Tom Shafer

8 overlooked window installation provisions

April 21, 2012

Before signing a replacement window contract, you should make sure it includes a complete installation package. An advertised deal for windows and installation could be enticingly inexpensive, but that low price might not include some things you expect are part of the package. To avoid unpleasant surprises when the job is finished -- or in some cases, even before it begins -- here are eight items to make sure are in your window installation contract:

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  1. Building permits: If a building permit is required, who pays the fee?
  2. Delivery charges: Will your installer deliver your windows? If delivery is extra, can you make your own arrangements? Some dealers charge extra for installers to carry windows upstairs, or even around the house and up to a deck.
  3. Distance surcharges: Where is your dealer's place of business located? If it's further than a specified distance, you might have to pay a surcharge for extra mileage. Make sure you know up front if your final payment will include this additional charge.
  4. Window coverings: Will drapes and blinds be removed by the installation crew, or do you have to take them down yourself? Some dealers charge extra for the installers to take down and replace the window treatments.
  5. Alarm systems: If you have an alarm system with window sensors, you may have to have your alarm company disconnect and reconnect the alarms. Most installers do not want the liability of dealing with alarm systems.
  6. Trim replacement: In all probability, removing the trim around your windows will damage it. Is the installer responsible for replacing it, and if so, is the cost of replacement included in your contract?
  7. Old window removal: Who is responsible for removing the old windows from your property? Many cities charge dump fees. Some installers refuse to dispose of the old windows because those fees eat up their profits.
  8. Clean-up: If your lawn is manicured carefully, you probably won't be happy with scraps of wood, aluminum trim and nails strewn in your grass. See that clean-up is included in your window installation contract.

The contract you sign should clearly state what is and is not included. These eight items are often overlooked. Use this check list when you review your contract. It can help prevent surprises.

About the Author

Tom Shafer has decades of experience in window sales, marketing and product development. He's worked closely with window design engineers in testing, design, and building code interpretation. Past employers include United Windows and Doors and Norandex, MI Windows. He currently works at a home improvement retailer.

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