Why is checking contractor references so important? Because while it may be easy to determine if you are buying Energy Star certified windows by simply looking at the label or comparing other efficiency ratings, the products are only as good as the installation. That is why checking window contractor references, and asking important questions to those references, is crucial to deciding which replacement company to choose.
Checking Window Contractor References
Were You Satisfied Overall?
This is the most direct way to find out what the person thought of the company’s work. Were there any issues that came up? Did they meet expectations? Would you use them again? Asking direct questions should yield the most straightforward answers. You can make this your first question or your last, but either way, it should be the most important question you ask.
Did You Shop Around Before Choosing?
This indicates whether the person thought that this company was actually better than others they had looked into or if they simply just went with the first company they saw or heard of.
Were You Given A Written Contract?
Professional contractors should always some sort of contract to communicate the scope of the work, time frames, pricing, etc. This protects you, the homeowner, as well as them if disputes or issues arise. Also ask if the contractor utilized change orders if any changes arose during the course of the project.
Was The Project Completed According To Schedule?
Find out if the contractor started and finished the project on time and whether the person was satisfied with the time frame. Even if you wind up with a great finished product but the contractor takes forever to finish the project or keeps delaying the work for “unforeseen” reasons, you may be better off looking elsewhere for someone to get the work done when you want it done.
Did The Contractor Stay On Budget?
Many home improvement projects incur unexpected expenses and it is important to know up front how they were handled. Ask if the contractor stayed on budget, if there were unexpected costs where they arose, and how changes to the total cost were handled in relation to the contact or work order.
Did You Feel Comfortable With The Contractor And/Or Subcontractors?
These project can take quite awhile and will require contractors to be in just about every room in your home. Therefore, it is important that you feel comfortable with the people working within your home. They should be trustworthy, respectful and should not make you uncomfortable to be around.
Who Did The Work?
Ask whether the work was done by the contractor themselves or was done by a subcontractor. (Make sure you know exactly who will be doing the work and will be inside your home.)
Were The Contractors Respectful Of Your Home?
Replacing windows can be a messy job. You should find out if the workers cleaned up after themselves every day, kept the area safe (for both themselves and members of your family) and were respectful of your property and belongings (i.e., did they walk through the house with muddy shoes?)
How Would You Rate The Communication Process With The Contractor?
Did you find it easy to talk to the contractor if you had questions or concerns? Did the contractor communicate clearly with you? What was his or her attitude like when problems occurred? Communication is a key component in a home improvement project of this magnitude and you should make sure you can communicate well with any contractor you hire. A good installation warranty is a good way to make sure that the communication process stays open.
Do You Think The Windows Have Lived Up To Expectations?
Ask if the person thinks that they got what they paid for and if there were any differences in what they were expecting compared to the actual performance of their replacements. This will give you some indication as to whether you can trust that what you see (or hear) is what you’ll get.
Would You Use This Contractor Again?
Just as the first question you ask is direct and to the point, so should the last question you ask. In a nutshell, after all details of the projects are considered, you should come right out and ask the person if they would use the contractor again if they were to do it over or if they would recommend them to others. Use our replacement window cost estimator for more detailed pricing information.