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Picking your brains.. - Carers UK Forum

Picking your brains..

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
I could do with some advice or pointers on a non caring related topic..double glazing/door replacement.

Yes, I kid you not. For those out there that have bought homes or had to contend with big purchases such as double glazing or extensions, where did you start?
I'm not a youngster but I could pull my hair out I'm so confused. After buying our place last year (bungalow), we have decided that we want to change our sliding patio door (murder to open/close as well as draughty) for French type doors. We also want to change the window in the room caree uses when she comes to stay as her window is just one piece of double glazed glass, it doesn't open at all.
As her room is next to the central heating boiler cupboard that's not ideal..

We were already cold called by Zenith when I was ill and called back when I still wasn't well, they didn't seem especially happy that I didn't want to discuss it there and then. Thought I would look for reviews on the internet, then looked at reviews for Everest, then Safestyle, then went onto Money Saving Expert.. :blink:

How the hell does one start? Some have good reviews, then I look somewhere else and they have been slated, then there is advice to look for a smaller local company but then don't use a smaller company as they haven't got the guarantees that the bigger ones have.. :blink:

Now I have got a headache as well as a toothache. Any advice on how to pick a winner without parting with my entire bank balance, a sacrificial goat and my first born? (kidding obviously!) I eagerly await your wisdom. :whistle:
I had terrible trouble with Anglian over my conservatory. Once finally up it's lovely, but they lost the order, promised date after date. We were told the old one had to be down by the end of August, I said the new one MUST be finished by October 10th as Australian friends were coming to stay, and I didn't want my tender plant collection frosted. It finally went up mid winter when it was snowy, all my plants died, and we had neither old nor new conservatory for our visitors. We had to sell our conservatory furniture as there was nowhere to store it (the old and new conservatories were both 27 feet long running across the back of the house, so full of all sorts), so whatever you do, don't use Anglian! For my garage conversion I used a local company who did well, but more recently I ordered a new front door, which is, frankly, rubbish. They've been back to try to make it draught proof, in recent rain there was a puddle inside, and the spyglass has fallen out. So yes, it is a minefield!
On a more positive note, when we had our first lot of double glazed windows, we decided to save money by not having a small transom window at the top. Big mistake. Whenever I opened one of the larger windows in my office, the wind blew all my papers about! My garage (top hung) windows can be left open by about 2-3" thanks to some special hinges, I think really for upstairs windows when there are children around, but I leave these open most of the summer. I would suggest making it possible for all the windows to be openable in fine weather, to maximise ventilation. If you are not sure, go to somewhere like Jewsons and have a look at their timber window catalogues, and choose a design from their range. Then tell the double glazing salesman you want "One like that!"
Just been through the process for the second time !

My advice ?

1) ask the neighbours who they used and were they satisfied with the service and the end product.

2) use local companies, preferably a moderate sized family firm. Generally they have a reputation to maintain as they rely on local business and would soon go bust if they were rubbish !

3) get at least 3 quotations - remember the dearest isn't always the best !

4) ensure they are registered with FENSA (the industry's governing body)

As a price guide - I paid about £600 for the new kitchen window, roughly 1.8m x 1.2m with one casement tilt 'n turn opening window and transom above. My sister had her sliding patio doors change to French windows about 18 months ago and she paid around £2000. (bear in mind these are London prices).
If you have a local builder who you know and trust you could get them to do replacement windows for you. A local builder did our whole house in 2 stages about 20 years ago and they've been fine. We have about 14 very large windows, a front door with glass side panels, large patio doors and a back door.

They just order from a builders merchants and fit them no probs and you aren't paying for all their advertising either.
totally agree stay local but make sure they are registered with FENSA which is your type of installer guarantee and that your work is also registered when completed you can check this on line with FENSA
A local small firm every time. The big boys are absolute rip off merchants and have to pay ridiculous advertising fees on TV, that they have to pass on to you.
I got my whole cottage done for £1900 and that included a big front porch, door and five windows.
That was 10yrs ago mind and my mate Dave the builder did it on the cheap labour wise as I had got him a lot of work over the years.

The plastic UVC windows and door came from a Teignmouth firm called Teignmouth Windows, they made their own here on site.
All their plastic came from Germany. There still working perfectly our buyer told me.
I'd choose local with a good reputation too. My windows and doors were fitted years ago. The firm I used broke down the quotes for the three sides of the house and I got it done over three years as and when I could afford it. I went back to them for my conservatory and they had not problems coming back for snagging as they had a reputation to uphold.
I recently used CheckaTrade for emergency roofing work. The roofer had 100% rating and loads of positive feedback. And I agreed with them all. I went back to the same website when I got my carpets cleaned.
My car always goes to a local family garage. The main dealers ripped me off charging me loads to investigate a problem with the ignition before deciding the key fob thingy wasn't working!
Good luck with your searches!
These days, triple glazing is the best option for anyone living in an exposed or colder part of the UK, and it is often negotiable for the same price. I'd also go with local-ish companies: they save a fortune on paying less on advertising and transport costs for their workmen, and they have a reputation to keep up. If I didn't have previous experience, I'd ask a few neighbours, and probably get three quotes.