Get cheap double glazing quotes in 3 simple steps
None of us like feeling as though we've been overcharged, do we? And if you're thinking about getting new windows, you're probably a tiny bit anxious about how much it should reasonably cost and whether you can secure a good deal.
Unfortunately, the double-glazing industry has suffered from a less than perfect reputation in recent years due to a tiny number of unscrupulous companies encouraging their front-line staff to adopt dubious high-pressure sales methods.
Thankfully this kind of experience is unusual, but it still pays to make sure you don't get caught out.
So, first and foremost, choose recognised companies and reputable installers who are registered with the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) and FENSA. And avoid any windows installer that only gives you a mobile phone contact number.
With the basics in place, now follow these three simple steps to ensure you don't end up paying too much for your new double glazing.
1. Be clear about what you want
This is one of those occasions in life where it really does pay to do you research first. Go to a showroom (or even a few), or visit a home exhibition. You can then see actual products on display and get a feel for what you like (and what you don't).
Once you have a clear idea about your preferences, then you can book appointments with your selected providers to source initial quotes. This part of the process is all about making decisions: type of window, frame, finish, double or triple glazing... etc. There are lots of options to consider but the key here is not to keep changing your mind. Adding extra windows or doors or choosing different finishes will no doubt start edging up the price.
2. Look out for sales and special offers
Opting for new double glazing isn't usually a snap decision, so whilst you're mulling it over, keep an eye out for sales or special offers. Double glazing companies often have sales at slower times of year such as January or July when fewer people are in the market to buy and this is a good time to benefit from some quite decent savings. Also, think about whether you want to choose a national or a local company. National businesses promote their deals quite heavily - usually on television or via flyers whereas local business often stick to the local newspaper or a door-to-door leaflet drop when there's an offer on.
When you do spot an offer, make sure you know if it's for the type of windows you actually want for your home. The most popular window styles are casement, sash, tilt turn and dual turn. Casement is generally the lowest cost; dual turn the most expensive. For materials, UPVC rather than wood or aluminium is usually the cheapest option for double glazed windows and doors.
Lastly, before you get too excited about an offer, read the small print. Now is the time to spot what is covered as standard within a special offer deal, and what might be charged as extra.
3. Ask for a discount. And then ask again.
Here's something good to know: the prices aren't set in stone. It's not uncommon for double glazing salespeople to start by quoting you quite a high price in the beginning and then reducing it as a way to get you to sign up straight away. Some people have found that even the second or third offer is not the best price so make sure you have got the best discount, not the first discount.
Secondly, don't sign any contract straight away. No matter how sure you are, it always pays to think about the final decision and not get rushed into putting pen to paper. Take your time and properly consider your other like-for-like quotes carefully. It's only fair, after all.
That's it. Now you should have all your quotes in writing with a description and the price as well as your rights regarding cancellation, you're ready to make a decision. Do take time to read the small print - and be aware that if you order customised made-to-measure windows, you may not have any cancellation rights once the order is signed.
Finally, a word of warning...
Yes, it is possible to go direct to a window manufacturer and get prices just for the windows themselves without the installation cost. However, unless you genuinely do have proper experience of fitting windows and are appropriately qualified to do so, you are much better off paying for installation.