Tom Shafer

8 things you can learn from a window manufacturer's site

July 08, 2014

Before purchasing windows for your home, make sure you look at the manufacturer's and dealer's websites to learn about both the companies and their windows. There could be crucial information there that changes the way you think about the product. Keep a look out for these eight items:

  1. Read the warranty. Learn the terms and determine by comparison which manufacturer has the best warranty for your situation. If you are moving in five years, there is no need to have a lifetime warranty, but it might be good to have a transferable warranty. Many lifetime warranties are not transferable.
  2. How to contact the manufacturer. Some manufacturers hide where they make the windows and how to call or e-mail them. Some makes you fill out a form so they can add you to a mail list. Contact should be easy either by phone or e-mail.
  3. Do they make the products you want? Do they have the correct glazing solutions for your Energy Star zone? Before a salesperson comes to your home, you should have researched all the product offerings. You can be armed with facts about the windows and have questions prepared.
  4. Company history. They should be proud to tell about their business, how long have they been installing windows, etc. A reputable dealer has nothing to hide.
  5. Up-to-date. Do they have a section for latest news of new products, new management, and new territories? A vibrant company is always moving forward with products, promotions, etc.
  6. Mission statement. Here you can discover company values, like innovation and customer service. Is this a company you can trust to make windows for your home?
  7. Lingo. Do you know all the terms used in the window industry? Many window companies explain which words you may be unfamiliar with that come up during a typical presentation. Pella shows the anatomy of a window, listing each piece on a picture of a window, while Andersen has a long glossary.
  8. How their windows look when installed. Do you want to make changes in the look of your home? Some manufacturer's websites also have pictures of installations that will give you an idea of how to transform the look of your home.

Do not be afraid to do research and ask questions so that you can make an educated decision, not an emotional one. With this information in hand, you'll be an informed window-buyer.

About the Author

Tom Shafer has an extensive background in building materials, primarily in the window segment of the industry, in positions ranging from territorial salesperson, regional sales manager, product manager, and marketing manager. He's been employed by both manufacturers and distributors. His window experience spans both residential new construction and replacement windows and includes positions with United Windows and Doors and Norandex, MI Windows. His last assignments involved development of a line of hurricane windows and training salespeople to sell replacement windows for Silver Line. He has been involved in explaining windows regulations by working closely with design engineers in testing, design, and building code interpretation. He has worked at a large big box home improvement retailer. currently he is a Replacement Window Specialist for a leading window manufacturer.

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