Double Glazing Replacement Windows – Finding an approved supplier in Ayrshire
Useful tips for the double glazing purchaser
There are several pit-falls to avoid when starting any home-improvement project and a reasonably-sized investment such as having double glazing fitted is no different. Obtain as much information as you can and look at other double glazing installations prior to starting so that you have a good idea of what you want before inviting quotations.
Some people will be determined to convince you that you absolutely must close the deal on the night otherwise you will lose the offer of a lifetime – I think not – you are the one in the driving seat – so remember, assuming that you have a pretty good idea of what you want, get two or three quotations and make sure you understand what they all contain – it is pointless doing this if you are trying to compare apples and oranges – stick to a quotation for the same number of windows and doors of the same or similar types and of the same energy rating level- my simple advice would be that if they don’t know what energy rating level they are – Don’t buy them – no matter how “cheap”.
Frankly, before inviting anyone in to quote for double glazing I would want to know that I am protected in my purchase and subsequent installation – so I would make sure that whoever comes to quote whether it be for the supply or double glazing installation is at least a member of FENSA. This way you know they have been vetted, the products meet certain standards and that you may even be protected by insurance on deposit payments etc
FENSA regulated installers are also allowed to self certify that the work complies with building regulations and they are also allowed to provide you with your completion certificate. If they are not members then you must notify your local authority and they will have to come and inspect to verify that the work complies with all the building regulations.
There is even now (although it is very recent) a Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme which was formed to protect home owners – it is early days yet so not that many have signed up – but it is worth asking – all protection is gratefully accepted.
Don’t assume that every sales person is there to rip you off – believe it or not there are a lot out there who take pride in what they do and who will try to do a good job – so at least listen to what they say about suitable designs and styles for your property – remember you want it to compliment and enhance the style of your home – your replacement windows do not want to stick out like a sore thumb.
Before getting your quotation I also want to avoid the constant calls later of “I have just spoken to my manager and he has offered” etc – I ask that they give me their best price and make it clear that once this is given there will be no further negation – I will offer the contract to whoever gives me the best deal with the best products.
Ask to see some of their installations locally and visit – you are in theory going to be living with this decision for a long time – so you want it right – first time.
Most quality companies with a good product will offer a guarantee – make sure you understand what it covers – not all guarantees are the same.
Make sure you know what the lead time is between you placing your order and the installation taking place and also how long your installation is expected to take. (Most frequently it takes between 2-4 working days).
Understand a little about the types of double glazing in Ayrshire
If you remember the early form of double glazing in the 60’s and 70’s and are assuming that things don’t change – then think again – technology has moved a long way since then. The double glazed window of today can have toughened safety glass, “super spacers” for greater heat and sound insulation, suffer from no condensation, have argon gas filled sealed units and even self-cleaning glass and comes complete with a regulated label of its efficiency performance.
The glazing should now come complete with a marked energy performance rate (rather like the energy tags now found on domestic white goods) where an “A” rate is the most energy efficient and a “G” rated (It runs from A to G) is the worst performer. It is advised that you only purchase a product rated between A – C.
There is no need to dramatically change the style of windows in your home if you do not wish to - the major double glazing manufacturers will have window styles that match “normal” window styles such as Casement windows (L/H and R/H hinged that traditionally open outwards), sash windows (usually open up and downwards one in from of the other), Bay windows (usually made up of an array of casement windows) and the new boy on the block with replacement windows – the tilt and turn windows which are often associated with double glazing
There are normally 4 possible types of frames that you will be offered
- UPVC / PVC-u window frames
- Timber / Hardwood window frames
- Aluminium window frames
- Composite window frames
Before making any decision regarding the type of frame that you would like, if you live in a listed property or in a conservation area ask at your local authority first – you may only be allowed to replace a window with a timber frame – so that will limit your options
All the above have their own merits – the timber frames are attractive and ideal if you need a bespoke system but they will require maintenance and can be more expensive than UPVC – softwood frames will cost less but may be subject to warping and splitting and normally be expected to have a much short life span than the others
Aluminium frames lost popularity when UPVC was introduced and as a result became more expensive and harder to find local suppliers – It is very strong and secure but did at one time have a tendency toward condensation
Composite frames like timber are useful for bespoke designs but can be expensive – most often made up from a timber core with an aluminium or UPVC warp around they are highly insulated and (with the timber on the inner core) are low maintenance
PVC-u – UPVC window frames are the most popular and as the least expensive have become considered to be the most cost effective. They are good insulators and are strong and durable – they had the disadvantage of being limited on colour (most often white) but can now be obtained n a wider choice of colours and Woodgrain effects – virtually maintenance free.
Search for an approved supplier in Ayrshire – We cover all the following areas:
Ardrossan, Auchinleck, Ayr, Cumnock, Darvel, Drongan, Dunlop, Dunure, Galston, Girvan, Irvine, Kilmarnock, Kilmaurs, Kilwinning, Largs, Mauchline, Maybole, Newmilns, Prestwick, Saltcoats, Stevenston, Stewarton, Troon and West Kilbride.