Many people are buying replacement windows to improve their home energy savings. It’s a good time to buy because of the new tax breaks that credit you 30% of the replacement costs. It is still good to know what you’re doing and have a strategy for buying so you will save. To rush out with no knowledge makes you vulnerable to scams and less able to take advantage of the good deals. ,/p>
You should start by shopping on the Internet. Internet shopping first helps you get familiar with the terms you should know before you buy a window, terms like Low-Emitance, triple-glazed, argon-filled, and vinyl frames. The Internet will also allow you to comparison shop, looking at quality and prices. Be careful to look at products that have the Energy Star rating. The next step should be to get some first-hand information about the ease of installation, the way window products have held up in your area, and the general satisfaction. You should ask friends and neighbors, but a better course might be to call and talk to contractors who work with these products in order to get an idea of what products they think are best.
Now you should consider before actually buying where you want to buy to get the best deal. If you buy online, you pay shipping and have no direction or advice about installation. It may also be harder to work over the Internet if there are problems with the product or with the order. You can try a local retailer, although local and small retailers will usually only stock the most-requested products, not necessarily the best products or the best deals on a product. They often can help you choose the better installers in your area, especially those who install for less. Large retailers or specialized window and door companies will have show rooms where you can see the product and get a feel for its look and operation once installed. They will also have a better handle on innovations, and they usually have local installers they can recommend as well.
There are also installation companies. These may be overall cheaper in price, but you will have to use their product which you may not know or which may not be of the best quality. If you use an installation company, they are usually not local so you might ask if their installers are certified by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association or you can check them out with your Better Business Bureau. You could also ask for references and talk with former customers to see if they were satisfied.
It is best to get at least three estimates before buying, and it is wise to tell the companies you are getting estimates from what you are doing to keep you from committing immediately, to let them know they are competing with others, and to keep the hard sell at bay. You will likely get the best price for the more windows you replace so don’t do a replacement project piecemeal. Some companies will offer cash back for referrals; or if you have friends, neighbors, and family that want to go with the same company, this type of business in volume may help the company give you price breaks. Also offer to put up a site sign to advertise the company and ask for a discount.
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