B%Q (et al) UPVC windows vs window company

I know I went down this route a couple of years back for the Mother Of All Sheds but just thought I'd check back.
Double glazing firm (well respected local firm) wants just over 1,000 to supply and fit three windows (part of a potentially larger order). B&Q windows are approximately 129 per window for similar sizes (waiting for quote for exact sizes). So potentially say 450 for 3 windows and a couple of general builders on site building the rest of everything - shouldn't cost 550 in labour to screw the windows in and run some foam and mastic round.
O.K. don't have the DG firm's warranty but B&Q are liable for quality and the builders are liable for fitting. So I don't see any reason to employ the DG company to do this bit.
Is there any reason not to just buy and fit? And is there a bettter supplier than B&Q for ready made or made to measure windows? Oh, and I do find it frustrating that you can't see UPVC windows on the B&Q website but have to go into the store to discover that they actually sell the damn things and can also have them made to measure.
Cheers
Dave R
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If it's in the home then getting a team in will save some hassle and it doesn't sound like too much to pay for labour and margin. If it's another shed then no brainer, DIY.
These guys have been mentioned favourably here in the past but I've no experience of them as they don't deliver to Scotland:
http://windowsanddoors.co.uk/estimate /
Beware getting a parts estimate there and showing it to a DG contractor, I've scared a potentially quite good one away by knowing too much about his margins.
--
fred
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Thanks - very useful looking site. As I will have builders in making the new window openings I think I will source the windows myself and get the builders to fit them. Having done two in the shed, it isn't rocket science and I have loads of spacers and packers left. For the bifold doors I will get the pros in because they are much more difficult and I want someone who will come back and adjust as part of their regular business.
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I've fitted myself two UPVC windows and patio doors from Screwfix - at the time I bought them they only did stock sizes. Which suited my application. Been very pleased with them.
As regards quotes from DG firms, I'm told you never accept the first quote.
--
*Time is the best teacher; unfortunately it kills all its students.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 12/06/2012 09:39, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Double glazing firms are as different as a man in a shed making a kit car to the likes of BMW with all the research and development they have.
The big mistake people make is thinking that the product and expected support is the same. So the maxim don't take the first quote is like saying I really wanted a BMW 3 series so I got a good deal and the man said it was the same. look I got a bubble car made in china.
Don't take the first quote from a company but haggle and stick with the same company. otherwise you are not getting a better price you are getting something different.
I know because i was in the business for 7 years. The sad stories I have been told by disappointed victims.
Gary
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Since I've owned several BMWs, not a good comparison. They are perhaps the most troublesome 'quality' cars sold. ;-)

I've not needed any 'support' on my Screwfix ones. They are as good as the day I fitted them.

I thought it was obvious I was talking about the same product from the same company?

I'd say that obvious.

Many of the problems seem to be caused by poor installation. And it proving difficult to get this rectified.
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*The statement above is false

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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wrote:

One thing I've noted. National chains seem to offer reasonable quality windows but the installation is a lottery. Guy just up the road insists on going with national chains but has always had to call them back at least once to rectify installation faults.
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Yes. The windows being machine made should be consistent.

Quite. Another reason to DIY. It's not difficult - although you'll likely need help for lifting and holding things, etc.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 12/06/2012 10:58, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

My reply was because I saw many punters that had mistaken that advise.
They would get a quote from a big company then a quote from a local cowboy and it would be maybe a 3rd of the big company's price..
Then when 2 years later the windows had buckled and leaked and changed colour they would realise that not all window suppliers are the same and not all windows are the same.
The hard part is convincing the first time buyer . they think all plastic windows are identical and the price difference is just profiteering.
A point about the fitting is that most punters have not got the ability to DIY and the need to have a company that will come back if the fitting is not good is important.
The people I felt MOST sorry for were the ones that had a local cowboy supply and the quote from that cowboy was only just lower than the big boys. That customer was ripped off.
The people that bought cheep and got cheep, they got what they deserved.
Gary
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A point of view it's hard to disagree with
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Really? If you simply look at an older street where many houses have had DG fitted, it's rather obvious the windows ain't identical.
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*A person who smiles in the face of adversity probably has a scapegoat *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On Wed, 13 Jun 2012 10:49:23 +0100, stuart noble wrote:

There aren't that many manufacturers of the profiles used to make the frames etc. Yes there is some variation but not as much as "Gary" is making out IMHO. Similar with the sealed units, only a few actual manufacturers out there.
Most reasonably sized places will have a company that buys in the profiles and has the machinery to make the frames. They may well have their own sale/installation service as well as providing frames for smaller local DG companies and builders. A bit of local research and question asking will find all this out for a given locality.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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On 13/06/2012 11:19, Dave Liquorice wrote:

Exactly
The two local firms round here stopped making their own frames a few years ago.
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At least some of the 'big companies' could be described as cowboys. Quoting one price initially (always including a vast discount) then reducing it if the client doesn't bite first time. And again.
A local company which was a cowboy simply wouldn't last - so look for one which has been in business for some time.

A salesman will always try and convince a customer his product is the best.

Perhaps you've not noticed, but this is a DIY group. Fitting new windows is well within the capabilities of many here - I did it simply by following the instructions. And although a keen DIYer, I'd never done anything similar before. And by taking care, have results superior to those installed next door by one of your 'big companies' that advertise nationally. The actual product appears better made too.

Really? Have you researched all of this to come to such a broad conclusion? It's at odds with what I've read elsewhere. Generally, a *decent* local firm gives better service and results than a national.

Birds don't need DG. ;-)
--
*Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 13/06/2012 11:07, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

but they 'crow about it' ;-)
I saw a door with safety glass. a dead bird and a small cone of missing glass in a patio door. the door looked like it had been shot. I think it was a large blackbird.
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