Installing a window replacement shouldn’t be as simple as picking the first company that comes along and the first price you receive. If it is, you’ll probably end up paying way over the mark and could even end up with a botched job completed.
Double glazing is a significant investment and you want the installation to be correct, if you’re to make the most from energy efficiency and reduced heating bills.
If you’re considering the prospect of window replacement, use this guide and read the 10 points of advice we’d recommend to every consumer.
When it comes to installing replacement windows or doors, the likelihood is you wouldn’t have dealt with a similar company before. Therefore, you’ve a blank canvass and no idea whether a company is honest and reputable or trading illegally and performing botched jobs. Word of mouth is a good place to start. Ask friends and relatives for some recommendations if you know they’ve had new windows fitted recently. Of course, don’t just take their word – make sure to compare quotes still to see if there’s a better deal available.
- Company history
The double glazing industry has gone through a crisis in the last 12 months with redundancies and bankruptcies, mainly caused by homeowners tightening their purse strings and being less likely to make investments in their property. With any product a guarantee is almost essential, but if the company goes out of business it won’t be worth the paper it’s written on. Check to see that the company you’re dealing with hasn’t changed their trading name and there’s a history of honoured guarantees.
- Cheap isn’t always cheerful
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. This is exactly the same in most trade industries, so effectively the more you pay out, the better quality of product you’ll receive. Of course, there can be exceptions to the rules, particularly when companies are competing for your custom, but as a general rule if you’re paying cheap you’re not likely to get quality of product and standard of installation.
- Attend company showrooms
Visiting company showrooms gives you the chance to see certain products on the shelf. With a range of different designs and styles it’s an excellent way to compare and find out what would be most suited to your home. You can get details on the specifics of an installation and even get a feel of the company and how they deal with potential customers. This is the perfect test of their customer service skills.
- Beware one time offers and discounts
If a salesman offers a discount or one-time offer to ensure you sign-up on the spot, that’s the time to watch out. Discounted prices tend to be the product’s standard price, so it appears they’re doing you a favour. A common sales tactic is to feign a phone call to their manager requesting a discount of your behalf. Make a point of asking for their best price at the first time of asking, rather than receiving discounts to try and secure your business.
- Don’t succumb to hard sales
Some companies will stop at nothing to ensure you sign-up with them rather than a competitor. If this is the case, it’s worth bearing in mind that they need the work and perhaps don’t have as many customers as someone else offering a reasonable price for an excellent product and service. Thousands of pounds can be knocked off in an instant to commit you to signing the dotted line, but if this is the case, that same deal will be applicable a week or month later. The sign of a good company is one that will provide you with all the relevant information and let you make a decision, rather than badgering you with phone calls and offering reductions.
- Written confirmation
With replacement windows you’ll be parting with quite a considerable sum of money, so make sure you have an official contract to sign with everything in writing to confirm the details. Without doing this you could end up with a mess to clear up at the end if the contractor doesn’t take away the old windows. Realistically you should ensure the window replacement type, price and deposit details are all in writing, plus any extras such as the clear-up. This is also useful when comparing quotes between companies so it’s easy to see what is and isn’t offered with the service.
- The after sales service
Unfortunately from time to time not everything will run smoothly and you’ll be completely satisfied with the end result. For these times it’s important to hire a company that will come back and quickly correct any complaints you may have with no fuss or bother. Speak to the company you’re considering about their aftercare and find out what the process will involve.
- Identify the fitters
At the end of day you want fitters that will complete a quality job so you’re pleased with the window replacement. How good the finish is, will depend on the fitter completing the work. When speaking to a company ask about their fitters; How much experience do they have? Are they qualified joiners? Do they only work for that company? It’s also advisable to find out how they intend to keep the house clean and tidy throughout the installation and if the old windows will be taken away.
- Official certification
There are two trading bodies you should be aware of for the glazing industry; Fensa and Certass. When a glazing company is registered to one of the mentioned organisations, they ensure standards are met and Building Regulations adhered to. It is always highly recommended to hire a company registered to Fensa or Certass because if you have any issues they’ll help fight your case.
Facts & Figures You’ll Love To Share
- Replacing your inefficient windows with double glazing will help you save up to £200 a year on expensive household bills.
- Installing double glazing is an environmentally friendly option, slashing carbon by 680kg annually.
- As well as a monetary saving, double glazing will cut condensation and reduce noise pollution.
- Switching your old windows will boost your property’s EPC rating and make your home a more attractive buy in the market.
- For homes in Conservation Areas, consider secondary glazing to make energy savings when double glazing isn’t permitted.
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