Window Replacement: Do you Check the Contractor's Insurance Before You Sign a Contract?

Replacing Windows in your home can be a long and confusing process.   Once a decision is made on a window purchase,  contractor details can be overlooked.    

 

The results are not surprising.   If you're like most people you care about the level of liability insurance your contractor carries,  but when you're in the thick of decision making on windows you don't think of it.   You and your window buying partner are choosing styles, colors, glass upgrades, and often trying to fit the windows you want replaced in to your budget.    By the time you've come to decisions on all of that,  it can be hard to remember if your contractor carries insurance.   Did it come up when you first met him?  Did you ask to see it?  Did he say he had it but you didn't see it?    Suddenly, the excitement of buying new windows can be clouded by panic that you may not have hired the right person for the job.  

 

Next time you meet with a contractor to discuss a project, arm yourself with information.     Download our FREE eBook on "9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor"  and feel confident in your decision to hire.

  

 

 

Steve the Window Guy and Universal Windows Direct, MN earn Angie's List Super Service Award 2014

 

 

 

 

Universal Windows Direct Earns Esteemed 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

 

 

 

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

 

 

 

Universal Windows Direct has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014.

  

Steve the Window Guy, owner of Universal Windows Direct said, “As a family owned business, earning the trust and the praise of our customers is the most important thing to us.   We are honored to once again receive this award.  It lets us know that our hard work and determination is paying off.”

  

“Only about 5 percent of the Window companies in Twin Cities have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

  

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

  

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

 

 

 

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Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between nearly 3 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly-rated service providers in 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of authentic reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now Hiring: Marketing Manager

Marketing Manager needed to work in our Bloomington, MN office.

 

Who we are:   

  • We are a local, family – owned company with offices in Bloomington, MN.  
  • Steve the Window Guy is a brand of our business.   Universal Windows Direct is our company name, and ties us to a pretty awesome group of dealers and resources throughout the country.
  • We work hard, we take our work seriously, and we laugh a lot.  
  • We love cheeseburgers & popcorn and some days we have a toddler in the office.

What we do:

  • We make homes warmer, cozier, and prettier.
  • We sell and install windows, siding, roofing, front doors, patio doors, and attic insulation
  • We do what we say we’re going to do and we take pride in our work.
  • We all pitch in.  We all share ideas.  We all work together to meet our goals.

What you’ll do:

  • You’ll make sure we have appointments in the books for our sales guys to run.
  • You’ll hire, train, and manage a small staff of people who will set appointments by
    • Working home shows and events
    • Marketing our products door to door
    • Working in a call center
  • You’ll work shows, you’ll market door to door, and you’ll make phone calls, too
  • You’ll work tirelessly to help the team meet our goals.

Your background will include:

  • College degree in business, management, marketing, or similar field.
  • 2+ years in a customer service field;
  • 1+ years supervising staff
  • 1+ years working in a call center or canvassing preferred
  • Proficiency with Microsoft word, excel, and internet programs. 
  • You will need to be able to lift 50-75 pounds. 
  • You will need to be able to stand on your feet for up to 8 hours a day.

 

To apply: Send resume and letter of interest with salary requirements to Melissa at mbrager@universalwindowsdirect.com.

To learn more about us, please visit our website at www.SteveTheWindowGuy.com   or www.UniversalWindowsMN.com

 

 

 

Home Shows: Steve the Window Guy Closes out Spring Home Shows

This blog gives a behind the scenes look at our life working home shows!

We survived.

The spring home show season for 2014 is officially over for us.

show staff Some companies hire a staff of people who do nothing but work shows.   We chose not to do that.   Steve, Zach and I work most of them.   We prefer to have people in our booth who know the product and can have an intelligent conversation with you.    Zach, Dave, Joe, Sarah and Mike are all people we adore both personally and professionally.    They are smart.  They are helpful.  They are knowledgeable.  They are good people and we trusted them to represent our company.   Having that level of trust made those big huge long shows very successful for us.   More importantly, their help meant we didn't have to be there every minute.

Home shows are a lot of hours.  Still, they are the best way to get our name out to the local communities.      Are they the only way for us to personally connect with homeowners and potential customers?  YES!   Are they hands down the best way for a prospective customer to see the quality of our replacement windows and doors while comparing to the competition?  ABSOLUTELY!

But is working a home show every weekend easy?  NO!

