How Important is the Window Installer?
Ignoring the qualifications of the actual window installer is a common mistake that homeowners usually make when purchasing new windows. If homeowners are not solely concerned about price, they concentrate soley on the quality of the window. This is extremely important when shopping for your windows. You want to make sure that your brand new vinyl replacement window is of the utmost quality. By making sure that the manufacturer of the window has been around for over 30 years manufacturing a time-tested product, and then making sure that the window itself is built properly with the right glass package - you should be assured that that's a good start.
However, let's assume that you've done your research and have found the very best window on the market. Most homeowners think that finding this high quality window at an affordable price is the end of the purchasing process. What many do not consider is the window installer. Most companies use installers that they also utilize for siding projects, roofing projects and door projects among others. When purchasing a new window, the first question that should be asked is: Are the installers subcontractors or actual employees of the company? This will immediately give you a good idea of how the company operates. A window installer who is a loyal employee of a window company should only be used to install window jobs. Never should he become a jack-of-all-trades installing whatever project comes up next. To take it one step further, as a lawyer must pass his bar exam to be able to practice law and a dentist must pass his dental boards in order to practice dentistry, the proper installer must also pass a certification program which is called AAMI. A company that utilizes AAMI-certified installers with years of experience that are also employees of their company, coupled with a fine product, is generally a sure bet.
Considering the other side of the spectrum, many companies choose to hire subcontractors. Subcontractor window installers often work for many companies at the same time. Window companies pick and choose when to use the subs and often negotiate labor pricing due to the slow times of the year. Additionally, subcontractor window installers are generally jacks-of-all-trades. Whereas one day they may be an installer for windows, another day they may be installing a new bathroom and then moving on to a plumbing job. Subcontractor window installers generally do not have a loyalty to any one company nor are they AAMI- certified. So what does this all mean? Basically, you as a homeowner can spend hours, days and weeks researching for the best possible window on the market. But if the project is placed in the wrong hands, it can turn into an installation disaster. There's a famous saying in the industry that says, "you can find a million-dollar window but if it's not installed properly, you're worse off then when you started."
An AAMI-certified window installer who is an employee of a company generally ensures that the window is installed properly and is also trained to make any necessary adjustments to the home, such as replacing rotted wood, seeking out termite and water damage and insulating the walls before installing the brand new vinyl window. Additionally, an AAMI-certified window installer who is an employee of a company generally will not leave an installation until the window is properly caulked on both the interior and exterior and custom-capped on the exterior to give the home a complete finish. An AAMI-certified window installer generally takes pride in his work due to the fact that he is not only representing a company but he is also employed by that company.
Please do not interpret this as a knock on subcontractors; there are many good ones out there, however, when improving your home, a good goal is to reduce risk of a bad installation. An AAMI-certified window installer who is an employee of a company is generally a sure bet to insulate yourself from problems starting on day one of the installation to service issues in the future.
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