How to Save Time, Worry, and Money When Shopping for Replacement Windows


Your home’s windows are a source of light, security, and energy savings until they are not. Not only are old worn-out windows an eyesore, but they also reduce your home’s value and increase your energy bills. If your windows are becoming a pain, then replacing them is going to be high on your list. Following is information that will help take the stress out of shopping for replacement windows.


When selecting replacement windows there are three things you want to carefully consider:

  1. The construction of the window
  2. The installation of the window
  3. The company you choose



The construction of the window 

Gone are the days when you had to settle for wood windows that were going to be a maintenance nightmare, as are the days when “vinyl is final”. Technology has come a long way so now homeowners can match the window design and materials with the style of their home and personal taste without sacrificing energy savings, function, or beauty. There are windows made with different materials on the interior and exterior.

It is easy to separate the good from the average window. Companies producing the highest-quality windows are part of the ENERGY STAR® program, operated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Yes, just like your appliances, windows have energy performance requirements. The window’s performance is certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). Reading the NFRC label allows you to compare the performance between brands of windows because it rates the efficiency of the entire window unit. The energy-efficiency rating of the window is referred to by its U-factor. The lower the U-factor, the more energy-efficient the window. Don’t be fooled by center-of-glass numbers. Also, look for an American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) label on the window. This label means that the product passed strict tests for load strength and air or water infiltration. Signature Home Services offers a wide selection of windows with the above-mentioned features and offers free consultations to show you the options.

Installation equals performance

No matter which quality window you select, if it isn’t installed correctly, it cannot perform properly. You will have traded one set of problems for another. When talking with a company make sure they cover the window installation process with you. Once the window is in the opening it needs to be properly secured, and all the air and water infiltration points need to be sealed. Finally, for appearance and performance, the window should be trimmed out in a craftsman-like fashion. Make sure installers are licensed, insured, and background-checked. Most importantly, assure the company guarantees the installation as well as the window. It doesn’t matter if the installers are employees or subcontractors as long as the company stands behind their work. And get it in writing! This is one area you won’t have to worry about at Signature Home Services. Not only do they stand behind their installation, but they also earned their Installation Master Certification from AAMA. This is training based on industry best practices for window and door installation. All their installers are professionally trained, skilled, and experienced to do the job right the first time.

Know the Company You Keep

The most important decision you will make might not be the windows you buy but the company from whom you buy them. Big box stores are tempting but finding knowledgeable staff consistently on hand may be challenging. You could also find a disconnect between the manufacturer, installers, and the store, especially when it comes to warranty services. Your risks are even higher if you use a friend-of-a-friend or a truck and ladder contractor. Warranties are only as good as the product covered and the company that stands behind them. Signature Home Services has been serving the Twin Cities for over 20 years and is an A+ business accredited by the BBB. They are your local experts who can guide you through the window buying process so you get the best window for the money that will last as long as you own your home.


Quick Tips

Make sure the window/company you choose includes these features for a worry-free window purchase:


  • Choose a company that sells, installs, and guarantees their product. This way you get the right window for your needs and you only deal with one source.
  • If your home was built before 1978, a company must be an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm to legally do the work
  • Look for 3rd party certifications/endorsements on windows such as ENERGY STAR®, NARI®, and AAMA.
  • Don’t settle for anything less than a guarantee on the window AND the installation for as long as you own your home.