Now Offering Alside & Revere Windows (almost) Nationwide!

In the fall of 2015 we started testing a program offering both Alside and Revere windows with and without professional installation in several cities across the country. Thanks to our fantastic readers this program has been a HUGE success. As a result, we’ve expanded to 37 markets nationwide and launched our new brand, Window Universe Express.

If you’re looking for new windows for your home this is the easiest possible way to get there and I’ll show you why. Check out our FAQ (link below) for even more info.

widow dog replacement windows
Here’s the window dog hard at work with the team at a home and garden show. He has to earn his kibble around here!

First, we’re offering a wide range of window options from both Alside and Revere. Our most popular options have been the Alside Mezzo and the Revere Berkshire Elite and there are many others to choose from. We’re also offering all styles of windows including casements, bay windows, garden windows, sliding patio doors and much more.

Next we’re offering top quality installation with a local project manager and top quality installation crews to make sure everything is done right. You can also install the windows yourself if you’d prefer.

Best of all, if you’re in an area covered by this program, we can get you a complete itemized quote for your project without ever inviting a salesperson to your home.

That’s right, you could spend several evenings inviting salespeople into your home to give you their sales pitch, walk you through their predetermined “price drops” and try to close the deal with their 50% off today only special after calling the manager for a special deal 3 times. Or, you could exchange a few emails with our industry experts to get your project moving along quickly and easily.

It’s up to you…

So who is Window Universe?

window universe replacement windows

Window Universe is the company we founded many years ago. We’ve grown from one small business operating out of an apartment to a multimillion-dollar business with 7 stores in several states and more on the way.

With our Window Universe Express brand we have the same top-quality products and services that we offer through our retail stores.

How does this all work?

 It’s pretty simple, which is why I love it. When you’re ready to get a quote for your replacement window project just fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you with the most helpful email we can write as quickly as we can.

You’ll see we don’t need the sizes of the windows to get you a quote. This seems unusual to some folks, but even in markets where we have stores our reps don’t measure the windows.   It’s just not necessary to get a quote in the vast majority of projects. We’ll get the windows measured before the manufacturing begins, but it’s not needed yet.

The basic info we’ll need is how many windows you want to replace, how do you want them to open, what color window frames do you want, etc. Just the basics.

If there is anything about your project that you think is unusual just note it and we’ll address it when we get back to you. The whole process is really easy.

What have our customers been saying about this program?

 Here’s one example:

If you don’t want to DIY your windows but pride yourself in being an informed consumer, Window Universe Express is the way to go! After sitting for hours listening to people tell me why their windows were the best, I couldn’t figure out why the window packages I was being presented with were so expensive ($10 – 12k for 7 slider windows)…

We are so pleased with the windows, the installer, and the process… Window Universe Express has created a great way to inform yourself as a consumer and be able to get real numbers. No games, gimmicks or “guess what your price is going to be if you buy it today!”

I rarely write reviews for products/services, but I was so impressed with the process, price and product, I told Dan that I would be happy to endorse them!

–Excerpt of an Angie’s List review from Andrea in Seattle, WA

Here’s another.

Every aspect of this window experience was excellent. They didn’t give a sales pitch, but instead provided links to specific information about all different types/brands of windows with ratings and specifications, so I was able to make an informed decision. 

He then provided a very detailed quote so I knew exactly what I was paying for, and was able to add or remove options and see the price impact of these changes. The accountant in me loved this approach.  Once we agreed to the window specs, I was given a final price and the measuring was scheduled. 

The gentlemen who came to measure the windows arrived when scheduled and was quick and efficient.  The windows were promptly ordered and once the windows were ready, the installation was scheduled.  The installation crew arrived on time and got right to work.  They put down tarps on my carpets since the install was on the 2nd floor and it was wet and snowy outside.  They installed the windows in a few hours and cleaned up afterwards.

–Excerpt of an Angie’s List review from Lisa in Philadelphia, PA

Here’s a bit more feedback from Austin in Dallas.  You get the idea.

Folks love it.

Why are the prices so great?

Ha.  Good question.  Window Universe Express is a completely different kind of window company.  We’re able to offer top quality products and expert level service at a very low price because we don’t spend our money on things you don’t care about.

