Get Quotes from Top Window Repair Contractors in Washington Dc, DC

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Window Company in Washington D.C.

Window installations, replacements, and repairs are complex home improvement tasks that should always be left to experienced professionals. Common problems with poor installations include misalignment, draftiness, water leakage, poor caulking, glass discoloration, voided warranty, and of course an increase in energy consumption by as much as $500 annually.

However, before you contract a window service firm in Washington D.C., ensure that the contractor works in compliance with DC Window Standards and Construction Codes, and can answer the following questions satisfactorily:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Window Contractor in Washington, D.C.?

Individuals and businesses that offer construction and home improvement-related services in Washington, D.C., are regulated by the district's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). Per this agency's requirements, these individuals and businesses must be licensed as either General Contractors/Construction Managers or Home Improvement Contractors before plying their trade in the district. Parties licensed as General Contractors/Construction Managers can perform construction and remodeling work for new and existing residential and commercial buildings and structures and supervise the activities of other contractors involved in these types of projects. On the other hand, parties that are licensed as Home Improvement Contractors are limited to repair and remodeling work on residential buildings and structures.

Applications for DCRA-issued contractor licenses can be made online via the DC Business Portal or in person at the DCRA's office located at:

1100 4th Street SW
2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20024
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Mondays - Wednesdays, Fridays, and 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays

Online applicants must register a user account on the aforementioned platform before creating and submitting their license applications. Applicants must also comply with certain requirements before requested contractor licenses can be issued. These requirements include:

  • Paying a stipulated application fee
  • Providing proof of adequate liability insurance coverage as well as surety bonding, where applicable
  • Providing proof of tax registration as well as proof of corporate registration, where applicable
  • Submitting a valid Certificate of Occupancy or Home Occupation Permit obtained from the DC Office of the Zoning Administrator

Note that additional documentation may be required by the DCRA at the time of the license application. You can contact the department online or by calling (202) 442-4400 to direct queries related to its contractor licensing requirements. Window contractors who fail to meet these requirements and offer their services in the district without a valid DCRA-issued contractor license are considered guilty of committing a Class 1 Infraction and face a minimum penalty of $2,000 in fines.

Appropriate licensing is an important criterion to look out for when hiring window contractors in Washington, D.C. and you should always confirm that your preferred contractor holds the right DCRA-issued license for the job. You can do this by contacting the department at (202) 442-4400 or by utilizing its Access DC portal. Note that you may be required to create a user account on this portal for online license verifications.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Window Repair Contractors in the City?

The cost of your intended window project is an important aspect to consider when searching for window contractors, and you should always find out how much your preferred contractors charge for their services before they begin any work. Several factors typically affect the costs of window repair, replacement, and installation services in Washington, D.C., such as:

  • The nature and scope of the project
  • The type of window
  • The location of the window
  • The size of the window
  • Accessibility to the window
  • The window frame material and glass type
  • Your location within the district
  • The contractor's local reputation and level of experience
  • The complexity and labor intensity of the job

It is advisable to get written estimates for your window project from at least three different contractors in the district and compare these estimates before making your hiring choice. However, do not automatically hire the contractor with the lowest estimates and ensure that they meet other selection criteria like proper licensing and relevant area of specialization. Also, ensure that you give these contractors the same project information and requirements. Then, look out for any estimates significantly lower or higher than the others. Request an explanation for these differences and strike off any contractor who cannot provide a reasonable justification for their noticeably high or low estimates from your list of potential hires.

Window replacement, repair, and installation contractors in Washington, D.C., earn approximately $47,960 every year. Listed below are the average hourly wages for Washington D.C. window contractors compared with the average hourly wages of these professionals across several other major cities in the United States:

Washington D.C. Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Baltimore Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Arlington Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Gettysburg Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Richmond Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Philadelphia Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Chicago Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
New York City Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Houston Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Los Angeles Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Will You Get the Window Installation Permits as Required by the City Code?

