I recently hired a contractor to do $5,000 worth of window work on my house. As is my practice, I got three bids. The first two were from local contractors who'd done some nice work on neighbors' homes. The third bid was from a window company that does its own installation.
The two contractors both planned to use Marvin double-hung windows, which they would order through a local window dealer with whom I'd had a horrific experience two years ago: repeated delays, mistakes in the order, and surly customer service, to boot.
After talking with the two contractors, I joined Angie's List and looked up their top-rated window contractor for North Seattle. I called this contractor, who came over and proposed using two Milgard casement windows along with three non-opening windows from a local company that does commercial buildings. As window specialists, they knew a huge amount about types of windows, insulation, wear, and weather.
With a small Angie's List discount, their bid came to about 15% under the contractors.
But, before hiring them, I went to the Better Business Bureau website to check on them. Their rating was: A+. Reassuring, but I've always figured that the BBB adhered to an "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" policy. On previous instances when I've checked a company through the BBB, the website has said things like "This business is not a BBB Accredited Business" and "This business is not currently rated. BBB does not have sufficient information to issue a rating for this business."
Just for the heck of it, I looked up the window dealer with whom I'd had such a miserable experience in the past. To my surprise, they have a BBB rating, and (not so much to my surprise) that rating is "F."
Very interesting. I wonder if the two contractors know about this! It certainly cost them my business.
By the way, the folks I hired, based on Angie's List and BBB ratings, are Reglaze Unlimited.