Most traditional window companies spend tons and tons of money on sales and marketing.  It’s not unusual for a company to spend 30%-40% of their total sales dollars on things that you don’t care about like sales commissions, marketing and advertising.  Paying people to walk around neighborhoods knocking on doors is expensive, so are tv commercials and billboards.

Another company may be able to get to a similar price by offering cheap windows or by using cheap subcontractors.  That’s a low price, but it’s not a great value.

A typical company offering the products and services we do would charge $10k for a project while we would charge $7k or less.  It’s just a great deal.

I have more questions

Great! I love it when folks ask great questions. I’ve been emailing with many people about this program since we launched. I’ve noted most of the questions we get and put the answers all in one place for you.

On our FAQ page you’ll find answers to all sorts of questions like:

  • Will the price change after the windows are measured?
  • Who does the installation?
  • What is the warranty on these windows?
  • Are these the right windows for my climate?

Answers to those questions and many more on our FAQ page here – this will open in a new tab so you don’t lose your place here.

How do I get a quote?

That’s the easiest part. When you’re ready to get a detailed itemized quote for your project just fill out the form below and we’ll send you back an email just as quickly as we can.

If you don’t know the answer to any of the questions or if you’re not sure about something just make a note of it and send in the form as complete as you can. It’s ok if you don’t know all of the terms for these things. We don’t require you to be a window expert.

What if I don’t know the window terms?

Don’t worry about it.  If you’re unsure about something just take your best guess and let us know you’re not quite sure.  We can always revise the proposal later.

Another great way to learn about window styles and options is to take a look at our window design studio.  You can see the common styles and options with the right terminology.  Give it a try.

design

What cities are included in this program?

Here is the list of cities where we are currently offering this program. We’ll surely be adding more soon so if your city isn’t on the list check back often.

  • California
      Sacramento
  • Florida
      Tampa
  • Idaho
      Boise
  • Kansas
      Kansas City, Overland Park
  • Kentucky
      Lexington, Louisville
  • Michigan
      Detroit
  • Missouri
      Kansas City
  • Montana
      Billings
  • New Hampshire
      Manchester
  • North Carolina
      Raleigh
  • Ohio
      Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo
  • Oregon
      Portland
  • Pennsylvania
      Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
  • South Dakota
      Rapid City
  • Tennessee
      Nashville
  • Texas
      Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
  • Utah
      Ogden, Provo, Salt Lake City
  • Virginia
      Hampton Roads, Norfolk, Richmond, VA Beach
  • Washington
      Seattle, Spokane
  • Wyoming
      Casper

Don’t see the area you’re looking for, try here.

If you’re within about an hour of any of these cities and you’re ready to finally get those new windows just fill out the form right here. We will get back to you asap and we will NEVER share your information with anyone.

Have more questions?  Don’t be shy, just ask!

To see if we can help with your project just fill out this form and you’ll receive an email with the next steps within 24 hours.






Get your completely FREE project quote by email.  

The Best Window Company in Madison – Jordan Exteriors

If you’re looking for the very best window company in Madison, WI you’re in luck.  My friend Chris owns Jordan Exteriors and they’ve been doing fantastic work in Madison and the surrounding area for years.

Chris has an interesting story.  He worked renovating homes in England for years before moving to the Madison area.  In Madison he worked for another window company for several years before he and his business partner started their own business.

They’ve been doing great work installing windows and doors all over the Madison area for many years now and they’ve won the Angie’s List Super Service award 6 years in a row.

Chris married a nice girl from southern Wisconsin and they have 2 beautiful daughters.  His partner runs the installation teams which is a great benefit to you the customer.  They’re not relying on random subcontractors to make sure your project turns out great.  That’s one of many reasons we’re happy to call them the best window company in Madison.

If you have a window or a door project in mind it’ll most certainly be worth your time to meet with Chris and his team.  I’m sure you’ll see why they’re the very best window company in Madison and the surrounding area.

If you’d like to meet with the team from Jordan Exteriors to get a quote for your project there are a few easy ways to reach them.

No matter how you reach out, be sure to let them know that Dan from TheWindowDog sent you!

  1. The easiest way to reach them is to give them a ring at 608-215-6678.
  2. You can also send them an email at Chris@JordanExteriors.com.
  3. You can fill out the form below and they’ll reach out to you.  Don’t worry we NEVER share your info with anyone.

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The Best Window Company in Nashville – Zen Windows!

