DEALER TIP OF THE MONTH: COVER YOUR BASICS AND GO BEYOND

Patrick

Pat Upthagrove has been in the window and home improvement industry for decades - working as an installer, a contractor, a certified Installation Masters trainer, even a Sunrise employee - before opening his business New North Windows in 2017. Today, he is known by his customers for having the greatest understanding of his product and its installation; he recently shared with us how he has earned that enviable reputation. 

What better way to overcome a homeowner’s fear of making a bad decision than to offer a detailed description of our installation?  But what truly makes a great installation?  This question is subjective as seen through the eyes of the installer, homeowner, business owner, building official, neighbors, or others.  Each may have a different opinion of what is important to the install.

 My view of window installation is that we first need to meet the standards set forth in our state and local building codes; for example, using tempered glass where required in a home. Meeting applicable codes will satisfy our local building officials, but it is quite simply a minimum standard

 Another standard we follow are the Best Practice guidelines taught by AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) regarding window installation.  AAMA offers the INSTALLATION MASTERS TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION program that include courses in new construction as well as replacement window scenarios.  These courses are presented by the INSTALLATION MASTERS program as minimum standards as well.  They teach:

        • Tested and accepted installation techniques
        • Proper material selection, including correct usage of sealant and flashing
        • Job site safety
        • Protection of the homeowner’s property
        • Quality control
        • Product care, adjustment, cleaning, etc.,

A discussion of these industry standards with a homeowner is necessary to show that our installation is grounded in something greater than just our own experience. References to the minimum standards allows us to show examples of how we exceed expectations.

For example, building codes in our area do not mention the use of insulation between the window and the rough opening. We point out how our installations exceed the minimum industry standard by describing the methods and materials used in insulating our windows. Another example is the standard of level, plumb and square. A window should absolutely be all three and the additional adjustments we make to fine tune a window’s operation exceeds the standard. There are any number of contrasts that can be made once one understands what the industry standards are.

A discussion of Quality Installation would not be complete without the mention of workmanship.  Are caulk lines neat and unobtrusive.... or just passable? Is aluminum work crisp, clean and sleek…. or bulky and unnatural? Exceptional workmanship is a function of pride and experience, and can make or break a great installation.

Homeowner’s expectations of a quality installation are often more practical things that they can see and feel:

        • Are the windows beautiful?
          • Are they easy to operate?
            • Is the home quieter with new windows?
              • Was the installation done in a clean and timely manner?
                • Were the installers friendly and easy to communicate with? 

All these things contribute to a “quality installation” for my company."

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