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4 Tips for Buying New Replacement Windows

When purchasing replacement windows for your home, you are probably hoping to never be forced to buy new windows ever again. Let’s face it. It aint cheap.

So keep these tips in mind when deciphering this hefty investment:

1) Research window manufacturers. Settle on one with positive growth, a solid financial history, and, of course, a comprehensive warranty.

2) Avoid standard size-only windows. No window opening is truly uniform. Although the initial cost outlay will be greater, getting custom windows to fit every opening of your home will pay off in the long run due to increased energy efficiency, plus the finished product will simply look better.

3) All components are not equal. Vinyl should be virgin vinyl, not recycled vinyl, commonly referred to as regrind. Regrind will crack and yellow over time. Many times, this is the very reason why some windows are drastically priced lower than others.

4) Check the label. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)is a non-profit organization who provides unbiased assessments regarding energy performance ratings so consumers can compare different products and make informed product choices. Do not buy any window lacking the NFRC label.

As with any big purchase, the more you know about replacement windows, the better off your buying experience should be.

Good luck!

Big Green Egg Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Martha Corn of Milton, FL! Martha won Majors Home Improvement’s Big Green Egg Newsletter Giveaway.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Stay tuned to this site (and stay registered for the newsletter). There is yet another contest just on the horizon!

For replacement windows, hurricane shutters, sunrooms & screenrooms, and kitchen & bath remodeling – Let Majors Do It!

Customer Service: The New Marketing Craze?

It’s a sentiment that many share, “Marketing is the promise one makes in order to get another person to buy something.” And, in the land of Home Improvement, there is marketing aplenty. “Buy 3 Windows, Get 1 FREE!” Or, “Call TODAY and we’ll double your tax credit!” And my favorite: “Buy your sunroom NOW and enjoy your FREE wicker furniture set TODAY!” Seriously… wicker?

However, in this down economy, less and less conventional marketing can be afforded due to declining revenues. Consequently, the buzz phrase “Customer service is the new marketing” has found a foothold in many business conversations.

And it’s completely plausible. Talk is cheap, and no marketer would argue that word of mouth referrals are not a thing to be highly coveted. After all, lead cost is nominal, perhaps a small referral fee to the referrer… Plus, the probability of converting a sale is much better than, say, a Yellow Page prospect.

But does all of this honestly mean that customer service is the NEW marketing? Perhaps when the glitz of TV spots and the glam of magazine spreads are gone, some businesses are only left with the option of re-dedicating themselves to the ideal of treating a customer the right way. Too little too late?

I maintain that a down economy is only part of the reason some companies are currently on hard times. It’s the very lack of customer service that has been the primary force for many a downturn. Solid companies with ethical practices are still thriving and marketing even in these uncertain times.

Same-day-only discounts and other high pressure sales gimmicks are usually the harbingers of what is to come after signing a contract with an unscrupulous home improvement outfit. Poor communication, delays in installation and lack of proper service after the sale are certain to follow.

Therefore, it’s prudent to inspect all details from the very onset. Request all warranties in writing. Inspect every aspect of the itemized contract (accept nothing scrawled on the back of a business card). And don’t be sheepish about requesting customer referrals who can speak on the contractor’s behalf.

Customer Service is the new marketing? On the contrary, customer service is the very fundamental aspect of marketing… nothing new about it.

Window Tax Credit and Reading the NFRC Label

It’s tax time and it’s cold! Therefore, there is no better time to review why it’s a good time to buy energy efficient vinyl replacement windows for your home, and get tax credit up to $1,500.

To get in on the energy cost savings, as well as the attractive tax incentives:

* Purchase qualifying windows or doors from Majors Home Improvement, then save your sales receipt and the NFRC/ENERGY STAR label with your tax documents. **
* Have your windows or doors installed between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.
* Claim the tax credit on your federal filing for the 2009 and/or 2010 tax year.

A “qualifying” window or door is one that carries both a U-Factor equal to or less than 0.30 and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) equal to or less than 0.30.

HOW TO READ THE NFRC LABEL:

1. Find Your NFRC Label
It comes in the form of a sticker right on the window, itself. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a nonprofit organization who provides energy performance ratings for windows, doors, and skylights. NFRC administers a third party certification and labeling program to provide consumers with verified product rating information.

2. Compare Product Performance
The NFRC label provides standard information on how a window or entryway system performs. NFRC ratings evaluate whole product performance for standard conditions. By reviewing the NFRC label information, consumers can make informed choices. The most important energy ratings are U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient.

3. Look For The ENERGY STAR® Label
By meeting certain energy performance criteria a product may receive an ENERGY STAR® Designation. For more information about ENERGY STAR® windows, see www.energystar.gov.

Out of Space?


Is your bathroom too small? Perhaps a bathroom remodeling project is in order? Many older homes simply lack the square footage of today’s spacious floor plans. Remodeling that cramped space only makes sense for both aesthetic and practical considerations.

Check the adjoining rooms to determine if you can gain a few square feet by removing a closet or shifting a wall. Make sure to consult with a qualified contractor before attempting any interior demolition. A good bathroom remodeling specialist will be able to determine how and where your bathroom can safely and efficiently be expanded.

In some cases, restructuring the floor plan is not an option. However, simply replacing old fixtures can free up a considerable amount of space. Look to add sleek new door knobs and vanities, and you might find astonishing results. Also, consider switching the traditional bath tub for a space-saving standing corner shower, especially if the room is not a Master Bath.

There are ways to improve any bathroom however big or small. If a tiny bathroom is a problem in your home a little imagination and advice from a bathroom remodeling specialist will allow you to turn tiny into terrific far more easily than you might think.