How Much Does It Cost to Double Glaze a House in the UK?
9th December 2020
Did you know that most housing in Europe is more than 40 years old? Over a third of housing in the UK was built before 1946; and whilst the Double Glazing process was invented in America in the 1930s, it would take two more decades before the UK would catch up and begin installing double glazing as standard – which is why you can still find homes which only have single glazed windows.
But times are changing; and with new Carbon Emission rules coming into place every year, and inflation on prices to heat your home, it’s more important than ever to make the most of Double Glazing. According to a study by the University of Sussex, ‘double glazing (manufactured after 2002) provides one of the most significant carbon savings.’ Their report suggested that if every home in the UK had double glazing, it would save 3.76 million tonnes of CO2 a year. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201116-climate-change-how-to-cut-the-carbon-emissions-from-heating Of course, it also means heat isn’t escaping as quickly, meaning a reduction in energy costs for you. Double glazing is essentially two panes of glass with an Argon gas sealed between them, creating a heat-trapping sandwich. Argon is fondly known as ‘the lazy gas’ as it’s safe, non-reactive, and slows the mobility of heat which passes through it.
But how much does it cost to double glaze a house in the UK?
Unless you speak to every single contractor individually, and really – who has the time, it’s hard to work out an average cost, let alone an exact cost. But the Double Glazing Network, which is a network of ‘monitored and vetted’ suppliers and installers have suggested that the costs can ‘vary between £150 to £600 per window’, depending on the size and quality required. ‘It’s not uncommon for quotes of £2,000 within the industry, as materials, design, window size and other variables have to be taken into account when considering the price of double glazing.’ https://www.doubleglazingnetwork.com/about/ For example, there’s often a £1,000 difference between a uPVC frame (which is a low maintenance synthetic material) and a wooden frame (although wooden frames are often easier to repair, whereas a faulty uPVC frame will need replacing).
So we’re halfway to answering that question, you could probably use those figures to work out the cost of double glazing your own home – but I still wanted to know what the average cost to double glaze a house in the UK would be. According to Which? the average house size has consistently decreased for the last fifty years. https://www.which.co.uk/news/2018/04/shrinking-homes-the-average-british-house-20-smaller-than-in-1970s/ Their report shows that living rooms have nearly halved in size since the 1970s. Which is relevant because more often than not, the largest windows are found in the living room. The second largest windows are found in the bedrooms, except houses have dropped from the average four bedroom home, to two bedrooms. All of this means that the ‘average’ cost of double glazing will drop depending on the age of your home. Newer builds generally come with double glazing fitted as standard. But double glazing is less efficient at retaining heat after twenty years; so replacing your windows will cost more in a larger, older building, than a newer, smaller house.
Another expense to you need to consider is the installation cost. It’s much easier to install a window on the ground floor. More often than not, there’s no scaffolding required, and the ease also means a quicker installation. According to the Trades Men Costs website, scaffolding can increase the cost of each window by around £60. https://tradesmencosts.co.uk/double-glazing/ So always double check that your quote includes the installation costs.
Whilst all the different brands and networks may differ on prices and services, they all sing from the same hymn sheet regarding one element to consider when costing the double glazing of your home: cheap double glazing is a false economy. Poor quality materials, or bad installations will cost you twice, so make sure you’re paying a reputable company for the work and that your quote has a thorough list of all the costs.