If you’re looking for the very best window company in Nashville you’re in luck.  My friend Brad owns the Zen Windows location in Nashville and I’m sure he’ll be able to help out.

The best window company in Nashville
Here’s Brad and his wife Sue. They’ve been married for over 27 years. You won’t meet a friendlier couple! Just look at that romantic picture!

Brad has been in the construction business for years owning his own home improvement business since 1994.  You’d have a hard time finding someone in Nashville who knows more about windows and doors than Brad.

Zen Windows operates very similarly to the way my company operates so it’s easy for me to recommend them.  They make the process of buying new windows absolutely as easy as possible.  They’ll give you a quote in 5 minutes, they offer great products and you don’t pay for the windows until the project is complete.

If you’re in or around Nashville and you’re looking for the very best window company in Nashville you should touch base with Brad at Zen Windows in Nashville.

How can I get a quote from them?

Great question!  There are three easy ways to get a quote.  No matter how you reach out, be sure to tell him TheWindowDog sent you!

  1. Give Brad a ring at 615-295-8542.
  2. Send him an email at BradA@ZenWindows.com
  3. Fill out the form below and he’ll contact you.  Don’t worry we don’t share your info with anyone.  Ever.

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The Best Window Company in Charlotte, NC – Zen Windows!

If you’re in or around the Queen City you’re probably looking for the very best window company in Charlotte and we’ve found them.  My friend Brian owns Zen Windows in Charlotte and his team is doing fantastic things.

Both Brian and his wife Sara have been in the window and door industry for many years. They often talked about starting their own replacement window company in Charlotte, but the right business model never presented itself.

best window company in Charlotte
Here are Brian and Sara looking all fancy. Drop them a line to find out how they can help with your project.

That all changed when they were introduced to Zen Windows. Dan Wolt had founded the company in Ohio after deciding it was time to turn the traditional way of selling windows on its head. His approach created a totally new way of selling windows and doors. When they saw it, they thought “now that’s how it should be done.”

So what makes Zen Windows unique?

  • Other window companies rely on high-pressure sales tactics; Zen keeps everything relaxed and focuses on educating customers.
  • Others wear you down with 3-4 hour sales presentations; Zen respects your time and does most of their quoting over email or the phone.
  • Others could have expensive showrooms that add to their customer’s costs; Zen keeps prices low by offering excellent product demonstration videos that you can watch on your own schedule.

I could go on and on about how Zen Windows eliminated everything people hate about the window industry, but I’ll just say: CUSTOMERS LOVE IT.

Based on Brian’s 17+ years of industry experience as an owner and executive at a major window manufacturer, he knew this was a game changer.   Zen took a stale industry with a process that annoyed its own customers and innovated it using a new method that was completely hassle-free.

He finally had found the exact right business model and brought Zen Windows to Charlotte in 2014.

I’m happy to say the response has been fantastic.

Homeowners routinely talk about how much they like doing business this way and how easy they’ve made the whole process. Folks love dealing directly with the owners because it’s easy to see how much they care about getting great results at a reasonable price.

This is exactly how Brian and Sara wanted owning a business to be.  They’re helping people improve their home, but without the uncomfortable sales calls and other stresses associated with traditional home improvement.

There are 3 easy ways to reach them to get your project started.

  1. Give them a ring at 877-572-2988.
  2. Send them an email at Brian@ZenWindows.com
  3. Fill out the form below and they’ll be in touch at a time that is convenient for you.

Don’t worry, we never share your info with anyone.  Ever.

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The Best Window Company in Columbus, OH – Zen Windows!

If you’re looking for the very best window company in Columbus and the surrounding area you’re in luck.  My friend Dan Wolt founded Zen Windows in 1998.  His idea was that he could make buying new windows incredibly easy.  It turns out he was right and his business now has locations all over the country.

best window company in Columbus Ohio
Here’s Dan looking all fancy!

Mr. Wolt saw that the window business had become a broken model that just wasn’t working for customers.  He set out to reverse that by opening a company that would treat its clients like family.

His first step to becoming the best window company in Columbus was to align himself with the best window manufacturers.  He wanted to work with companies with impeccable reputations and solid, time-tested products. From there, he hired only the best people in the trade.  From customer care concierges to expert window technicians he assembled an all star team.  Then created a company culture in which every employee was trained to adopt a “customer comes first” ethos.

