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A COMPLETE GUIDE TO DOUBLE GLAZING
Double Glazing in General
Member Name: leenewham
Double Glazing in General
Date: 29/07/04, updated on 30/07/04 (157097 review reads)
Advantages: warmer, quieter
Disadvantages: poor investement, bad companies, expensive
So you want double-glazing? Are you confused by the choice? Well though my experiences and mistakes I hope I can help you to make the correct choice of window and company.
DONT SUFFER LIKE I HAVE!
PRINT THIS GUIDE OFF FOR YOUR REFERENCE!
Firstly, before getting the lovely salesmen around what do you need to know?
Here is a checklist.
1. Do you have original sash windows?
? Yes (go to 2)
? No (go to 3)
2. If you have original sash windows, replacing them with double-glazing can knock thousands of pounds from the value of your property. Also check to see if you are in a conservation area. If so you will have to get permission from the council to change your windows. The council can make you change your windows back if you replace them with windows not faithful to the original ones (and by that I don?t mean casement windows that replicate sash windows, these DO NOT look like the originals and will detract from the value and look of your property). You can get your sash windows draft sealed and modified which will cost less than getting new windows. They can install double glazing units in these windows or a thicker laminated glass. Combined with the thicker glass and the draft proofing this should make your windows cut out between 30-40db of noise compared with 34db for double-glazing. Wood has better heat retention properties and better noise reduction properties than PVC; it is better for the environment also. Most Double Glazing companies guarantee their windows for life (this is actually only 30 years!!!!). Most properties have probably had their windows in for a lot longer than that already. I advise you strongly to think again before replacing these windows. They will last for a long time to come properly maintained. Wood years ago was treated differently to the wood we get now due to the way it was dried and the paint that was used (with lead in it). Would only change these windows fo
r something similar (i.e. they MUST be replaced with sash windows) if your old windows are rotten beyond repair, you have concerns over security and there is no way of getting to the windows to clean them. It is not cost effective to replace these windows to cut fuel bills. You will never get your money back. It is better sound and heat insulation to get the windows refurbished by a company such as the original box sash company or the sash window workshop. OR you could get secondary double-glazing. Replacement sash windows are expensive; Rrp is about £1500 for an average sash window in PVC. RRP on a replacement wooden sash window is about £1800. To get the same window renovated with sealing, new sash cords and special glass costs about £800. It?s your choice!
3. Why are you replacing your windows?
? They are beyond repair (got to 4).
? You want something you don?t have to maintain (go to 5).
? You don?t like the style of the current windows (go to 6).
? Its noisy and my windows are drafty (got to 7)
? I want to cut my heating bills (got to 8).
4. Your wooden windows or metal windows have seen better days, the casements are broken and glass is cracked. The wood is rotten. IN this case then I would get replacement windows.
? Got section titled ?replacement windows?
5. You want to have windows you don?t want to maintain. If this is the only reason for changing your windows I would think again. Replacement windows are expensive. If it?s just one or two windows and it?s difficult getting to paint them then it?s probably worth it.
? Got section titled ?replacement windows?
6. You don?t like the style of the current windows. Hopefully this means that your windows have already been replaced and you want to go back to a window more in keeping with the ones originally designed to go in your house. If you are in conservation are you might be entitled for a grant to put original style windows in your home.
with the council. If you are changing your windows from original ones to make your houses stand out from the others in the street, or adding leaded windows to a modern house thinking it might make it look ?olde worlde? think again. You are wiping thousands off the price of your home and making it look tacky. Your home WILL be more difficult to sell. You probably also go by the name Hyacinth Bouquet. Please think again!
? Got section titled ?replacement windows?
7. It?s noisy and drafty. I need new windows! In this case (unless you have sash windows in which case there is a better alternative, see no 1)). As stated before, wood is still warmer and better sound insulation than PVC. But its more expensive and you have to paint them every few years. Another alternative is secondary glazing. This is actually better than normal double-glazing but has certain drawbacks. One being that you now have 4 surfaces of glass to clean, and you have to open a window to get to the other window. They can be unsightly in some circumstances, but it is a cheaper way (and more efficient of insulating your home.
