So you decided the time has come to do something about the old windows in your home. You’ve assessed your house, done your research, and maybe even found a company that you think is right for you. At this point, most homeowners ask about discounts on windows and doors.

But how can you see the true value through all the companies that promise you the world? And more importantly, what’s a real discount, and what is just smoke and mirrors?

Realistically, all companies and project consultants use some sort of sales tactics. Whether to sweeten the deal or make you, the customer, feel special. That isn’t to say some of them are better or worse. Simply, if you are able to recognize the catch in these approaches, you will be able to make an informed decision about your replacement project.

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Model Home Approach

More common to newer companies on the market. In this scenario, the company offers you discount windows and doors, or a reimbursement, if they in turn can use your home as an example of their work in the neighbourhood. If you are skeptical about this approach, just ask how long a company has been in that area. If they say at least several years, they should have other houses in the vicinity YOU can look at.

Neighbourhood Discount

Similar to the model home discount, the neighbourhood approach helps a salesperson rush you into signing. In this situation, a company will say they are working in your area for a limited time and if you sign with them immediately you’ll get a preferred rate because they are already there. Realistically most companies that work in a specific city, do work all around the metropolitan area and even the suburbs – keeping business to a small geographic area is not a sustainable tactic.

Unreasonable Discounts

The most common of sales tactics, is also unfortunately one people fall for the most. Surely you’ve seen discounts online or in a flier that offer 30, 40, sometimes up to 60% off on replacement windows. Unless you are working with one person who sells, manufactures, and installs their own windows these discount claims are ludicrous. Consider the chain of people that are involved in every stage of your replacement project: project consultants that give you an estimate, installers that measure and put in your windows, factory workers that manufacture them, and logistics people that ensure delivery and storage. Taking a third off the quoted price would surely mean somebody along the chain is not getting paid, or the quality of the product is substantially lower.

3-for-1 Windows

This one could be bundled in with unreasonable discounts. Though it is true that manufacturing a bigger bundle doesn’t cost all that much more, the total price of your project is usually inflated to make up the difference for that free window.

Free Window Installation

You probably have a job that you do on a daily basis. You also probably wouldn’t be happy if someone asked you to do that job for free all of the sudden. Same goes for window and door installers. Regardless of how your specific project was sold, the installers still have to get paid for doing their work at the end of the day. If you were offered a free installation, chances are the price of your window order has been adjusted to make up for the difference.

Energy Savings Guarantee

Usually used by companies with unreasonably high initial quotes. The salesperson will tell you their products are more expensive because they provide superior energy savings to that of competitor’s windows. Sometimes they will even offer you a discount if you don’t achieve a certain energy savings percentage. That discount ends up being only a fraction of the greater cost you paid. A quality triple glazed window should be comparable between different companies if it is manufactured correctly, and give similar energy ratings.

Don’t Pay for 12 Months

A popular tactic when a salesperson is sure you will rely on financing to fund your replacement project. The financing company usually pays the company upfront when your project is complete, but they are still concerned about getting their loan back with some interest. That is why the price is usually higher, to accommodate for payment deferrals.

Window Warranty

Another common tactic used by companies. As in “This company only offers a warranty for X number of years, while we offer a lifetime warranty.” Remember, as it pertains to your windows or any renovation project, the lifetime referred to here is not your lifetime, but rather the expected lifetime of a product. A CSA certified unit is said to have a lifespan of 25 years before it needs to be replaced again. Therefore a lifetime warranty offered on your replacements will never actually exceed that time. What should be more interesting to you is the labour warranty the company offers. Theoretically it is easier to mess up the installation than the manufacturing of the windows, so always find out for how long the installers will be able to come back and fix anything that goes wrong with the replacement.

There are just as many ways to sell as there are to buy replacement windows and doors. As long as you remember that new windows are only worth spending money on as a long-term investment, you should have an easier time finding exactly what you need.

Check out these window replacement articles:
Find out how we price our windows
Learn about replacement window lifetime warranty
Get a leg up on your project consultant and read these FAQs about replacement windows

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