Double glazing companies. Who do you like / dislike and why?

I'm in the market for new windows in my trerraced 1960's house, so I'm
researching the companies. At the moment the market seems to look a
bit like this. But in your experiences, who do you rate for the best
value for money? What do you consider to BE value for money?
Bottom end...
You can get shit B&Q/other shed or trade doors; reground PVCu, fading
/ discolouring /
bad fitting almost guaranteed. Then you have the
hassle of fitting them yourself or spending more money on a fitter and
the disposal of old product which suddenly makes them not so cheap as
was at first thought. They won't be very burglar proof as they'll be
the type that can have panels removed by pulling out the black
gaskets.
Local stuff...
You can get local companies buying from places that make PVCu doors at
county level. Not much better quality, often using "trade" frames.
These sort of companies go out of business very often and are rarely
around to honour warranties. *Some* are, of course. Usually black
gasket too?
Higher end...
You get the big nationals like Everest or Anglian. They make their
own stuff, but I have NEVER heard a good word about them after they
have had their stuff fitted. If you like them, speak up here. I
currently have Anglian in this house. It was here when I moved in.
Never again. They're 8 years old, the hinges and locks are corroded
and they expect me to lubricate all moving parts every three months to
make the guarantee valid. (sell these to an 80 year old and expect
that done?)
Top end...
Then there's the Rolls Royce of double glazing, Zenith Staybright.
You'll pay more, but it seems the best quality. Individually made
items using virgin PVCu, ACPO approved, 10 year warranty with no
exclusions. But ferkin expensive! Anyone got Zenith stuff in? Like or
no like? Value for the money?
I look forward to the argum... debate! :)
Reply to
Mike Barnard
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
I don't like PVCu full stop.
All my windows are powder-coated thermal-break aluminium - sourced from a number of different suppliers - mostly local. They're more expensive than plastic, but infinitely superior - with thinner sections and thus more glass in an aperture of a given size. You need K-glass these days to meet the building regs on thermal efficiency, but it's still worth it in my view.
As far as security is concerned, all my windows have the black gasket on the *inside* - which has to be removed before the bevelled glass retainer on the outside can be taken out.
Reply to
Roger Mills
FX: Waves.
We had Everest secondary glazing and a back door in our first house, some 25 years ago and were so pleased with it that we had a number of windows and a set of huge French doors in our previous house, some 18 years ago, again completely pleased with them. No pressure from the salesman, no drop discounts, OK they weren't cheap, but the fitters were good, the product seems OK, etc.
We finally decided we'd had enough of constantly repairing and repainting the wooden windows on the South-West facing rear of this house, so we looked round for a supplier for uPVC replacements. We've heard bad things about Anglian, and Everest are terrifyingly expensive these days.
We finally settled on a set of Veka windows installed by a local firm, Addison-Ousebank - reasonably priced, the product looks OK, I prefer to use a small local firm and he's been in business for 18 years or so. Absolutely no pressure selling and one or two minor glitches settled promptly and politely. Completely pleased with the whole thing. Would that all firms were like that. (Oh, and they mended our greenhouse, which we bought from them about 15 years ago, for nothing.)
Reply to
Huge
In article , Mike Barnard writes
I'm not happy with them BEFORE they have installed their stuff, (see other thread Double Glazing companies differences in prices:) )
Janet
Reply to
Janet Tweedy
I am no expert on this, but will share what little I have observed.
All the recent PVC frames I have seen have the snap in glazing beads on the inside. They usually have rubber sealing strips on the outside to prevent water ingress, but pulling these out, would not free the glazing unit or glazing bars. It also takes considerable force to fit the glazing bars on the inside - the chances of being able to dislodge them from outside seems slim.
Here you will get great variability. One of our local firms is rated as one of the best available by customers of theirs I have spoken to. Obviously others come and go with the wind.
When I wanted windows for my loft conversion, I went round getting quotes for supply only. In the end I was directed to a firm about 30 miles away that would make exactly what I wanted[1] to order, seemed to have a good quality product, and were very reasonable price wise (three windows: 1.8 x 1.2m with 2 casements, one centre top opening fanlight, 1.2 x 1.0 obscure fixed window with top opening fanlight, and 1.0 x 0.4m casement with top opening fanlight. White inside, mahogany woodgrain effect outside. Total price £500)
[1] What I really wanted was hardwood to match the John Carr frames fitted to the rest of the house, however the price for one window was working out at three times the price I paid for all of them!
As a general point, IIUC there are a relatively small number of companies (five I was once told) who actually make the basic mouldings for DG frames. The branded manufacturers that most of us deal with have the equipment to take these mouldings and form them into frames etc, but don't have total control over the composition of the plastic or appearance of the mouldings etc, other than by who choose to buy the basic building block components from.
Choice of quality of fittings *is* obviously under the control of the brands. Quite how you choose between the good and the indifferent is another matter.
Zenith are quite big in these parts (and are also branching out into building services as well), so must be doing something right. But I have no personal experience with them so can't really comment.
PVC is butt ugly whatever you do with it!
Reply to
John Rumm
In message , Mike Barnard writes
Worked for weatherseal for a week. Bunch of robbing abstrads. Snakeoil sellers in the extreme. Business model is baffle 'em with gobbledegook, make them think they're getting the best available, price it high 'cause "cheap's crap", then the salesman 'does you a deal' provided you sign up on the day and _pay on finance_ .