Realizing that most customers had encountered previous dealings with contractors who did not meet their expectations, Mr. Wolt implemented a NO MONEY DOWN policy.  The goal was to ensure his clients were totally satisfied upon completion of their project before any money was to be paid to Zen Windows™. Lastly, he completely did away with the in-home sales presentation. Zen clients are delighted to be able to shop online—on their time, with no high-pressure sales tactics.

The new model has been a smash success. It’s clear that Zen Windows has become the very best window company in Columbus and the surrounding area.  In its first few years, Zen Windows™ was praised by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and countless other publications and review sites.

In 2015, based on its unprecedented high ratings with Angie’s List, almost every Zen Windows location won their esteemed Super Service Award. Zen was the only retail vendor to be showcased at the National Annual Angie’s List Festival of Service in Indianapolis in 2015.  I was at this event and Dan gave a great presentation to all of the other contractors in attendance.   

In 2012, Zen Windows™ was named a “2012 Remodeling Magazine BIG 50 Award Winner” for its remarkable industry impact. Zen Windows™ was the only window company, selected out of 685,000 contractors nationally, to be so recognized. In 2011, Zen Windows was given the “Best of Columbus Award” in the Window Installation Contractors category by the U.S. Commerce Association. This prestigious award recognized Zen for the company’s ethics, customer service, and overall customer/employee satisfaction.  

Zen Windows has grown nationally to service almost any major market in the United States. Even with the rapid advancement of technology since Zen’s inception, one thing has never changed: every client in Columbus will always work directly with Dan from start to finish.

To get an easy quote for your project there are 3 great ways to contact Dan and his team:

  1. Send Dan an email.  You can reach him at Dan@ZenWindows.com.
  2. Give him a ring at 614-448-6920
  3. Fill out the form below and his team will contact you.  Don’t worry we don’s share your info with anyone, ever.

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The Best Window Company in Houston – Texas Remodel Team

If you’re looking for the very best window company in Houston you’re in luck.  My friend Tim owns Texas Remodel Team and he’s going to be one of the best resources you’ll ever have as you’re shopping for new replacement windows.

We’re proud to name Texas Remodel Team the very best window company in Houston.

Tim has a level of experience in the industry that most other company owners just don’t have.  In the past he was a regional manger for the largest remodeling company in the country.  He was responsible for the territory from New Mexico to Puerto Rico with over 400 sales reps.

Why does this make him the best window company in Houston?

This experience provides a perspective on the business that other people just won’t be able to see.  For example, when I was talking with Tim last week we were talking about finding great installers.  He chuckled and said in his past life he had to kiss a whole lot of frogs to find a couple of princes.  As the owner of a window company I can tell you this is something we’ve all gone through.  Tim already knows who the good guys are.

Ultimately, he left that fancy job because he felt that he wasn’t able to provide the level of service that he want to offer.  A large corporation can sometimes have a focus on driving numbers rather than providing great experiences.  I can tell you Tim is all about providing great experiences.

That’s not the only factor in our decision to name Texas Remodel Team the best window company in Houston, but it sure didn’t hurt.

His business in Houston is growing quickly.  They do more than just windows.  In addition to being the best window company in Houston they also offer whole house remodeling, kitchen and bath remodeling and even additions.

Is Tim working with you on this site?

I love when I get to ask the questions and write the answers!  Yes, Tim will be contributing to the site.  He has a great deal of info and he’s going to be writing posts to share with you.  In the future we should see some great content and the site will be better off because we worked together.

How can I get a quote for my project?

It’s easy to reach the best window company in Houston for a quote.  Here are a few of the best ways.

  1. You can give them a ring at 281-719-1496.  Sometimes the easiest way to get in touch is just to pick up the phone.
  2. You can send them an email at info@TexasRemodelTeam.com.  They’ll get back to you right away and I’m sure they’ll be able to help out.
  3. You can fill out the form below.  The info you submit goes only to the friendly folks at Texas Remodel Team.  It’s not shared with anyone else.  Ever.

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The Best Window Company in St Louis – Zen Windows!

We know our readers in St Louis are looking for great windows installed by a great company which is why I’m happy to recommend my friend my friends Dennis and Rhonda, the owners of Zen Windows in St Louis.  If you’re looking for the best window company in St Louis Dennis and Rhonda are the folks for you.

best window company in st louis
Here are Dennis and Rhonda looking all professional standing by ready to help get you new windows.

