With the advent of the internet no longer should cheap double glazing rustle up visions of poor quality product shoddy workmanship or home owners worse nightmares. With a little homework, householders can now buy cheap double glazing and save huge amounts of cash.
Instead of buying from household names whom everyone is widely aware still employ the same old sales tactics to get a signature on an order tonight! often at greatly increased cost to the homeowner (visions of a 瞿2000.00 door spring to mind etc), people are becoming more aware, more savvy of both the big company direct sales tactics and their outlandish prices, with the recession sparking the need for the homeowners cash to go much much further.
What to look for in a good double glazing company.
Make sure the company is reputable not take your cash and run, Certass or Fensa Registered normally sorts the wheat from the chaff, look for genuine insurance backed guarantees and the paperwork to back them up, check with the governing bodies are they really members? Check the internet for happy or disgruntled customers by typing in the company's name. Does the company provide a full survey and fitting service? Steer clear of large national household names to them its just another job. Look for smaller independently owned firms who genuinely care about their installations and their reputation. These are all check points that you must be totally happy with before investing hard earned cash.
Product. Products are the actual uPVC doors, uPVC windows, composite doors, and conservatories the prospective company is offering, are they energy efficient? A or B rated? What locking mechanism is been used standard espag or improved shootbolt locking? Are all windows manufactured to manufacturers specification with all reinforcement in place, are all windows and doors fully welded? inferior windows and doors often have a mechanical transom in, giving a weakness to the door or window creating major security issues as they are easier to break into.
Are all double glazed units 28mm thick, offer the latest warm edge spacer technology and filled with argon gas for improved heat retention? Again inferior products will be missing one of these key factors which are of great importance for both heat retention, cutting heating bills in the winter and solar reflection, to give greater cooler comfort in the summer.
Do the windows comply to building regs with an escape window fitted as standard, can the homeowner benefit from easy clean friction stays or (hinges) fitted so that the windows upstairs can be cleaned more easily by the depression of two buttons on the friction stay (or hinge) and sliding the window across the outer frame in order to gain easier access for wiping?
An important question to also ask any double glazing salesperson is what profile is being used in the manufacture of the windows and doors? Some high end industry, indeed world recognised profiles include Veka, Kommerling, and Rehau, which any window fitter in England would tell you are profiles that are synonymous with high quality security and most importantly longevity.
The cheaper profiles among many faults do not offer the same wall thickness, important again in security issues with locks and hinges all being secured and screwed through the profile where a full 3mm wall thickness must be in place along with suitable reinforcement to give maximum strength and anti burglar characteristics.
As often happens in life quality comes from Germany which all the aforementioned profiles do, however two British stable mates worthy of a mention and worth looking at are WHS Halo and Synseal both of whom have excellent industry standing.
Deposit Levels and Guarantee
Nowadays every reputable replacement window company in the UK should have a full deposit indemnity scheme accompanied by a full insurance backed guarantee. The deposit scheme is normally given when a customer signs a contract and protects the house owners deposit should the company cease trading for any reason. Normal / acceptable levels of deposit should be no more than 10% of total contract value for windows and doors. Be aware of smaller companies asking for large deposits, giving no deposit guarantee forms or paperwork at the point of sale, delaying work, or even worse not doing any work at all and running off with the money!
Conservatories however normally have a higher deposit level of 25% of total contract value but still should be fully deposit indemnified. The larger deposits being the norm simply due to the extended building works prior to any windows and doors arriving. A further payment of 35% of contract value would also be deemed acceptable subject to the base being totally completed (obviously not including plastering electrics or heating as this is an internal job that can only be completed once the conservatory is in the dry and erected) and all the windows doors glass and roof being on site. The remaining balance of 40% of contract value naturally paid when the homeowner is completely happy with every aspect of the installation to include a part P certificate issued by a fully qualified electrical contractor if any electrical work has been undertaken.
Most window companies want or even insist to see the customer in order to put a sales person in to pressurise them into buying their windows and doors on the night or been barraged with phone calls in the week later until they sign, however with the help of the internet thankfully these days are beginning to be numbered.
Most people simply want a quote and don't want the hassle of sitting through a two or three hour sales presentation with quite often heaps of pressure being applied to buy now or lose the discount. Genuine companies who offer none inflated products can give quotes straight from the net with no hassle what so ever. The homeowner will naturally want to see what they are buying which can easily be arranged when the surveyor calls to take final manufacturing sizes.
Sadly an awful lot of people still take sales people at face value, examples of sales techniques used to gain orders are the show home offer using the house for future references which companies never do, agreeing for a board to go outside or the possibility of a refund due to the increased business levels again a very rare happening. Sign now or your lose the point of sale discount is another common technique or let me phone my manager as he has more authoritative to give more discount. The truth being these are exactly the techniques which give horror stories where people have been charged outrageous or hideous amounts of money for product, thus giving the whole double glazing industry a bad name where homeowners perish the thought of having their windows replaced.
The Net - a Twenty first answer to cheap double glazing
The internet now can genuinely help with real reputable companies offering quality reasonably priced double glazing compared to the high street names who still today are ripping people off, with so many people still falling victim.
The moral of the story being do your homework find reputable companies who are reasonable and who are willing to quote without the need for sales people, phoning their manager, or using any sales techniques, who will give a quote over the phone and who can install correctly and offer a real after sales care! with fully insurance backed guarantees. After all its not rocket science or splitting the atom just double glazing!