With more than 8,000 window and door manufacturers in the United States, each offering perhaps hundreds of product options, how can you as a homeowner possibly know where to begin to find the right product for your remodeling needs? The golden rule in renovation is to find a contractor that has a lot to lose by not taking good care of their customers, and who has a reputation to uphold, and they will bring you their best products and services for your project. The key is that they have done the shopping for you with years of experience and a trained eye.
The best remodelers will have certain criteria that have to be met when choosing a product to offer their customers: The best and latest design and technology, strong after the sale support, and a commitment to the right vein of distribution so their product is handled properly.
1.) First, the product itself must be of the latest technology and design which will ultimately perform best over time. This is where the trained eye and years of experience of your remodeler of choice plays an important role in product selection. They will have feedback from their installation crews; know the reputation of the manufacturer and how their products typically perform over time. The cost of these products is typically higher, but over the long run is the best value for the consumer.
2.) Second, after the sale support and warranties: Does the manufacturer or fabricator, have an in house service technician? How a supplier performs when there is an issue with a product, after it has been in service, plays a great part in product selection. Have they made an investment in supporting the product in the field? This is remodeling, and things happen, especially when you’re dealing with items that contain glass and moving parts like windows and doors. The best remodelers rely on referral business and cannot afford to be working with a product that is not well supported by the company that makes it. Their future depends on it.
3.) Where is the product sold? If the supply chain includes anyone with a hammer and a pickup truck, than the supplier can lose control over the satisfaction of the end user, you the customer. Manufacturers and distributors who focus their business on supplying the professional remodelers then the odds are much higher that their product will be handled and installed correctly for the greatest customer satisfaction, and future growth for the supplier. They will also be looking for their brand to be identified with happy customers, which helps build a good reputation and repeat business, which is what they need to survive.
So, unless you spend your time installing windows and doors, and know the ins and outs of the business, tread lightly and seek out the right company with a strong service record in your area that has been around longer than 5 years, the normal survival rate of a contractor in our industry, and you will get the best results for your investment.
Rae the Renovator
with Kevin Sullivan, Operations Manager
Evergreen Door & Window