Get Quotes from Top Window Repair Contractors in San Francisco, CA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Window Company in San Francisco

One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to your windows is safety. If your glass is not properly installed or replaced, you would have compromised not only your security from burglars or the elements but also your household energy efficiency. Well-installed windows can decrease your household's energy consumption by up to 25 percent. Therefore it is essential to hire a professional licensed window contractor with specialized skills to carry out your window-related services. These professionals will install, repair, or replace your windows according to San Francisco Building Inspection Commission Codes and relevant manufacturers' installation instructions.

However, to ensure your window contractor is right for the job, you should ask the following questions before completing the hiring process:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Window Contractor in San Francisco?

The California State License Board (CSLB) regulates the activities of construction and building professionals in San Francisco, including window contractors. To bid on projects worth over $500, window contractors in the city must have either a valid C-61/D-52 - Window Coverings Contractor License, C-17 - Glazing Contractor License, and other appropriate CSLB-issued licenses. If a window contractor fails to meet this licensing requirement, it will attract penalties, and they could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $15,000. These penalties are for first-time offenders, and repeat offenders are typically hit with severe punishments.

The CSLB issues licenses to window contractors based on the following criteria. These include:

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of application
  • They must pass a CSLB-administered licensing examination
  • They must submit a completed Application for Original Contractor License Form and a non-refundable fee to the CSLB. There are multiple ways that applicants can submit the form, including in person or via mail to:
  • They must have at least four years of journeyman-level work experience in the field of window work. They must submit verifiable and acceptable documentation to prove their experience.
  • They must also provide proof of their compliance with construction-related contractors' insurance and bonding requirements.

Having a licensed window contractor on your project provides peace of mind that an individual will handle the project with the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job properly. You can confirm the licensing status of your intended window contractor by calling the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 or using its online Check a Contractor License platform. Also, for more information about the licensing procedures and requirements of window contractors in San Francisco, contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752.

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

Aside from confirming the licensing status of a window contractor in San Francisco, understanding the exact cost of their services is another important factor to consider. Window contractors consider different factors when determining the exact cost of a window replacement or repair. These include:

  • The complexity of the job
  • The amount of labor required to execute the job properly
  • The nature and scope of the job
  • The window design and style
  • The type of window frame material to be used
  • The type of window glass
  • Your locality in the city
  • Accessibility to the job site

It is advisable to get and compare the bids of at least three window contractors in San Francisco. Doing so will allow you to get a fair estimate of the project's cost and avoid getting ripped off by contractors who would typically exaggerate their rates. Before you start the bidding process, ensure that the window project specifications you give to window contractors are the same to compare the cost easily. Also, it will help you avoid window contractors who would typically exaggerate their rates to rip you off. You should also avoid bids that are significantly lower than the others. This is a common scam technique used by contractors in the city to trick their potential clients into retaining their services.

Window replacement, repair, and installation contractors in San Francisco earn approximately $54,130 every year. Listed below are the average hourly wages for San Francisco window contractors compared with the average hourly wages of these professionals across other parts of California as well as several other major cities in the United States:

San Francisco Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Los Angeles Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
San Jose Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
San Diego Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Carlsbad Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Sacramento Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Philadelphia Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Chicago Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Houston Window Contractors Hourly Average Wage
New York City 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?

Window contractors in San Francisco must obtain a permit before they carry out any window-related services in the city, such as repairs and installations. The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (DBI) is responsible for issuing building permits to window contractors in San Francisco.

To get a permit, applicants must fill out and submit an Application For Building Permit Additions, Alterations, or Repairs Form and pay the necessary fees via the San Francisco Permit Center. In addition to the application form, the applicants may be required to submit plans, diagrams, computations and specifications, and other relevant documents. After reviewing the application, the city's building official will determine if the plans and specifications conform with the city's building codes. Once the application checks all the permit requirements, the building official will approve the application and issue a building permit.

It is important to note that the permits issued for the window project will expire if the work does not start within the specified time frame or if it is abandoned or suspended at any point after the project has been started. Also, the applicants must book an inspection during and after the window project to ensure compliance with the building code.

The work must remain exposed and accessible until the building official's approval is received. The permit holder must notify DBI when their project is ready for inspection by booking online or contacting DBI Inspection Services at (628) 652-3401. You can contact the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (DBI) at (628) 652-3200 or via email for more information about the permit and inspection process.

What Kind of Window Replacement Services Do You Offer?

Aside from confirming your window contractor's licensing status, it is important that you choose a professional contractor who can provide you with the best possible service that suits your specific needs. There are a variety of services that a window contractor can offer in the city, and these can be categorized into the following:

  • New window installation
  • Old window upgrades
  • Faulty or broken window repairs and replacements
  • Window maintenance services.

