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Double Glazing Quotations tomorrow... any advice?

(17 Posts)
leeloo1 Sun 17-Jul-11 18:35:49

I'm feeling sick about the potential hassle and cost already.

If anyone has had any new windows fitted and has any helpful tips, advice or reassurance I'd appreciate it.

thanks. smile

SirenSusan Sun 17-Jul-11 20:16:34

Go local & aviod the big companies.

littleoldme Sun 17-Jul-11 20:19:17

I second the above poster. We used a big company , can't remember what they are called now - something beginning with S. We had to have them back afew back a few times afterwards andalthough the probs were sorted wouldn't use them again.

From asking around I'd use local firms next time. Good luck.

swearbyit Sun 17-Jul-11 20:27:17

My friend is a builder and he bought some new patio doors from his friend, a guy who has a double glazing business, and he got them at trade price - £200, this was last year. If you have that in the back of your mind you will have some idea of their massive profit margin and be able to beat them down on price. We had our whole house done last year too, and I got 4 local companies to quote, then they were all fighting over themselves to get the business. Obviously its still really expensive, but at least you'll feel that you've done the best you can on price.

franticallyjugglinglife Sun 17-Jul-11 20:45:50

Challenge prices - hard. 30% of first quotation ime. And go local - seconded.

MadameCastafiore Sun 17-Jul-11 20:51:43

Do not pay up front - if they are reputable they will have good enough credit to buy the windows - or make then themselves and not need your money first - if you do need to pay some up front try to make it as small a percentage as possible - make sure the job is good, you are satisfied with quality and all finishing is good before you hand over rest of money.

Steer clear of Anglian and Everest - they are shite from what I have heard - go local.

FENSA means something but am not sure what - we have to have FENSA certificates for something to do with our insuance once.

I always think if someone quotes and then says they can knock something off the bill the are shisters - why not just be honest in the first place and not inflate the prices and be greedy bastards.

noddyholder Mon 18-Jul-11 08:00:30

Tell them as soon as they arrive that you are getting several quotes and will not be making any decisions today!

AlsoAvailableSober Mon 18-Jul-11 08:12:21

I agree with local company too. Work out where your negotating points are - eg we said we could wait to have them done when they were quieter.

Also make sure your quote includes VAT and have it in writing. The company we used tried to charge VAT on top when they invoiced. I do think it was an oversight on their part, but i had the quote to back it up.

Make sure they include all the things you need, locks on ground floor windows (insurance policy may require this) and any child locks you may want.

Re pricing - try and find out what others paid for similar windows. Ours have to be steel framed as we are in a conservation area so we paid £10k for ours but i would imagine 'normal' double glazing would be no more than half of that. Oh, and ours did include new wood frames for 3 of the sets of windows.

When our windows were fitted they were fantastic. In and out in 2 days and no hassles. No payment was required up front, although i would have been more than happy to pay a deposit

leeloo1 Mon 18-Jul-11 10:52:52

Thanks very much for the help and tips. I've had 2 recommendations from friends and they're both local companies who are coming to give quotes today, so we're doing ok on that front. When we first moved in we had Safestyle/Everest type firm round and they stayed for 4 hours - we couldn't make them leave! Quote went from £12000, to £9000 to £8500, through discussions with 'manager' and our surveyor trying to 'negotiate' on our behalf - how near were we to local shops/churches/schools and could they put a sign in our window etc... In the end my husband was talking to the 'manager' who ended up asking what price we would agree to that would mean we would sign up then and there?! Oh and any prices we agreed to were only valid for that day so we had to sign a contract then and there. It all felt very pressured and dodgy and explains why we've put off having the windows looked at again for another 5 years. sad

I've just had the first surveyor round and he's measured up and gone within 25 minutes! They're sending the quote tomorrow, but he suggested the new, very basic, front door would be about £380. He also mentioned £20 per window to have dummy fronts put on (so you can't tell which open) and £15 per window for trickle vents. Does that sound good/normal?

I think I need to get a couple more quotes in... I should have done this earlier I guess, by the time we've picked a company etc it'll be back to bad weather again (can they fit windows in bad weather?).

leeloo1 Wed 20-Jul-11 10:40:50

Mmmm, well the 2 quotes have come back at:

£8604 (incl 4 extra trickle vents and 4 small opening windows, which 2nd guy recommended)

£6609 (or £6009 if booked within 14 days) - excluding small extras above.

Now I'm wondering why they're so different?!

