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Friday, May 23, 2014

All Window Companies are NOT Alike

Before you sign on the dotted line to purchase new or replacement windows, make certain to fully research the window manufacturer that will make your windows. Quality counts when making an investment in windows, so homeowners should take time to learn about window manufacturers.

What matters when researching a window company? Everything from the company’s longevity to its product warranty to its manufacturing procedures. According to the experts at Simonton Windows, researching window manufacturers can be done through website searches, asking professionals for their product recommendations and by checking with friends and family who have previously purchased windows.

To make your search easier, the Simonton Windows recommends you follow this checklist when researching your window company options:

  1. Learn about the company’s history and select a company that has a long, proud history of creating top-quality windows.
  2. Choose a national window manufacturer. There are hundreds of local and regional window makers, but the national manufacturers tend to have stronger warranties, have been in business longer and are generally more dependable if you have a problem in the future.
  3. Look at the product warranty. Search for a manufacturer with a strong product warranty that will stand behind its products for many years to come. Determine what the product warranty includes --- replacement parts, glass replacement, service and/or full window replacement.
  4. Select a company with a strong customer service support team. In most cases, if there’s a problem with your windows after they’re installed, you’ll need to talk with the window installer first. But, if you can’t find the installer or have a question on replacement parts, it’s great to work with a window manufacturer who is known for its customer service.
  5. Determine what honors, awards and recognition a window maker has earned. Many national recognition programs, such as the J.D. Power and Associates studies, carry recommendations from other homeowners nationwide. Look for national programs (such as Consumer Digest® awards, ENERGY STAR® Partner membership and Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval) to give you a strong indication of the company’s dedication to excellence.
  6. Find out where the windows are made. Many homeowners are eager to seek out products that are “Made in America.”
  7. Check out the labels. Make certain the windows you consider purchasing meet ENERGY STAR qualifications, are certified by the National Fenestration Ratings Council and American Architectural Manufacturers Association to meet industry standards for quality and reliability.
  8. Ask friends and family. Or, if you’re working with a window installer, request references from project homeowners of two or more years ago. You want to determine if people are pleased long-term with their window investment or if they’ve had any difficulties with the operation of the windows they selected.
  9. Determine what materials are used in the creation of the windows. Research what kind of frame material is used (for example, vinyl, wood, aluminum, etc.) and the type of glass packages that the manufacturer offers (for example, single-, double- or triple-pane glass and what kind of energy efficiency glass packages do they offer).
  10. Use outside sources. Consider researching the window manufacturers you’re most interested in via Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau and other business-oriented resources. Along with asking family and friends for their recommendations, these third-party organizations have insights into the experiences other homeowners have had with the windows they purchased.

For more window replacement tips see Window Replacement Made Easy.

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