If you’re looking to buy new windows and doors, then here a few hints and tips to make sure you choose the best company to install your new home improvement products.

1.0       Recommendations

As with all building work, picking a company to install your windows and doors requires you placing your trust in a company you may never have used or even heard of before. That is why it is a good idea to use a company that has been recommended to you by word of mouth. It needs to be someone recommended by family, friends or neighbours. Check out their work. If they’re good and they believe in their reputation, they’ll be more than happy to point you in the direction of two or three examples of past projects and the details of past customers. The most important thing is to talk to the past customers – were there any problems? It sounds obvious but be cautious if you are looking online for companies, look for any positive/negative comments away from their company website. A business is never going to publish negative reviews on their own site.

2.0     Company History

With the window and door industry having a reputation for companies not sticking around longer than they guarantee their products for, it’s important to choose a company with a long and clean history. Guarantees in this industry usually range between 10-15 years, so a company older than that has honoured their guarantees from day one, providing they haven’t gone into liquidation or changed their company name within that time. If they have, you have to ask yourself why.

3.0     You Get What You Pay For

The general rule is that the more you pay the better standard of product and installation you get. There are of course exceptions to this and you should always haggle. However, if you buy a cheap product, the quality of product and standard of fitting is going to suffer severely. For example there is a huge difference between a £500 door and a £1000 door.

4.0     Visit Suppliers Showrooms

It’s always a good idea to see what you are potentially buying in the flesh. This way you can be absolutely sure of the quality of the product before you sign any contract. It gives you chance to alter any details to the specification of the installation before ordering goes ahead. Do not assume anything confirm every aspect of detail and specification. It also allows you the chance to get a feel for the company you may be about to deal with. It’s a test of their customer service and attention to detail.

5.0     Beware Of ‘Sales’ & ‘Discounts’

A discount is money added on to the price or worked into the sales representative’s price book, which can then be removed to make it look like they have given you a discount. It was never a discount. Sales also work in the same way. Make sure you ask for the best price possible in the first place, and do not be afraid to haggle.

6.0     Beware the Hard Sell

There are some companies that will give you a highly inflated price in the home, and then suddenly reduce it by thousands to try and encourage you to sign on the dotted line that evening. It is worth bearing in mind that if a price can come down by thousands that night, it will still be able to next week or next month. It is a hard-sell tactic to try and force you into a decision when you may not be entirely comfortable deciding that same night. Use a company which does not use hard-sell techniques, one that asks you what you want and listens to your needs. Use a company that does not hound you asking for your business.

7.0     Get Everything In Writing

Do not agree to a quotation given verbally or written on a piece of scrap paper. Make sure you get a formal quote in writing that gives you a room by room exact specification of window, the price, details the deposit amount and payment terms etc. There are a lot of details to be considered when replacing your windows and doors, so you need everything clearly down on a contract to avoid confusion or misunderstandings.

8.0     After Sales Service

Not every installation will go smoothly. It is therefore important that the company you deal with has a good after-sales service to make sure any mistakes or faults are put right as quickly as possible. Ask the company about the after sales service they provide and ask them to confirm any promises to you in writing. Also ask someone who has dealt with that company.

9.0     Fitters and Installation

It is always good to deal with a company that uses installers which have experience with their products, it is even better if the installation is carried out by the suppliers own fitters. Ask if they are qualified joiners and if they only work for that company. Ask about the installation process, how they keep the house clean and how they tidy up after themselves. There is nothing worse than being left with a mess to clean when workmen have gone.

10.0   FENSA/Certass.

These are two self-regulation bodies that all window and door companies must be associated with. These organizations make sure that installation companies install your new windows and doors to the correct quality standards and building regulations. It is up to the homeowner to make sure that any home improvement works done are carried out to the right standard. So choose a FENSA or Certass registered installer.


Jonathan Braddick - RIBA Chartered Architect Devon



with thanks to glazing blogger www.doubleglazingblogger,com