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5 Tips for Buying New Windows

1. Pre-Qualify Your Contractor Before You Take a Quote

Why not let the top rated and most qualified companies in the state compete for your business? Insist on a specialty window contractor that does one thing and does it well. Protect yourself by only inviting contractors who have general liability and workers compensation insurance. Ask them if they have in-house crews who are AAMA Certified. Companies who use subcontractors tend to lose control over many aspects of the quality of the work. Insist on a list of current customer references with names, addresses and phone numbers. Check on-line reviews from places like Google or Yelp to evaluate their performance with other homeowners.

2. Coupons and “Sign Today” Discounts

Don’t be fooled by manipulative sales tactics that offer you special promotions and huge discounts which often only apply if you “sign today”. These high-pressure tactics are used to keep you from getting other estimates and finding out what a legitimate price or quality product really is. At HomeStar, we want to earn your business the right way. We and never offer fake discounts or use high pressure sales tactics.  We also recommend that you get at least 3 quotes before signing a contract. 

3. Choice of Manufacturers

Not all windows are the same, and some manufacturers have unique features that others don’t. For example, Milgard offers the “SmartTouch” handle on their Tuscany and Trinsic series windows and a positive-action lock on their Style Line window. These are extremely easy to open and close, and they lock automatically just by closing them. Some manufacturers offer a “pull rail” screen that eliminates the need for plastic pull tabs that can become brittle over time and break off. There are plastic wheels vs. brass wheels. Brass wheels can patina, leaving a greasy black mark along the track. It’s important to know that you have a lot of options so that you know to compare the differences in locks, wheels, screens, and frame designs between the various manufacturers. 

4. Warranties

No matter which manufacturer you choose, your windows will likely require some maintenance or replacement parts in your lifetime. The real gap between manufacturers is in their warranty coverage and their ability and willingness to honor your warranty without a hassle. Find out what the warranty is on the windows you are looking at. There is a big difference between a “Lifetime” and a “Limited-Lifetime” warranty. Does it include parts and labor or just parts? If they only offer parts, is the company who sold you the windows willing to replace the parts for you free of charge? Ask if there is a  glass breakage warranty and what their warranty is for seal failure (condensation). Does the company installing your windows offer an installation warranty in case your windows start leaking during the next storm? 

5. Showroom

Ask if there’s a showroom for you to visit, or at the very least if they bring window samples to your sales appointment for you to see. We invite you to stop by our showroom in Draper to operate windows and doors from the many styles and brands that we carry. Seeing them side by side to compare the wheels, locks, screens, and frame designs can be very helpful. We are confident that HomeStar can provide you the best value for your dollar on this important investment in your home.