Did you know that practically all custom window companies in Canada require a deposit at the time your contract is signed?
That means you’re usually paying a good part of the final price long before the windows are even manufactured. The deposit ensures you are committed to your replacement and won’t back out after your windows have been manufactured.
But that’s only a bad thing if you’re dealing with unreputable companies. So before you hand over your hard earned money there are some things you should know about how deposits work, and whether a company can be trusted.
How much is the deposit on replacement windows?
Generally, deposits for new window contracts in Canada can range between 25-40%.
It is important that the deposit amount is outlined on your contract alongside all the other amounts and prices. Never agree to pay the deposit in cash for an additional discount. If your project consultant quoted your replacement honestly, the deposit will be a true representation of the final price, with little room for adjustment. Any discounts on windows should be applied before the deposit is paid.
Why window companies in Alberta MUST have a prepaid contracting license*
Ensuring your deposit is safe and is actually going toward new windows is crucial. After all a company has to be accountable for the money put towards any order. The Service Alberta prepaid contracting license exists specifically to register companies that accept money before work is provided. For a full list of qualifications and requirements a company must have, you can visit the Service Alberta page. Whether a company has a prepaid contracting license is a way to separate serious companies from ones that have set up shop for a season or two.
*Unfortunately for our Winnipeg customers, a similar level of accreditation doesn’t exist in Manitoba. In Alberta, we are registered and licensed as a prepaid contractor.
You can cancel a window contract even after paying the deposit.
By law, you have up to ten days to cancel a window contract, even if you already paid the deposit. The company shouldn’t begin manufacturing the order in that time, so you can make changes or decide to nullify the contract. You also aren’t obligated to give the company a reason for canceling your contract in that time period.
How you pay the window deposit can tell a lot about a company.
This is another reason why we don’t recommend paying your deposit in cash.If you gave that deposit in cash you may have to wait for weeks until a returned cheque comes in the mail or the project consultant stops by to give you the money. With a credit or debit card, the deposit gets refunded straight onto your account. Reputable companies will also show up on your statement under their business name, and not a third party that collects the balance.
More and more project consultants have mobile card terminals to collect your payment on the spot and provide a receipt. The old carbon-paper payment slip method is being used less and less because of security concerns and the increase in credit card fraud over the last few years. Also be wary of having to call in a company to pay your deposit over the phone. Always make sure that the number you’re given matches the company’s number online and in local listings. If a rep calls you to collect and outstanding balance, it may be a good idea to ask for a name and a number to call them at, so you can verify that you are indeed speaking to someone from your window company.
Think of your window deposit as an extension of your contract. If you are dealing with a reputable company, it protects both the customer and the business and assumes that the company is accountable to a certain standard and quality of work. Whether it’s your deposit or the final balance, make sure all the information regarding the financial side of your replacement is clearly stated on the contract, and the company can provide receipts for all the payments you have made throughout the project.