? Got section titled ?replacement windows?
8. I want to cut my heating bills. Unless you only have iron bars in your windows, live in a cave or even worse.have 1930?s metal rusted windows its not really cost effective to replace windows to cut the costs of your heating bills. You just wont get your money back?ever. It would be better to buy some draft excluders for your current windows and add insulation to your loft or walls. To replace single glazing for double isn?t cost effective. And that came from the guy I had around to see me windows from Everest!
? Stop now. Don?t replace your windows!
There are so many choices to choose from. There are many many firms. Some local. Some national. There are many different types of windows. I would recommend that you choose a national firm with a good reputation
and a goo
d credit history. Your windows are supposed to last a long time. Unless you are getting your windows refurbished or need a joiner or windows specially made then I would choose any of the following companies:
Everest (in my estimation the best in the field)
Anglican (probably the second best company)
Coldseal (established in 1979 but pushy sales men)
BAC (good features on the windows)
For sash windows there are a lot of companies who specialize in renovations or replacing windows. I don?t have much experience here. IF you go to the following link you can see websites for all the above companies and many more.
As for the actual windows themselves there are many choices. One important factor to bear in mind is that with PVC windows there is a very wide border around the frames. If you have wood casement windows and replace them with PVC expect to loose around 10-20% of actual glass window area. You rooms will be darker with PVC!
The actual windows you get from each company are very similar. Some have sealed glazed units; some have units that have silicone in to stop damp and condensation. They ALL use the same glass (Pilkington K), they all use the same method of making the windows, they are all very similar in design. In the end it?s down to price and installation. Making PVC windows is very cheap. Don?t be fooled by the salesmen (more on them later).
DOUBLE GLAZING SALESMEN
OK. Here?s the crunch. Done be fooled. I got various quotes for my windows from EVEREST, BAC, ANGLICAN, ZENITH and COLDSEAL.
They all use the same hard sell technique, although it?s softer with Anglican and Everest.
Firstly, if you start to be asked questions like ?do you live near a phone box; a school etc for a ?show home promotion? don?t be fooled. It?s a con. I got that with ZENITH. I was supposed to get money off and the possibil
ity of a refund
if I appear in their magazine. For the reduction all I had to do was agree to have my windows photographed and have a sign erected outside my flat. IF this was the case then why were my windows never photographed and no sign erected (I wasn?t even asked)? The reduction for the show home was no different to what the other companies were offering anyway!
Another thing they do is try to get you to sign a form then and there with the ?instant buy promotion?. They try to fool you into thinking, even though this person has driven to your home and wasted 2 hours of our time, that if you don?t buy the windows RIGHT NOW you wont be entitled to a huge discount (of about 50%). Again this is rubbish. Don?t be pressured into buying then. Tell them so. They want your business.
If you start to get the hard sell from the double-glazing salesmen, stop them and say, look, I know how it works. Just give me my quote. I don?t want this hard sell, if you cant work out my quote and measure up in 30 minutes then you are really wasting your time. I have 3 other companies to see before I make my choice. I?m not going to make a decision tonight even if you offer me the windows at 90% discount. I will make it in my own time. I know that if I call you in 5 days that I can get the same price from you then as I can now? and don?t tell me that?s not true. And if I cant get that price I will just go to another company. It?s difficult to say to these salesmen but that?s what you have to do. Be hard on them. They deserve it!
I got this hard sell from BAC. IF I didn?t buy the windows then I wouldn?t get the 50% discount. This made all my windows £8,000 in total. HE called back one week later and offered them to me for £7500! A week after that I was offered them for £5500 by the same guy. The longer you wait the cheaper they get, especially if you look to buy before the end of the tax year (which is also when the idea home show is on). This is one way of
getting a bigger re
duction than you think is possible.
COLDSEAL quoted for windows I couldn?t fit to my flat because they didn?t have the correct style. Even after saying that I couldn?t have these windows the price kept getting cheaper. Eventually I was offered the windows for £5000 from the seller?s boss on the phone. I said I had some more companies to see and he actually got so abusive on the phone that I asked the salesman to leave. I advise you to give COLDSEAL the cold shoulder.
