Double Glazing Replacement Windows – Finding an approved supplier in Westmorland
Why have an approved double glazing supplier and installer?
I was recently reading that before embarking upon the installation of double glazing or replacement windows and doors, I should look to ensure that I have got myself an approved supplier and also an approved double glazing installation team.
Prior to reading the article, I had not appreciated that such an animal existed or that I needed to make sure that the purchasing end and installation needed to be covered individually.
Assuming it seems necessary to need approved services – why?
In the same report and I also then read others, the Office of Fair Trading had around 22,000 complaints last year in regard to home improvements with the majority of these being centred on double glazing, replacement windows, and conservatory installations.
They believe that there are around 14,000 double glazing companies in the UK and as you would expect with such a large number, not all of them operate in a manner we may hope for. There has been so much concern that there are now several methods available for consumes to help protect themselves covering both the quality of the windows and window frames and doors to the quality and workmanship of the installers. This has culminated in the introduction in February this year of the DGCOS Ombudsman Scheme (Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme) which has “been formed to protect home owners from Rogue Traders”.
It was only as a result on my further research that I discovered how little I did know about planning permission and building regulations which has totally put me off a DIY installation – now I will only consider an approved professional
- It is a fair assumption that if your property lays within a conservation area or is a listed property then you may want to seek clarification prior to stating to have double glazing or replacement windows installed
- With the above it is often possible to have them fitted but in some cases UPVC or Aluminium frames are not allowable so they have to be timber framed replacement windows.
- I had no idea that if I do not use an “approved” double glazing installer then I am responsible for contacting the local authority and getting an inspection arranged to verify that the installation complies fully with building regulations.
- If you decide to put say a Bay window in where a “flat” window was previously installed, planning consent may be required for this.
- There are now minimum requirements for energy saving levels on the double glazing
- There are zones where toughened glass should be used for double glazed installations
This are just a few examples so clearly, I would prefer to think I was protected so lets explore how we get this “protection” by getting an approved double glazing supplier and approved double glazing installer. As the DGCOS has only started this year lets look at other methods of feeling comfortable about who we are dealing with.
Supplier approval – Searching for Suppliers in Westmorland
The double glazing and window frames etc should now comply with the rules set by the British Fenestration Rating Council – this sets the energy rating – so look for this.
To be an approved supplier the seller and installer should be members of FENSA which is the Fenestration Self-Assessment scheme – this is a government approved body (owned by the Glass and Glazing Federation) and who have established the basic standards that every member must comply with.
Under these rules the installers have been vetted and rules such as deposit protections may apply.
The products should be supplied clearly showing the energy rating (similar to the ratings now shown on domestic white goods) where an A rated window is the most energy efficient and a G rated window is the worst – I would not consider any window below a C rated
So what kind of frames should I buy in Westmorland?
Aluminium window frames
Aluminium window frames are not as popular as they were in the 1960’s and are now more likely to be seen on commercial buildings. They do have excellent benefits regarding security purposes but as their popularity decreased they became a more expensive option usually, than say UPVC window frames. They can suffer from condensation more easily than other types, and are more likely to be declined in conservation areas or on listed properties than timber frames.
Timber / hardwood window frames
For the traditionalists amongst us, timber frames are a popular choice, especially for those in listed properties or conservation areas. Since some UPVC styles can offer Woodgrain finishes it is not however, the automatic choice any longer. (But still the most likely)
The timber / hardwood frames can be impressive but they can be expensive and they will require maintenance, (Sanding / painting / staining / filling) and may be prone to adverse weather conditions. You should check on the types of joints used and the age and quality of the timbers used – cheaper materials may warp or split. There are however ideal where bespoke windows are required.
uPVC / PVCu / UPVC window frames
These are now the most popular and are what most often springs to mind when we think of double glazing. PVC-u / UPVC frames tend to be the least expensive option, incredibly durable and of course, require almost no maintenance. The plastics are one of the best insulates making them ideal for the purpose. UPVC never rots, flakes, rusts or fades.
Albeit that most of us still think of them in white, the technology has increased the range so that it can also now be acquired in Woodgrain finishes such as Mahogany and Oak.
If you are not too rigid in your consideration of choice of frames then UPVC / PVC-u frames are considered by many as the most cost-effective.
Search for an approved supplier in Westmorland – We cover all the following areas:
Lonsdale ward - Kirkby Lonsdale
East ward - Applyby, Brough, Kirkby Stephen, Orton and Tebay
West ward - Askham, Bampton, Barton, Patterdale, Shap and Yanwath
Kendal ward - Ambleside, Burton-in-Kendal, Grasmere, Grayrigg, Kentmere, Kendal and Windermere