Choosing a reliable double-glazing company can seem like a hassle. There’s so many out there, and unless you’ve had the need for a window company recently you may not know which company to choose from in your local area.
For some of you the thought of having to purchase new double glazing is not something that you look forward to, and normally we all have reservations about whether its worth the cost etc.
Within the UK alone there is approximately 12,500 companies, and all of which supply windows and doors to a consumer. Including the big four everyone has heard of (Everest, Anglian, SafeStyle and Zenith) and generally speaking people wont setup a business to rip off their customers. The industry itself (home improvements) is worth billions in overall sales throughout the supply chain within the UK. Despite the profit within the industry, double-glazing firms are not always the most celebrated; but double glazing is essential to keeping your home warm, safe and secure so how do you choose one you can trust?
Top 6 questions to ask your Double Glazing Companies
- Have you been trading long?
- Are your fitters subcontractors or under your employment?
- Do they have reviews?
- Can i visit your showroom?
- Which trade body do you fall under?
- Do you have samples of your work?
Why does it matter how long they have been trading?
Most of the big companies have been trading for about 10-30 years and have proven reputations, but this doesn’t mean smaller/newer installation companies aren’t worth your while. You may find that you get a more personal service and a better chance at a competitive rate.
Why does it matter if they are sub-contractors or self-employed?
Sometimes there is a negative connotation with companies that hire sub-contractors over in-house staff; but many of the largest companies do use subcontractors so it’s not at all uncommon. If it matters to you then you should ask, and perhaps the company can put your mind at rest. Here are some facts about self-employed glaziers:
- A lot of window companies use subcontract labour and provide them with a branded vehicle.
- Many of the self-employed fitters have been working for numerous years if not decades, so they’re good at what they do.
- Many window fitters work for national companies and then go on to work for smaller local companies.
It’s not at all uncommon in the window industry for companies to hire self-employed sub-contractors, and while there are benefits to maintaining a consistent workforce, there are many factors When a window company promotes that it employs, it doesn’t always mean that you will get a bad installation elsewhere.
Do they have any reviews?
Some people might argue it’s never been easier to verify the integrity of a local business like a glazing company. In the past you’d have to rely on testimonials from people you knew – assuming anyone you know knew of a reputable glazier. Today you can go online and within seconds you can be reading testimonials from people in your local area. Always do your due diligence, if a company suddenly has an influx of glowing reviews then they may well be fake – you can usually find customer reviews by searching the company name on Google, for instance searching “Kent and Sussex Home Improvements”.
Does is matter if they don’t own a showroom?
The big 3 (Everest, Safestyle and Anglian Windows) turn over £150m each year and don’t have showrooms, so most firms don’t have a showroom. Do they even need it you might argue? Most people just want double glazing done and not to have to worry about it. They want a standard look and to know that it’s safe, efficient and secure.
Very few industries are still able to survive without showing off their product before the consumer considers purchasing it, but this is exactly how people have come to expect the window industry; so don’t be alarmed if the company doesn’t have premises of sorts.
If you’re able to visit a showroom you can get a feel of their staff and the kind of products that they own and sell. However many companies all over the UK do not have a showroom at all.
Do they have samples of their work?
These days it’s pretty easy for an installer to snap a photo of a window, and post it online to show the type of work that they’ve done. A sign of a good double-glazing company is one that values this, takes the time to showcase their work and make it available to future customers. Alright you may not be a window expert and know what a good glazing installation looks like from another, but the fact that a company takes pride in their work and is happy to show it says a lot about them; it also gives you evidence of the different types of work they do, and how often they do it. A company that posts photos every few weeks shows that they’re active and engaged in the community. A company that never shares any photos may as well be invisible.
Kent and Sussex Home Improvements periodically post pictures of recent work on the company Facebook page. We often take photos proudly displaying our company sign in the photos so you know the installation is a genuine from KSHI.