Do's & Dont's when buying new windows & doors

Do's

DO SHOP AROUND :
Obtain at least two quotes (estimates) and a works specification from each tradesman to make a fair comparison. Remember the cheapest contractor is not necessarily the best.

DO INFORM YOURSELF :  Remember the more knowledgeable you are of the job and what it entails, the less likely you are to get ripped off. A 'cowboy' can easily spot a novice and may try to confuse you with industry jargon. Search on the internet and check out the websites of trade schemes which will provide lots of information.

DO CHECK THE CREDENTIALS OF A COMPANY CLAIMING REGISTRATION OR MEMBERSHIP WITH A TRADE SCHEME OR BODY : Telephone the trade scheme or body to verify that the contractor is registered. Alternatively check on the trade scheme’s website.

DO USE REFERRALS FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS :  Gain recommendations from family members and friends you can trust and that have had similar work carried out. Remember someone who can lay a new drive may not be the right person to install your new glazing.

DO AGREE THINGS BEFORE HAND :  Always get a written estimate and contract covering the work, the price, the payment arrangements and the time frame before the job starts. This avoids confusion later down the line.

DO INSURE THAT ALL MATERIALS ARE INCLUDED IN THE QUOTATION :  Including the exact materials and make of product you specifically requested to be installed.

DO BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS :  Be cautious of doorstep vendors, those who claim you need immediate work carried out and companies that offer the job VAT free.

DO SEARCH FOR AN INSTALLER REGISTERED WITH FENSA :  www.fensa.org.uk, or a similar body using the Yellow Pages or Thomson Local directory.

DO TALK TO YOUR INSTALLER : It is important to maintain communication with your installer throughout the installation. Discuss any problems as they arise whilst work is in progress.

DO MAKE SURE YOUR GLAZING INSTALLATION HAS BEEN APPROVED UNDER THE BUILDING REGULATIONS :  Since April 2002, anyone who installs replacement windows or doors must comply with current thermal performance standards and attain a certificate of compliance from a self-certification scheme such as FENSA or Local Authority Building Control. FENSA enables companies that install replacement windows and doors to self certify compliance under these Building Regulations


Dont's

DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW UP REFERENCES : While it’s important to ask for references, it’s more important to follow them up.

DON’T USE AN INSTALLER WHO ISN’T REGISTERED WITH FENSA :  FENSA Registered Businesses can self certify compliance with the Building Regulations. They are assessed regularly to ensure standards are being maintained.

DON’T PAY THE WHOLE AMOUNT UPFRONT :  If you pay a large deposit or the whole amount upfront there is a risk that the contractor may leave the job before carrying out the works. However, if you have to and the goods cost more than £100, try to pay bycredit card. That way, you can claim against the credit card company if anything should go wrong. Also, never pay the entire bill unless you are completely happy with the work.

DON’T FORGET TO ASK ABOUT INSURANCE.: The installer should have insurance which covers damage to your property and your neighbours. Any reputable company offers its own guarantee. FENSA ’s Registered Businesses are required to have in place for their customers the two categories of insurance stated below. It is a government requirement that companies must have this insurance in place.

Deposit Indemnity :  If FENSA Registered Businesses take deposits in advance of installations, they must give some form of deposit indemnity. Deposits may be guaranteed by, for example, trade associations, Deposit Indemnity schemes, or credit card protection.

Guarantee Insurance :  A FENSA Registered Business must also offer or give a guarantee or warranty covering the cost of completing rectification work in respect of defects in the event of the installer ceasing to trade, through an independent insurance provider.

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