While everyone else is winding down their Friday and calculating how much longer they have to pretend to work before Happy Hour , we are just getting started.  We are loading the truck.  We are printing our move-in instructions.  We are gambling with rush hour traffic; trying to get a bit more done in the office before we go set up.

sarah showHave you ever seen a home show get set up?  It’s like one of those little Chinese puzzles we used to get as kids at birthday parties.  Everyone is jockeying for a spot by the door.  Everyone is frantically unloading their stuff and dumping it into their booth so they can move the truck and the next guy can get in.  It isn’t a calm process.

Then, once all of our displays are inside we arrange the booth.   Do you think the booth would be easy to arrange every time?  It isn’t!   We have different set ups every single time based on the location and size of the booth, the number of corners the booth has, whether or not we’re on the end, and even what show it is.     This means once everything is unloaded we do the whole scratching our head thing and start moving stuff until it feels right.    (Not unlike when we moved into our home trying to decide the best spot for the sofa!)

We do our best.  We make a list of what we forgot, and we head home.  Do we stop for ice cream?  Yes.  Most days.

If we are both working, the “show prep” continues with prepping the babysitter for the next day.   We try to clean the house so we don’t look like total slobs.   We try to make sure there is food for the sitter and for the baby… and we usually do an okay job at it.      Just like that our Friday night is shot.

Saturday Mornings are crazy.  We are busy getting up and ready to go.  We need a big breakfast.  We need to pack a lunch.  We spend what time we can with our daughter.   We greet the babysitter and give her last minute instructions, then we race off to buy the caffeine we’ll need for the day and then race to the show.    Often we stop at the office to grab something.   More often then I’d like to admit, we stop at the grocery store to buy food for lunch.   And a doughnut.   (our nutrition suffers). Doughnut

By the time the show opens we are ready to go and we work.   We talk to hundreds of people every day.  We demo our replacement windows.  We show the quality of our steel and fiberglass entry doors.    We talk about the benefit of being a preferred contractor with Owens Corning for our roofing.   We talk until we cannot talk any more.  Then we ride home in silence.   Exhausted.

The next day we repeat the whole routine..  with the added bonus of tear down.    At the end of the show we tear it all down, pack it all up, re-load the truck, jockey for loading space in the back of the show space and then take it all home.  And unload it all back in to the warehouse.   Sunday night is usually a late night.

Then on Monday morning the week starts all over again.   The phone keeps ringing, orders keep getting placed, jobs keep getting installed, and our sales guys keep running appointments.   We look ahead to the next weekend and what we need to do to get ready.

For us, home show season starts at the end of January and goes until mid-April.   We have a few weekends off, but for the most part we are working every weekend.  It is necessary.  It is beneficial.  It is tiring.  It is exhausting.

weides at the home showIf you talked to us at a show this year, thank you very much.     We appreciate your time and consideration.    We love our company.   We believe in our products and we strive to do the best possible job for you and your family.

Next weekend we have a weekend.   This is going to feel new to us.  And it is going to feel so very  GOOD.   I can’t wait.

Meanwhile, if you or someone you know is in the market for replacement windows,  doors, siding or roofing, please contact us for a free quote.

Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN! Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!

Author:  Melissa Brager

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Finding a Contractor you can trust

 

 

 

 

Home Improvement Projects: Top Home Improvement Projects for Fall

No matter which of these projects is your top priority, Universal Windows Direct, MN is here to help you . Call us today at 612-866-2888 for a free, no obligation estimate.

Fall Home Improvement Projects.   Fall.  Did I just say Fall?

It doesn’t matter if you like it or not, it’s here.    Say goodbye to summer.  Pack up your beach bags and put the sunscreen away.  I will miss the feeling of the hot sun on my face and the spontaneous trips to the beach more than anyone.  BUT…   I also love fall.   What can I say?  I am a Minnesotan through and through.

fall_leavesI love the changing leaves and the cool mornings.  I love anything cooked with apple and pumpkin.   I love sweatshirts with hoods and fall TV and decorating the house for all the holidays.   I love cooking  comfort food.   I love planning family Halloween costumes and starting to think about holiday gift giving.  But enough about me.

For lots of people fall is also the harsh reality that winter is right around the corner.  And every home improvement project that was put off during the lovely summer is now a priority once again.   So I ask you this,  what is your fall home improvement project?

