Double glazing ranks among the finest investments you can make in your home. Some readers will still have single-glazed windows, although that becomes increasingly uncommon. For many, thinking about new windows and potentially doors too is a replacement job. You might want to adjust your home’s appearance, or your existing windows might be getting up there in age. If you experience draughts, leaks when it rains or condensation on the glass, it might be time to consider a replacement. Our tips cover every choice you’ll need to make, from which windows to go for to who to get to install them.
1. Decide Whether You Really Need New Windows
New windows of sufficient quality are rarely cheap, and the chances are that if you replace one, you’ll replace them all. The first question you need to ask yourself concerns whether or not you really need new windows at all.
If you’re noticing signs of fatigue in the existing windows, such as the draughts and condensation mentioned in the introduction, it may be possible to repair your existing windows or just replace individual parts. One way in which leaks can rear their heads is when the sealant on the window fails. If the frame still seems to be in good condition, you can address this simply by replacing the glass panel. This isn’t necessarily cheap either, but it is much more cost-effective than wholesale replacement.
2. Make Time to Research Styles
The days of ‘you can have it in any colour you like, as long as it’s white’ are long gone. If you haven’t been window shopping in a while, you might be surprised by the sheer number of colour and material combinations available. There are plenty of resources online, although you cannot beat visiting a showroom for this to see how different finishes look in the real world. In going to showrooms, you can also pick up brochures and leaflets covering even more designs.
3. Think About Your Environmental Impact
There are more benefits to new windows than just addressing issues and prettying the place up. They are also a key component of energy efficiency. In the short-term, this can mean lower heating bills. In the future, it can mean a higher sale price if you move, as energy ratings have to be included in property details in many countries.
4. Investigate New Technologies
You might think that glass cannot really change much as technology advances. However, in a world where people love to find ingenious ways to make things easier, there are more options out there than you might think. While extra features add to the cost, you may consider looking into acoustic glass, self-cleaning panels and many more options.
5. Get Expert Advice on Damp and Condensation
New window installations are not without their potential pitfalls. You can even find yourself increasing the amount of damp in your home in the early days. Modern windows are so efficient that they can keep moisture in just as well as heat. One option is to install initial ventilation, but this can exacerbate noise and draught issues. The best solution differs on a home by home basis, so be sure to ask the experts.
6. Get at Least Three Quotes
Legend has it that you’re never more than 100 metres away from a double glazing salesman. Jokes aside, there are plenty of companies vying for your business, and their eyes light up whenever they hear of someone actively seeking a replacement. Never buy on the spot and give yourself time to do your research into the company and its background, and use your other quotes to provide leverage in negotiations.
7. Look Into Any Company You Consider
The window installations industry doesn’t have the greatest reputation overall, and some of it is deserved. You should take the time to learn about what you’re dealing with before you commit to anything, and that includes background checks on any company you plan to work with.
Obviously, you should take recommendations and testimonials posted on the company’s own website with a pinch of salt, as the company itself ultimately retains editorial control. The same goes for their brochures and other marketing materials. From there, check independent review sites in your area to get a feel for what you’re getting into. If you can see examples of their work in real homes, that’s even better.
8. Only Use Certified Installers
The process of replacing windows is not as complicated as some salesmen would make it seem. However, there is a difference between a firm that can install windows and one that is accredited to do so. Specific accreditations vary depending on where you’re based, but you should look for big-name backing to ensure that all work complies with local building regulations.
9. Get Your Guarantee in Writing
In many countries, window installation companies need to provide a warranty. In some of these countries, that warranty is backed by insurance. That means that even if the company disappears, you’re insured, and someone will address any faults that develop. With windows and doors being so integral to your home, this provides great peace of mind. It also goes without saying that you should know in advance what is covered by your guarantee and for how long so that there are no nasty surprises later down the line.
10. Be Smart with Your Money
Those that put time and effort into researching the best double glazing provider for their needs are primarily driven by money. You don’t want to pay too much, and you don’t want to end up in a situation where you lose money. If a company is more expensive but backs deposits and other payments with independent insurance, they may be the correct option. You should trust your instincts too – if something doesn’t feel right, give yourself time to think about it before you risk anything.