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How to find a window and door contractor you can trust.

by Gates Dearen
Satisfied HomeRite Windows
and Doors Customers
Someday, after you’ve thought about getting replacement windows and doors for a while, you’ll probably decide that it’s time to move forward. You have a good idea of what you want and you also have an idea of how much you have in the budget for this home improvement. The next thing to think about is how to find a good contractor.
A company’s reputation is one of the things most people take into consideration when selecting a contractor of any kind. Most people want to deal with a company that has been in business for a substantial period of time. A company that opened three weeks ago may turn out to be very successful with a great reputation in a year or two. However, customers are usually skeptical of companies that haven’t been around for very long. Most people realize that when a company has been around for a while, it’s probably because they’re good at what they do.
Word of Mouth Recommendations
Courtesy of HomeRite
When you hear from a family member or a friend that a contractor is reliable, you tend to pay attention. You especially pay attention if the person you are talking to has done business with the contractor and you’ve seen how nicely the work turned out.  Word of mouth recommendations are great when you can get them. However, sometimes you just don’t know someone who knows someone. Fortunately, numerous other sources of information are now available.
The Company Website
A company’s website is a piece of promotional literature where a business tries to put its best foot forward. There are several things that will indicate whether or not the company is reliable.
Does the website have a nice appearance? A reliable window and door contractor should have a professional looking website. Making a website that looks nice is a lot easier than making a house look nice. If they can’t produce a website that looks good, it stands to reason that they may not be capable of getting your house to look good. Also, the website should be easy to navigate and it should function well. The functionality of the company website may be an indicator of how much attention they pay to detail.
Courtesy of HomeRite
Are there “Before” and “After” pictures of jobs that show how the company has transformed customers’ homes? On a good window and door contractor’s website, there should be pictures of homes that they have worked on. If you don’t have a big house, it may not seem logical to judge a contractor by what they did to a mansion at a beach or on a golf course. However, those kinds of projects indicate a high level of trust on the part of the homeowner. If the contractor also has photos of work done on modest homes, so much the better.
Are there customer testimonials and do those customer testimonials seem real? Testimonials that help to convince customers to move forward are quite valuable to contractors. In fact, they’re so valuable that unscrupulous contractors may be tempted to make them up. If the testimonials seem too good to be true, or if there seem to be too many testimonials and they’re all very well-written, a dose of skepticism might be in order. Video testimonials of real people talking about the work that was done on their home are the best.
Watch this short testimonial video from
 one of our many Satisfied customers
Does the contractor have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau? Also, does the company have other relevant affiliations? A good contractor that cares about reputation will have a good rating with the BBB. A good contractor will also be a member in good standing with a relevant professional association. For example, HomeRite Jacksonville is a member of the Northeast Florida Builders’ Association. Ratings and affiliations should be listed prominently on a company website.
Angie’s List
Awarded 4 years in a row.
Reviews of contractors on Angie’s List can be a big help in determining which contractor to do business with. Angie’s List was founded in 1995 by Angie Hicks. According to the Angie’s List website, “More than 3 million households nationwide check Angie's List reviews to find the best local service providers, like roofers, plumbers, handymen, mechanics, doctors and dentists. And that's just the short list. We collect ratings and reviews on more than 720 different services.”
Reviews include details about how the project went, response time, price, professionalism and quality of work on an A to F scale. There are currently over forty listings for “Window Contractors” in Jacksonville. A handful, including HomeRite, have stars by them to indicate that they are, “Super Service Award Winners.”  Angie’s List doesn’t just hand those awards out. They mean the contractor has been providing truly excellent service.  
According to the Angie’s List website, “We accept both good and bad reviews and we never remove reviews unless the member who posted the feedback contacts us to delete it. All reviews that a provider receives are averaged together to calculate their recent grade in a service category. Companies with a poor rating from our members will appear lower down on the List after businesses who have earned good ratings for superior work.”
The Home Visit
Courtesy of HomeRite
Once you’ve decided on which contractors look right, you’ll be setting up a time when their representative can visit your home. The representative will measure the windows, explain the options, and answer your questions. He or she should be a good communicator who listens carefully and explains things clearly. He or she should be able to present the improvement project proposal in plain language without resorting to industry jargon. After you’ve reviewed a contractor’s website, reviewed the Angie’s List reviews about the company, and met with a representative of the company, you’ll have a good sense of whether or not you want to do business with that firm. Congratulations!
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In this article, I’ve discussed how to find a great contractor for windows and doors. I’ve mentioned how to evaluate a company based on their website, Angie’s List, and their overall presentation.
For information about HomeRite Windows and Door’s energy efficient line of windows and doors, call 296-2515 or visit their showroom at 4801 Executive Park Court, Building 200, Suite 207, Jacksonville; FL 32216.
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HomeRite is a window and door dealer that specializes in energy efficient, quality windows and doors with warranties and service to match. The company has been in business since 2005. HomeRite has partnered with a manufacturer that has been producing high quality products and providing excellent customer service for over 60 years. Windows and doors from HomeRite are some of the highest quality, most thermally efficient windows and doors on the market.
HomeRite products add substantial value to their clients’ properties. HomeRite is a member of the United States Green Building Council, a non-profit organization comprised of leaders across the industry working to advance environmentally responsible buildings.
Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, Florida. He and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 30 years. They strive to match homeowners with the right windows and doors for their homes and budgets. They make the home improvement process pleasant with first-rate, energy-efficient products, affordable pricing, and award-wining installers who employ the best practices and who always treat customers and their property with the utmost respect.

3 comments:

  1. Thank goodness for review sites and social media. That's the only way to be sure you are dealing with a reputable contractor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. With all the tools now at our disposal, the chances of getting good contractor are getting better and better.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your post which is truly informative for us and we will surely keep visiting this website.
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    ReplyDelete