Once considered a product of luxury, Double Glazed windows are becoming an increasingly important addition to every home.
HouseholdQuotes have teamed up with Quotatis. A website that lets you compare Double Glazing prices from suppliers local to you. Local suppliers often offer the best value for your money. Quotes can easily be obtained by entering a handful of details into their short form.
How much does Double Glazing cost?
The average Double Glazing price for one single window sized at approximately 60×90 centimetres and housed within a uPVC frame, is around £300.
The cost of Double Glazing your entire home will escalate from there, based on the number of windows, the dimensions of these windows, and your choice of frame and design.
Let’s imagine that you are looking for the cheapest Double Glazing installation available for a three-bedroom semi-detached house, which contains twelve windows overall. A possible price to budget for this is around £4,000, as this would allow for varying window sizes, a new front door fitting if necessary, and window features such as privacy frosting in a bathroom.
If you compare Double Glazing companies and their price lists for 2017 you will find some variation, so for a clearer picture.
They will compare suppliers and offers and provide you with three bespoke quotes local to you. This is the fastest and safest way of obtaining the best deals on Double Glazing in your area.
What are the benefits of Double Glazing?
Double Glazing isn’t a cheap investment, so you’d surely like to know that it’s worthwhile. The good news is that, despite the initial outlay, this purchase will save you money in the longer term.
On average, Double Glazed windows retain 10% more heat in the home, meaning you’ll be reaching for the central heating considerably less. Double Glazing will also significantly improve the security of your home, which could save money on insurance premiums.
Types of Double Glazed Windows
Double Glazed windows come in four core styles – Casement, Sash, Tilt Turn and Dual Turn.
Casement Windows are attached to a frame by one or more hinges, opening outwardly from one side or the top of the installation. Casement windows can be hinged to remain open for prolonged periods of time, so if you are looking for a substantial amount of ventilation this could be the best design for you.
Sash Windows are made of a number of smaller panels – sometimes just two, but often four or six – and separated by a number of bars. Sash Windows are very common in older properties and can be a visually striking aesthetic effect, but may prove costly to Double Glaze as it is difficult to find a natural-looking uPVC Sash.
Tilt Turn Windows are a modern design that is proving increasingly popular, due to the variety in performance they offer. A Tilt Turn Window opens inwardly and can be either cracked slightly or opened fully, with the hinge placed at the bottom of the window. Dual Turn Windows, meanwhile, provide the same service but with the appearance of a Sash Window.
But Which Type is Best?
There is no such thing as the best Double Glazed window that money can buy. There are a variety of alternatives, and every home and every window has different needs.
Tilt Turn could be the best option if you have young children and are concerned about the safety implications of leaving windows wide open, but otherwise, it’s all down to personal preference. Double Glazing specialists and window fitters will be able to offer advice if you’re unsure, but it will help your cause a great deal if you do some homework in advance.
Much like electrical appliances, performances of Double Glazed windows are rated on a scale of A+ to G. A grade of C is the lowest a window fitter may install while still complying with government building regulations. Always try to purchase as highly graded a window as possible; an A+ installation will absorb just as much heat as is allowed to escape, keeping your home toasty all year around.
As you are doubtless aware, Double Glazing consists of filling a windowpane with two sheets of glass, separated by dehydrated air, which provides twice as much noise protection and temperature control than a single window. Alternatively, Double Glazing can be filled with Argon, an inert and non-reactive gas, which improves energy efficacy even further.
Windows and Frames
Standard Double Glazing thickness varies from 14-28mm, depending on how large your window is; the thicker the window, the more effective it’s performance in heat retention and noise prevention.
The most popular choice of frame is uPVC, as the average cost of such a fitting can be up to three times cheaper than timber. In addition, uPVC removes the risk of weather damage such as rotting wood or chipped paint and is considerably easier to clean thanks to the wipe-clean nature of the material.
uPVC, however, is not to everybody’s taste. Aluminium is another alternative to timber if you would prefer a subtle aesthetic, but again, be prepared to dig deeper into your pocket if this is what you choose. If you live in a period home, however, and would like to retain vintage features such as cross-barred windowpanes, this may be something you wish to look into.
Double Glazing vs. Triple Glazing
For some homes, Double Glazing is still not sufficient to retain warmth. If this describes you, Triple Glazing is also an option that you may be interested in looking into. Particularly popular in colder Nordic countries such as Norway and Sweden, Triple Glazing windows have a handful of key differences to their Double Glazed brethren.
