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Thinking of Double Glazing? There are potential advantages:-
Save on Fuel Bills
Protect the environment by reducing fuel consumption
Make your home warmer, less draughty
Make your home more secure
But do your homework first! Here are some common problems known to Council Officers, Police, and Home Watch groups:-
Don't necessarily believe all you are told. Don't buy the first 'special offer' that comes along - there will always be others! Are you really a "Show house that qualifies you for a special price"? Is the price that special? Is the reduction real or just a sales gimmick? Remember - shop around, ask lots of questions, get several quotations, before committing yourself. Taking time to do this now will save you time and aggravation in the future.
You don’t have to let any salesman into your home. But if you do, and he becomes a nuisance, insist that he leaves immediately. Don’t be deflected, and don’t sign up for anything just to be rid of him. If you didn’t invite the salesman to call, you have a 7-day period in which to cancel any agreement you make but later regret. But act quickly, or speak to us if you need advice on what to do. The ‘uninvited’ salesman must give you a notice about cancellation. If he doesn’t - report it to us.
Not all homes are suitable for plastic frame units alone. Older bay windows may also provide some structural support to the property. In some older properties the lintel is partially supported by the window. In these and other cases, windows with structural reinforcement are needed. If in doubt, have a building surveyor check before making a purchase decision.
Remember that the thicker the unit, the better will be its sound and insulation properties. Make sure that what you are offered matches your requirements.
Special planning consents may be needed in some circumstances. For example, if you're home, or the area, is subject to certain planning restrictions (i.e. conservation area, or listed building). Bournemouth Borough Council's Planning Services will be happy to advise you on these planning related aspects. Check it out first to be on the safe side.
Even where planning permission is not needed, consider a window style similar to the original windows, since that way you are more likely to enhance your property by keeping its character.
Do you definitely need to replace your existing windows? Some firms specialise in renovation/upgrade of existing windows, improving heat loss or draught problems in the process. This may be a cheaper option.
Check that the units to be fitted will be secure, well made and properly fitted. Standards to check for include:-
The BS Kitemark BS 7412, and/or BBA certification - standards for weather tightness, structural strength and durability
Kitemark BS 7950 (windows), PAS 024 (doors) and/or BBA certification - standards for enhanced resistance to intrusion
Installation in accordance with both manufacturer’s recommendations, and the Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF) Code of Practice COP3
We have all heard the horror stories - untidy jobs, cheap mastic fillers, rough finish, poor fitting windows, rain coming in etc. You can guard against this sort of problem by withholding part of the payment until you are satisfied with the job. Have nothing to do with companies that require you to pay the whole cost in advance - this is an unfair contract term. Before choosing a contractor it's a good idea to obtain recommendations from other satisfied customers and check these you.
It's tough luck if, 2 years later, you have problems that you want fixing under the guarantee, but the company has gone. Double Glazing is a particularly competitive market and sadly firms regularly 'go to the wall'. The answer is to insist on an insurance backed guarantee. That way, even if the company has gone, you can still claim for repairs, from the insurance company.
If the company is a member of the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF), this may provide additional protection if things go wrong.
If you can pay by credit card, this helps you because the credit company, as well as the trader, may be liable for any problems with the installation.
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