It can be a mindfield out there. Despite a much more regulated industry these days, there are still companies out there that will use high pressure sales tactics and tricks such as "to good to miss" offers to get you to sign up. Here we set the facts straight and present our quick guide on how to purchase your double glazing and the all important questions you should be asking your installer.
Certain salespeople will sometimes quote a higher price to begin with, which they will then discount over the course of their sales visit. The price you're finally quoted could drop by as much a half or more in an attempt to get you to sign up there and then. This seems to be common practice in big-name companies.
At Ruislip Windows we want to make the whole experience of buying your new windows and doors a pleasant one. That's why we won't engage in any high pressure sales tactics or dubious sales practices, just to get your job. We give honest, practical advice and a realistic quote without any "signing up" deadlines. And we give you plenty of time to think about it, too. When we visit your home to give you the quote, we won't spend all evening there either. Usually 30-45 minutes is more than adequate.
Replacing windows on your property can change the visual appearance of your home considerably. You should choose a style that matches your property and enhances its looks. It's a good idea to look at properties similar to yours in the area and compare the effect of various replacement window types. It is also a good idea to ensure that you have adequate numbers of opening windows. Fire escape hinges should always be fitted to casement bedroom windows.
It's also a good idea to also discuss the technological benefits of different window and door systems so that you can get a feel for how knowledgeable and professional the company seems.
Since April 2002, any new windows and doors installed in your property must now comply with current Building Regulation and thermal performance standards. This can be achieved in two ways: by either requesting an inspection from your local authority to confirm the installation does meet the latest standards, or by using an installer who is enrolled in a self-certification scheme, such as Fensa or Certass. These schemes allow installers to "self-certify" compliance under the Building Regulations without the need for a separate assessment from the local authority. Work carried out by a self-certified installer must:
Ruislip Windows are both Fensa and Certass registered. Fensa no.15058 and Certass no.TRR0410. All our installations are registered with either Fensa or Certass at completion, and our customers receive their certificates direct from them. Remember, you will need this certificate if you decide to sell your property at a later date.
A guarantee is not worth the paper it's written on if it's not insurance-backed and the installer goes out of business. Installers who are registered members of a self certification scheme such as Fensa are legally obliged to have insurance policies in place. These are like an insolvency guarantee and only become effective if a company should go out of business.
If a registered business takes a deposit in advance of an installation, they must give some form of deposit indemnity. This could be a trade association deposit indemnity scheme, or credit card protection. A registered business must also give a guarantee or warranty covering the cost of completing rectification work in respect of defects and in the event of ceasing to trade and offer to back this guarantee with an independent insurance policy.
Ruislip Windows offer insurance backed warranties from Quality Assured National Warranties on all our installed products. You can find out more about QANW here.
Where practical, try to view other work carried out by the company and speak to previous customers. Try and ask specific questions such as, "Did they turn up on time?", "Was anything missing and how quickly was this rectified?", "Did they leave the site clean and tidy?". Don't always expect perfect answers! No matter how good a company is, there can sometimes still be problems. Any type of building work or remodelling can have its issues or unforeseen challenges. The important point is, how quickly was it sorted and was it to your satisfaction?
Ruislip Windows has a Yell.com page where customers can review and rate their experiences with us. Check it out here and see what our customers have to say about us.
A great product is useless if it's poorly fitted. Ask the company if their fitting teams are employed by the business or subcontracted out? Do the same teams work on all the installations? If you look at a company's previous installations, how do you know if you will get the same quality of fitting on your job?
Rarely will the "cheapest" price be the best for you in the long run. When comparing "like with like" please also take into comparison how long the company has been established and the quality of their guarantees. You may find two suppliers using the same extrusion and glass type. However if one supplier happens to be some fitters doing private work at the weekends then bear in mind that their so called 10 Year Guarantee may be of less value than another from a more established company with a supporting infrastructure.
A recent WHICH? survey carried out in August 2016 found that small local independent companies scored higher overall than the big brand nationals. Altogether 2239 WHICH? members participated and rated big brand companies Anglian, Everest and Safestyle alongside small local installers. The small local installers outscored the big brands every time.
We would recommend you choose a local business in your area - someone you can visit face-to-face and build a relationship with. Local businesses are more conscious of the need to uphold their reputation and, if problems arise, are more likely to resolve the matter quickly,
Want to know more? Just ask us. We're here to help.