How to compare competitive quotes
Buying new windows for your home is a significant investment. It’s often the case that our customers do a bit of shopping around before they choose their windows supplier. So if you’re in the process of getting quotes from a few different companies, how do you compare them? How to do you know that you are comparing apples with apples?
Beyond looking at the overall price, it’s worth closely evaluating what you are getting for your money – the devil is in the detail as they say! We have put together this brief guide to help you compare offerings from different companies so you can decide which one offers the best products for you in terms of their quality and your budget.
What are you actually buying?
It’s important that you look carefully at the specifications of the products in your quote. Sashed windows and doors are made to a high specification and are often referred to in the industry as ‘premium windows’ so let’s look at this in detail:
- Wood – it’s very important that the wood used to manufacture your windows is of a high grade, has been dehumidified (all the moisture has been removed), and treated, as this will impact greatly on the resilience and longevity of your windows. At Sashed we only use timbers which are dehumidified and treated prior to manufacture so that the timbers never move or warp once used in production. Make sure that any trim or architrave has also undergone the same process. Using untreated timbers from the local builders yard will compromise the overall finish of your windows as they can warp. Also, by hand painting the trim you will not achieve the same factory-quality finish as described below.
- The finish – the biggest factor in how long your windows will last is the quality and durability of the painted or stained finish. Our products are painted with four coats of microporous paint or stain which are applied using a spray gun in our factory. This process effectively seals the timbers and protects them from the elements, along with good care and maintenance of your windows and doors this factory coating will protect your chosen timber from any type of degradation for several years. A hand-painted finish will deteriorate much faster.
- Glazing – we use low emissivity (low-e) glazing in all our products. Low-e glass is a type of energy efficient glass that reduces heat loss through your windows to the outside. It has an invisible coating that dramatically reduces heat transfer and reflects heat back into your home. Low-e double glazing is more than twice as efficient as glass without the low-e coating and also results in less condensation.
- Seals – We use weatherproof seals and gaskets from market leader Q-Lon on all our windows and doors. Unlike most companies, we fit four seals into the sides of each sliding sash as standard. We also use a bed of specialist silicone between the glass and wood which creates a moister barrier, so any condensation from the glazing will not run on to the wood.
- Glazing bars and warm edge spacers – Sashed always uses warm edge spaces, rather than the typical aluminium spacers, for their superior thermal efficiency and aesthetic appearance as they can be colour matched to your window frames.
- Meeting rail thickness – our double glazed sash windows have 35mm meeting rails which is preferred by conservation officers; an important detail as a thick meeting rail can make any replacement windows look too chunky and can spoil the aesthetic of your new windows.
- Fittings – we offer a range of high-quality ironmongery from market leaders such as Mighton, Yale, Mila, and Banham. For extra security, we offer multi-point locking systems in our casement windows and doors from Winkhaus and ERA. Our trickle vents are very discreet and are disguised inside a rebate.
Now that you have examined the products, take a closer look at the company and service they are offering:
- FENSA – check that the company has a FENSA registration number. A FENSA registered company has undergone strict vetting procedures and is routinely inspected to ensure building regulation compliance is maintained.
- Insurance Backed Guarantee – it’s also worth checking the company’s policy on warranties and guarantees. Sashed offers a 10-year warranty on painted products installed by us, and insurance backed guarantees via the Independent Warranty Association (IWA).
- The installation service – what are you actually getting? Many companies just make good externally with filler and mastic which is a standard quick and cheap approach. Our premium installation service includes re-pointing around your new products with sand & cement. We also patch plaster the internal walls and sand everything down ready for painting.
- Be wary of companies that offer you a discount for cash– a reputable company will not entertain this. Any company that offers this will not be declaring the correct contract amount to FENSA and any guarantee insurance providers. This could cause you serious problems in the future should something go wrong with your windows or doors and the company has stopped trading.
- Sashed is a Which? Trusted Trader. Unlike some other industry schemes Which? works for the consumer, not the business. There is a strict vetting process for membership, which includes our contracts and procedures. In the unlikely event you are unhappy with our products and services and we have been unable to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, their Independent Dispute Resolution Service provides peace of mind for you the consumer.
- And finally, do you like and trust the company? Are you getting good advice? How reactive are they? Can they come up with unique solutions for your needs? Do they have positive reviews from customers? We pride ourselves on offering the best advice and service. See what our customers have to say here.
Any questions? Contact us or call us on 0800 195 2939. We’d love to hear from you.