/ Home & Energy, Shopping

Do you know what to look out for when buying double glazing?

double glazing

Planning a window upgrade in a bid to boost the energy efficiency and warmth of your home?

Double glazing isn’t cheap. In fact, if you were to replace all the double glazed windows in your house, it could cost as much as £6,000 or more. So you’ll want to make sure you’re making the right choice.

Double glazing decisions

We recently surveyed 2,239 Which? members and double glazing customers about their experiences with the company they used in the past five years.

Their ratings of well-known companies Anglian, Everest and Safestyle, and independents, showed a 30% difference between the best and worst double glazing companies.

But we also discovered that more than a third of members only got one quote for their double glazing. This could be because they had used the company before, or because it was recommended to them by a friend.

Either way, I was quite surprised – the more quotes you get, the better chance you have of choosing the right company and getting the best price.

We’ve also heard of instances of double glazing companies quoting a high price, and then dropping it dramatically over the period of the sales visit. Don’t let this sway you to sign on the spot – take your time to compare quotes.

It’s also worth taking a look at our double glazing prices page before getting quotes to find out how much different types of double glazing is likely to cost – the more information you are armed with, the less likely you’ll overpay.

Beware of the contract

Once you’ve chosen a firm, it’s important to know what to look for when it comes to signing the contact and your rights when buying double glazing in general.

If you buy standard-sized double glazing from a door-to-door trader, over the phone or online, they are legally obliged to provide you with certain information in writing, such as a description of the goods/services, the total price (inclusive of any additional charges known at the start), when the goods/services will be provided and your rights to cancel within 14 days, all of which they must adhere to.

However, in some circumstances, the company isn’t bound to provide as much detail, and you won’t have the same right to cancel. This applies when you’re getting made-to-measure double glazing, or enter into an ‘on-premises contract’.

This includes a situation where a trader has discussed the contract at your home, but you agree to enter into it at a later date, which applies to a lot of home improvement projects. What they do provide in writing is still legally binding, so ask for as much as possible. Some traders will also still offer a right to cancel, so check the contract.

What have your experiences with a double glazing company been like? Have you ever had a bad one?

Comments
Member

We’ve used DG companies three times. It’s always great fun, because without exception the first price quoted is so silly it almost defies belief. Then watching the rigmarole, the ‘phoning the boss, the ‘last possibility’ offer and so on provides a great afternoon’s entertainment. We will always have got at least four quotes, then prepared a mental cost of what we think the jobs should cost. And we’ve never failed to achieve what we wanted. But we have the time and energy to do it.

Member

They’re not the only people who use the technique. Buying a new gas boiler was similarly entertaining, with the local chap’s price being the basis for all the negotiations. But some folk find it hard to believe we got the best price from British Gas. Not initially – BG’s price was more than twice that of the independent’s – but through our use of the same tactics as theirs (delaying, obfuscation, needing to consult the other half and so on) BG not only came down to the best offer but threw in some other goodies as well. The same thing happened when we had air conditioning installed.

This is very sad, because some people do undoubtedly sign on the dotted line at the first offer. What is really happening, in fact, is that the salespeople for these companies are actually operating a form of scamming. And perhaps it’s time for Which? to look at the fact that not all scams are instituted by furtively dressed ne’re do wells lurking in dark corners of Vladivostok cafes. Whenever you buy a high priced home improvement it’s a battle, fraught with deception and emotional lies.

Member

Ian does not say who he went with but my premise is that I do not do business with companies who use this sort of sales tactic. And as for British Gas with a back-catalogue of naughty stories.

This was first off the heap and look at the comments particularly.
oldrightie.com/2011/10/british-gas-techniques.html

It strikes me that if the first price you offered was legally the only offer you could make then this tactic would be redundant. A dated timed offer being sent via smartphone to smartphone or emailed to the customer then and then, or to a third party with the electronic facilities would be proof positive. Any subsequent lower offer in the next week deemed to be a contravention and a substantial penalty becomes due to the householder.

A few high-profile cases on TV and everyone would be aware of the opportunity to fight and profit from these tactics.

Member

We had a visit from that company who’s sale pitch at the time was ‘you buy one you get one free’, I guess everyone knows who I am referring to. Anyway after the rep had done his pitch he came up with a quote of £11000, after getting back up off the floor he could see I was not impressed, so then came all the usual tactics of ring the head office in front of you bla, bla,bla. Needless to say he never got the business or would never have my business with those scam tactics. Eventually I had new ‘A’ rated glass and pvc windows and doors all round for half the price he quoted. Moral never ever sign at the first quote if the company cannot come up with a decent honest quote move on and keep moving on until you secure what you had budgeted for.

Member
Mike Hindson-Evans says:
21 October 2016

Nearly twelve years after buying our house, and over ten years after selecting Safestyle to install (in effect) a complete set of windows and doors in a five-bedroom house, we continue to be very pleased with our choice. Over the years, four panes “blew” and were replaced, without quibble, under the ten-year warranty. All bar one of the “blown” panes were in bathrooms.

Maybe we were lucky (which is why the WHICH? survey aggregates so many other views) but I just wanted to record a counterpoint to the overall review.

Mike

Member

I had Safestyle install my French doors. Now two sets of doors later replaced under warranty as they never ever closed properly now the screw heads are breaking and popping out of the hinges the screws are half the size of the hole that the hinges allow for, and the doors are now impossible to close. Yes cannot close them as they have dropped so much. I am going to go elsewhere to get new doors. You get what you pay for. But the front door installed by them is still going strong.

Member

theecoexperts.co.uk/double-glazing-costs

has interesting information and seems to be up-to-date

Member
Helen Smith says:
23 October 2016

I have had 3 double glazing companies come to give a quote. From the outset they were advised that I was not buying that night but wanted a quote in writting. I was advised that whatever price I was quoted would be fixed for 12 or 15 months. Despite this the sales persons manager on all 3 different occassions tried to get me to buy that night, I had phone calss for several weeks from one of the companies offerring me more and more discount. I repeatly asked for my written quote but have yet to receive a written quote from any of the companies .

I did receive a written quote from CR Smith and because of this and the salesman who accepted that I was not going to buy on that night,i purchased my windows from them. Their total quote was higher than the other 3’s “if I place the order tonight” quotes but I had no pressure to buy on the night.