pvc paying deposit


I want to install a pvc foor and two windows in my house. Before I start making phone calls to variouc companies ound in the Yellow Pages I'd like to know if one always ends up paying a deposit. The last time I used a double glazing company to indtall a window they look 6 weeks to turn up then fitted the wrong type of window. 8 months later I don't even have the FENSA certificate. I'm sure it would have been different if I'd not paid the deposit.
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Short answer - amost certainly.

Long answer.... A deposit is normal, but the following may help, based on our experience....
1 Find a local company, based on recommendations from people you know who've used them. Local firms can only survive if they maintain a good local reputation. Go and look critically at some installations they've done.
2 We got other quotes, including big firms, but our local firm was lowest price. The quote was also open for acceptance for 12 months - no "one week only" offer scam.
3 Because there are bound to be some small issues to sort out after all installation is complete, we were influence by the fact that our local supplier had a reputation for always turning up within 24 hours to deal with such things. And in practice, this is exactly what happened.
4 Check the detailed spec and small-print meticulously. Check with FENSA that they're registered.
5 We paid a 10% deposit, balance immediately upon completion. (All payments by cheque, and receipted.)
6 They turned up each day to do installation at the agreed times - except once when they were a couple of hours late. On this occasion, they rang in advance to apologise and explain. All the fitters were full-time employees of the firm - no subbies.
7 Everything was left clean and tidy at the end of each day.
8 For us, a totally successful outcome - and the independent insurance cert arrived about one month later. For the firm, repeat business to come from us, and invaluable word-of-mouth recommendation.
HTH
--
Martin

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"jamesnorris" wrote:

As they will be making the door and windows to measure and they will not fit another property and cannot be altered then they will require a deposit when you place the order. I am not sure that Yellow Pages is the best way to find a reliable firm. When I wanted 3 doors and 12 windows replaced last year I asked around for recommendations. That turned up 3 local firms. I narrowed them down to 2, and visited both firms to see what they could offer. That narrowed it down to 1 firm who did a great job.
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A deposit is fine, but you should let them know in writing before they start how much deposit you're prepared to pay, and don't pay the balance until you're completely satisfied, including any certificates due etc. If you withhold payment, they'll get it to you quick enough. I know someone who had a manager in a suit going round with a mastic gun at 9pm to stop draughts.
Also make sure you have in writing when they're going to start and when they're going to finish. Otherwise you find in the small print on the back of the contract "time is not of the essence". This means they'll be done by Xmas. Maybe this Xmas, maybe next.
Always remember they need you more than you need them, they do what you want or someone else will.
What you should of course *never* do is pay up in advance, especially in cash. If they've been paid, they've got no incentive to turn up. All the people who end up on Watchdog have done this and the builder is down the pub with 10 grand or more of their money.
Steve
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jamesnorris wrote:

I don't think I would pay anyone an upfront deposit. You both sign a contract, and that contract lays out the terms and conditions of appointment, including remedy for default on payment on your part. This is (should be) standard practice for the construction industry as a whole.
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One other thought - if you tell us where (approx) you live, others here may be able to suggest or even recommend local firms
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I had a small (one man + helper) fitter do mine back in 2002 (two months before all the Part L stuff came into effect). He didn't ask for any deposit up front. He did ask if I could manage a 15% payment halfway through, so he could pay his helper, which I was happy to do. The rest was paid the day after they finished.
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Andrew Gabriel

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