Use a trusted and established company
It can be the case that plenty of double glazing companies will be recommended to you by friends or family whose opinion you value. This will give you a head start in your search for the right double glazing supplier as you can visit their home and see proof of the finished results.
You’ll be seeing the standard and quality of their work up close, so you’ll have the time to check if anything looks unfinished or not quite right. Do they offer a ‘snagging’ service where they can make good any smaller imperfections they may have missed the first time around?
But even if you like the sound of your recommendation, you shouldn’t make an impulse decision to go with them straight away. Be sure to fully research any company you think will be able to do the work you need, whether they’re recommended to you or not. There are several ways to do this and things to look out for.
Make sure the company is good enough to start and complete your double glazing project in one go and that you’re relaxed with having the installation team in your home. Look into how long they’ve been running, how good their reputation is, what their credentials are, and what their professional standards are like.
But dig deeper still and check their online reviews from places like Google My Business, TrustPilot, Facebook or Fairtrade. Often you’ll see a mix of reviews, but by reading them and how the supplier responds, will give you a good feel for what they’re like and how they operate as a company.
After you’ve done your research and made the initial decision to have a fully-fitted double glazing installation for your home, buying from an established, respected, and trusted supplier should be your main priority.
If you manage to find several companies that you like the look and sound of, if they have a showroom near you, make sure you take the time to visit them. This will give you an ideal opportunity to meet and talk at length to an expert adviser who can go through the options, discuss any pros and cons involved, give advice on your choices of style and colour, and answer any questions you might have.
But more than that, they’ll be able to show you glass and frame samples so you can get a feel of what colours, styles, and finishes really look and feel like in reality, rather than just looking on a screen. Potentially, you may also be able to see their manufacturing process if they build the double glazing units on site.
All these factors will help you make a properly informed decision in choosing the right supplier for you and your home.
Good customer service
A respected company will always be able to give you good, personal customer service through the entire process – from your initial enquiry to your installation and beyond with any aftercare, so check how your chosen company matches up.
Early on in the process, or even during your showroom visit, you shouldn’t feel pressured to make any quick decisions about anything, most of all the cost. If you feel like you’re being hounded into making a decision too quickly or you’re feeling intimidated into signing an agreement there and then, that should be a red flag.
But once you’re happy and the process begins, you should be given the details of your dedicated project manager who will make sure your project is running on time and smoothly. They should also keep you updated on every aspect of the installation, highlighting working schedules and timescales as well as fielding any questions you have.
They’ll also give you reassurances about their installation aftercare service. We’ve mentioned a ‘snagging’ service which involves the installers returning to your home to make good any potential minor issues. But good aftercare will ensure a 100% satisfaction rate on your double glazing.
Ask about the window’s energy rating
Double glazing works to reduce the amount of heat lost through your windows to make it more energy-efficient. To be effective, every double glazed window has a Window Energy Rating (WER) verified by the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC).
The rating system runs between A and G with A being the most efficient. But both plus (+) and minus (-) ratings can also be awarded to each letter, moving them incrementally up and down the scale. While an A++ rating is the highest achievable rating, you should choose the highest rated windows your budget will allow.
With any A+ window, you and your home will benefit from energy-efficient glass, argon gas between the double glazing panes on every unit, and a thermally-efficient, warm edge spacer separating the glass panes. Combined, you’ll generate and consume less energy throughout your home, spend less on your bills, and become more environmentally-friendly. Are you able to get the maximum window efficiency from your supplier?
Are there finance options?
Having a double glazed window installation can be a major financial investment, so finding out whether your chosen company offers finance could be a big help. Alongside many who accept debit card payments, there may be different finance packages or flexible payment options available which could help you spread the cost over a longer period rather than paying upfront or all in one go.
If any finance packages are available, it will mean that credit is involved which will come with certain criteria that need to be fulfilled before you can take advantage of it. There may also be a deposit payment required up front, followed by monthly installments over an agreed period of time, usually around 5 years. Much of this will depend on the company you use.
If a finance package option suits you, make sure the company is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This will ensure that everything is above board and also means you’re protected if anything goes wrong.
A double glazing guarantee
Professional double glazing companies should always be upfront about the guarantee on the products they manufacture and/or supply. The length of guarantee might differ from depending on the company, but a decent guarantee should reach at least 10 years on parts and labour for your double glazed windows and doors.
Though both uPVC and aluminium double glazing have a long life, it’s possible issues can occur so look out for other guarantees on different parts of the product, such as a guarantee on all gas-filled window units.
Having a long guarantee means that if something does happen and you need a repair or even a replacement window, you’re covered and the company will supply and fit your replacements without further cost to you. Also, remember to find out if anything is excluded from any guarantees on offer – you might not be covered for all damage, accidental or otherwise.
Who will be installing your double glazing?
Some double glazing companies often outsource their double glazing installations to a third party company or subcontractor. While this might fit their business model, it’s not an ideal situation for you. Companies might also do this without telling you first, so an unknown team may turn up from a company you’ve never heard of.
So while you’ve completed due diligence on your chosen company, it counts for nothing if they then subcontract to an unknown team. Apart from anything else, they won’t know anything about the background decisions on your window choices or any special requirements you’ve requested.
Trusted double glazing companies will provide an experienced and qualified team of their own professional installers to carry out all your installation work. This ensures you’re still only dealing with one company and their installers will deliver a quality and guaranteed job. Choosing a company like this will make the process much smoother.