Double Glazing Report – Consumers Checklist
The following is a short guide to some of the many points
you need to consider when selecting a supplier of double glazed replacement
Be aware – it does not cover everything but it is none the less
a good starting point for your search. This will help you find the perfect windows for your home. If you're just finishing the last touches to your new house before getting the home insurance and everything else sorted, this will come as something of a relief.
Double Glazing Supplier - Details
- Are they FENSA registered? If you live in England or Wales
and your supplier is not FENSA registered then you will need to have
a certificate from the local building control office saying that the
installation has approval under the Building Regulations.
- Has the supplier supplied testimonials or references of other work that
they have carried out locally?
Are they members of a trade association – such as the Glass and
Glazing Federation (GGF) or Federation of Master Builders (FMB)
- What is your cancellation options should you change your mind?
What Guarantee is offered? What does it cover and for how long? Frames,
Glass and Installation guarantee periods can vary. Ideally you should
be looking for a minimum of 10 years on Frames, Glass and Installation.
Is it “insurance backed” in the event of
How much deposit is required? Unless it is a very specialised order with
some special made to measure details do not expect to pay more than 10%
deposit. Is the deposit payment “covered” by additional insurance
should your supplier go out of business before the installation is completed?
Are there any finance options available at competitive rates? Interest
Free? Are you able to pay your deposit by credit card? If you buy goods
over £100 and less than £30,000 in value (even if you have
just paid a deposit via credit card), your Credit Card issuer becomes
jointly responsible for the goods you buy. So if your goods arrive damaged
or faulty, or the company goes bust the Credit card Company will assist
- More on Finance: Many suppliers offer credit facilities. If you are
considering this, insist on being told how many instalments you will have to
and what the total amount repayable is - including the credit charges.
Remember that credit charges can vary. Compare quotations from other
sources. A bank loan or borrowing from another finance company might
- What insurances does your supplier carry? Public liability insurance?
Window and Door - Details
PVC- U (upvc, pvc, pvcu, plastic)
- What thickness (depth) do the frames have (Most are 65 – 70
mm deep. We recommend a minimum of 62 mm)
- Are the frames reinforced with Galvanised Steel or Aluminium? Is the
entire framework reinforced or just part of it? In the case of doors
we recommend the whole frame be reinforced.
- Are the frames internally beaded for security? If they are externally
beaded (which some people prefer the look of) are the beads secured in
place with some additional security tape such as double sided tape?
Are the frames fully welded? The other option is “mechanically
fixed” – however we would avoid that were possible – the
only exception being “wood grain” style pvcu windows when
sometimes it looks better to mechanically joint transoms and mullions
rather than to weld them.
- What type of glass is used? Is it a Low E Glass?
For more background information on PVC-U, Hardwood and Aluminium Windows
please see: http://www.windowstoday.co.uk/products_pvcu.htm
- Are the frames “thermally broken”?
Wooden Frames (Hardwood Windows and Doors)
- What colour will the hardwood be stained or painted? Will
your supplier do a final painting on site or will you be expected to
- Are the joints - Mortice and tenon?
- What type of draft proofing is supplied?
How are the window frames “drained” – should any
water get in behind the double glazed unit in the framework?
Safety Glass (Toughened / laminated)? Pattern Glass? Low E Glass? Leaded
Windows? Georgian Windows? Stained Glass? U Values?
Some General questions
- How many openings do you have in your windows? The more
openers, the more expensive.
- How much extra for leaded lights? Georgian windows?
Are there any “upgrades” for locking / security available?
- What is the delivery period?
- Make it clear that you want a firm quotation rather than an estimate.
- Payment terms - when and how you should pay? (Credit Card)
- What exactly is covered by the quotation and what are the extras?
- Is making good included?
Read before Signing. Don’t sign anything unless
you have read it in full and understand it. If you are unsure about
anything, ask your
supplier to leave the contract with you for a few days. If necessary
get professional advice or visit your local Citizens Advice office.
Building Regulations and Replacement windows - http://www.double-glazing-report.com/building_regulations.htm
Image Credits: Nuglas, Dial