Cheap Double Glazed Windows

If you’ve ever heard the saying ‘buy nice or buy twice’, it certainly rings true when it comes to getting new windows. And yet the appeal of what appears to be a bargain can be hard to resist … especially for double glazing, which is not only expensive, but has its share of rip off merchants – who give the vast majority of decent, hardworking installers an unfairly bad name.

The good news is that it’s not at all difficult to find a trustworthy, reliable installer – you just need to do a little research. Of course, we can take care of the whole quote process for you – we only work with accredited, properly vetted installers – but you’ll still want to read this first.


In This Guide to Cheap Double Glazing:

Head straight to a specific section by clicking the links below



How Much Is Too Much? And How Little Is Too Little?

Fitting cheap windows

The key to finding good double glazing at a good price is: moderation. Your own research will give you an idea of what kind of price range you can expect to pay – and we’ve done some of the legwork for you below. If a company is trying to charge you much less or much more than this, you have to ask yourself why. If the price is much higher, what are you getting for the extra money? If it’s much lower, what aren’t you getting?

The arguments against not paying too much are obvious but not wanting to pay too little seems like a contradiction in terms. But if a company is not charging enough, a corner is being cut somewhere – probably in a way that is bad news for you.


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Cheap Double Glazing Problems

Surely all you need from a window is to be able to see through it? Actually, you need a lot more from your windows than this. They need to keep your home warm, keep it secure, keep the rain, wind and snow out, keep draughts out, and not be easily damaged or prone to condensation between the panes.

Poor quality windows will be less good at doing some or all of these things. Double glazing should last for 20 years, so do you really want 2 decades of mopping up puddles, putting newspaper down and blocking off draughts? Or, worse, windows that only last a few years before they deteriorate beyond tolerability or break, meaning you have to repair or replace them again? The firm probably knows this and doesn’t offer a very good guarantee, so you may have to bear a second lot of expense as well as a second lot of disruption.


A Compromise on Security

Cheap double glazing often cuts corners when it comes to security. For example, cheap windows may have external beading rather than internal, which means an intruder can prise out the glass from outside the property (glazing beads aren’t actually beads, they’re strips of vinyl, wood or metal that hold the window in place.) You should always look for internal beading, which prevents burglars from doing this. Ask about the locks, hinges and other security features and compare them for different windows that you’re interested in. Make sure the company uses British standard approved locks and handles – if it doesn’t, your home insurance may not cover you if there’s a break-in. Conversely, windows which offer good security may save you money on your insurance.


Mind the Gaps

Cheap double glazed windows are also often ready made or standard sized, rather than made to measure for your home. There is a benefit to this: the company can usually offer you a price straightaway without having to measure up. However, your windows will not have been custom made for you and therefore may not fit your home exactly, unless your window happens to be exactly the right size. This will mean gaps, which have to be covered with beading to stop your windows being insecure and draughty – not a great solution.


But If You Use a FENSA or CERTASS Member, Surely Good Quality Is Guaranteed?

Using an installer who is a member of one of the government’s competent person schemes, usually FENSA or CERTASS, does protect you from a lot of potential problems. It guarantees that their workmanship will be of a high standard and comply with building regulations, and it means your deposit and guarantee are protected.

But the accreditation covers the workmanship rather than the quality of the products, and though it would be fair to say that most accredited firms pride themselves on their work and therefore use good quality products, very cheap windows should raise your suspicions that this is not the case.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that good quality double glazing adds value to your home, so you should recoup some of the cost if you sell it.


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Cheap Double Glazed Window Prices

Prices for a double glazed window start from between £300 and £400. As discussed below in more detail, the price will be affected by a variety of factors, including: the company you use, the size of the window, the style of the window, the type of glass, where in the country you live, the colour of the frame and which floor the window is on (scaffolding will increase the price).

Size
Colour
Price
50cm x 50cm
White
£250 to £300
50cm x 50cm
Woodgrain
£300 to £350
1m x 50cm
White
£275 to £325
1m x 50cm
Woodgrain
£325 to £375
1m x 1m
White
£300 to £350
1m x 1m
Woodgrain
£350 to £400
1.2m x 1.2m
White
£350 to £400
1.2m x 1.2m
Woodgrain
£400 to £450


Supply-only windows will obviously cost less, but you’ll still have to pay for someone to install them. For example, you can expect to pay about £200 for a 60cm x 1.2m double glazed uPVC window direct from the manufacturer, but paying an installer separately usually works out more expensive.

Check out our comprehensive double glazing costs page for more information on prices.

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Top 20 Tips for Getting Cheap Windows (But Still of Good Quality)

Helping a customer get cheap double glazing

1. Do your research. If you’re well informed and know what you want, unscrupulous salesmen are less likely to spot an easy target. Before you get quotes you should already have an idea of what your windows are likely to cost. If the installers you’re interested in have showrooms, visit them. Don’t just look at the windows; try the handles, look at the workmanship, ask questions. Find out whether the windows are made on site to order or bought in – this will give you an idea of how much control the company has over quality.

