There’s a lot more to doors and windows than meets the eye. If you’re wondering how much doors and windows can really change over time, you might be astounded by the way manufacturers are incorporating new technology into their products. And if your favorite supplier is failing in the customer service department, you might be scrambling to find a new company to give your business to. No matter what the situation, it can be worthwhile to peruse the newest offerings from time to time to learn your options.
Contact Manufacturers Directly
For the newest offerings in doors and windows aimed at professional contractors, reach out to manufacturers directly. Anderson, Pella, Mildgard and Marvin are some of the major players in the game, but certainly not the only ones.
Most manufacturers are more than happy to send out a catalog to general contractors to look over, but some have more attentive customer service than others and some may suffer from a lack of representatives in your geographic area – it depends upon the manufacturer and their business practices.
When you call or e-mail a manufacturer to talk shop, ask if there are any reps in the area who could show you the product in person: if not, consider another manufacturer with comparable options in the price range your client needs.
Attend Trade Shows
If you suffer from a lack of door and window manufacturer representatives in your area, you may have to wait for a regional or national trade show to catch the latest and greatest innovations. Not only will you have a gathering of multiple manufacturers eagerly showing off their materials, but you’ll be able to see them and compare them (nearly) side by side. And since representatives for each company are right there, you can easily get the answers to any questions you may have.
Attending a trade show or expo isn’t just great for window shopping for windows and doors, however. You’ll also have the opportunity to grab some education on advances in the general contracting field and network with other pros in your area – making the price of attending a little easier to swallow.
Subscribe to Trade Publications and Professional Networks
There’s something to be said about a gathering of minds: if you’re not already an avid reader of your favorite general contracting forum (ahem!), it’s time to jump in and ask questions as you search for the best of the best in windows and doors for your gigs. Professional social networks like forums, email lists and groups on larger social networks allow you to throw out your opinion and ask questions to a large group of like-minded contractors, each of whom has a different experience to offer to help you make a decision.
If you’re looking for a less opinionated source but still want to keep abreast of the news about doors and windows for your jobs, consider subscribing to a professional trade publication or two. Magazines, video news and even blogs aimed at contractors often do feature pieces on different topics, including door and window options.
The Ins and Outs of Doors and Windows
If you already have a favorite door and window manufacturer or supplier — and chances are high you do – there’s no real need to switch things up as long as they’re meeting both your supply and customer service needs. But it’s always good to know what’s out there, so staying in the loop about which companies are offering what – and what their big advantages and disadvantages are – can be helpful if your tried and true supplier folds or fails to meet expectations.
As a professional contractor, your clients are trusting you to give them the highest quality doors and windows you can within the constraints of their budget. By knowing your options, you can do exactly that.