For many people, a contractor or builder will be the one handling the window and door project—whether it's part of a new home project, a remodel, an addition or total replacement of all your home's windows and patio doors. For projects involving more than windows and doors, you're probably already involved in a large number of decisions about everything from floor coverings to door knobs. Windows can be one of the bigger decisions you'll make in the project. A contractor, who manages decisions like this daily, will be an excellent resource in making sure you get the right windows and doors for your home.
There are three basic types of contractors for this kind of work:
- General contractors typically oversee and manage a job from start to finish. They work with you on the bid as well as schedule and manage the daily work, and are ultimately responsible for making sure everything is done right and to your satisfaction. In some instances, if their firm is small enough, they may even do the work themselves.
- Design/build contractors provide design and construction services under the same roof. They might be overkill for a job focused solely on replacing windows, but would be an excellent choice if you were looking for a contractor who could handle both design and construction duties.
- Window installation contractors come in only for the specialized job of window installation.
Good contractors can help you in a variety of ways:
- They'll make recommendations and help you select the most appropriate windows and patio doors for your home's architecture, climate and site.
- They can suggest ways you can use windows to maximize a view or increase natural light.
- They know all the tricks of the trade for installing windows in new construction or replacing windows in existing homes.
- They'll look for ways to make the installation more effective and weather-tight.
- They know how to work in homes while people are living in them, adjust their schedule to yours and minimize their impact.
- They know how to work on a schedule and get a job done quickly.
Find professional contractors, ideally with Installation Masters™ training, through a variety or resources including American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and Angie's List.