There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when he or she will need to replace windows that have not been changed since the initial construction. Few things can raise the value of a home and make it more energy efficient like energy saving windows, with savings estimated at over $400 a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Whether in the Illinois area or elsewhere in the country, this guide will help in the quest to find a reliable contractor to install new windows.

The first thing to think about before you make a phone call is cost and what types of windows you want installed. You may think all windows are the same, but you would be mistaken. One option is wooden windows, which look beautiful, but additional work, like dry wall, extra trim or wall papering, may be needed so it will fit your home. Vinyl windows have dominated the market with their complete customization and ability to tilt for easy cleaning. Examples of sizes that can be installed are bow windows, bay windows, garden windows, and custom shapes, such as octagons, circles and half circles.

Here are six steps to finding a professional and dependable contractor for Window Installation in Downers Grove, IL.

Set a budget for your remodeling project and pick out what type of windows you want installed. Apply for a loan if needed.

Search for local contractors near your location. Ask family and friends for any recommendations. Check Angie’s List for reviews of contractors in your area. Search websites, looking specifically for pictures of completed work. If you are in the Downers Grove, Illinois vicinity, Exteriordesignersinc.com has fantastic photos and even lets you request a quote on the site.

Conduct research on the contractor you choose, looking for liability insurance and Workman’s Compensation.

Contact at least three contractors for quotes and compare the prices. Cheapest might not be the best choice.

Once you have the company you want to use for your window installation, ask for professional references and actually call them. Check with the Better Business Bureau.

Get a contract in paper with scheduled payment schedules. Beware of contractors who want you to pay the full amount before the work has even begun.

If you follow these basic guidelines, you should have the windows you always wanted and a pleasant contracting experience to match it.