How to Buy Double Glazing
Double glazing is a great way to increase the efficiency of your home, to save on heating and cooling bills, stop drafts, and add to the value of your home if you live in a newer house. Unfortunately, if you take the wrong deal, don't research enough before you agree to a price, or purchase the wrong windows, your benefits will be small. Double glazed windows are undeniably popular, as the Telegraph estimates that 6 out of 10 homes in the UK has them, and it’s a good idea to upgrade if you have older windows, but you do have to be careful when shopping.
While double glazing will take years to pay off through lowered heating bills, you will be saving money every month, and if you plan to live in the house for a long time, they can pay themselves off. If you want to pay off sooner, and save money upfront, you have to research and get the best double glazing quotes before you get started.
What is Double Glazing
Double glazing or double glazed windows are made of two panes of glass meant to trap air in between to provide a buffer for hot and cold air, to keep outside air out of the house. They're also hermetically sealed, which means that they can reduce draughts, and lower heating and cooling bills. You'll also hear less noise, because the buffer stops sound as well. Depending on the glass you choose, double glazed windows could also save you a great deal on your heating and cooling bills, but whether or not that will pay off depends on what you pay for installation.
How to Get the Best Double Glazing Sales Quotes
Double glazing salesman can be extremely unethical, and stories where a salesman will base the quote on how much he thinks you can afford, and lower the quote by as much as £10,000 during a single sales pitch are so common as to be normal. If you want to get a good deal on double glazing, you want to avoid salesmen who offer this sort of pitch, and instead, go with those who offer no nonsense quotes based on your windows, the number you need, and the type of glass you choose.
It's always a good idea to make sure you know exactly what you need in advance, because it allows you to make a better choice, and get a better quote upfront. You'll also come across as someone who knows what you're talking about, so salesmen will be less likely to attempt to swindle you.
If you want the best double glazing quotes, you can use the following method.
- Write down the materials and windows you need. This should include the exact size, model, and style. You’ll also want the number of windows, and the number of panes in each window.
- Contact 3-10 local double glazing installers and ask them for a quote on your specific materials.
- Make sure the quote is on the same materials, including labour.
- Compare your quotes, and make an informed decision. Make sure you look at what's included in the cost, what's extra, and what you get for the money.
- Never sign a deal the same day. Take your time and close within two weeks. No reputable company has 'today only' prices.
Getting the best double glazing quotes means asking a lot of people, comparing your options, and choosing the best from what you get.
Keep in mind that it's always a good idea to go local, because you can and will save money on gas and transportation.
Double Glazing Prices
Double glazing prices can vary a great deal depending on your location, the glass, the types of frames, and several other details such as the payment option. But, rather than choosing the cheapest double glazing available, you should choose the best for the money. Double glazed windows come in a variety of different qualities, and what you pick will affect your investment.
Types of Double Glazing - Double glazing is available in nearly every type of glass, and sometimes it can be difficult to tell what's important and what's plain rubbish. After all, do you really need something that sounds like fancy designer glass? Most of the time, names actually mean something, but they can vary a great deal depending on the retailer. One example is K-Glass, which a very common option that allows heat from the sun in, and reflects heat back into the room, . Your best policy is to ask about the differences between different types of glass offered by the retailer.
Energy Ratings - Double glazing comes in energy ratings, from G to A, with A being the most efficient. The more efficient your glass, the more you'll pay, but the more you'll save on heating and cooling. You can also look for Low E glass, which means that the glass has a metallic coating on the inside that reflects back into your home, to reflect heat in, while allowing heat from the sun to pass through. The U-value affects heat transfer, so the lower the rating, the better the window will keep heat in a room. Other factors, such as solar heat gain, affect how well the windows allow heat from the sun into the room.
Double Glazing Frames - Frames are another important factor that affects your double glazing quote. The cheapest frames are uPVC, which make up about 80% of all double glazing frames in the UK. Unfortunately, they're also the least durable, and require the most upkeep. Wood and aluminum frames are also available, but do cost more. If you do choose uPVC, make sure it's reinforced with metal during installation to ensure that it doesn't become brittle, or collapse under UV light in the sun.
What You're Paying For - If you look at several quotes, you might notice that each company has different offerings included in the initial quote. Pay attention to what you're paying for to get the best deal. For example, if you choose a payment option, you might be paying an initial fee for the privilege of finance, plus a hefty investment fee.
Average Double Glazing Prices
Double glazing prices do vary a great deal, but if you're shopping at a quality, local double glazing installer, you can expect to pay about £300 per frame for uPVC windows, and up to £1,000 or more per frame if you choose something exotic like Douglas Fir.
Tips for Getting Deals on Double Glazing
Getting a good deal on double glazed windows means shopping around, knowing what to look for, and getting a good warranty.
Contracts - Don't sign a contract under pressure. Make sure you read it, and take your time. If you make the contract away from the contractor's premises, the mandates that you have a minimum 14 day cooling off period, or 14 days to cancel if you want. However, this does not apply if you go to their business, or you order custom made frames and windows. Read the contract, make sure that everything, including warranty and the materials to be used are specified, and that all labour is included before you sign anything.
Warranty - Get a minimum of a 10-year warranty on your double glazing. Because most double glazing windows take 10 to 100 years to pay off, you definitely want the warranty, and the longer, the better.
Rating - If the 100 years quote sounded scary, make sure you watch the window’s energy rating. The Energy Savings Trust quotes that a three bedroom, semi-detached house replacing single-glazed windows with double-glazed could save between £75 and £100 per year with B-rated glass and £85-£110 per year with A-rated glass. That’s very reasonable for most homes. If your windows have a lower energy rating, you’ll save less.
Finding the Best Double Glazing Installer for the Money
Getting the best deal on double glazing means comparing installers and choosing the best one, but it goes beyond comparing quotes.
Competent Persons Schemes - The UK has multiple competent person’s schemes including Fensa, BM Trada, and Certass. Your double glazing installer should be a member of at least one. This is especially important if your area requires your windows to meet certain energy efficiency levels, because only a competent person can provide a certificate with the installation.
Reputation - It is relatively easy to check the reputation of an established installation company or contractor by looking them up online and checking local directories such as their social media or Yelp. If they have a bad reputation, you will find out about it. In addition, you should ask for examples of recent work, and ask if you can contact any of their recent customers to find out if they were happy with the work completed. This won't always be possible, but it is a great way to vet your double glazing installers.
Finding a great deal on double glazing windows means choosing the best contractor and installer, and getting the best deal for your money rather than just the lowest price. Use our comparison tool to quickly find and compare the best contractors in your area. Just tell us what you need, and we will contact local double glazing installers for you, and send you the top three best quotes.