Per local regulations, a building permit must be obtained from the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) before the construction, alteration, or repair of buildings and structures in the district. However, the department makes permit exemptions for installing window screens and storm windows. Exemptions may also be made for repair and maintenance work like broken glass replacement, caulking, weather-stripping installation, and window frame scraping, priming, and repainting.

Permit applications can be made to the DCRA online through either its Permit Wizard platform for projects involving one or two-family residences or its Citizen Access platform for commercial projects. Applicants are generally expected to contact the DC Office of Zoning at (202) 727-6311 or utilize the DCRA's SCOUT platform online before submitting their applications to establish the full scope of the work and determine that no development restrictions apply to their property. The submission of building plans and other necessary documentation may also be required after the permit applications have been submitted and screened. This additional documentation can be submitted online via DCRA's ProjectDox platform.

Once the DCRA reviews and approves all submitted documents, applicants must pay a stipulated fee, and the requested building permits will subsequently be issued. Note that all permitted work must comply with pertinent provisions of the district's construction codes and regulations, and the DCRA typically conducts inspections to verify this. You can direct general permitting and inspection-related queries to the DCRA via email, by calling (202) 442-8959 or (202) 442-4400, or by contacting the department in person at:

1100 4th Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Mondays - Wednesdays, Fridays, and 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays

What Kind of Window Replacement Services Do You Offer?

In addition to confirming that your window contractor is appropriately licensed, you should ensure they are experienced and equipped to offer the specific kinds of window services you require. Window projects in Washington, D.C., typically fall under the following categories:

  • New construction window installations
  • Window replacements or upgrades
  • Broken/faulty window repairs
  • Window restoration and maintenance

Confirming that your intended window contractor provides your required window services saves you time and money in the long run by ensuring that the work is done properly the first time out. Note that you should also find out the types of windows that the contractor has experience working with, as some professional window contractors in the city may specialize in installing or repairing particular types of window styles and designs. Common types of windows that can be seen in Washington D.C. buildings and structures include:

  • Double-hung windows
  • Single-hung windows
  • Sliding windows
  • Casement windows
  • Awning windows
  • Bay windows
  • Bow windows
  • Garden windows
  • Picture windows
  • Architectural shape windows
  • Transom windows
  • Stationary windows
  • Tilt and turn windows
  • Skylight windows
  • Custom windows
  • Hopper windows

These windows typically have distinctive features and characteristics that may influence their suitability for your home. For example, picture windows are typically fixed in position and are designed to make rooms feel like an extension of the outdoors. On the other hand, bay and bow windows are designed to protrude outwards and thus increase the space inside a room. Hiring a window contractor who is not familiar with the features of your preferred window type can affect their efficiency and aesthetic appeal after your installation, replacement, or repair is done.

Finally, if your window project is part of a broader job that includes siding, roofing, and gutter installations or repairs, you can consider asking your window contractor if they offer these services as well. Note that you should equally confirm that the contractor has the proper experience and skill set to provide these additional services and how much extra it would cost you.

Provided below are cost estimates for common services offered by many professional window contractors in Washington, D.C. Note that the actual costs of these services will depend on factors like the nature and scope of the task as well as your location within the district:

Estimates for window installation or repair based on task

Skylight installation (for standard fixed skylight)
$1,295 - $1,682
Building window tinting (per square foot, for a basic solar film)
$7.85 - $10.45
Siding installation (per square foot)
$4.25 - $10.75
Gutter installation (per linear foot)
$5.25 - $40.25
Gutter cleaning
$120 - $350
Roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$182 - $2,520
$50 - $150
$50 - $150
Scratch removal
$50 - $150
$50 - $150
$50 - $200
$150 - $350
$200 - $450
Leak repair
$50 - $350
$50 - $250
$150 - $450
Hurricane proofing
$50 - $400
$450 – $1,500
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates for window repair/replacement based on faulty component

$50 - $150
$50 - $150
$50 - $150
$50 - $150
$50 - $150
Thermal seal
$50 - $250
$60 - $250
$65 - $600
Sash cord
$55 - $250
$55 - $250
$55 - $600
$55 - $400
$80 - $500
$150 - $400
$50 - $150
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates for window repair based on the type of window

$100 - $500
$75 - $450
$200 - $500
$70 - $300
$100 - $450
$100 - $500
$100 - $600
$200 - $450
$100 - $500
$100 - $400
$200 - $650
$80 - $400
Stained glass
$200 - $600
$75 - $350
$50 - $350
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates for window repair based on window frame material

$100 - $350
$150 - $450
$200 - $500
$200 - $550
$300 - $650
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Brands of Windows Do You Work With?

