Know What You Want:
Before contacting contractors know the specifics of what you want and your budget. Determine your main priorities. Do you live in a home with difficult-to-reach windows and prefer to replace just those? Perhaps you want to enhance your home’s curb appeal or resale by replacing all of the openings with impact windows and doors. Do you want any custom designs? Whatever your goals are for replacing your windows and doors with impact ones, know them ahead of time.
Speaking with someone who has already undergone a similar project is an excellent source of first-hand information. They can provide insight regarding the quality of workmanship, price, and project turnaround-time. Ask for additional details such as customer service provided by the contractor’s office or how the contractor handled any problems that may have occurred; did the contract efficiently communicate with the homeowner or were they difficult to reach? Ask your neighbors, friends, family, coworkers, or anyone you may know in the building trade for references. Chances are they can steer you in the right direction.
Interview Several Contractors:
Interview at least three contractors and meet them in person. Visit the contractor’s and/or manufacturer’s showroom. Make sure they (and their subcontractors) are licensed and insured and obtain copies of both. Ask them how many other projects they would they have going at the same time, do they take on projects of your size, and how long have they worked with their subcontractors?
Once you have narrowed down your options do your research. Look online to see how the contractor is rated with consumer reporting agencies and regulatory boards, if they have recently experienced any good or bad publicity, and search local court records for any recent lawsuits that may have been filed against the contractor. See if you can talk to current customers or clients they recently finished
Set Up a Timeline:
Once you have selected a contractor sit down with them and create a timeline for your project. Discuss what permits are necessary, agree on times for the workers to arrive, where they will park, and permissible entrances the workers may to use to enter your home. Verify the contractor’s insurance so you know what is covered by your homeowners insurance and what is covered by your contractor’s business insurance. Set up a payment plan and get everything in writing.
Call your contract or speak to them in person regarding any questions, concerns, or changes in plans. If you see something that you want to be changed or fixed be sure to address it immediately. It is easier to correct potential issues when they arise rather than wait until everything is completed.