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.

  

 

 

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

 

 

 

Siding and Roofing Season: Summer is the time to replace your siding or roofing with Universal WIndows Direct


This blog reviews why summer is the perfect time to replace siding or roofing on your home. Siding and roofing replacement is the home improvement of choice in the summer months. Especially in the short summer, we have here in Minnesota! At Universal WIndows Direct we can install replacement windows and doors all winter long, but tearing off and replacing the siding or the roof on your home is really a summer project. Don't you agree?

Siding


Steve the Window Guy is a siding guy too - and has done replacement siding jobs in steel and fiber cement, but his product of choice is the full backed insulation panel of vinyl siding. Here is why:

  1. The insulated backer provides more insulation AND makes sure the siding is strong and rigid—resisting dings, hail and whatnot significantly better than vinyl siding without the backer. Plus, a rigid siding panel gives you a straight clean install so your home will look amazing when the job is completed.
  2. You can choose from a wide range of colors, and a full host of decorative options so the completed project is exactly what you want




Roofing


Now let's talk roofing. We are proud to be an Owens Corning Preferred Contractor. The best thing about being preferred is that you can be confident that we will use the entire system of Owens Corning Roofing products on your home, which lets us offer you a 50-year warranty. If you’re going to replace your roof anyway, don’t you want the best warranty? You do. So how do you know if you need a new roof?
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  1. If it is bad, it is bad. Do you have missing shingles, bald spots, moss growing, or water getting in your home? That is bad.
  2. If your roof is over 15 years old, you might want to have it looked at. While roofing products today are built to last, that hasn’t always been the case. Don’t wait for a problem. If you think your roof may need to be replaced call us.
  3. Weather. My goodness. A good hail or wind storm can cause serious havoc to your roof. If a storm rolls through your neighborhood and you want a trusted, local company to take a look, call us. We are glad to help. 612-866-2888



Roofing consultations are free. We will get up on your roof, inspect for damage or signs of excess wear, and will share information about the Owens Corning System of roofing. New roofs can be installed in a month.

Get your free in-home estimate today!

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

Related Articles:

Why you should go to a Home Show

Tips for Visiting Companies at a Home Shows

Finding a Contractor you can trust

 

 

 

 

Roofing and Siding Replacement with Universal Windows Direct

Contact Universal Windows Direct, MN for your siding and roof replacement after the recent storms.

Roofing and Siding  can get beat up when huge hail storms come through.    If you live in one of the areas that was hit hard you are probably in the midst of dealing with door to door canvassers, insurance adjusters and contractors.   How are you supposed to know if you are making the right decision?roof hail damage

It seems like life would be much simpler if you had one contractor who you trusted that you could just call. At Universal Windows Direct people know us for our exclusive UniShield Windows but did you know we also do siding, roofs, and gutters?

If your roof and siding has been affected by the recent storms we would love to come out to give you an estimate on the repair of your home, and have the opportunity to earn your business.

Still doing your online research?  No problem!   Here are a few items that all reputable contractors suggest you check on before hiring someone to work on your home.

  1. Is the contractor a local company?   You don't want a "here today gone tomorrow" contractor from another state to work on your home, do you?
  2. Is the contractor licensed?   Click here to check the status of a contractor's MN license.
  3. Is the contractor covered with insurance?  Is it enough insurance to cover your home if something goes very very wrong during the install?   Ask to see their coverage.
  4. Has the contractor been in business for more than a few months?  Make sure they have both the skill and the experience to give you a beautiful finished product.
  5. What the reputation of the contractor?  Check out the BBB and Angie's List for Reviews.

This list may seem like common sense,  but when your home is damaged and your life is disrupted it can be very hard to keep your common sense hat on.   Your focus becomes GET IT DONE!  No matter how hurried you feel, always choose a contractor who is local, licensed, insured, and with the experience and reputation to do a great job for you. universal windows direct mn

Universal Windows Direct is a family owned company that is owned and operated in the Twin Cities.    We are fully licensed and insured, and take pride in the relationships we have built with our past customers.    We are more interested in making sure your home is put back together the way you want it to be.  If the work wouldn't be good enough for our

home, it won't be good enough for your home.   We are here to make things easier for you.

Call us today at 612-866-2888  or contact us  through our website for a free, no obligation estimate.   We'd love to help you!     Do you like videos better than websites?  Click here to watch a video introducing our company!

Author:  Melissa Brager

Related Articles:

Why warranty matters

Go with your gut when hiring a contractor

Call us after a storm