The next step to take after ensuring that your intended window contractor offers your required window services is finding out the brands of windows they work with. Several window brand manufacturers offer their products to interested parties in Washington D.C., and some of the most favored brands for residential and commercial window projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Window World of Washington D.C.
  • Pella Windows and Doors of Washington D.C.
  • The French Steel Company
  • ProVia Windows and Doors
  • Vytex Windows
  • BGV Construction and Windows LLC
  • Supreme Window
  • Ply Gem Windows
  • Simonton Windows and Doors
  • Visions Windows and Doors
  • Weather Shield Windows and Doors
  • Conservation Windows
  • Milgard Windows and Doors
  • Windsor Windows and Doors
  • Andersen Windows
  • Sierra Pacific Windows
  • Marvin Windows and Doors
  • Jeld Wen Windows
  • Champion Windows
  • MI Windows and Doors
  • Velux USA
  • Earthwise Group LLC
  • Polaris Windows and Doors

In addition to utilizing high-quality materials for their products, these well-known manufacturers generally offer a wider assortment of affordable and attractive styles and designs than other lesser-known window manufacturers. Using window products from tried and trusted manufacturers for your projects also provides you with a measure of confidence that the windows will perform as required. However, it should be noted that the optimal and efficient performance of your windows will largely depend on proper installation, which is one of the reasons why you should always hire professional window contractors for your window installation and replacement projects.

Before selecting a window brand to use for your project, you should consider the following features to ensure that you choose the best brand for your home or property:

  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Affordability
  • Climate control and energy efficiency
  • Compatibility with your home or property's architecture as well as its interior and exterior finishes
  • Ease of operation and maintenance
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Ventilation
  • Warranties

Regarding warranties, the most common type offered by window brand manufacturers in the DC area is a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Note that the term "lifetime" refers to a specific timeframe pre-determined by the window manufacturer. Other common warranty types include Lifetime Warranties, Double Lifetime Warranties, Transferrable Warranties, and Prorated Warranties. The scope of coverage of these warranties and their terms and conditions are typically determined by the window brand manufacturer. It is a good idea to review and understand these terms and conditions before purchasing any window brand so that you do not end up voiding your warranty.

How Energy-Efficient Are Your Windows?

The energy efficiency of your preferred windows is crucial when planning window installation and replacement projects in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that around 25 – 30 percent of residential household cooling and heating energy use is lost through windows. On the other hand, properly installing energy-efficient window brands and models in your home can result in yearly energy bill savings of up to $501.

Besides lowering your energy costs, installing energy-efficient windows in your home also increases your indoor comfort, provides fade and UV sun damage for your valuables, and can make you eligible for local and federal energy rebates and financial incentives. Taking advantage of these rebates and incentives can, in turn, help you reduce the overall cost of installing these energy-efficient windows in your home and property.

You can search for available energy-efficiency financing options in the DC area by accessing the Resources webpage provided by the DC Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and selecting either the "For Businesses" or "For Residents" option where appropriate. You can also utilize platforms like the DOEE's DC Sustainable Energy Utility webpage, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) website, and the ENERGY STAR rebate finder website to find available window-related energy-efficiency programs in the district.

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Window Replacement Contractors in Washington, D.C.?

Over 390 fatal injuries and 77,700 nonfatal injuries were recorded among installation, maintenance, and repair workers across the United States in 2020. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also estimates that more than 53 percent of the fatal work-related injuries that occurred in Washington D.C. during this same time occurred in the district's construction industry. When these figures are considered, the importance of working with insured contractors for your window installation, replacement, and repair projects becomes glaring.

