As the reality of winter begins to set in, we’re reviewing 2016 and looking ahead to 2017. Just when we were looking for a little inspiration, someone noticed a quote attached to a cork board on the wall.

In our industry, there are a lot of moving pieces and we are constantly evaluating and looking for improvements for the customer experience we deliver. The saying on the wall is a great reminder of what we do every day and why we choose to work with a partner like Andersen Windows. It expresses the ethics behind what we do. It’s important that we make sure all of our employee impress the concept on each customer we encounter.

A quick search online attributed the quote to Benjamin Franklin. His words may not have been meant for the home improvement business, but it’s hard not to imagine the appropriateness to the industry.

Here are some thoughts on Mr. Franklin’s great quotes and how they relate to my remodeling, starting with the one on the wall in our office.

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

We try to convey this in everything we do. It’s tempting to go with the lowest priced option – everyone wants the absolute best deal. But there is a huge difference between value and price. You need to consider the price over the life of a window replacement project, not just the initial cost. Experience, warranty, and responsiveness are invaluable traits in a contractor, and any of them can leave you bitter no matter how great the upfront cost was.

“Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”

If you’ve hired a contractor to remodel a kitchen, finish a basement or create an addition, you know why this quote applies. When a project begins, your contractor visitor is a welcome sight every morning. They show up on time, work hard, respect your space and start to make progress. After a few days, they disrupt your routine, track dust through your house and leave your toilet seat up.

For this very reason, we are upfront and honest about the timeline for window replacement and door remodeling projects. Oftentimes we can be in and out of a job within a day, and it’s very uncommon for us to on a project for more than a week. By managing the timeline and process while optimizing communication, our trained installers won’t smell so quickly!

“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”

Many examples relate to this Franklin-ism. When you have your windows replaced, the focus is always on the flashy parts of the window unit itself. But seemingly minor details like window flashing, foam insulation, plumb and squareness, and caulking can cause major issues. If your contractor cuts corners on them, your new windows may literally throw heat out the window.

By the way—if you have adjacent trim, you should consider replacing it when your windows are replaced. This relatively minor expense will give you the most satisfaction down the road.

“Well done is better than well said.”

Forget the sales pitch. Check references. Examine similar projects. Talk to other customers. At the end of the day, it is not how great the contractor “seems” to be – it’s how good their work is that counts.

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

This is so important to us at Great Plains Windows and Doors. It doesn’t matter how many great projects we complete—we know the value and importance of a good reputation. This is why we are committed to solving problems and not just putting a band-aid on it.

At Great Plains Windows and Doors in the Twin Cities, we know that problems will arise on some projects. The important part is that we will work with you to fix it rather than run to avoid it. It’s a good business practice. Proven by Andersen Windows long-term success.

It’s hard to believe that Ben Franklin had home improvement in mind when uttering these gems, but at Great Plains Windows and Doors, they’ve become words to live by.


At Great Plains Windows and Doors, We are all Andersen, All the time. And we’re the only ones doing it this way in the Twin Cities. Come see what we have to offer.

If you need some help navigating the window replacement process or looking to replace your entry door in St. Paul or Minneapolis, look no further than Great Plains Windows and Doors. Our residential window experts are here to help. Find out more at or call us today at 651-207-4571.