When a high-pressure salesman comes to sell in their tasseled loafers and no socks, you’ll hear much (mostly bologna) about why their windows are the best. What you rarely hear about is the installation itself. The best window, if not properly installed, is not going to perform as it was designed to perform if it is not installed correctly.
Installers: When the installers knock on your door to begin installation, will you look at them and think to yourself, “I really don’t feel comfortable letting these scruffy guys into my home.” At Picture Perfect we pride ourselves in our clean-cut, experienced and competent installers. Our Leadmen have been trained in our installation methods in addition to those of our suppliers. Before coming to work for us all Leadmen go through a background check that includes a criminal check and drug test. We take pride that our installers and our installation methods truly are the best in the industry.
Leaks: A common shortcut among quickie installers is to skip backbeading or sealing the flange of the Retrofit Window against the remaining frame of the original window using a polyurethane sealant. Once the window is fastened and sealed in place the installer should run an additional neat, continuous bead of caulk around the sides and top (not the bottom) of the Retrofit Window and took it (push it in) with his finger (beware of installers with dirty hands!). The third seal is the use of a minimally expanding foam applied from the inside. Use of this foam also provides additional structural rigidity to the frame and acts as an insulator.
Smooth Operation: Yes, some windows do operate more smoothly than others, but the primary cause of windows that stick, bind or rumble and bump is an installation that is not plumb and square. One way to visually check for this is to look at the reveal which is spacing between the edge of the vent and the fixed frame when in the almost-closed position. The reveal should be even from top to bottom.
Appearance: Properly applied interior trim should be neat and clean and virtually indistinguishable from the window itself. The window frame and glass should be clean. The job is complete only when all drapes, blinds, and window coverings are reinstalled, all furniture and household items that the installers moved for installation are put back in place, all tools and drop cloths are removed, your old windows are loaded for disposal, and your floors are vacuumed. Before asking for payment, the Leadman should properly review the job with you and demonstrate the operation of your new windows/doors.
Installation Note: Some of our competitors still trim the exterior of their windows and doors with a system called coil or break method. In place of windows with an integral vinyl flange, they order windows with block frames (without flange) and then fabricate the flange, at the job site, from thin vinyl coated aluminum. We don’t consider this method acceptable for several reasons: it usually looks bad, it easily dents, is difficult to properly seal against leaking, and will probably have a far shorter life (especially near the coast) than your “lifetime” windows.
Prove It: Well, talk is cheap, but there are a few things you can do to check on your contractor. 1. Our sales staff are really your Project Managers. You can trust them to follow your job through to completion. 2. Check referrals.Worth a try, but let’s face it, no one is going to provide you with a bad referral. 3. Check the California State Contractor’s License Board. Are they really licensed? 4. Check the BBB, Better Business Bureau. Do they have a history of complaints? 5. Have they been AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) certified? 6. A method I particularly like is to visit a job in progress and see for yourself what’s actually happening on the job. Do the installers seem to know what they are doing? Are they neat and clean? Do they respect the home they’re working on?
Also consider, have they been around for awhile, or are they a new start-up operating out of a pickup? Have you been to their showroom or place of business? Do they guarantee their installation in writing?
We are committed to your satisfaction,