When shopping for any new product, our eyes tend to gravitate toward the big brand names we recognize.
For example, GE appliances for refrigerators, dishwashers, and other home appliances. Nike and Adidas for sports gear. Ocean Spray for popular juices and concentrates.
Now, while these are all products you are familiar with and go to when you need a replacement, finding the right replacement windows isn’t as simple.
Because we aren’t typically window shopping for new windows, you may be tempted to go with a national company when it comes time for a replacement. You think, “They have a good reputation and national recognition for a reason, right?”
While, yes, these national window companies do have great reviews and brand recognition for a reason, you may run into some potential problems when working with them.
As a locally trusted window replacement company since 1989, Southwest Exteriors has helped thousands of homeowners transform their homes with high-quality windows and installation guaranteed to last.
Over the past thirty years, we’ve unfortunately had to correct the mistakes of many unfit window replacement contractors, including ones with a national name.
So, we want you to know the potential problems you may run into when working with a national window replacement company and help you find the right contractor for your project.
Let’s dive in.
What Are The Potential Problems When Working With A National Window Replacement Company?
Even with national recognition and raving reviews, large brands still make mistakes. When it comes to your home especially, you want to be extra careful with whom you trust.
Before choosing a contractor to replace your windows, you want to ensure they meet all your reliability, trust, and skill needs.
Part of choosing the right contractor is knowing the potential risks of choosing the wrong one. So, let’s look at some potential problems you may encounter when working with a national window replacement company.
*Disclaimer: This article is intended to pose potential issues that may occur when working with a national window replacement contractor, but does not mean that every national contractor will pose these issues.
1. Their installation skills may not fit your climate
Because national window replacement companies are national, they must fit their products and installation skills to fit many different climates. This can lead to mediocre installations because of too many different practices and products to fit different areas of the country.
Poor installation can also result in the relocation of installation crews. The company does not have one area and climate they specialize in, so they are expected to be experts in every climate (which is difficult to do).
Compare this to a locally established window company. Their roots are in your area, and they specialize in installing windows in your climate. This means they know how your foundation changes, how the weather can affect your windows, and more.
While a national window brand may be used for new-build homes or short-term homeowners, finding a trusted local window company may be best for long-term homeowners.
Ensuring your window replacement contractor knows how to properly remove and install your new windows to fit your home and protect it in the future is essential.
2. Their products may not be as high-quality for your area
Similar to knowing a contractor can install windows properly for your climate, you must know they have the right products and materials to fit your home and last in your area.
Some national companies manufacture different products to fit specific climates in the nation. For example, James Hardie fiber cement products are made to fit different climates in the U.S.'s northern and southern regions because they know the weather conditions are different. The same must go for your new windows.
Think about how different the climate in South Texas is from Colorado. Texas is more humid and hot year-round, while Colorado is dry, with freezing temperatures in winter and spring. How will the same cookie-cutter window perform in these vastly different climates?
If you want to choose a window from a national brand, ensure they are manufactured to fit your climate. If not, your new windows will not last in your home, and you will have to replace them again shortly.
Additionally, you want to make sure your contractor uses the right materials for installing your windows, like the right caulking and flashing. Just like with the same windows, national window companies most likely use the same brand and type of caulk and flashing, regardless of the climate.
This can lead to failing seals around the windows and moisture entering your home, causing rot, mold, and mildew in your walls.
Finding a trusted window contractor, whether national or local, that offers products specific to your area and climate is crucial to the success of your window replacement project.
3. They may be more difficult to get a hold of
One of the most common problems when working with a national window company is getting a hold of them.
Typically, national companies have a “1-800” number that you can call for any questions, comments, or concerns. This means you are led to wait on hold until a representative can get with you, and you probably have never spoken to them ever before.
However, the local branch of a national window company should have a local number for you to contact, but that doesn’t guarantee that their policies will direct you to hold or to another representative.
When you work with a localized window company, their connections are local. It is easier for you to talk to a real person who has worked on your project with you and understands your needs and questions better.
The ability to contact your window replacement company is important through each step of your project. It is especially crucial if and when you need to place a warranty claim.
Imagine if you find a problem with your windows or they stop functioning properly, and you call your company only to be placed on hold and bounced around from person to person until you find the right one. This is a potential issue when working with a national window company.
4. Their warranty may not be as robust
Another problem you may have when working with a national company is how robust their warranty coverage is.
Similar to having the right products to fit different climates, a company must have the proper warranty to cover their windows and installation for your area and climate.
For example, if you have vinyl windows that are made to last in hot and cold weather without losing their shape, but the warranty only covers warping in southern climates, it does not promise the windows won’t become misshapen in northern climates.
You must ensure that the window warranty and the installation warranty offer the appropriate coverage for the material and quality of the windows in your area.
A local window contractor will ensure that the windows they offer and install will have quality warranty coverage to accommodate your climate and potential foundation shifting.
While national window companies do offer quality warranties, it’s important to look at the details and ensure the warranty will protect your windows and your home in the future.
Now that you know four potential issues you may encounter when working with a national window replacement company, you can be assured you will find the right contractor that will meet your needs and take care of your home.
While national window replacement companies do have reputation and credibility, it’s important to be aware of their potential shortcomings, like
The quality of products they offer
The quality of installation they provide
Your ability to talk to a real person
The quality of their warranty
By considering these four potential problems you may run into, you can continue your research and ask the right questions to find the right contractor for your project.
Equipping yourself with the right knowledge about what to look for in a contractor and what questions to ask will ensure you don’t get taken advantage of and find the right contractor to work with.