Buying Replacement Windows on Line or for Any Home Improvement
Who or what are you looking for?
Looking for someone to buy replacement windows from? Of course you're going to search the web and what you are going to find is there are a lot of window replacement companies. Here are a few basic tips and some things to be aware of when your looking online for a window replacement company. Though I don't consider myself an expert in web searches, I hope to offer help specifically concerning window replacement. Many of these can be applied to any home improvement project as well.
First thing to understand when doing a search is the first links that appear in your search have almost always been paid for to have their link put first. The important thing to remember is this can run these companies a bundle of money and the ones who are paying have to pass that on to you the customer. Not surprisingly the ones who advertise this way commonly have the highest window replacement prices. With Google it's easy to distinguish between these links and what is a site that comes directly from your search perimeters, by looking just to the left of the link address (or URL) they have put a highlighted "Ad." These will usually make up the first 3-5 lines and will appear on each page of the search. Google will also run a column on the right hand side of all paid ads/links which usually means half of each page is made up of ads.
So now what are you searching for? When you search on the web what you are doing is matching words in your search with words in a website. There is no determining by the search engines to differentiate between what a company offers, the quality of the company, or if it is a company, person, or alien for that matter. They only look to match the words to what the company puts in their site. So as they always tell you the more detailed you get in your search usually will turn up the best results and then it is up to you to choose which search result best fits your need.
With replacement windows it's probably best to start with the term "replacement windows" in your search because you don't want to get a bunch of sites that are dealing with Microsoft products if all you put is "windows." Search engines don't even distinguish between word meanings so they don't know the difference between a computer operating system and what you look out of in your home when they both use the word windows.
If you know the type of window replacement product you are looking for include that, such as "vinyl replacement windows" or "wood replacement windows". Include more than one if you are looking for a broader range of replacement window choices
Getting into specific styles of replacement windows such as double hungs or casements isn't necessary as each window replacement company will carry all the styles. However do this if you want to learn more about a particular style.
Next use a geographic indicator in your search term like the main city where you live(usually not good to use a suburb as window replacement companies can cover a much broader area) or use the part of the state you live in which might give you a broader range of companies to choose from. If you don't use that you will get a long list of sites dealing with companies from across the United States and Canada and maybe even Europe. You'll get a long list anyway but at least the first few pages will more likely be related to your area. If you are looking for just information about windows you can leave this off for a broader range of articles about replacing windows but you will have to sift through more.
These are some of the main inclusions that are helpful but never leave out any words that you feel would relate to your specific project. More words is usually better with searches. Remember its the words you are searching for.
So what did you find?
Now you've done your search and how do you sift through the hundred of thousands of results. Well if you've used the right search most of the related sites should appear in the first few pages. If you understand what these sites are, you can usually identify what kind of site they are from the search titles which can be helpful when browsing through the list to determine which sites might be more helpful. Most results can fit in 3 basic types, window replacement company websites/ads, home improvement referral sites, and informational articles/blogs.
Window replacement company sites offer you an overview of their sales pitch for their company and products. They will have often several pages where they can explain different product offers or services and run online ads or specials. Usually they will have a contact form so they can contact you to set up an in home sales appointment. These sites are aimed at getting an opportunity to be invited into your home where they intend on giving their sales presentation. Best to find out what you can about these companies before you set an appointment. Some of these sales appointments can be long drawn out and high pressure.
Referral sites are sites that will take your information and sell it to a local contractor for a fee that gets added on to you price. Some will bid your project out to the lowest bidder (with no regard to the quality of the product or company) or they will sell your information to 2 or 3 companies with the only criterion for choosing those companies being their willingness to pay the fee. These sites will portray themselves as if they have vented out the contractors quality and are knowledgeable of window replacement when in my experience they are just a site gathering information to sell to whomever they can find to buy it and their only knowledge is how to set up such a site.
Then there are informational articles such as this one that give you information to equip yourself with when shopping the windows you want . Even these you have to read with a little discernment as often they are written with the hope of swaying you to a window the writer sells. I recently had a customer ask me about a video that reviewed a window product he was interested in. Though the video portrayed itself as impartial it became very clear to me that the window he was "reviewing" was not a product he sold as many of the weaknesses of the windows that were pointed out were exaggerated and misleading. If you've searched the web at all you are probably aware that not everything you read on the internet is true.
There are also a few "consumer rating" sites that rate companies based on consumer's experiences. These sites can be helpful in choosing one company over another but don't necessarily include all companies. Also, I've become increasingly skeptical even with these sites when they advertise for some of the companies they are suppose to be rating. One site even sells for companies that they rate. All for a fee which strikes me as a conflict of interest.
Like I've said there are a lot of companies and products to choose from with replacement windows. Even with a well selected search perimeters you will find a wealth of choices will come up. Do your due diligence to gain some knowledge about the product you want will help you sift through this electronic jungle. I always welcome any questions or comments and will be glad to help in any way possible. Best of luck with your searching!