The Zero Stress Guide to Double Glazing

 
 

What You Need To Know Before You Buy Double Glazing Windows

 
     
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Choosing a supplier

Top tips

  • Get at least three estimates
  • Have delivery times written into your contract
  • Check guarantees carefully

There are plenty of choices when it comes to finding a supplier – from large national companies that woo you with TV advertising to small local companies with a lower profile. There are good and not-so-good companies in both categories.

Before you make a decision, visit showrooms, research all of the alternatives in terms of product and style and get at least three estimates. As always, ask around among friends and relatives to seek recommendations. Look out, too, for installations being carried out in your neighbourhood and watch the progress – once the work is done you could visit the house and ask the owners what their impressions of the windows and installers are. Remember that any type of building work can throw up unforeseen problems – if this was the case, did the supplier rise to the challenge and sort it out quickly and effectively?

Another option is to look on a website like Checkatrade that lists suppliers who have been monitored and vetted. Customer comments are included as well as assessment of qualities like workmanship, reliability and punctuality.

Always ask your supplier how long the delivery will be and have this written into your contract. Also request an estimate of how long the work will take to complete once installation begins.

Most companies will require a deposit when you place the order. Try to negotiate as low a percentage as possible – 10% is usual. You should avoid paying larger deposits than this unless your work is unique/bespoke, such as ‘one off’ timber window designs. It is not unreasonable in these circumstances for suppliers to require higher holding deposits. Also ensure that a fair percentage is withheld until the work is finished to your complete satisfaction.

Check out the guarantee and exactly what it covers. Many companies now offer ‘insurance backed’ guarantees which are actually insolvency guarantees and only become effective if the company goes out of business. Most guarantees will give a 10-year cover on the frames but you may find that the cover for the double-glazed unit is five years. Complications can be avoided if you ensure that a potential supplier is specific about these issues – and puts it in writing.

Don’t automatically go for the cheapest price and when comparing ‘like with like’ take into account how long the company has been established and the quality of its guarantees. You may find two suppliers using the same brand of PVCu extrusion and the same Pilkington glass. However if one is a window fitter doing ‘private work’ at the weekends you should bear in mind that his 10-year guarantee may be worth significantly less than that from a more established company with a supporting infrastructure.

 

   
     
 
     
   

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