Zen Windows operates just the way you’d want a window company to operate.  They can give you a quote in 5 minutes, they don’t send a salesperson to your house and you can work directly with the owner to make sure your project turns out great.

If you’re looking for the best window company in St Louis or any of the surrounding area you should definitely give Zen Windows a look.

Dennis and Rhonda will be publishing guest posts as their company has become a supporter of our site and they’re working hard to make the window business easy for folks in St Louis.

How did they get into the window business?

Glad you asked!  Both of them have been in the home building and remodeling business in St Louis for years.  Of course neither of them like being on the either end of the high pressure sales process so when they heard about the Zen Windows business model they knew it was a great fit for them.

Luckily for all of you in St Louis the business is booming and they’re making the process of buying new windows absolutely as easy as possible.

How do they make the process easy?

They do many things differently than a traditional window company. For one, they don’t need to come to your house and camp out in your living room to get you a detailed quote for your project.  You can send them and email or give them a ring and they’ll explain how things work.  It’s really easy.

What areas do they service?

They offer great windows in all of the St Louis metro area.  To find out if they cover your area just send them an email, the address is below and they’re very friendly.  I promise.

How can I reach them?

You can find their website here and when you’re ready to get in touch there are 3 easy ways.

  1. You can give him a ring at 314-441-7788
  2. You can send him an email at Dennis@ZenWindows.com
  3. You can fill out the form below and your info will go straight to them.  We do NOT share this info with anyone.

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The Best Window Company in Boston – Zen Windows!

We know our readers in Boston are looking for great windows installed by a great company which is why I’m happy to recommend my friend Matt, the owner of Zen Windows in Boston.  If you’re looking for the best window company in Boston Matt is your guy.

Zen Windows operates just the way you’d want a window company to operate.  They can give you a quote in 5 minutes, they don’t send a salesperson to your house and you can work directly with the owner to make sure your project turns out great.

Matt the owner of Zen Windows Boston
Here’s Matt with his beautiful wife Heather, kids Madison, Nicholas and Nate and their little dog Sadie.  If you see Matt out on the road odds are you’ll see Sadie riding along.

If you’re looking for the best window company in Boston or any of the surrounding area you should definitely give Zen Windows a look.

Matt will be publishing guest posts as his company has become a supporter of our site and they’re working hard to make the window business easy for folks in Boston.

How did Matt get into the window business?

Glad you asked!  Matt has a great story.  He worked for a large well known window company in Boston for 21 years.  They did the typical 3 hour presentation with the high pressure sales patch.  Matt knows that business model inside and out.

He always operated ethically, but certainly saw the underbelly of this industry.  When he heard about Zen Windows he had the tycpial reaction, he thought it would never work.

Luckily for all of you in Boston it’s surpassed everyone’s expectations and it’s working out great!

How do they make the process easy?

They do many things differently than a traditional window company. For one, they don’t need to come to your house and camp out in your living room to get you a detailed quote for your project.  You can send Matt and email or give him a ring and he’ll explain how things work.  It’s really easy.

What areas do they service?

They offer great windows in all of the Boston metro area.  To find out if they cover your area just send Matt an email, his address is below and he’s very friendly.

What kind of experience does this Matt character have?

That’s a great question!  Matt has over 20 years of home improvement experience and their installation teams are experts installing windows and doors.  These are experts that will be able to get your project done right.  Once your project is complete we’re sure you’ll see why we said Matt was the best window company in Boston.

How can I reach them?

You can find his website here and when you’re ready to get in touch there are 3 easy ways.

  1. You can give him a ring at 978-604-4262
  2. You can send him an email at Matt@ZenWindows.com
  3. You can fill out the form below and your info will go straight to Matt.  We do NOT share this info with anyone.

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What to look for in a Window Warranty

Replacement Window Warranty Factors

When shopping for replacement windows, one of the majors factors that folks consider is the window warranty.  The warranty coverage on your new windows is significant for many reasons, not the least of which is that you want some security in knowing that you will have long term support on a purchase of thousands of dollars. Like many things in the marketplace, window warranties are part real concern, and part sales and marketing. I like to break warranties down to two primary areas: Product Warranty and Installation/Workmanship Warranty.