EVEREST was friendly, had much less hard sell and the price of the windows after negotiation fell from £18,000 down to £7500 for windows much better than the other companies could offer with a special coating to the glass that dirt wouldn?t stick to so they never need cleaning. Eventually this cost came down to £5500.
ANGLICAN were as good a quality window as Everest but was actually more expensive at £8000. The salesman wasn?t very pushy which was nice and I had decided by then to renovate most of my windows and only replace 2 newer windows. So I got ZENITH WINDOWS around to quote.
ZENITH WINDOWS (Bowater windows)
The saleswoman and co-worker were friendly, non pushy and the windows worked out to be exactly the same price as Everest, Coldseal and BAC for the two I needed to replace. The windows were of a similar quality and had a special coating that stopped dirt sticking to the glass (this does seem to work!!!). SO rather than get all the companies requote for just two windows I went with ZENITH.
This was a mistake.
Steer clear of Zenith Windows. I had 2 windows replaced. One windows they measured up incorrectly so I had to take another half day off work because of their mistake when they came back to fit it. They filled in around the first window with sealant rather than plaster which they had to come back and rectify at a later date (another half day off work). When they fitted the other window they smashed 12 tiles
taking the old one out. T
hey didn?t fit a window board. They made the wooden facia surrounding the window uneven which looked awful and when I complained they made the gap on the other side smaller to match them which meant that the edge of the tiles showed. To fill the gap he used silicone sealant which he spread up to 3 inches thick in places. You cannot paint over this and it went all over the tiles, the wooden surround, the sink. The toilet, the cabinet on the wall and the toilet seat, that they managed to break and leave a fag burn on. The also managed to forget to put a drain hole in the window. So I had to get a half day off for the inspector to come around to inspect the handy work. They left mess everywhere and lots of mucky hand prints on the wall and cement on the bathroom floor from where they filled in around the window (this cement stood proud of the wall so I couldn?t tile over it and it dripped down onto the floor and the toilet!) I?m still waiting for the latest disaster to be fixed.
I advise you at all costs. DO NOT USE ZENITH WINDOWS (also known as Bowater Windows).
? Make sure you know why you are replacing your windows?is it for the right reason?
? Replace windows with something in keeping with your house otherwise its wasted money and could wipe thousands off the price of your house.
? Replacing newer ugly windows with original sash windows can improve the value of your home, and you could get a grant to help pay for them!
? Don?t be bullied into buying windows by pushy sales people. The windows will be the same price in 5 days as they are then.
? Don?t sit through hours of sales talk. Tell them you just want a quote.
? Consider refurbishing older windows instead of replacing them. It?s much more cost effective.
? Bargain with the salespeople. You can get all sort s of freebies thrown in such as a coating on the glass that dirt doesn?t stick to. Th
is is well worth it.
? See a number of companies to get the best price. Play them off one another. Be firm with them.
? Don?t fall for a show homes promotion. It?s a con. Most companies offer similar incentives or discounts. You wont get your money back!!
? Check with the counci labout the t ypes of windows you are allowed to fit (especially in conservation areas)
? If your flat is leasehold get permission from the freeholder. Some may charge you for this!
? Nominate this for a crown.
? Write a nice review or grade this review. Hopefully I?ve helped you...now scratch my back!
Thanks for reading. Good luck!
Replacement sash window double glazing has a sepcial tilt system that allows you to clean them from the insid which is really easy. You can get the original windows converted to do this but its not cheap. But you can get them coated with a substance that dirt doesnt stick to which means you only have t wash your windows twice a year. Its a silicone based product that you can buy from halfords (they use it on car windscreens.) Regading condensation, if your room is properly ventilated you shouldnt get condensation unless you have excessive oisture in your house/flat. I rarely get condensation. You will get condensation on if your room is wet (kitchen or bathroom) no matter if you are single glazed or double glazed. Hope that helps!