The middle of the panes is typically filled with Krypton gas as opposed to Argon, and insulating your window frame as well as the panes themselves is recommended.
A room with a Triple Glazed window may be up to eighteen degrees warmer than one with a Single Glazed pane, and somewhere between two and seven degrees warmer than Double Glazing.
The march of progress will not stop here, as European scientists are currently working on perfecting the art of Quadruple Glazing. In the meantime, drawing the curtains when the temperature drops could provide just as much heat retention!
Replacement Double Glazing
Double Glazed windows offer a vast improvement on their Single Glazed equivalents in terms of performance, but like anything, they are not infallible. Condensation can sometimes build within the twin panes, and occasionally leaks, chips, cracks and draughts can appear in your windows.
The average Double Glazing installation should last around twenty years and many manufacturers will offer a guarantee.
Replacing Double Glazing is also considerably cheaper than an entirely new installation, as the frames would ordinarily remain intact and the measurements have been taken. Household Quotes can also provide you with up to three potential suppliers to replace your faulty Double Glazing.
What if I can’t have Double Glazing?
The benefits of Double Glazing are clear, but not everybody can take advantage of them. If you are not the homeowner or live in a listed property, you may be interested in looking into Secondary Glazing.
The performance of Secondary Glazing does not match that of Double Glazing, but it is superior to a single glass windowpane.
Double Glazing FAQs
Who can fit Double Glazing?
There is no legal contract that declares you are not permitted to purchase the panes and fit Double Glazed windows yourself, and if you are skilled in DIY it may be something you wish to look into, but it is not advisable.
This approach may save you money in the short term, as you will not need to pay for the labour of a qualified window fitter, but it comes with a number of risks. Aside from the safety hazard, you may well invalidate any guarantees and warranties provided by your window supplier.
In a purchase such as this, it is always advisable to seek the assistance of a professional to prevent any issues further along the process. Most vendors will have established relationships with reputable and trustworthy tradespeople who can complete the work for you, ensuring that you can relax and enjoy the benefits of Double Glazed windows without the worry of imperfect installation.
Who is the cheapest Double Glazing Company?
You may be familiar with a number of nationwide Double Glazing vendors due to mass media advertising, and no doubt these companies will promise a bargain not to be missed. Take these claims with a pinch of salt, and ensure you obtain quotes from a variety of options before deciding on your supplier.
Major Double Glazing sales companies have a great many overheads and will pass on these costs to the customer at every opportunity they find. Be particularly cautious if you are offered a special, one-day only offer at the reluctant behest of a branch manager. This is a familiar tactic, designed to strong-arm a cautious customer into committing to a decision they may not be ready to make.
It is always advisable to shop local and find a reputable company, preferably one that has been established for over ten years. Double Glazing is a substantial investment, and taking a budget option now may prove to be an error when the time comes for you to sell your home.
Providing your business to a smaller company will also ensure that you are treated as a valued client, with the service provided bespoke to your needs.
Which Double Glazing should I buy?
This depends on your property. Older homes may provide slightly more challenge as you will be seeking a window that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing, and as many such properties utilise sash windows, you may struggle to replicate the effect with the cost-effective uPVC.
Most modern buildings can make use of any of the options available; Tilt Turn windows are becoming increasingly popular, especially in apartment blocks.
If you are in any way unsure, just ask a professional for honest advice. This is another reason to shop local, as a nationwide provider may merely guide you towards the most expensive option.
Why is Double Glazing better?
The primary benefit that Double Glazing offers is insulation. The average Single Glazed window struggles to retain any heat, so during the winter months you are running up quite the utility bill. Worst of all, a Single Glazed window is allowing most of that lovely warmth to escape as soon as it fills the room.
A Double Glazed window will not block any light, but 60% of homeowners claim that their home is warmer since they have changed their installation. Keeping the elements at bay should also go some way to reducing the risk of damp in your property.
Another positive that comes with Double Glazing is the reduction of audible noise from outside your home. If you live close to a main road or a school, a park or a pub, you will be fully aware of just how much sound can travel. Double Glazing will significantly reduce the impact of this, and help you enjoy a more relaxing home environment. The thicker the window installation, the more effective the noise reduction will be.
