There are quite a few home improvement projects that you can handle yourself, but installing new windows and doors isn’t one of them. We wouldn’t recommend that you ever even attempt this, as you could end up doing some serious damage to your property (and maybe your health), which could cost thousands of dollars to fix. Instead, you need to enlist the help of a professional windows and doors company that has been through the process hundreds of times before. But how do you find such a company? A simple Google search for windows and doors companies in Toronto brings up hundreds of different results. How do you know which of these companies you can trust?
Direct Pro Windows & Doors is one of the companies you can trust and we have been called out on numerous occasions to clean up after a less reputable contractor has made a mess of the job. If you fail to do your homework, that’s what can happen. Here’s our advice when looking for a reputable Toronto based windows and doors company.
Make a List of Windows and Doors Companies
The first thing to do is to make a list of windows and doors companies that you think deserve a closer look. The best ways to build this list are as follows:
Ask Friends and Family Members
The absolute best way to identify strong candidates for the job right off the bat is to ask friends, colleagues or family members whether they have ever worked with a contractor in the area, or they know of anyone who has, and if so, were they satisfied with the job that was done? These should be people you can trust so if they were satisfied with the work of a particular windows and doors company, that company is definitely worth checking out. Also, keep an eye out in your neighbourhood to see whether anyone else is having new doors or windows fitted. One thing you have to be aware of when using this method is that anyone that provides you with a referral may have had a budget that exceeds your own.
Look Through the Phone Directory
They might not be as popular as they once were, but there are some windows and doors companies that that still have listings in phone directories like the Yellow Pages. Given the prices to list in some of these directories, the majority of the companies found there are legitimate.
Find Companies Online
Online search is massive these days and many clients find service providers through online avenues. Rather than just using a search engine, check out professional associations in the windows and doors industry, as reputable companies are often registered with them. Additionally you could use websites such as HomeStars, which give an honest overview of a company by displaying all feedback given to them by clients, whether positive or negative.
Narrowing Down the Search to a Single Company
Once you have a list of candidates, it’s time to start doing some more in-depth research on each one to single out the company that can best meet your needs. The best way to do this is to simply contact each company and ask them a series of questions and see how they respond. If you notice the company are intentionally vague when answering your questions, hang up the phone and dial the next number. Investing in new windows or doors is a big deal for most people and you don’t need the hassle of dealing with someone that doesn’t want to be clear in what they say. Here are the main questions you should ask:
How Long Have You Been in the Business for?
It goes without saying that the longer the company has been established, the better. Windows and doors companies that have stood the test of time have generally done so because they are good at what they do and have completed a lot of jobs successfully. A recently established company isn’t necessarily a bad one, but they aren’t likely to have a long track record that you can check out.
What is Included in the Quote You’ve Provided?
You need to know exactly what they have quoted for. Some companies will send you a bill after they have completed your installation for disposing of your old windows. It’s a good idea to find a company that can take care of both the manufacturing of your new windows or doors, and the installation, like Direct Pro Windows & Doors do. This often works out cheaper and the installation team can’t blame any damage on the quality of the product (and vice-versa).
Are You Bonded and Insured?
This is important! If the contractor causes damage to your property accidentally, you could end up paying for it if they don’t have the proper insurance coverage. Additionally, ask them whether they have insurance just in case one of their employee suffers an injury at your property.
What Kind of Warranty Do You Offer?
Warranties are an important part of the deal and you need to know exactly what you are covered for. Some warranties will only give you limited cover, while other companies will offer a comprehensive warranty, which is always desirable.
Do You Sub-Contract Out Work?
It’s always best to avoid companies that sub-contract work if you can, as the company may have little to no control over the standard of work that is delivered. It also gets more complicated should something go wrong.
Finally, the best piece of advice we can give you when looking for new windows and doors is to never make the decision solely based on the amount you are quoted. It can be tempting to choose the lowest price available, particularly if your finances are tight, but low prices can be an indication of poor workmanship or low quality materials.