Selecting the type of brand-new window you want to be installed in your home is only part of the cost of this major home renovation project. You also need a contractor that will install these new windows throughout your home.

In some cases, you might choose to buy your windows from a company that offers great window inventory as well as in-house installation services. But, regardless of whether you choose this package deal or seek out a contractor on your own, it's crucial that you understand how to research potential contractors and compare them across important criteria.

While the right can increase your window performance and your long-term satisfaction with your new windows, a bad contractor can do the exact opposite, creating a frustrating experience riddled with poor workmanship that affects your window integrity and even shortens the lifespan of this major investment.

In other words, choosing the right installation contractor is crucial to protect your new window purchase and to save you headaches as a homeowner. Struggling to figure out how to hire a general contractor? Clueless on how to get contractor bids? Read on to learn our five-point 'Hiring a Contractor Checklist' for tips to find the right contractor to install your new windows.

1. Use online reviews and word-of-mouth referrals to find popular windows contractors.

A contractor's reputation should be your top concern when placing your trust in this professional. Before you reach out to installation contractors, you can build a list of potential candidates by using a contractor reviews website to compare contractors based on the approval of their past clients.

You might also ask friends, family, and neighbors for references to any contractors they've worked with in the past—especially if those contractors installed windows for them. During this research process, toss out any contractors with low ratings or alarming negative reviews that seem like more trouble than they're worth.

2. Ask the contractor about their specific experience installing windows.

A lot of building contractor options might say they install windows, but this doesn't mean they're experts in window installation. An experienced contractor could still lead your window install astray by using the wrong sealants and other materials to properly install and insulate your windows.

As you interview potential contractors, ask them about their history installing windows, and ask for customer references if you'd like more information. If experience is very important to you, it might be worth seeking out a contractor that specializes in window replacement and installation.

3. Ask contractors how and when they expect to be paid.

General contractors may have their own preferred methods for getting paid for their work. While the typical payment terms for contractors is often a downpayment ahead of this work, followed by full payment once the project is completed, some contractors may ask for periodic payments or installment payments based around completing certain stages of a project.

With a window replacement, the short-term nature of this install likely means that most contractors are happy to collect payment after the project is complete—or collect full payment after receiving a deposit prior to starting the project. Either way, make sure you're clear on the terms of payment and are comfortable with this plan.

4. Always work with a licensed and insured contractor.

Unlicensed contractors may be available at a lower price, but they come with a lot of potential risks if your windows are damaged or poorly installed. A licensed and bonded contractor provides a degree of legitimacy that offers peace of mind to homeowners—and, by being insured, homeowners won't have to worry about the liability of someone getting hurt on their property. Ask for updated licensure and bonding information to make sure contractors are covered before you begin work.

Click here to learn how to prevent and fix wood rot problems with your windows.

5. Request multiple contractor bids before making your decision.

How much does a contractor cost, exactly? Pinning down an answer can be tough since every home's installation needs are different. The number of windows you're installing, the size and location of those windows, and other factors can all change the cost of hiring a contractor.

The best way to make sure you're getting a fair price is to request multiple bids from window install contractors and compare what is included. With multiple bids in hand, you can compare the costs and make sure you aren't getting price-gouged by one of those providers. Even if you don't opt for the lowest-priced bid, having multiple bids will give you confidence that you're paying a fair rate for the services you need.

When you're spending a lot of money to upgrade the windows in your home, you need a contractor that can oversee this project and make sure your investment is well-supported by a professional installation. Do your research to find the right window installer that offers experience in window installations along with a strong local reputation?

Many reputable companies offer the product and installation combined. At North Georgia Replacement Windows, we have an exclusive product in the Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows and do not offer the product without the installation. (Nor do we offer installation without providing the product.)

Our desire is to simplify the window-shopping process from start to finish, providing you with a product you can trust backed by an installation that will last. Contact us for more information and to start your project today.