Should You Buy Cheap Double Glazed Windows? Written by Beth Howell Updated on 26 January 2023 ✔ Cheap windows could end up costing you more in the long run✔ Make sure your windows are either FENSA or CERTASS accredited✔ Installing windows yourself can cut back on cost, but might void the warrantyEven though double glazing costs a lot already, we think it's worth going for quality over affordability (if you can).This way, the product will be made with sturdy materials, which should make it last longer than cheaper options, and have more insulating benefits.But if high-end double glazed windows are out of reach for you, we'll tell you a few things you should look out for when going for the cheaper option.Want to skip the reading? You can compare affordable double glazing by popping a few details about your home in our easy-to-use quote tool. We’ll pass on your details to our expert suppliers, who’ll get in touch with you with free quotes for you to compare. What type of double glazing do you need? Aluminium frame uPVC frame Wooden frame Other / not sure Get started What’s on this page? 01 Is cheap double glazing worth it? 02 What are the risks of getting cheap double glazing? 03 What is FENSA certification and why is it important? 04 Should you try installing double glazing yourself? 05 Ways to reduce the cost of double glazing Is cheap double glazing worth it?Cheap double glazed windows aren’t usually as effective as their more expensive counterparts.If you can afford to go for a standard-priced set of windows, or a more expensive option, we would definitely recommend it. They’re more likely to offer the aesthetic, thermal, and security benefits that a cheaper option won’t be able to.However, if you can’t afford a more expensive option, cheaper double glazing will probably be worth it. You’ll be much better off with new cheap double glazing, compared to an old set of windows or single glazing.If you'd like to get a better idea of what double glazing costs, click the link to read our detailed article.And if you want to see whether you can get double glazing grants to help subsidise your costs, check out our guide. What are the risks of getting cheap double glazing?Security risksThere’s a reason why cheap double glazing is so affordable – the materials aren’t as strong as standard windows, the locks might be less efficient, and you might land yourself with shoddy installation.All of this means cheap double glazing could make your home easier to break into, compared to if you got one of the best double glazing windows on the market.Thankfully, the double glazed glass itself is incredibly difficult to break, thanks to the higher pressure in the air between the two panes, which should reduce your chances of a break-in – but you can never be too careful.Poor energy efficiencyGenerally, the more energy efficient a product is, the more expensive it’ll be. And homeowners who are able to splash out on energy-efficient models will make that money back over time through savings on their energy bills.It’s therefore important to double-check the energy efficiency rating on any products that you get – especially when it comes to cheap double glazing. You’ll often find that these windows have a lower efficiency rating, which means they won’t be as good at locking in that much-needed warmth during the colder months.Outside noiseAs well as locking warmth in, double glazing is great at keeping out any outside noise – if it’s installed properly, that is.Cheap windows are likely to have more wear and tear over time, causing cracks in the seals, which will welcome noise from the outside.Replacement costsThis one’s pretty self explanatory – cheap products are likely to break faster than a top-of-the-range model.Double glazed windows last for an average of 25-30 years, but cheap windows might not make it this long. So, although you won’t have to pay as much upfront for cheaper windows, they could end up costing you more in the long run, as you’ll have to fork out a few hundred to get them replaced sooner.Window replacements can end up costing around £250 – but this price will fluctuate, depending on the type of window and frame material, the amount of time it takes to replace them, and whether it’s on the ground floor (scaffolding to access high floors will boost the price tag significantly). What type of double glazing do you need? Aluminium frame uPVC frame Wooden frame Other / not sure Get started What is FENSA certification and why is it important?If you come across a double glazing offer you can’t refuse, a good way to check whether it will be reliable is to see if it’s certified by the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme (FENSA).A FENSA certificate ensures that the window installer has complied with Building Regulations, and has registered the installation with the local council, which is a legal requirement when selling your home.FENSA certificates also verify that the installer’s warranty is insured, which should give you peace of mind when it comes to your window’s longevity.It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for a certification from the Competent Person Scheme – also known as CERTASS.CERTASS is a government-backed scheme that has been regulating the double glazing industry since 2006. Its main function is to make sure all double glazing installations follow Building Regulations, as well as to protect the homeowner from shoddy installation. Should you try installing double glazing yourself?You can install double glazing yourself – but we wouldn’t recommend it.Although you’ll avoid pricey installation fees, you could end up damaging the windows if you install them yourself – and if fitted poorly, could cause issues with the windows further down the line.There’s a reason why professional installers have to go through rigorous training before they become qualified – there’s a lot to know about this intricate work.If you decide to install your windows yourself, you’ll need to do a lot of research on the dos and don’ts, take meticulous measurements, deal with unforeseen issues (such as unexpected weather events), and make sure you have the right tools for the job.If you don’t install the windows as well as a professional, your brand-new double glazing will be pretty useless at keeping you warm. And, in some cases, fitting the windows yourself can actually void the warranty, as there’s more chance of you causing damage to the window than a professional. Ways to reduce the cost of double glazingIf you’re worried about the cost of installing new double glazing, don’t worry – there are a number of ways to bring down the cost without having to opt for a poor-quality unit.Do your research – Before you start comparing quotes, make sure you have an idea of how much your windows could cost. This way, you’ll know whether you’re being overcharged or getting yourself a bargain. It’s also worth finding out whether the supplier’s windows are made on-site or bought in – this will give you an idea of how much control the company has over quality Compare quotes – We always recommend getting at least three quotes before settling on one, but the more the better. Double glazing is a competitive market and if your preferred installer isn’t the cheapest, it is easier to negotiate if you can prove other suppliers are offering a similar product for less. Some installers, such as Safestyle, even have a price promise, which means they’ll commit to beating a competitor’s prices Get all of your windows done at once – If you’re planning to upgrade several windows in your home, get them all done at once. Installation is much cheaper when you lump together multiple windows, rather than just replacing the one. This is because a week’s work in one place costs much less for the installer, compared to a number of small jobs in different places. Plus, spending more money gives you more bargaining power. Choose ordinary glass – Avoid special coatings (like low emissivity or self-cleaning glass), leading, glazing bars, and coloured or patterned glass, which all cost more than ordinary glass Pick your time of year – You might be able to bag yourself a good deal at a less busy time of the year, such as the beginning of December, when companies are more in need of business Choose uPVC – uPVC is the least expensive window material, costing around 30% less than wood and around half the price of aluminium. This lower price is simply because it is easier to manufacture – you won’t need to sacrifice its durability or thermal performance Avoid finance deals – If you can, it’s best to pay for your windows up front. Although financing options can make getting windows more achievable, the interest will increase the price – sometimes by thousands of poundsIf you're interested, you can also look at our page on buying second-hand double glazed windows.SummaryThere are pros and cons to getting cheap double glazed windows. On the one hand, you’ll have a more insulated house for a much lower price than usual. But on the other hand, cheaper windows are more prone to wear and tear, might be made with poor-quality materials, and might not last as long as more expensive options.Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can bring down the cost of windows – and one of the first steps is to compare quotes.You can speed up this process by popping a few details about your home in our easy-to-use quote comparison tool. We’ll pass on your details to our expert suppliers, who’ll get in touch with you with free quotes for you to compare. Written by: Beth Howell Content Manager Beth has been writing about green tech, the environment, and climate change for over three years now – with her work being featured in publications such as The BBC, Forbes, The Express, Greenpeace, and in multiple academic journals. Whether you're after a new set of solar panels, energy-saving tips, or advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint, she's got you covered.