If you want a good deal from Weatherseal, let him in, price the job, make interested noises about their finance deal, then invent your own price, less than half his quote at least. Then hold out for him to go lower. He _will_ phone the office for approval, his boss _will_ go lower, providing you sign up for the finance. Once you get the price _you_ want, sign up for the deal, get the windows fitted (extra discount for a quick install date, monthly targets met, bigger bonus for branch boss) then _cancel_ the extortionate finance deal under the cooling off rules and pay cash, bankloan, remortgage, whatever.
Weatherseal will then claw back the £1000 commission from the salesman that he made from selling you the finance and you will have the windows at less than cost price.
The finance company pays Weatherseal for every deal they sell, much more per deal than the profit from the actual windows.
Reply to
Keith
Indeed.
It's warming to hear that the concept of service is still alive and well. The first pieces were about meeting expectations and demonstrating that they could/would fix a problem if/when it happens.
The last piece about the greenhouse demonstrates excellence. It cost them probably virtually nothing but guarantees them future business and unqualified recommendation. In marketing terms, that ticks two boxes - customer retention and recommendation. The large firms spend bucketloads on this, giving deep discounts on what are high prices to begin with and then screw up because their logistics are crap and their local teams are measured on completion and getting money for completion from customers.
Reply to
Andy Hall
Neither do I. They remind me of TV presenters. Fat bits and ungainly.
Do you have any manufacturer names?
Reply to
Andy Hall
In article , Mike Barnard writes:
No one's made that sort since around 2000.
I don't think there are as many different types as you think. The raw materials (uPVC profiles) are provided by just a few manufacturers across Europe (such as Eurocell). They are all assembled by the same PVC welding machine (which is quite impressive to watch). There are small variations in the quality of furniture and locks used, but not a great deal. Minor variations are things like the beading profile, and white gaskets are available, but there's a good reason almost no one uses white gaskets (they don't stay white, particularly the backs of them you can see though the glass).
I think the most important variation is in the quality of the fitting. Find a local firm by recommendation and inspection of their work. The one I found was more than happy to take me to see some of his installations, and realising that I was very interested in the options, he took me to the local fabricator he uses and showed me through the units in their goods-out to see all the options available at first hand. This was the cheapest quote and over 5 years on, they're all still in their brand new condition, and better fitted than most other peoples' double glazing I've seen.
I had Everest around first. This was useful to hear what all their unique features are. It turned out that there was nothing unique and every supplier supplied exactly the same thing. The Everest quote was way above everyone else's, and the salesman was so slimey that the main reason I turned them down was that I couldn't stomach the thought of any of my hard earned cash going in his direction.
Reply to
Andrew Gabriel
Guess it looks like I'm the odd one out... I had Anglian Windows replace all our windows in 2001 and yes I got a massive discount for signing a finance deal but there was no penalty fo early payment so I paid it off as soon as I received the details from Clydesdale bank. As for the Windows we're well pleased and have had no problems. We chose Anglian because we wanted Brown Plastic both outside and inside, and we couldn't find anyone else that had a product that looked cosmetically as good. When we looked at local, cheaper options that's exactly what they where. (Although I remember one that we looked at that was poor quality and not cheap).
One piece of advise I would offer is to go and look at some of their installations since what you see in the showroom is not always the same quality they ship out to the customer. You also get the opportunity to see how good a job the installation team did. I saw some pretty crap installations (mastic all over the brickwork, windows not recessed evenly, rendering damaged, window boards incorrectly fitted or gaps between board and window covered with a piece of scappy plastic etc...)
Since 2000/2001 a lot of the smaller/cheap companies (in my area) have disappeared so I'm glad we didn't go with any of them.
Andy
Reply to
ac1951
"I'm Keith and I'm a reformed Weatherseal salesman"
"Hello Keith"
A masterstroke, but move the finance deal to a credit card. This will maintain the statutory protection.
Reply to
Andy Hall
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
Do you mean the manufacturers of the aluminium sections - or of the complete windows, based on those sections?
If the latter, I don't know - the only one I've dealt with directly is no longer in business. The windows for my most recent extension in 2002 were obtained by the builder from - I think - a firm in the Worlverhampton area, but I don't have the details.
*However*, I've just found a leaflet in the project file which suggests that the windows use a section called Glissade. I'm not sure whether that is the maker's name or the model. Googling for 'Glissade' only came up with a few hits - one of which was
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Although that wasn't the firm which builder used, it's probably the same stuff.
Reply to
Roger Mills
You seem to have it summed up pretty well, take note of Mr Gabriel's post. There are very few makers of the uPVC profiles and a similar restricted number of sealed unit makers.
Personally I think your best bet is to find the local frame maker and see what they have to offer. As they will be supplying most of the trade in the area they are far less likely to go bust than a 1 or 2 man "fitting" firm.
Avoid the bignames, with their high pressure selling and generally poor installation work carried out by subcontractors to the local franchise of the big name firm. You may think using a big name is some protection but it's not as if you do complain to head office they don't want to know and just refer you back to the franchise. BTDTGTTS with Anglian.
Reply to
Dave Liquorice
On Sun, 4 Nov 2007 12:18:26 -0000 Roger Mills wrote :
That was my choice. Mine were done by a small local firm, Royale Glazing,
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who gave a straight quote - no silly dummy discount nonsense - about £400 per window IIRC.
Reply to
Tony Bryer
On 4 Nov, 11:37, Mike Barnard wrote:
Where are you based? We (in Gloucestershire) used Evesham Home Improvements, and they were very keenly priced and did a very good job. We looked into the powder-coated aluminium option but that would have been way too expensive.
Edward
Reply to
edwardwill

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