Finally, a Double Glazed window is considerably more secure than a Single Glazed equivalent. With two barriers to penetrate, you will not need to worry about the unexpected impact to your windows during high winds or wayward ball games in your back garden. By extension, this could save you money on your insurance premium.
Why is Double Glazing so expensive?
Double Glazing requires the installation of entirely new units to your window frame; unfortunately, it is not as simple as applying a second layer of glass to your existing window.
Double Glazing windowpanes are also made-to-measure, bespoke to the needs of the client, so this cost is factored into the price you will be quoted.
When should I replace my Double Glazing?
An average uPVC installation of Double Glazing should last at least 15-20 years. Some maintenance may be required during this period on handles and their like, but the windows themselves should not give you any problems in this time.
In the unlikely event that you are experiencing issues, such as cracks and chips, condensation or draughts escaping into you home, you should look into having your windows replaced at your earliest convenience. These problems will not correct themselves over time, and ignoring them will only lead to the issues intensifying.
What are my rights when buying Double Glazing?
There are a number of legal practices in place surrounding the purchase of Double Glazing in the UK, though the contract you will be asked to sign varies from vendor to vendor.
There are two different types of contract that you may enter into with a Double Glazing salesperson; an on-premises agreement (signed at the office of the trader), or an off-premises agreement (signed elsewhere, such as your home).
Either way, the seller is legally obligated to inform you of all their intentions and a complete anticipated cost before you are expected to put pen to paper.
It should be noted that on-premises Double Glazing windows contracts do not come with an automatic statutory right to cancel an order within 28 days, as more often that not they are made-to-measure based upon the needs of the client. An off-premises contract comes with a mandatory 14 day cooling off period. Some on-premises suppliers will offer a similar service, however, so it is worth asking.
For an extra layer of protection, consider using a Credit Card for some or all of the transaction. Under the Consumer Credit Act of 1974 this means that the creditor will be equally liable for any breaches of contract, should you need to raise a dispute at any point with your supplier.
How do Double Glazing windows work?
Double Glazing your windows acts in the same way as insulating a wall or loft. The windows will consist of two panes of glass, one inside your home and one outside, separated by a small gap filled with dehydrated air, or a gas such as Argon.
This gap is what makes the difference. When heat reaches the window it will seek a conductor, and the condensed air between the two windowpanes is a vacuum. As a result, the heat will stay in your home for longer.
This extra barrier will also protect your home from exterior noise. Instead of just a solitary pane of glass, any sound will need to infiltrate the outer pane, negotiate its way through the vacuum of condensed air, and then pierce the interior window.
How does Double Glazing save energy?
With less heat escaping through your windows, you should need to switch on your radiators or storage heaters less and less, thus saving energy and money on your heating bills. See How do Double Glazing windows work? and How does Double Glazing reduce heat loss? for more information on why this is the case.
Are grants available for Double Glazing?
Unfortunately, the government’s Affordable Energy initiative does not cover the cost of Double Glazing windows, despite them being recognised as a method of insulating a residence.
The Affordable Warmth scheme has now been launched, but again, Double Glazing is not covered in this initiative as the outlay is larger than the immediate saving on energy bills.
However, on rare occasions, grants are issued under this scheme, particularly for aged properties in a state of disrepair. If this describes your home you may qualify for an application.
What is Argon Gas, and why is it important for Double Glazing?
As previously discussed, the condensed air contained within a Double Glazed window helps ensure that heat does not escape through the windowpane.
Argon, a non-toxic colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, is a further 38% denser than pure air and is thus considered an asphyxiant. This makes it even more effective at retaining heat within a window than condensed air. Argon gas typically lasts the entire lifespan of a Double Glazed window; over the course of 25 years, it will lose no more than 5% of its density.
Alternatives to Argon include Krypton and Xenon. These gases are even more effective at retaining heat, but come at a higher cost, and are thus usually reserved for Triple Glazing projects. Krypton and Xenon also require increased width between windowpanes to be effective.
How does Double Glazing reduce heat loss?
When the heat of your house reaches a window, it makes an attempt at escaping. With a Single Glazed window it will meet very minimal resistance, hence why homes with these windows tend to run colder.
Double Glazing slows this process down considerably, as the heat will meet a thicker blockage, then a gap filled with air that acts as a vacuum, followed by another pane to negotiate.
Essentially, Double Glazing traps warm air within a home rather than allowing it to seep outside.