Product Warranty:

The product warranty on a replacement window is exactly that. It is the length of time that a manufacturer will provide warranty coverage for manufacturer defects. Generally that will not include items such as damage from abuse, failure to maintain, etc.  However, it does provide for replacement parts should anything fail due to a manufacturer defect. Common items include failed glass seals in an insulated glass unit, defective hardware, warpage, etc.  Some manufacturers offer accidental glass breakage as part of their coverage as well. Most vinyl window manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty, while wood windows generally have some variation of a 20/10 warranty, meaning 20 years on glass and 10 years on everything else including the wood.

Things to watch for:

Transferability  is important if you are considering selling the home any time soon. This means that you will be able to transfer the product warranty to one or more future owners of the home. Proration is an often overlooked factor. “Prorated” means that while there is coverage for the entire warranty term, it goes down over time. This is similar to a car battery or roofing shingle, where you have 100% coverage for say the first 10 years, then the coverage starts dropping in increments where you are paying an increasing portion of that as time goes on.  Ideally, a warranty that is fully transferrable and not prorated is best.

What product warranties typically do not cover:

Abuse, acts of God (ie: fires, storms, etc. that would be covered be homeowner’s insurance). Product warranties typically will not cover any labor needed to install the replacements parts. That falls on you as the homeowner, or on the installation company if they offer that service, whether it be paid or at no charge to you. The “fail to maintain” provision can be tricky on wood windows where condensation can damage or rot the wood before the 10 years and potentially be denied as a claim.

Workmanship/Labor/Installation Warranty:

The installation warranty on your replacement windows while important, can vary wildly from one dealer to the next. One company may offer one year on workmanship/installation, while the next offers lifetime, and a third still somewhere in between. The fact of the matter is that most installation related issues will manifest themselves visually within the first year or two after install, so something like a 5 or 10 year warranty is generally adequate. That said, many companies offer 20+ years all the way through lifetime. A lifetime workmanship warranty may sound great in marketing, but remember that the installation warranty is only as good as the company offering it. If all else is equal, certainly a longer term only benefits you as a consumer.

Things to watch for:

Service call/diagnosis charges, coverage to install the parts that are provided under the manufacturer’s warranty and for how long, a list of items that are included or excluded.

What installation warranties typically do not cover:

Installation warranties are intended to cover any poor or defective installation practices. Therefore common things that would be considered maintenance items like caulking, cleaning tracks and such which could hinder operation, etc., are typically not covered or the coverage is limited.

BOTTOM LINE:

Every window warranty is not created equal. “Lifetime warranty” whether on product or installation may not mean the same thing from one company to the next, so take a look at the details and make sure that you are getting the protection that you are expecting. Also keep in mind that those warranties are only as strong as the companies offering them. Company history and reputation are important tools to look at. Lastly, “Lifetime” does have a quantifiable definition in most states. Here in Wisconsin, “Lifetime” for warranty purposes is defined as 30 years. It is recommended that you determine how this is specifically defined in your own location.

Brandon Erdmann is the owner of HomeSealed Exteriors in Milwaukee, WI.  He’s a window installation expert, a supporter of this site and an all around great guy.  If you’re in the Milwaukee area and you’re thinking about new windows you should give Brandon a ring.  You’ll be glad you did.

Top Factors to Consider When Choosing a Window

With over 35 years combined experience in the window business, we’ve worked with many customers to find the right window for their needs. As you move forward with your research, ask yourself what factors are most important to you as a homeowner.  Is matching a particular design aesthetic your primary goal?  Do you prize extreme energy efficiency above all other considerations?  Do you prefer a window with a lifetime warranty that will last for many years to come?  How important is price in making your final decision?  We’ve created a list below of the most common factors homeowners consider when choosing new windows.  The clearer you are about what’s most important to you at the beginning of the window shopping process, the easier it will be to choose the window that best meets your needs.

Budget

For many customers, their spending plan is an important factor in determining which replacement window or door they choose. Some window companies offer only one type of replacement window; others offer a variety of brands and materials at a range of price points that work with many different budgets.  Knowing what you’re able to spend on your project will help you rule out some companies and focus on others.

