How to Buy Windows & Doors on a Budget
Most people inherit their fittings from previous homeowners, and in most cases, the doors or windows are perfectly fine.
However, if they are 10 years or older, you may have to replace them to make your home more liveable and energy-friendly.
When setting out on improving our homes it’s common sense to have very firm idea of how much we have to spend in order to get the jobs complete and not all of us have “deep pockets “. So, when it comes to buying windows & doors, we should definitely keep an eye on the budget.
What type of things should you be looking for and how do you find prices for “cheap double glazing” or “cheap front doors”? – In this article, we hope to shed some light on the subject of getting the best deals for your money.
A 5-point guide to buying windows & doors on a tight budget
Why change your windows & doors in the first place?
- Existing ones are broken or beyond repair.
- You just bought a “fixer-upper”.
- You only have single glazed windows & doors fitted to the house.
- To save on the ever increasing cost of utilities, by having a better insulated home.
- To get increased peace of mind from the improved levels of security.
- You live in a noisy area and double glazed windows & doors can reduce noise pollution.
- The property needs a general “face lift” (maybe an old bay window in need of some TLC)
Modern double glazing products have the added functions of providing excellent insulation. This is especially useful during the colder months in the UK when temperatures plummet to single-digit numbers.
When the weather is too cold, you have to spend a lot of money on heating to ensure comfort for everyone in your family. However, with double glazing, your heating and overall energy costs are reduced.
The sealed double glazed units not only reduce heat & cold transfer, they also act as a sound barrier. Compared to a single glazed window, even the cheapest double glazed windows can reduce sound penetration by up to 60%.
An important feature is the security provided by double glazing windows and doors. A new product will have multi-point locks, internally glazed panels, UPVC frames can even contain galvanised steel reinforcing. Also, a by-product of having a double pane glazed section is that it makes it more difficult to break (by accident or on purpose!).
1Choice of materials
You may already be aware of this, but there are 3 basic choices when it comes to what the frames of your window is made from and probably 4 when it comes to your door choice.
Both can be manufactured from Timber, Aluminium or UPVC, with the extra option of “composite” doors.
- Timber: if you are after cheap double glazing because you are on a really tight budget, you can opt for softwood for some really low price windows. But they need a great deal of upkeep and are not as strong as the others. They can also distort during long dry or wet periods. Hardwood is a more stable timber but is also the costliest timber. Engineered timber is the mid ground with a decent life span and very stable characteristics.
- Aluminium: you won’t find many budget priced double glazing products made from aluminium. It is a great material to use, but not for low price window or doors. An aluminium front door can start from well over £1,000.
- UPVC: This material is used widely due to the availability of products, installers and price. Other than softwood, UPVC is probably the best for cheap double glazing prices. UPVC front doors have some of the lowest prices in the market.
- Composite: Often used for external doors. Composite front and back doors offer some of the best looking and most secure designs available. However, much like aluminium, you are looking at around £1,000 on average for a fully fitted composite front door.
Softwood is cheapest, but only in the short term. UPVC offers the best combination of price and function for low price deals.
2Choice of design
Basically, the simpler you keep the design, the better. For the cheapest windows prices, only have an opening section where you really need it because many companies add a charge for an opener. Stick with the stock window & door furniture. Adding something like fancy solid brass door knockers or handles will push up the price.
Use white if you are having aluminium or UPVC windows, as coloured options will most likely be costlier. As will adding a textured wood-grain finish.
The type of window appearance can also have a big bearing on the cost. Sash windows are very often way more expensive than all the other types. A casement window can be half the price of an equivalent sized sash window.
3Choice of Window Energy Rating (WER)
You will see lots of reference to Window Energy Ratings (WER) in your search.
In a nutshell, the WER is the accepted measure of how well the window insulates and therefore how much potential money can be saved by installing them. Ratings can be seen from A++, the best of the best, all the way down to G, which are the worst. C rated windows are the lowest acceptable level that can be fitted and meet current UK building regulations.
However, according to the energy savings trust*:
- A Mid terrace house fitted with C rated windows will save £50 to £55 per year
- A Mid terrace house fitted with A+ rated windows will save £55 to £60 per year
So, if A+ rated windows cost more than C rated windows, then you can make the decision as to whether the increased efficiency & savings offsets the additional cost in your particular case. What that could mean to you is, that you get almost the same level of saving from the lowest priced windows.
4Timing Your Purchase
In your quest for low cost windows & doors, how about trying out ordering & installing at ‘quiet’ times of the year.
In the UK, most installation companies have lower sales toward the end of the year. Certainly we get a lot less enquiries from the beginning of December. January / February / March can also be a good .
Purchasing your windows at this time when orders are slack can maybe put you in a better position to negotiate a lower price for your work.
5Dealing with installers & salespersons:
How to get the best prices on double glazing windows & doors
- Compare quotes from at least 3 or 4 installation companies to determine which installer is more pocket-friendly.
- Some “professional” salespeople will quote a high initial price. Never settle for the first price they offer you. Negotiate as much as possible and try to push the offer down to a more reasonable and budget-friendly price. If you are still not happy, don’t sign anything.
- Stay away from salespeople who try to pressure you into accepting their offer “on the night”. Any reputable company should offer a quote and give you sufficient time to think about it. Some of these representatives are chasing commissions, and their prices are rarely ever the cheapest.
- It may pay dividends to work with a local company, as opposed to a national or international company. Big companies sometimes have to allow higher profit margins into their prices to cover bigger overheads such as advertising (TV ads are not cheap!) and commissions for their sales teams (and managers). For potentially cheaper double glazing windows prices, try getting quotes from smaller and more local companies as their prices may be easier on your wallet.
- Whoever you deal with, it is recommended that you only work with members of a proper UK trade association such as GGF, FENSA and CERTASS. DGCOS & Trustmark are other good trade bodies.
The final words
Cheap double glazing, buying windows & doors on a budget, low priced windows, whatever you want to call it, it’s all about getting the best value for money that you can.
Replacing your old or damaged fittings does not have to be excessively costly. By taking your time and comparing a wide range of options from many different installers and then using some negotiation you can end up with a really great deal.
To start with, let us help to arrange those first set of quotes for you. We have access to a panel of certifies installers base all across the UK mainland. The quotes are free and come with no obligation to buy anything.
- Click the button to request your quotes.