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 Post subject: Any way to find contractor's previous businesses/history?
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 4:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:37 pm
Posts: 23
Is there a way to trace back history for a window contractor? To make sure they aren't in the business of regularly closing shop and reopening new business every 5 years in order to avoid warranty claims?

The MN license lookup system seems to remove the contact info for expired licenses, so you can't see if the same people held prior licenses

If you had a choice between saving several K with a company that's only been registered for 3 years, but has good references and installers with 15yrs experience, or paying a few K more for a company that's had the same license # for 30 years, what would you choose? How many K$ do you think the piece of mind is worth?

Does soft-lite screen it's network somehow? I'd like to assume that soft-lite wouldn't approve just any local dealer.

Buut, this company is also an official soft-lite dealer: ... ab-reviews
And check out the negativity in some of those reviews!
And even the BBB ... mn-9000521

Well you can pretty much just go to and see the Imperial LS dealers in MN.

Both seem like great companies. I don't know if anyone on this board has experience with either. But like I said, one has a cheaper quote, but a more recent business. The other is more expensive, but longer in business. It's not clear which I should go with.

I had a large project done in '09 to fix water issues in the backyard leading to deck/sunroom footings and patio severely frost-heaving. I used a company that had only been formed a couple years prior, though they had 30+ years experience. They did all the work and I think I got a good price. There were some issues with quality and communication. But in the end it's been 3 years and there have been no problems with the work done. But I recently noted that this company had their license revoked last year. Makes you a little wary.


 Post subject: Re: Any way to find contractor's previous businesses/history?
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 6:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
One thing that I can say that Softlite does a good job of is screen its dealers for financial viability. That obviously does not include sales practices, however I'd say that you should feel pretty confident that they will be around for a while. Certainly there is something to be said for time in business, however ultimately you want to feel comfortable with the company that you choose regardless. There are plenty of window dealers that have been around for 30 yrs that rip people off at every turn because they are nothing more than sales and marketing machines, and treat their customers like a turnstile... When you are dealing with a younger company, look for signs of stability such as trade organization memberships, a physical location, certifications, etc.

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