The 3rd place that was recommended haven't come back to me to arrange to come round, so I'm assuming they won't. I've arranged for a couple of random places (found on google) to come and quote, but would rather use a recommended place.

Would it be very wrong/misguided to just go with the cheaper quote?

Pendeen Wed 20-Jul-11 15:47:51

Some advice for you...

You must use a FENSA registered contractor or apply for Building Regulation approval. This is a legal requirement and you risk prosecution if found out, or having an unsaleable house if not. The installer must handle all the paperwork for you. Check they are a member here:

FENSA

Only consider a firm price quotation that includes an insurance-backed guarantee for the whole system - sealed glazing units, frames, installation, workmanship, resistance to fading or yellowing, etc. etc. (and yet more etc.)

Check they have adequate insurance for the work i.e. that your property is covered if, for example, they remove an existing window frame that is load-bearing and the floor above collapses (I am not joking, this has happened far too often).

Make sure their products conform to the Building Regulations (especially Parts L and N), and to British Standards i.e. BS 7412:2007 (plastic windows) and BS 7950:1997 (security). If not, ask why not!

Make sure the quotation is all-inclusive e.g. repairs to surrounding finishes, trickle ventilation, fitting any trim, VAT, etc.

Don't pay anything up front.

Don't take any credit offers.

Ask for local references. Ring them and go and have a look.

leeloo1 Thu 21-Jul-11 15:56:22

Thanks very much for that Pendeen. I've used some of your post to double-check a few details with the firm we're thinking of using. smile

They quote different specs to you though in their quote:

- Windows are BS kite marked conforming to BS5750 (part 2'1 and 857413.
- Handles, hinges and spags meet all requirements to the highest levels of performance i.e. - BS standards 6375 and 5368 part 1,2 and3.
- Glazed sealed units have 2Smmoverall thickness and are internally beaded for high security.
- Doors and windows are fitted with high security multi-point locking systems and insurance approved.

Are they the same thing or are these lower/outdated specifications?

Everyone we've contacted have been FENSA registered, they all seem to ask for a 50% deposit though and there doesn't seem to be much negotiation on that. sad

Pendeen Thu 21-Jul-11 16:48:44

You are welcome smile

5750 is a quality assurance standard usually for the manufacturing and 7413 is for the profiles (i.e. the plastic frame sections) so both are sort of relevant but it is 7412 which is more important as it is specific to the design and installation.

6375 - sorry yes i forgot that one! Performance of windows and doors.

5378 is an old standard which refers to testing however the one I quoted 7590 relates to security. This is useful: Secured by Design

Pendeen Thu 21-Jul-11 17:05:16

You are welcome smile

Yes generally the standards they have quoted are relevant however 5750 is a quality assurance standard usually for the manufacturing and 7413 is for the profiles (i.e. the plastic frame sections) so both are sort of useful but ideally it is 7412 which is more important as it is specific to the design and installation of the windows. 6375 (Performance of windows and doors) sorry yes i forgot that one! 5378 is an old standard which refers to testing however the one I quoted 7590 relates to security so it is more relevant.

(Yes I know I'm a very sad little Architect for listing all this lot but I have recently worked on several local council schemes involving replacement windows as part of general upgrading of council housing and I had to read up on the subject)!

This is useful: Secured by Design

Internal glazing beads are good.

Multi point locking is good.

Deposit - yes I was afraid of that - personally speaking I would not pay but if you can't find a company that doesn't insist then any FENSA member should at least offer a 'deposit Protection Plan' to you which would protect your funds should anything go wrong.

Hope things go well for you.

Pendeen Thu 21-Jul-11 17:05:55

oops must have sent before finishing!

SenSationsMad Fri 22-Jul-11 10:44:28

OP - how many windows and doors is that quote for? I've a three story house with bay windows, and I think I would need a second mortgage to get mine done

leeloo1 Fri 22-Jul-11 14:35:07

Thanks Pendeen. Not 'sad' at all, very organised and efficient I'd say! smile

SenSationsMad - Bays do end up expensive! The quotes are for 15 windows (6 are bays), patio doors and front and back door with fan lights!

I had another quote last night of £7850 - although they indicated they would go lower (they don't have a showroom to look at the windows and were chosen at random from google so although they seemed good I'm wary of using them).

It turns out the cheap quote is using 'c' rated glass and they make their own windows, the other 2 are 'a' rated and just seem to fit other people's windows. Which may well explain the price difference.

I'm now waiting for the expensive place to get back to me to find out if they'll reduce their prices slightly... fingers crossed!

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