How to Gеt thе Веst Windows Prices Веfоrе Yоu Buy?
It’s a good idea to take some time and look around for double glazing quotes before you embark on replacing the windows or doors in your house.
The market for double glazed windows & doors in the UK is very large, and with a lot of suppliers eager to sell you their products, it may sometimes be difficult to decide what to do because there you are spoilt for choice.
A brief buyers guide to getting double glazing quotes
To start with, know which type of window you are looking for:
- Casement windows – open on the side or top
- Sash Windows – open vertically by sliding up & down.
- Tilt & Turn Windows – can tilt inwards for ventilation, can open inwards on side hinges.
- French Windows – 2 panels (side by side) hinged at the sides, locking in the middle. Usually open outwards.
What type of frames?
- UPVC – made from Vinyl, these are durable, lightweight and can be found quite cheap.
- Timber – softwood is cheap, but needs high maintenance.
- Timber – hardwood is more durable, but can be pricey & still needs looking after.
- Timber – engineered wood, recently added to the market. Good lifespan.
- Aluminium – cheap versions look bad quickly. Powder coated high quality products look great & last a long time.
What type of installation?
Options here are:
- Supplied & Fully fitted by one company – supplied & fitted by the same company that sells the windows. Advantages are that you only have one company to deal with. Everything is handled by them from start to finish including guarantees & certification
- Supplied by one company, fitted by another – buy windows from one supplier and have then fitted by a different tradesperson or company. Advantages are supply only prices can be quite low. You can choose a fitter who charges a lower price to install the windows. Disadvantage could be that the local person who has the best prices is not certified by FENSA OR CERTASS.
- Supply only, fit the windows yourself – self-explanatory. Advantages are in upfront costs. If you do all the labour yourself then you could save quite a bit of money. Disadvantages are that you have to get the windows certified under building regulations yourself (whereas if you used a certified FENSA or CERTASS fitter they would do that for you as part of the contract). If you are not skilled enough to do the work, then the windows will cause expensive problems that need to be remedied quite quickly – this will add costs.
Who to get quotes from?
Really speaking, to get prices for replacement windows & doors you have two options, Local or National, both have “pro’s & con’s”. Either way, do not use a company or contractor that is not accredited or certified by a recognised industry related trade body.
In the double glazing world, the main trade associations would be:
The need for certification of replacement windows will hit you hardest when you try to sell your property – your solicitor may ask to see them and if you don’t have any certificates for your windows it can cause a lot of heartache.
Both FENSA & CERTASS are competent person schemes (CPS) that allow members to certify their installations & products meet building regulations.
Local & National companies can both join these trade associations if they meet the necessary criteria. So there is no difference between choosing either to quote as long as they are members of one or the other scheme.
Local installers are reputed to have a less “aggressive sales pitch” than some of the bigger National names, but don’t forget they are all after your business and want to sell.
Local installers are also said to be more concerned with their reputation in the area where they operate and so they tend to be more “consumer friendly” as they don’t want to get a bad name where they do most of their trade.
Some High Pressure sales tactics to watch out for
Pricing can vary significantly. Some companies can be asking stupid prices for a job at the beginning of the quotation process, only to make an alarmingly big drop in price later on (which is still quite high) to “encourage” prospective customers to buy quickly.
Do not fall for this sales gimmick, it’s called a “drop close” and is one of the very worst of tactics employed by high pressure salespersons.
Another tactic is the “show home” close. This works by offering a prospect the opportunity to become a show home and earn commissions for every customer who buys as a result of seeing your property – the sale person may even say they will bring people to see your home and if those persons buy you would get a commission.
Not surprisingly, this privilege will be praised as a way to “mint money”, but will come with the need for you to sign a contract right there and then. Don’t do it, no matter how tempting it sounds because if a salesperson is using this tactic on you then the job is already way overpriced.
He or she may “call the manager” to work out a discount, but trust me, whatever price they come up with, you can get it for less.
In any event, get at least 4 or 5 double glazing quotes in writing from certified installers and take your time to go through them carefully – genuine companies will be more than happy for you to decide at your leisure.
- If you want to get a good price, get multiple quotes & haggle
- Get quotes in writing – official ones, not “on the back of a fag packet”
- Always use a FENSA or CERTASS installer
- Watch out for high pressure sales tactics
- Never sign a contract on the first meeting – ever!
- Ask for a better deal – at least 3 times (so they know you mean it)
- Set your budget & stick to it