Some window contractors in San Francisco also specialize in certain types of window design and style. Below are some of the common types of window styles and designs in the city:

  • Single-hung windows
  • Casement windows
  • Awning windows
  • Geometric windows
  • Bow windows
  • Skylight windows
  • Fixed windows
  • Bow windows
  • Hopper windows
  • Sliding windows
  • Picture windows
  • Double-hung windows
  • Bay windows

Since there are so many different types of window styles and designs that can be used in San Francisco, it is important that you confirm that the contractor has the necessary tools and knowledge to install and maintain your chosen window style properly. Doing so will allow you to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that the work is done according to your requirements.

If you are planning on doing a project that involves the installation, repair, or replacement of certain types of windows, such as gutter, insulation, or siding, it is important that you confirm that the contractor also provides these extra services. If the window contractor offers these additional services, ensure that the contractor has the necessary CSLB-issued permits.

The following list provides the costs associated with the various services that a professional window contractor in San Francisco can provide. These costs can be adjusted depending on the scope and nature of the project. It is also important to note that the exact cost of the project will be determined by the multiple factors that affect the project, such as the contractor's experience and location.

Estimates for window installation or repair based on task

Skylight installation (for standard fixed skylight)
$1,263 - $1,641
Building window tinting (per square foot, for a basic solar film)
$7.65 - $10.18
Siding installation/repair (per square foot)
$4.05 - $10.10
Gutter installation (per linear foot)
$4.90 - $37.50
Gutter cleaning
$115 - $330
Roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$175 - $2,330
$55 - $120
$55 - $148
Scratch removal
$55 - $148
$55 - $155
$60 - $205
$130 - $400
$180 - $500
Leak repair
$55 - $410
$100 - $410
$230 - $505
$505 – $1,510
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates for window repair/replacement based on faulty component

$55 - $150
$50 - $105
$50 - $155
$50 - $155
$50 - $155
Thermal seal
$50 - $155
$65 - $255
$60 - $710
Sash cord
$100 - $208
$100 - $253
$100 - $552
$100 - $450
$108 - $554
$206 - $510
$50 - $159
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates for window repair based on the type of window

$105 - $550
$105 - $510
$200 - $607
$70 - $310
$125 - $500
$125 - $555
$125 - $618
$200 - $559
$108 - $559
$108 - $410
$200 - $515
$100 - $515
Stained glass
$256 - $600
$100 - $415
$58 - $259
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates for window repair based on window frame material

$105 - $310
$210 - $520
$250 - $555
$250 - $550
$250 - $650
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Brands of Windows Do You Work With?

Even though it is important that you hire a window contractor that offers your specific window services needs, it is important that you thoroughly research the type of window products that they work with and the quality of their work. Doing this will significantly increase the chances that your new window will be installed or your old window will be replaced successfully. Several window brand manufacturers in San Francisco offer various types of window products, and they include:

  • Marlin Windows Ltd
  • Ocean Sash and Door Inc.
  • A G River Wood Windows & Doors
  • North Beach Sash & Window Supply
  • AAA Windows 4 Less
  • Kevin McLaughlin Custom Windows & Doors
  • Ocean Sash & Door Inc
  • Window Station Inc
  • Pella Doors & Windows of Northern California
  • South City Shower Door & Window Works
  • Alexander Company
  • California Deluxe Windows
  • Milgard Windows & Doors
  • Ply Gem Windows & Doors
  • Veracity Windows & Doors
  • Cascade Windows
  • J & A Windows
  • Alside Excalibur
  • Anderson Windows & Doors

Besides being able to provide you with the best possible window products, choosing a well-known brand for your replacement or installation projects has various benefits:

  • The window products are made with high-quality materials
  • They provide various window designs and styles, giving you more options.
  • They can provide you with the best possible customer service.

Nonetheless, it is important that you consider the various features before choosing a suitable window brand manufacturer:

  • Ventilation
  • Energy-efficiency
  • Insulation
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Ease of operation
  • Ease of maintenance

Notable window brand manufacturers provide a warranty on their products. As such, you should thoroughly understand the warranty options offered by the manufacturer. These options include:

  • Limited lifetime warranty: This type covers aesthetic and performance defects in the window. Lifetime refers to the period the window manufacturer has determined for its products. It does not include the window's lifespan.
  • Prorated warranty: This type of warranty usually involves a decreasing percentage of coverage provided by the brand manufacturer. This means homeowners would have to pay higher out-of-pocket expenses for repairs and replacements as their windows age.
  • Lifetime warranty: This type of warranty covers various areas, such as the replacement parts for the window.
  • Double lifetime warranty: This type of warranty covers the window for as long as they are in home-owned. This warranty can be transferred to a new homeowner.
  • Transferable warranty: This type of warranty continues after the sale of the home. It can also help maintain the value of a home after a window upgrade.