  1. Attic insulation?    Stop letting all that energy escape through your attic.   If you feel like you're put off attic insulation too long already, this is your year.  It will make an amazing difference to the  comfort of your home.
  2. Gutter Topper!   Stop wasting your time cleaning the gutters!  Gutter topper is less expensive that you think and with all the time you save not cleaning your gutters, you can install even more holiday lights!
  3. If you're concerned about your roof – have someone take a look at it.  Replacingpanther with house in hands a bad roof before winter will give you peace of mind against ice dams and water leaks.
  4. Is your front door drafty?  Is the sill rotted away so you have one of those crazy draft stoppers to keep the wind out?  Let’s replace it.  We have a variety of front door styles available  - from the very basic to the very ornate.  We are confident we have the style of door and the price point that will work for your house.  Plus, with our composite threshold, it is guaranteed never to rot so you can throw that draft stopper away once and for all.
  5. Storm windows are a pain.   Replace windows with a double or triple pane glass for a higher energy efficiency rating and eliminate the need for storm windows.   Start with getting the worst windows  replaced now and do the rest in the spring.  100% of homeowners who replace their windows are amazed at what a difference the new ones make.   Rooms are instantly warmer.  The fresh look of the new windows makes the rooms look newer, too.

No matter which of these projects is your top priority, Universal Windows Direct is here to help you .   Call us today for a free, no obligation estimate.   We offer financing programs  for qualified buyers and get your home improvemnts done within 8 weeks.   Don’t delay!  Call Steve The Window Guy at Universal Windows Direct today to get started!  612-866-2888universal windows direct mn

Author:  Melissa Brager, Operations Manager

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Window Installers - Universal Windows Direct is Hiring Window Installers

Window installers make it all happen.

Let’s face it.   Deciding to get your windows replaced is a big deal.   Everyone knows they have windows that they might like to get replaced when the time is right, or when they get a little worse, or when they get sick of the plastic or when they finally get paid that bonus they’ve been waiting for.   When you start thinking about getting windows replaced you’re thinking about getting the windows replaced.  Period.

What you’re not thinking about:

  1. You’re not thinking about giving up a few hours of your evening to visit with a window salesperson.BROLL_UWD_steve meeting_12.00min 0045
  2. You’re not thinking about the investment you’re not making in your home and how that could help with resale.
  3. You’re not thinking about the hit to your bank account and
  4. I’m guessing you’re not thinking about finally making the decision and then waiting 6-8 weeks to see the windows.

What you’re thinking about.

  1. You’re thinking about GETTING THE WINDOWS INSTALLED.  The end result!
  2. The fresh clean look.
  3. The nice grids between the panes of glass.
  4. The nice double hung windows that tilt in for easy cleaning.
  5. The casement window that actually cranks in.
  6. The ability to see through that patio door that has been fogged for months.

smiling install 1We get it.

When it comes down to it, the installers are the ones who really make it happen.    They arrive at your house with your brand new windows in their trailer.   They pull out the windows you have been so excited to get rid of and before they leave at the end of the day they install all the brand new ones.

Basically, they make your dreams come true.

Now hiring:  Dream fulfillers / Happiness Deliver-ers / Window Installers.    We have immediate openings for experienced window installers.   Must be able to work throughout the Twin Cities Metro Area and be available at least 2 days per week and up to 5 days per week.  We install throughout the winter too and our spring season starts in March.   If you or someone you know might be interested and available contact us today.

We need your help to make people happy throughout the Twin Cities.  Call us today for more info.  612-866-2888.

Author:  Melissa Brager, Universal Windows Direct, MN

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Window install: How to prepare for your window install

Getting your windows replaced can be really exciting.   My favorite phone calls to make are the “your windows are here!  Let’s schedule your install date!”  phone calls.  Often, the next question is “How do I prepare?”

Top 5 ways to prepare for your new window installation:

1)        Clear a path for the installers to get to the  windows.   I am not calling you a hoarder.  But most of us have piles.  And once in a while those piles end up in the basement or in the corner of the bedroom.  Right under that drafty window.    If that happens to be the place at your house,   just move the piles somewhere else so the guys can have easy access to the window without worrying about disrupting your things.

2)     Take down any blinds, curtains or window treatments.  The goal is to have a clean working space for the installers.   If they have to stop and take down your window treatments,  it is an unnecessary delay and  an additional charge will be assessed to you.

3)      Do you have a home alarm system wired to any of your windows or doors that we will be working on?   You will need to call your alarm company before the install to have those wires disconnected  (and then re-installed after the windows are in).

4)     Clear the walls and shelves around the work area.  This includes pictures on the wall, as well as trinkets or collectibles on shelves near the window.    It is just better to be safe than sorry.

If you care about your items, protect them.   That may sound harsh, but it is also common sense, right?

5)     Dogs and Cats.    Oh the stories we have.   Window installation is loud.  There are tools, there are strange voices, there are strange men in and out of the house.    Dogs and cats can get skittish.  They can bite.  They can try and escape.  Sometimes they do escape.   And they RUN.   So kennel them up during the install and don’t worry.

Sound easy enough?

Melissa Brager

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct

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