Buying Double Glazing? How to safeguard your investment
Mark Cooper, Managing Director of homeimprovementquotes.co.uk, provides a check list for home-owners to follow to help safeguard them when selecting a double glazing company.
We all need double glazing to insulate our houses and rooms, but the double glazing industry has, over the years, developed a reputation for being unreliable, and financially unstable. With double glazing costs ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of pounds, it is vital that the company you choose to install your windows is one that you can trust not only to do the work well, but to honour any guarantees that are provided.
The recent case of the Liverpool-based glazing company – St Helens Glass – going into liquidation, highlights just how careful you need to be. Many customers lost their guarantees from the firm and some had even paid for work that was never completed. Therefore it is important that you fully research your options before signing on the dotted line.
Word of mouth – listen to other people’s recommendations
One of the best ways to find a reputable company is by word of mouth. Friends and family are always the first people you should ask as they have had first-hand experience of what it is like to use a particular company, what the standard of the finished product is – and will tell you the truth. It is also wise to look into at least three different companies before making your final decision. homeimprovementquotes.co.uk always give three quotes to provide home owners with a far more informed choice.
If you want to know how reputable a company is, what better way than to see some of its previous projects? If work has been completed well and to a high standard, then the company will have no problem taking you to see some of its previous projects. This is also an ideal opportunity to speak to the people that had the work done. People are always happy to recommend a good workman and/or company, and careful questioning will reveal any difficulties that arose. The company may also have a portfolio of written customer testimonials that you can look over – but it’s always good to talk to them too.
Check that company!
Investing in your home is something that should not be taken lightly. Although there is never a 100 per cent guarantee that the company you have selected will be a safe one, you can always run a simple company check.
Companies House – companieshouse.gov.uk – is the foundation of company information exchange in the UK and offers a free search facility on limited companies whereby you can carry out a search on a company by using either its name or its unique company registration number to see when it was registered as an official business. This enables you to see if it really has the level of experience that it claims to have and, if it is a newly registered company, where it has come from!
Does it meet industry standards? Check!
If a company has been accredited by an industry body then it is likely that it meets various standards. One of the key home improvement bodies is the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) which is a trade association for those companies that make, supply and fit flat glass, double glazing and conservatories.
Another important accreditation to check for when having windows fitted is that they comply with FENSA regulations. FENSA Limited is a Self-Assessment Scheme set up by the GGF for companies that install windows and doors in homes. FENSA ensures that your windows meet specific regulations – for example that they have heat-reflective glass which ensures that your windows draw heat and sunlight in whilst keeping the heat in the house.
If your windows have a FENSA certificate you can be sure your windows meet regulatory requirements – an added value when it comes to selling your home. If you do not have a certificate, you can call out a buildings inspector from your local council to make sure your windows meet current building regulations – this process does not cost very much and could be the difference between selling and not selling your home.
Why it’s safer by credit card or through finance .
When you have finally selected your double gazing company, you must seriously consider handing over a very large deposit. Be very cautious if a company has requested full payment before any work has been completed and bear in mind you’re about to make a major investment – you need to be sure that you trust the person you’re about to give a large sum of money to.
If a company that you have decided to use goes out of business and was recommended to you by homeimprovementquotes.co.uk then it will cover your deposit (terms and conditions apply – click here ) that has already been paid and will find you another reputable company to complete the work.
Paying on finance or credit card for home improvements can give you added cover if work is not completed or becomes faulty and the company ceases trading. Check the terms and conditions of the double glazing company as well as the finance company for what is provided.
This is because if the glazing company should go out of business, like St Helens Glass, and you are still paying for the work, then the credit card or finance company could be liable to either foot the bill or pay for any repair work needed.
What’s in a guarantee?
Always read a guarantee thoroughly. Although most companies provide a standard ten year cover, a normal guarantee doesn’t protect a customer if the company goes out of business. However, by selecting a glazing company that has an insurance backed guarantee it will give you peace of mind should something go wrong. It also provides you with strong evidence that this company knows what it is doing and has enough experience in the industry to safeguard its customers.
You get what you pay for
Whether you choose to use a one-man-band with a credible local portfolio, or a national company with a spotless reputation, the bottom line is that you always get what you pay for. If a company offers you a ridiculously cheap price then you have to ask yourself why. Alternatively, if you are quoted significantly over the odds alarm bells should ring. If you do your research on your chosen company then there is no reason why your home can’t be one of the success stories. Remember – three quotes should give you a good sample of the market
For More information please visit homeimprovementquotes.co.uk