What to look out for when choosing new windows and double glazing
We’ve all heard the frightening tales of cowboys fitting unsafe, illegal and ugly windows and rogue salespeople refusing to leave your home. These horror stories are bad news for all of us in the window and door industry and the bad practice of a few can tarnish the reputation of most good, honest, hardworking companies. There are a few things you as a homeowner can, however, look out for and be wary of to avoid falling victim to these crooks. We have compiled a short guide below on what to look out for when buying double glazing.
1. FENSA registered
FENSA was set up to regulate the fenestration industry (Windows and Doors) the basic premise of FENSA is that window and door fitters registered with FENSA meet a pre-set standard and have been signed off to fit windows consistently at a high and safe level.
Without FENSA registration windows can still be fitted but only if they are approved by building regulations at an extra cost, which is the responsibility of the homeowner.
A lot of one-man band installers and cowboys neglect to tell homeowners this, which means they may be hit with a hefty cost if they decide to sell the property. For more information about FENSA visit: https://www.fensa.org.uk/
2. Good local reputation
A good reputation takes a lifetime to earn but a moment to lose. This quote should be more relevant in the window and door market than any other. We believe that a good reputation speaks for itself if you consistently make local customers happy they should be singing your praises. When choosing a window installer to speak to your friends, family, and neighbours for good local recommendations.
"a good reputation speaks for itself
3. Business address/office
Any reputable and reliable business should have a business address or office. It is a good sign of an established business who won’t do a midnight flip. It also gives you a professional environment to visit the people who’ll be fitting your windows and ask them any questions and go through any concerns you may have.
There are three main types of guarantees when it comes to windows, the manufacturers guarantee, the installers guarantee, and the insurance backed guarantee. We would advise that you choose a company that has all guarantees in place. Most importantly the insurance backed guarantee which covers you in the event that your window installer has shut down or changed names etc. We have heard horror stories in our 38 years of experience of customers windows going wrong and them not being covered because the installer has gone out of business. We cant stress enough the importance of ensuring your window installer has an insurance backed guarantee, it could save you a fortune in the long run.
Just like a physical address a web address helps to solidify a company’s validity, reputation, and likelihood to stick around. That isn’t to say that all companies with a website are legit but there are a few tell-tale signs you can look out for when visiting a company’s website. Firstly, ensure there is a padlock symbol in the address bar, this indicates that the website is secure. Secondly look for a UK local phone number, and UK postal address, It may then be wise to google that address and see if it marries up with the company in question. If it doesn’t alarm bells should start ringing. Finally look at the quality of the work shown in photographs and look for customer testimonials.
"Look for a UK postal address, It may then be wise to google that address and see if it marries up with the company in question"
It may sound straightforward but the longer somebody has been doing something the better they become at it. Double glazing is no different there are a lot of skills that can only be learned with years of experience, especially when it comes to fitting products the right and safe way. As well as the onsite advantages, an experienced company also offers a range of benefits to the consumer, including, a good technical knowledge of the whole market, knowing the best sources for bespoke products and parts and a good relationship with the local community. Finally, it is important to remember that an established company that has been around for decades is much more likely to be around for the next few decades as well.
7. Social Media
Just like a website and business address a strong social media presence is a good indicator that a business is established and approachable. Just like a website however, with social media it is important to check out whether the company has a UK local number listed, not just a mobile, as well as a UK postal address, again we would advise googling this address to ensure it all marries up.
"a good indicator that a business is established and approachable"
Online reviews are a great way to gauge an understanding of how different consumers feel about a brand, as well as an insight into their real-life experiences. It is important also not only to consider the good reviews but also look at how the company deals with bad reviews, this is always a good indicator of a company’s efforts to ensure the happiness of all their customers past and present.
As briefly touched on in previous points, determining how well a company deals with enquires and responds to queries over the phone, email and social media is a great indicator of their willingness to help and dispels a lot of worries about whether or not you’ll get an answer to your question or not.
10. Technical knowledge
Over our 38 years in business, we have had some odd requests and some unconventional jobs that go far beyond the realms of your normal white square windows. (They’re secretly probably our favourite jobs) A lot of these jobs have been turned away by other less experienced window installers, but because of our technical knowledge and expertise, we have been able to complete them to the best standard imaginable. This technical knowledge trickles down into our ore day to day jobs and we are happy to answer any technical query and advise all our customers using our technical expertise to ensure they have the best service possible.
11. Quality products
Believe it or not, not all windows are the same, in fact, they are very different indeed. To the expert eye, the cheaper windows show their quality or lack of from the offset. But in the eyes of the consumer, they may seem no different to the better windows available. A few things that you as a consumer should be wary of however are, the glass rating, no good window installer should be fitting anything less than A-rated glass in their windows. The frames, we highly advise you avoid any frame with less than 6 chambers especially those with metal support, a good PVC window shouldn’t need metal support anymore all they do is cause a cold break, meaning that your brand new thermally efficient windows are letting the cold in and heat out.
"not all windows are the same
There are many factors to consider when choosing new windows, double glazing, and the right installers. We have highlighted above some of the most important factors to consider when making your decision. It may be a bit cliché but it’s important to remember that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, please consider all the factors above when comparing window quotes. You may think you’re saving money but as we’ve discussed bad quality, poorly fitted windows could sting you with nasty bills in the long term.
For more information about our windows and the different options available check out: https://www.this-home.net/windows