price for a superior product and experience. 

Question 5: One final major topic homeowners rightfully need to understand is: What does the warranty cover?

There are two types of warranties you need to ask about. A good quality window will come with a manufacturer warranty, whereas a professional contractor will warranty their workmanship. A warranty holds them accountable to provide you their best possible product and installation. 

A Workmanship Warranty covers the labor to ensure that your installation meets the highest standards. Take a look at the warranties that Bordner provides for each of our products. 

The Manufacturer Warranty is separate and will ensure that all parts and materials are defect free.

Of course a warranty is only as good as the business behind it, which is another reason to research those reviews. You will find that Bordner has been serving the Kansas City metro for more than 30 years and we only work with well established manufacturers who have proven, trustworthy products. For example, both Owens Corning and Marvin Infinity have been leaders in development and performance of their crafts for over a one-hundred years! 

When comparing warranties ask your contractor what the process is for filing a warranty claim. Who should you contact for repairs and how quickly will they be taken care of?

If you need to check a warranty claim with Bordner, call our contact center team at 816-852-3745 and we will get a technician out to inspect the problem area.

If you are interested in speaking with a professional, you can fill out the handy form on the side of this blog or call 816-852-3745 and one of our agents would love to send a Design Consultation your way. We hope you feel more confident with getting your project started and that your pre-install jitters have fled. You can rest assured that with Bordner you will look back on your window install as the best experience available. If there is something you are interested in learning about, please submit your questions at Sarah@thinkbordner.com and we will attempt to provide satisfactory answers. Thank you for your time; we are here to help make your dream windows a reality.

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