Double glazing companies aren’t the most trusted of trade professionals in the UK and this is highlighted by the Which? survey which shows only 7% of its members actually trusted professionals. Salesmen don’t exactly have a glorious reputation, but the stigma on the double glazing industry is largely unwarranted.
One of the reasons trust has been lost is because of cowboy builders and rogue trades, with plenty of TV programmes presenting the dodgy work and presentation of dodgy amateurs. But if you can get a reputable company, there’s no reason to have an issue.
The question is though, how can you be sure the double glazing company you choose can be trusted?
When it comes to new windows, Building Regulations now state that replacements must be double glazed unless otherwise stated. Exceptions to the rule include properties in conservation areas and listed buildings.
So you can’t really avoid the industry altogether and need to find the best company for you, whether it’s a national firm such as Anglian or Everest or a local independent company.
Local firms perform better
The same Which? survey also found that local firms seem to be scored better by customers than national providers. On top of this, the consumer watchdog also found you could likely get a cheaper price with the local companies.
The result surprised many and shows that the long established firms such as Anglian, Zenith, Everest and Safestyle are leaving customers unsatisfied with the work completed.
One Which? member suggested a reason for the results, saying: “Local firms rely on word of mouth for their reputation and in a small town they cannot afford to let this slip.”
Despite the belief that national companies would be better placed to offer you a cheaper deal as well, the research suggests the complete opposite. As part of the survey Which? issued questions to both national and local suppliers asking for their average prices. Everest and Safestyle refused to offer prices, with Everest stating: “It’s no secret that we charge a premium price for our products.”
Anglian and Zenith did answer the questionnaire, but their costs were still typically higher than smaller companies.
Double glazing problems
Problems before, during and after the installation of new double glazing were more common with the national suppliers too. The research showed that only half of customers using a national had a smooth installation process.
Commonly, problems associated with the double glazing installation were the wrong parts being delivered, scratched glass, improperly fitted windows and installations taking longer than planned. There have also been cases of the property being damaged by installers.
Essentially, if you want to have double glazing installed it’s recommended to seek out local, independent double glazing companies rather than the nationals. And Which? even recommend receiving up to four quotes so you can compare prices and see what’s included in the full cost.