Avoid the “sizzle” when buying new windows for your home

front image of house with lots of windows and glass
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A renovation journey.

Join us for a continuing series as we bring a relatively untouched, tired-looking 1960’s builder’s-box bungalow into the 21st century.

. . . . .

By Masha Koyen

Shopping for new windows? It’s easy to fall prey to extravagant promotions and deals that make too-good-to-be-true promises on new or replacement windows.

According to Laura Weil of Frank by Ostaco, the devil lies in the detail when shopping for windows, not in the “sizzle” of the deal. Here are five tips to help you pick the right windows and the right window expert for your renovation project.

1.What are people saying about the window company?

Laura says referrals by friends and neighbours are the best sign of a good window company. What could be better than a first-hand account from someone you trust? If there are no referrals, research local companies online to learn what people are saying about their windows. Do they have a five-star rating? Do they have positive Google reviews? How is their social media content and engagement? Research helps you find window companies focused on quality of windows instead of quantity of sales.

2.How do you feel when you speak to someone at a window company?

Call the window companies and make sure you feel comfortable with the people you’re speaking with. “If they speak passionately about their role and the products they represent, it is likely you will see that same level of care throughout the process and the end result will shine,” says Laura.

3.Test drive your windows. How easy is it to operate them?

“Take a look at the final finishing of the welded corners, how the hardware is applied and how it feels when operated, what the screens look like, and what the paint finish reveals,” advises Laura. “These attributes define how well a window is built and how they will stand the test of time.”

When visiting showrooms, the representative should point out details that set their windows apart. For example, well-made windows are completely customized. “Each glass unit is made up of two or three panels of glass with a wide variety of coatings to ensure optimal comfort in each space,” explains Laura. These are the details that separate high-quality windows from the rest.

4.How does the salesperson establish a rapport?

A good window company asks what you want in a window, so they can show you how their product fits the bill. If the salesperson doesn’t take the time to establish a rapport, then it makes it pretty hard to meet your needs.

Even worse, if their immediate approach is to tell you about a special deal, it’s all about getting a sale. “If you feel pressured, back away,” advises Laura. “If you’re being told that there is a buy-one-get-one-free, this is nonsense. Every window is custom built, there is no inventory, therefore this is a gimmicky sales tactic.”

5.How do the windows look?

According to Laura, sleek frames and large spans of glass with minimal details indicate transformative window design. Details such as square hardware and invisible screens also provide an updated look. Windows can’t be cookie cutter, so customization is key. “This bespoke approach allows for a tight fit,” explains Laura. “Exterior trim detailing is applied to suit your façade. Interior finishing allows for wood or drywall jambs.” Finding windows suited to your home and taste adds years of enjoyment, while increasing the value to your home.

As you can see, the minute details speak to the quality of the product, while the sizzle is nothing more than a clever sales tactic. A window company focused on quality doesn’t need the sizzle.

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Watch for the project website and YouTube channel coming soon! ready-set-reno.ca

In today’s pandemic-era environment, world-wide supply chain issues and construction delays are a reality, so plan your renovation well and be prepared. As things get underway, we’ll be sharing exciting before, during and after content including a video series featuring top experts, and you’ll be able to virtually tour the project at various stages of completion.

Photo credit: Frank by Ostaco

Masha Koyen is the founder of Content Vertical, copywriting and content strategy for the design-build industry.

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A Renovation Journey. Join us for a continuing series as we bring a relatively untouched, tired-looking 1960's builder's-box bungalow into the 21st century. ready-set-reno.ca

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