Which double glazing should I choose?
PUBLISHED: 10:59 14 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:48 01 August 2018
You may think all UPVC double glazing is the same, but it definitely isn’t – and if you know what to look for, the best double glazing is very different from poor quality products. We find out how to choose the best.
Double glazing which looks amazing, locks, unlocks, opens and closes with ease, doesn’t develop condensation and doesn’t discolour, shouldn’t be too much to ask.
But talk to anyone who has problems with their double glazed upvc windows or door and it seems choosing good looking, long lasting, high quality double glazing can need an expert’s eye.
Steve Savage of Frames Conservatories Direct in Bury St Edmunds, which was established in 2001, says there are a number of essential checkpoints when choosing double glazing.
“A window is quite a complex thing with a complex collection of parts,” he says,
“Good double glazing, fitted properly will last many years,” he adds.
“People think windows are windows, but cheaper windows won’t stand the test of time and won’t keep your home as safe and secure as you hope,” he says.
He goes on to explain that sub standard windows “will have thinner parts in the areas that you cannot see.”
If your window fitters insist on a certain temperature for installation, this is a good indication the windows are not the best quality as thinner UPVC cracks in low temperatures when drilled.
Quality windows will be sturdy, built from high grade UPVC which does not fade or discolour and reinforced with steel for additional security and rigidity. Lower grade windows will be reinforced with recycled plastic.
Look for ultra secure windows as standard, with hinge side protection that cannot be prised open by a would-be intruder, and glass that cannot be removed from the outside. Secure windows will have shoot bolt locks which lock the window into the frame both on the opening edge and the top and bottom of the window.
Choose double glazing window and door fitters accredited with the BSI kite mark for installation.
He points out that fitting double glazed windows isn’t difficult but they do need to be fitted properly.
“Many people can fit a window. Essentially it’s only drilling some holes, but for a good job you want an experienced fitter who is qualified above the minimum standard,” he says. “Even the most secure, energy efficient windows will fail if they aren’t fitted well.”
He says the double glazing industry is full of horror stories from ‘here today gone tomorrow’ companies supplying poor grade products, fitting them badly and disappearing.
“We have taken out existing windows where there hasn’t been a lintel above the window so the bricks have been sitting on the window,” he says, adding that reputable fitters install windows correctly – putting right existing problems where necessary.
“If plaster is loose and falls away when the old window is removed, they will install the new window and replaster where necessary,” he says.
A trustworthy double glazing firm will not put potential customers under pressure to buy, but will explain what is available – from the latest colours to the various styles – measure, quote and leave the householder to decide.
“Unfortunately the industry suffers with a poor reputation caused by a few companies who outstay their welcome in a customer’s home. Their salespeople begin with ridiculously inflated prices which are then slashed after ‘a call to the manager’ followed by an insistence that orders are placed there and then with a hefty deposit to secure the deal,” warns Steve.
Steve says: “Any company who uses intimidation to get an order is not likely to follow through with a quality product and after sales service. If you have good products and good fitters, that approach simply isn’t necessary”.
Thanks to Steve Savage of Frames Conservatories Direct for his expert advice compiling this article.