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The process of buying and installing replacement windows and patio door replacements goes more smoothly when you work with professionals. Professionals will ensure you order the right products, properly sized to fit weather-tight and operate flawlessly. Professionals also help you order the right styles to match the overall design of your home. Avoiding common mistakes in these areas will ultimately save you money and frustration. Learn more about the professionals involved in window and door projects:

Whether you are replacing windows, remodeling or building a new home, a replacement window dealer can be a good resource. Not only do they sell replacement windows and replacement doors, they also provide information on product options and features, and many offer installation or can recommend a professional with whom they’ve worked with before. A window dealer can help you in a variety of ways:

1. In a replacement situation, they can help you obtain exact measurements of your existing windows to ensure the best product fit. They also can help determine the best way to install replacement windows to minimize the impact on your home.

2. In a new construction situation, they can show you ways to upgrade windows specified by builders or architects to add curb appeal, beauty and comfort to your home through the creative use of windows and window configurations.

3. They can work with you to determine the best products and options for your home’s architecture and orientation on your property, as well as for your climate and lifestyle. They also can provide inspiration by pointing to what other homeowners in your area have already done.

4. They can show you ways to improve energy efficiency.

5. They can show you ways to reduce outside noise for a quieter home.

For new home construction and larger additions and remodels, you may be using an architect. Architects stay current with the latest trends and codes, and can offer solutions to a variety of issues that may come up with regard to a particular site, building limitations and budget restrictions. A good architect can help you in a variety of ways:

1. Architects offer money-saving solutions. They can often suggest ways projects can be built more efficiently and economically through better design.

2. Architects solve problems. Whether it’s a difficult site or a long list of “I wants”, architects are trained to develop solutions that meet their clients’ needs and that use the latest cost-effective techniques and products.

3. Architects see the big picture as well as the details. They make sure specific needs and codes are met. If, for example, more energy-efficient windows are recommended, architects can adjust insulation and HVAC requirements accordingly.

4. Architects understand windows and patio doors. They specify them for houses on a daily basis to help people maximize views, reduce a building’s heating and cooling load, improve ambient light and increase curb appeal. They also stay current on the latest innovations in windows and patio doors.

5. Some architects have won energy or window-related awards. Look for these when making your selection.

For many people, a contractor or builder will be the one handling the window and door project – whether it’s part of a new home project, a remodel, an addition or total replacement of all your home’s windows and patio doors. For projects involving more than windows and doors, you’re probably already involved in a large number of decisions about everything from floor coverings to door knobs. Windows can be one of the bigger decisions you’ll make in the project. A contractor who manages decisions like this daily will be an excellent resource in making sure you get the right windows and doors for your home.

There are three basic types of contractors for this kind of work:

1. General contractors typically oversee and manage a job from start to finish. They work with you on the bid as well as schedule and manage the daily work, and are ultimately responsible for making sure everything is done right and to your satisfaction. In some instances, if their firm is small enough, they may even do the work themselves.

2. Design/build contractors provide design and construction services under the same roof. They might be overkill for a job focused solely on replacing windows, but would be an excellent choice if you were looking for a contractor who could handle both design and construction duties.

3. Window installation contractors come in only for the specialized job of window installation.

Good contractors can help you in a variety of ways:

1. They’ll make recommendations and help you select the most appropriate windows and patio doors for your home’s architecture, climate and site.

2. They can suggest ways you can use windows to maximize a view or increase natural light.

3. They know all the tricks of the trade for installing windows in new construction or replacing windows in existing homes.

4. They’ll look for ways to make the installation more effective and weather-tight.

5. They know how to work in homes while people are living in them, adjust their schedule to yours and minimize their impact.

6. They know how to work on a schedule and get a job done quickly.

These could include:

1. Carpenters for trim work around new windows and patio doors.

2. Painters to paint any new trim work and areas of wall that need to be touched up.

3. Window covering experts to offer suggestions on blinds, shades, drapes and curtains where you need to control light or privacy.

4. Electricians to modify or add lighting to your home once your new windows are installed. Sometimes electricians are needed to move wires when you’re replacing an existing window with a much larger one, or with a bank of windows.