In addition to the manufacturer warranty, you should also ensure your hired window contractor offers you a separate warranty that will guarantee the quality of the work they will carry out on the job. Before signing any contracts, ensure you thoroughly review the terms and conditions of the warranty to prevent you from voiding any of its terms and conditions.

How Energy-Efficient Are Your Windows?

One of the most critical factors you should consider when choosing new or upgraded windows is their energy efficiency. According to the US Department of Energy, residents of San Francisco can save up to 31 percent on their cooling and heating costs by having energy-efficient windows. Other factors that you should consider when choosing new or upgraded energy-efficient windows are their improved indoor comfort, enhanced fade protection for your valuables, and certified and verified performance and protection against harmful ultraviolet radiation.

In addition to being beneficial for the home, having energy-efficient windows can also help you lower your utility bills. In San Francisco, various incentives and rebates are available to homeowners. You can find out more about these programs and their financing options by visiting the following platforms:

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Window Replacement Contractors in San Francisco?

In 2020, over 26 percent of the fatal workplace injuries reported in California were caused by injuries suffered by maintenance, repair, and construction workers. Window contractors are most at risk due to various factors such as falling glass sheets, lacerations from shattered glass, and falls from great heights.

Even though San Francisco does not require window contractors to carry general liability insurance, hiring only an insured window contractor is still important. General liability insurance can provide financial and legal protection if your project causes property damage or injuries.

Even though San Francisco does not require window contractors to carry liability insurance, note that they are still required by law to provide their clients with the necessary information about their insurance status. Besides this, they must maintain a surety bond of at least $15,000 and ensure that the state-mandated workers' compensation insurance adequately covers their employees.

Before you hire a window contractor, make sure that you confirm their insurance status by requesting their insurance certificate and other necessary documents. You can authenticate the insurance certificate by contacting the insurance company. You can also contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to learn more about the bonding obligations and required insurance for San Francisco window contractors.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Window Replacement Contractor in San Francisco

The complaints against San Francisco's bad window contractors are handled by the San Francisco City Attorney's Office and the California State License Board (CSLB).

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office was part of a group that participated in a survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America, which found that construction and home improvement complaints were the top two consumer complaints of the year in the country in 2020. These scams usually involve window contractors who collect money for a supposedly completed job, do shoddy work, or fail to complete the work by abandoning it midway. Most of the time, these individuals are unlicensed. For instance, in San Francisco, an unlicensed contractor allegedly stole over $110,000 from his clients.

To avoid getting victimized by these types of home repair scams in San Francisco, homeowners can take the following precautionary steps:

  • Ask your friends and relatives for referrals. You can also use third-party websites like the Better Business Bureau and CSLB's Find My Licensed Contractor platform to find reputable window contractors.
  • Confirm if your window contractor is not on the CSLB's Most Wanted List. You can also check the company's reviews and ratings on websites such as Google Reviews and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Get and compare the rates of multiple window contractors in the area. Doing so will help you avoid getting ripped off.
  • Do not hire window contractors who offer maintenance, repairs, or replacements without the necessary licenses and experience to carry out the work. You can confirm their licensing status using CSLB's Check a License platform.
  • Ensure that the window contractor provides you with verifiable references from past clients. Be suspicious of companies that do not provide references.
  • Avoid window contractors who cannot provide verifiable proof of their work.
  • Do not hire contractors who try to rush you into making decisions on the spot. These individuals might not have the necessary experience and knowledge to answer your questions about the project.
  • Make sure you sign a written contract that includes the work's terms and conditions. Ensure you review and understand any documents you are offered before signing them. Also, review the warranty document to ensure your window contractor does not void them.
  • Be wary of window contractors who insist on making you pay with cash or checks.
  • Do not make any advance payments until the project is completed. This limit should prevent subsequent payments from getting ahead of the project's schedule.

In 2021, the CSLB received over 17,184 complaints against unlicensed and licensed contractors operating in the state. The agency successfully prosecuted 2,818 individuals through its investigations and put 1,067 cases before the courts. To this end, if you have been a victim of a home improvement or window contractor scam in San Francisco, you can file a complaint with the appropriate agencies.

  • You can file a construction complaint with the CSLB.
  • You can report to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office by completing and submitting an online consumer complaint form. You can also file complaints on these types of matters by contacting this office at:
350 Rhode Island Street
North Building
Suite 400N
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (628) 652-4000
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays

However, filing a complaint with these agencies may not help you get the financial compensation you want. If you are still dissatisfied with the agency's response, you can also file a lawsuit against the window contractor at the San Francisco Superior Court. Getting proper legal advice from a lawyer is advisable before initiating any action. You can find lawyers in San Francisco licensed to practice law via the San Francisco County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service.