Tips for Buying Double Glazing
Installing or replacing existing windows is a substantial undertaking and there are a lot of companies, in a highly competitive market, eager to make you a deal. This can play to your advantage, but before you make any decisions it pays to be prepared in your own mind.
Below are a collection of guides, reminders and double glazing tips to help you get off to the best possible start when speaking with suppliers and installers:
- Fully discuss your windows functionality with any suppliers; the more complex the window and openings, the greater the price. Be careful not to opt for a great deal only to find out it’s not the investment you thought it was because of the limited openings and functionality of the windows.
- It’s a good idea to clarify window security features which come as standard and the cost of any upgrades. It’s not usually expensive to upgrade locks etc. and is often well worth the excess.
- Ask your supplier about any escape features. If these are required by law due to the specification of your property, your supplier should advise you of this. It’s possible to have special hinges fitted to aid easy escape, but generally these do not come as standard.
- Will you need planning permission? It’s unlikely, but can apply particularly if your home is a listed building or you live in a conservation area. Your supplier will be able to advise you on this.
- When choosing styles it is worth looking at similar properties in your area to see what looks good. Ideally choose a style in keeping with the look of your property and any existing glazing work.
- There are not many handy double glazing tips for maintaining your UPVC windows because they are so easy to maintain! It’s recommended that you give the uPVC frames a wipe with a soft cloth and mild detergent occasionally and remember to lubricate the hinges when necessary.
- Yes, double glazing is a great insulator and will reduce your carbon footprint and heating bills, but your windows will not pay for themselves. Well, not for a very, very long time at least. It is inadvisable to replace your windows for this reason alone so research all your options, such as secondary glazing and be sure you know exactly what you are looking for. Our double glazing benefits and materials pages can help with this.
- Double glazing is great for reducing external noise. However, if this is your only reason for installing new windows, bear in mind that secondary glazing is considered to be the better noise reducer.
- When comparing quotes be sure to ask when the work will be taking place and get an estimated delivery time and project completion date.
- Confirm that the installation team will ‘make good’ the windows once fitted and tidy up after themselves.
- Check whether the installer is bound to a code of practice or is registered with an organised self-assessment body such as FENSA or CERTASS.
- Can the company provide testimonials from local satisfied customers?
- How long has the supplier been in business?
- Does the company have a showroom or an online showroom where you can see the products for yourself?
- Will your double glazing come with a guarantee and if so what precisely does it cover and for how long?
- Always get a selection of quotes, at least two to three. Remember when comparing estimates that different companies lay out their quotations differently, so make sure you are comparing like for like. doubleglazing.com makes this process easy without you even having to lift the phone or search for local reputable companies.
- When meeting with representatives think before going to their premises. Yes it is advisable to see their products in a showroom, but remember that if you sign a contract at home you are covered by Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work Regulations 2008. This gives you a seven day cancellation period starting from when the supplier explains your rights to you in writing. If you agree for work to begin within those seven days this cancellation period is void. Another way to safeguard your right to change your mind is to always pay the deposit by credit card and so be covered by the Consumer Credit Act. You can expect a standard deposit to be 10%, but more if your order includes complex or bespoke specifications.
Things to check before signing a double glazing contract:
- Check the price and any listed fees for additional work
- Is the VAT included?
- Is there a detailed description of the materials used and work to be carried out?
- What is the contractual timeframe for the work to be undertaken and completed?
- Are any agreed extras listed in the contract?
- Does the contract clearly outline agreed payment details including details of the deposit?
- What are your contractual rights to cancel and is any money you’ve already paid forfeit? Remember to always read the small print.
Finally, it’s important to listen to the advice of the experts; yes they are looking to make a sale, but they will also know their industry and can be a mine of useful information. Do not be rushed into making a decision. Ask for time to consider their advice and to make an informed decision in your own time. Remember that double glazing is a competitive industry and so it is highly unlikely that if you don’t sign there and then you will miss out on a great reduction.