Marvin Windows and Doors Architects Challenge 2016 Best Remodel/Addition Winner; KITE Architects. Photo: courtesy Marvin Windows and Doors
The internet has created more well-informed homeowners, but they still may be unaware of window options that could enhance their space. And sometimes homeowners may overlook window selections as a transformational design element.
With that in mind, remodelers can provide a valuable service by helping clients understand the many options available for windows.
First, however, it’s critical to know your clients’ goals. Developing a consultative checklist, including the following questions, is highly recommended:
• Why are they replacing windows? Is it a change in design or materials? Easier operation? Greater durability? More natural light, less noise?
• Are energy savings important? Do the homeowners have hot or cold spots in their house? Would they consider an overhang or other shading device in addition to exploring energy-efficient windows?
• What do the windows look out onto—and could more be done to bring the outdoors in?
• What style is preferred—contemporary or more traditional? How will the space be used and how will its function influence the need for natural light or privacy? What are the long-term plans for the space?
Your clients’ answers should give you the information needed to develop tailored options. To keep homeowners’ minds open to the possibilities, avoid “selling.” You will serve your clients best if you offer information with a focus on helping them rather than on growing the scope of the project. A trip to a showroom where windows can be seen and touched also can be worthwhile in helping homeowners experience how window and door products will function in their home.
Below are some considerations from which you could build a design-centric conversation.
• Consider recommending replacing a standard two-panel sliding patio door with a sliding French door to connect the indoor area with the outdoor living space.
• Perhaps increase the size of an existing window opening and insert a large picture or casement window to bring more natural light into the room.
• Propose using the latest glazing options to enhance the home’s energy efficiency.
• Suggest and discuss the different finish and hardware choices to elevate the design aesthetic
of the space.
So, what are a couple of examples that put the above into practice? Let’s say a homeowner thinks their dining room feels too claustrophobic. You could suggest that they make additional window openings to create a more expansive feel and let more natural light into the room. Or maybe the homeowner wants more connection between the great room and the outside terrace and patio. In which case, you could propose replacing the existing double-hung windows with a glider window for greater unobstructed access.
Working with your clients as a consultant, partner, and problem-solver adds real value and builds trusting relationships. Along with great craftsmanship, nothing is more important to winning repeat business, receiving referrals, and ensuring the success of your company.