20 Great Tips for Window Replacement

  1. Check if the contractor’s license number matches the company name as it appears on the quotation/contract given to you. For more info see www.cslb.ca.gov
  2. Check that the contractor’s license has a C-17 classification. B-Classification (general contractor) does not meet legal requirements for a Window Replacement. Likewise, C-17 does not meet legal perquisites for any construction beyond Window Installation, so make sure the company carries both C-17 and B licenses.
  3. Before hiring a company see if it is locally owned and operated. You may get stuck with long service delays if something goes wrong due to distance.
  4. Try to find a company which has a real showroom, not just a warehouse or website only – this company is the most reliable business.
  5. Ask the contractor/salesperson if any money is required upfront and before completion of the project. A company with a good history of payments to the window manufacturers always has 30 days credit to pay for ordered windows. Choose companies that ask for one payment only upon completion.
  6. Review the actual certificate of the company’s liability insurance and its expiration date. A minimum of $2,000,000 coverage is recommended in California.
  7. Check the expiration date of the contractor’s license pocket card and the bond info and expiration.
  8. Ask the contractor if he is going to perform the actual installation of the windows at your property. The real professionals are always taking care of the installation with their crew.
  9. Always take a second look at the window sample by yourself, ask questions on everything you are curious about. Never make your choice after looking at the brochure or the window cross section only.
  10. Check the status of the company with the Better Business Bureau. There is nothing better to get an idea of who you hire.
  11. Ask the contractor what he is going to do in the case that dry rot is discovered in the structure during the installation. Professionals should be able to take care of minor wood damage without any extra charge.
  12. Ask if the contractors are going to take care of the interior window sills if they are worn or made of metal – this should be taken care of without any extra charge.
  13. Make sure that the contractor knows what sealant (caulking) will be used for the window replacement, and if he knows about AAMA-2410-03 requirements and practice for the installation. See aamanet.org for more info
  14. Ask how long the contractor has been in business; make sure his contractors license number issue date matches the year of company establishment. See cslb.gov for more info.
  15. Ask for at least 3 references in your area, with names, addresses, and phone numbers. Try to get a mixture of recent and old projects; the best idea is to pick your own references from the list, not the ones given to you.
  16. Ask the contractor to give you the quote based on a minimum of three window brands. If the contractor uses only one window brand it shows that this contractor doesn’t value customer options and budget but only cares about volume discounts.
  17. If are looking for window replacement companies or contractors online make sure that their website address matches their business name as it appears on their CSLB license. You may be visiting a placeholder site run by a advertising firm which then forwards your phone-calls to another company.
  18. If you are about to sign the contract make sure that the company name which appears on the contract form, along with the license number and phone numbers, match the name of the company you are hiring.
  19. In order to get your tax credit or other refund make sure that upon completion of the installation you are going to get all the NFRC stickers from the windows installed to make sure they were ordered with a U-Factor and SHGC of less than 0.30.
  20. All new windows look very similar; the simplest tip on getting the best window is:
    The better window has a sash with two locks on it, and a better sliding door has a lock with two locking points as well as a choice of colors for the handle (like brass, bronze, brushed nickel) with no extra charge.