1) Guaranteed Installation. The company should guarantee to replace any work that starts to bubble or peel within a minimum 60 day period. This is evidence of a faulty installation.
2) Lifetime residential warranty on solar control films. At least 10 years for commercial applications. Should cover peeling, cracking, delaminating, color change and bubbling.
3) Warranty replacement. The company should be able to replace the current warranty you have for your windows with a warranty to match the life of the one you have, and cover glass breakage and IG unit failure.
4) Quality products. Several window films are manufactured step by step in several locations by different companies, leading to inconsistent product quality. Many companies also drive down the product cost by using lower quality polyester substrate, which adversely affects the product clarity.
Be sure to ask about how the film will look after it is installed, specifically whether the view will be “distorted” at all. This can include fogginess, waviness, or a “rainbow” like appearance. Even brand name products can distort the view, so be sure to ask and be able to hold the installer accountable if you don’t like what you see.
5) Familiarity with the environment. If you go to a window film service website and see cars all over the screen, they probably don’t do much residential or commercial application, even if they claim to be experienced. Never confuse car tinting with architectural window film installation. Tinting cars does not qualify an installer to work in a home or office, nor does it make them familiar with architectural glass and window types, frame types, glazing materials, ladder or scaffold use, or safe installation guidelines.
6) Fair Pricing. Well this sounds like a no-brainer – but we had to put this one in anyway. Don’t be convinced that a “designer” product will look better or perform better than its traditional counterpart. These products are merely marketed as designer, and some dealers will charge $2-3/sqft more for a product that has no added benefits and only costs them pennies more.
7) Targeted service. To be an expert at something you have to do one thing, all the time, and do it well. Companies that try to cover too many markets end up with installers that are great at one thing and “okay” at another. Watch out for inconsistent quality from companies that do the following:
- Both architectural and automotive tinting
- Both window film and shades/blinds/curtains
- Any combination of the above