Comparing prices and looking at estimates is certainly not a good way to choose the right window installer in Chicago. To do this, you need to be patient and dedicate some time for researching online to learn more about the best such professionals in your area, their prices and other details that can help you take a great decision.
Keep in mind that a contractor worth hiring is someone that takes pride in his work and so should the salesperson that represents him or the company that he works for.
When talking to a salesperson, he need to:
- Know a lot about the types and number of projects the contractor completed.
- He should also show enthusiasm and pride when discussing other jobs.
Top 7 Questions You Should Ask Any Window Contractor Prior To Hiring Him
- What’s the company’s address and full name?
If you want to learn more about how long a company has been in business, then getting its name is the first step to achieve that. If you get a PO Box, make sure you also get the street address, too. It’s always better to go with a contractor that has an office in your area, since you’ll get better services and faster response times.
- What’s your workmanship warranty?
In general, contractor workmanship warranties are going to be for 1 year or even more sometimes. Keep in mind that even if you get a longer warranty, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be better in any way. Also, make sure that you get customer referrals and then call and ask a few people the following questions:
- Did the contractor perform his work in a timely manner?
- When asked for changes and info, was he responsive?
- Did you feel he acted in your best interest?
- Can you call the contractor trustworthy?
It’s very important that the contractor you plan on working with does indeed warrant his workmanship. However, keep in mind that it’s the manufacturer who is going to warranty the windows against manufacturing defects. As a result, there are going to be 2 types of warranties that protect your windows.
In general, issues regarding material or workmanship are going to show very fast. In this case, the near-term warranty that the manufacturer or contractor provides you with is a lot more important than other types of coverage. The good news is that even if you will experience issues after the warranty on the workmanship has passed, if the contractor is reliable then he is going to stand behind his work.
- How many years have you been in business?
The longer a contractor has been in business for, the better. If he’s been in business for less than 3 years though, then you may want to think twice before hiring him. But hey, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s bad at what he does. To double check any business, be sure to get as many references as possible. This way, you’ll have the peace of mind you’ve made the right decision when you’re finally going to decide on hiring one.
- Is the company insured?
Any contractor worth hiring for your project should have workers’ compensation insurance and comprehensive liability insurance. How can you verify if the one you want to hire has both? Well, just ask for his certificates of insurance and inform him that you’d like these to be sent to you prior to the project’s inception.
If a contractor does carry insurance though, you need to keep in mind that their prices are also going to be a bit higher than what you can expect to get from others. Never hire a contractor that doesn’t carry insurance since if something goes wrong, then you’re going to be the one footing the bill, not to mention that you can also get in other types of trouble.
In general, there are quite a few reasons why some contractors don’t want to carry full insurance, including:
- They don’t stand behind their work.
- They cannot afford insurance premiums.
- They are new in the business.
- They operate as a self employed or partnership with no employees.
- They’re not a full time contractor.
- Are you going to provide references or referrals from past jobs?
It’s very important that you request for photographs of past projects the company has completed. If the contractors doesn’t have photographs, then you should consider requesting a list of ten names and phone numbers from recent clients over the past year. You don’t really need to call all of them though, but you do have the advantage of randomly picking the ones you want.
- Is the company a credentialed or licensed contractor?
This question asks whether the contractor you plan on hiring is licensed by your city or state. Keep in mind that licensing is not required in every state, but if the state you live in requires the contractor to have a license, then make sure he has one. Some cities also require that contractors have professional licensing. For more details on this, it’s recommended that you check with the local licensing authority.
It’s not uncommon to hear a few contractors you’ll talk to answer this questions by telling you they have a business license. Don’t be fooled by this though, since a business license is basically a tax requirement and it says nothing about the contractor’s competence.
There are many window manufacturers out there for instance that offer a wide range of programs to professional contractors which helps them establish them as an authority in their field. As a homeowner, you can view the credentials of contractors as a great indicator of their dedication, professionalism and knowledge to the construction trade.
- What’s your track record for dealing with client complaints?
Last but not least, it’s very important that you learn more about the way your contractor handles issues when they arise. In this regard, it’s best that you get a referral from a job that had one or more complaints. Ask if:
- The contractor’s license has ever been suspended and the reason behind that.
- The contractor lost one or more jobs due to court cases.
You should also learn more about whether the contractor had complaints filed against him by checking the BBB. If they did had disputes field against them, inquire about how they dealt with them to get a better idea of the contractor’s reputation.