Selection

Some window companies offer a variety of choices while others have only one window material or brand to offer. The goal of a one-size-fits-all window company will be to convince you that their window is the best and that it’s exactly the right window for you.  Although this may be true in some cases, it’s certainly not true in all.  There are four main materials used in residential replacement windows today:  wood, vinyl, fiberglass, and composite (a blend of more than one material, i.e. wood and vinyl).  The wider the selection of window materials to choose from, the more likely you will end up with the window that’s the best fit for your needs.

Window Quality

Let’s face it: all building materials are not created equal, and windows are no exception.  For some clients, a premium quality window is of the utmost importance; for others, not so much.  In many cases, the higher the quality, the higher the initial price tag.  Higher quality windows will often outlast other brands, so your long-term savings could certainly be worth the up-front investment.  Will you live in the home for many years to come, or are you focused on a short-term solution?  These are all things to consider when looking at the different window brands available.

Design

Some homeowners will start their window research with a specific design aesthetic in mind.  Owners of condominiums and historic homes will usually have to follow certain guidelines when choosing which window to install.  Alternately, your home style or location may demand that you work within specific architectural parameters in order to maintain the integrity of the design; such is the case with Craftsman style homes, or regions like Cape Cod.  Only certain types of windows will look right in these instances, and you want to be sure you’re working with a window installer who can match your home’s design needs.

 Performance

Energy efficiency, U-factor, Solar heat gain coefficient, double-glazed, impact resistant, egress windows, condensation resistance, air leakage, visible transmittance…are you confused yet? These are all words that can be used to describe how a window will perform.  Sometimes online research can leave you with more questions than answers.  All residential replacement windows installed today will need to meet certain basic standards for energy efficiency.  Some homes require specific performance features based on their location, like coastal impact windows for homes located within a certain distance from the ocean.  Additionally, some homeowners may opt for certain features based on what’s important to them (i.e. triple-glazed windows for more energy efficiency; windows with more sound proofing for busy urban areas).  A good window professional will explain your options in language that’s easy to understand, and will make recommendations based on the needs and wants of both home and homeowner.

 Warranty

The terms of a warranty can mean the difference between a good purchase and a great purchase. When choosing a window for your home, be sure to explore the different warranties available.  Common warranty lengths are:  10 year, 20 year, and lifetime.  Many companies have different warranty lengths for different parts of the window (glass seal, frame, hardware, or moving parts).  Not all warranties cover glass breakage, but you can sometimes add that at the time of purchase.  Labor and installation warranties are another aspect to watch out for.  These would usually be offered by the company that installed your windows, and are often a sign that the installer is very confident in their work.

Customer Reviews

Before making any final decisions, we HIGHLY recommend you read reviews by previous customers as part of your research. Angie’s List (which now has a free membership option), Better Business Bureau, Consumer Reports, HomeAdvisor, The Window Dog…there are many websites out there that can help you see who it is that you’ll be inviting into your home.  Read the responses from each company to get a balanced view of complaints and to see how they handle issues.  No company is perfect, and seeing how they handle problems is important should any unforeseen issues arise with your installation.

 Buying Experience

It often doesn’t take more than a couple of appointments for customers to realize that ‘buying experience’ may be one of the most important factors in choosing a window company.  Some window companies employ hard-core sales tactics or focus on bashing other window brands to make their own look better.  Their salesmen may wear you down over the course of several hours or offer a “sign now for huge savings that go away tomorrow!” sort of deal that makes you feel like you have no choice.  Other companies will aim to educate you rather than scare you, and will honor their price quote for a full 30 days after your consultation.  These companies are interested in providing a professional buying experience backed with exceptional customer service.  We encourage you to meet with more than one company so you can see the difference for yourself.

 Company Features

A final question for homeowners to ask themselves is “Who do I want to install my windows?” Do you prefer to work with a large chain business, or would you rather work with a locally-owned company?  What, if any, kind of labor and installation warranty does the company offer?  Are window installations their specialty, or is the company more of a jack-of-all trades?  Do they employ their own installers or do they subcontract their installations out?  Choose your windows and your installer wisely and you will be satisfied with your purchase for years to come.

Nicole Spano is the CEO of United Better Homes in Pawtucket, RI.  United is a leading installer of replacement windows in the Rhode Island area and they’re our recommended company in the area.  If you’re anywhere near The Ocean State I’d recommend you give them a ring.