Hiring properly insured window contractors ensures that you are financially and legally protected if these contractors sustain any injuries while on the job. This insurance also covers the cost of any property damages that may be caused by these contractors when providing your required window services. To this end, window contractors that operate in Washington, D.C., are required to meet the following liability insurance minimums before offering their services to residents of the district:

  • Window contractors that are licensed as General Contractors/Construction Managers must carry liability insurance coverage of at least $500,000 per occurrence for bodily injury or property damage. Note that this minimum amount may be increased depending on the class of license that the contractor holds.
  • Window contractors that are licensed as Home Improvement Contractors must carry liability insurance coverage of at least $50,000 per person, or $100,000 in aggregate for more than one person, for bodily injury or death in any single accident, and at least $10,000 for property damage. This category of contractors must also post and maintain a surety bond of $25,000

It is always in your best interest to request proofs of insurance and bonding from any window contractor you intend to hire and validate these proofs with the appropriate issuing organization. You can also contact the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) at (202) 442-4400 to get additional information on the district's mandatory insurance and bonding requirements for window contractors.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Window Replacement Contractor in Washington D.C.

You can file complaints against bad window contractors in Washington, D.C., with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia (OAG).

In 2019, the OAG announced that it had won a 224k judgment against a home improvement contractor that had provided illegal services to homeowners in DC and also scammed these individuals by failing to complete work that had been paid for. Unfortunately, complaints concerning shoddy and incomplete services, absconding contractors, and other similar construction and home improvement-related scams are a very common occurrence in Washington, D.C. As such, you should always take certain steps to protect yourself from scammers when planning window replacement and installation projects. These steps are:

  • Do not hire contractors that show up at your residence with unsolicited offers of window inspection, repair, or maintenance services.
  • Get referrals to window contractors in the district from reputable sources, such as relatives and friends who have undertaken similar projects, trusted home improvement contractors, and online platforms like the DCRA's Find a Contractor portal and the Better Business Bureau website.
  • Do not hire unlicensed contractors. You can ensure that your window contractor holds an appropriate DCRA-issued license by calling the DCRA at (202) 442-4400 or by utilizing its Access DC portal.
  • Get and compare written estimates from at least three contractors before selecting one to handle your project.
  • Request references and be wary of window contractors who are hesitant to or cannot provide you with this information. Always contact any references that you are given to get their opinions on the contractor.
  • Research your preferred contractor online. You can utilize third-party websites like Yelp, Google Reviews, and the Better Business Bureau to get reviews and testimonials on the contractor.
  • Be wary of contractors who ask you to pay the full project cost upfront or request large down payments, especially if they ask for these payments in cash. Never make full payment upfront, and limit down payments to 10 – 30 percent of the project's total cost. Subsequent payments should be commensurate with the project's level of completion.
  • Avoid cash transactions
  • Ensure you get a written contract before any work begins, and review this contract properly before signing it.
  • Keep copies of all paperwork related to your project. This includes contracts, warranties, invoices, and payment receipts.

Between 2015 and 2019, the OAG secured over $11.4 million in restitution for consumers in the district from fraudulent contractors, con artists, and other individuals and businesses involved in unfair and deceptive business practices. You can report matters involving suspected or confirmed home improvement scams and other unfair or deceptive business practices by window contractors in DC to the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia via the following channels:

  • By calling (202) 442-9828
  • By completing and submitting a complaint form online
  • By contacting the office via email
  • By texting "complaint to (202) 738-5212 and following the guided prompts

Complaints involving Washington D.C. window contractors can also be reported to the district's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs online. Note that this department will typically only open an investigation for matters involving losses of $250 or more or where there is deemed to be a pattern or practice of abuse on the part of the contractor.

Finally, you can take private legal action against window contractors named in your complaints to any of the aforementioned agencies by filing a lawsuit against them in an appropriate District of Columbia Court. You can use the resources provided by the D.C. Bar via its Hiring a Lawyer webpage to get referrals to attorneys that you can consult with on the best course of action if you wish to proceed with this step.