2. Get as many quotes as you can. We always recommend getting at least 3 quotes, but the more the better. Double glazing is a competitive market and if your preferred installer is not the cheapest, it is easier to negotiate if you can show that others are offering a similar product for less. Let companies know you are getting other quotes. Some installers (Safestyle is one) have a price promise, where if you find the same product on sale for less elsewhere, they will beat that price.

3. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. But do remember that this is how someone else makes their living. A big national company with a large turnover which can absorb a few price reductions, and is probably happy to make them, is very different from a local tradesman to whom every penny matters. You presumably expect to be paid a fair price for the work you do; so do they. You may feel more comfortable negotiating to keep the price the same but get a better product, for example getting better glass or a woodgrain finish thrown in when these would normally cost you extra.

Some people say all your quotes should be like for like so you can compare them accurately, but there’s also merit in looking at prices for different types of window and seeing how much extra you would have to pay for a better product, as this can be useful if you want to negotiate.

4. Buy uPVC. uPVC is the least expensive material for windows; it’s around 30% cheaper than wood and around half the price of aluminium. This is simply because it is easier to manufacture; you need have no concerns about the quality of reasonably cheap uPVC windows from a reputable manufacturer. There are many valid reasons why some people prefer wood and aluminium but if you are looking to keep your costs down, uPVC is strong, durable, a good insulator, fireproof, recyclable, resistant to environmental and chemical damage, and very low maintenance.

5. Choose casement windows. These are less expensive than other styles, like sash or tilt and turn windows, just because the mechanism is simpler. However, the type of property you have may dictate what windows you need to get – don’t buy casement windows if they don’t suit your house, as you’ll probably be lowering its value.

Opening mechanisms increase the cost of a window, so if you are getting sash windows, a sash window where only 1 pane opens (single hung) will cost less than one where both panes open (double hung).

6. Choose your time of year. You may be in a better position to negotiate a good deal at a less busy time of year, when the company is more in need of the business. Around the beginning of December is often a quiet time.

7. Get all your windows done at once. Not if you don’t need them done, obviously; but if you think you might need to replace them all in the not too distant future, you may as well go for it now. The price per window will be less, because a week’s work in one place entails fewer costs for your installer than ten small jobs in different places; plus spending more money gives you more bargaining power.

8. Use an accredited installer. But not only an accredited installer, one you can trust and who wants to offer the best deal for you. Choose someone who gives straight answers to questions, and doesn’t make you feel under pressure. This is not acceptable in any other situation, so why would it become okay because someone wants to sell you something? Reputable companies will give you time to consider what is best for you.

Along with FENSA and CERTASS, the other competent person schemes listed on the Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme website are Assure, Blue Flame Certification, Certsure, NAPIT and Stroma. Unless you’re an accredited installer, don’t try to fit double glazing yourself.

9. Choose ordinary glass. Special coatings, like low emissivity or self-cleaning glass; leading; glazing bars; coloured, patterned and obscure glass; these will all cost extra, as will having argon between the panes for extra efficiency. These features can be great if you can afford them but if not, standard double glazing is still very effective.

10. Choose white frames. These are normally the cheapest even if you are buying wood! A coloured or woodgrain finish will probably add between 10 and 20% to the price of your window.

11. Choose the least expensive hardware. Different accessories and design features, such as different handle types and colours, can affect the price. Even the windowsill can affect the cost (if the company charges extra for the windowsills, see if you can persuade them to throw them in for free). These costs may be relatively small individually, but add them across a houseful of windows and they will mount up.

12. Get quotes in writing. Get detailed quotes in writing so you can see the cost of each item. This allows you to make sure the price includes everything you asked for, and ask for anything you don’t want to be removed.

13. Avoid finance deals. The interest will increase the price of your windows, sometimes by thousands of pounds.

14. Avoid salesmen who use high pressure techniques. A special 1-day-only offer is a common tactic designed to get you to make a decision before you are ready. FENSA describes this as a tactic of rogue traders. You will not get the best overall deal from a firm that treats you like a cash cow rather than a customer. Asking if both you and your partner will be there when they come round can also be a pressure-selling technique, designed to deprive people of the ability to say they can’t decide now as they need to consult their husband or wife.

15. Consider secondary glazing. This involves adding a pane of glass to the inside of a single glazed window and is cheaper than double glazing, though also less effective.

16. Visit trade shows or consumer home exhibitions, where you can see a wide range of windows and doors in one place.

17. You don’t have to buy top of the range. If money isn’t an issue, we would always recommend going for A rated windows or above as they are the most effective. But B or C rated windows will still do a very good job and be significantly better than old windows with a lower rating. You can see how the annual savings compare on our windows page.

18. Check the guarantee. Before you hire a firm, read the guarantee carefully. Any company that is a member of the Glass and Glazing Federation should offer at least a 10-year guarantee. Make sure that the glass, frames and moving parts are all covered.

19. Ignore any of the above advice if it results in windows which don’t suit your home or your neighbourhood. Not only could you end up violating boundaries of fenestral taste, it could devalue your home.

20. Remember that, above all, if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly. You are spending a lot of money on a long lasting improvement to your house or flat. Price is important but the determining factor when you are choosing an installer should be whether you trust and are happy with them. After all, they are working on your home.


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