Anyone who has looked into installing uPVC windows in their house will know that it is not a simple matter. It is virtually impossible to find an internet site belonging to a reputable dealer of uPVC windows that will give you even a rough idea of how much their product costs. Those sites that do offer online quotations will invariably ask for your phone number and address along with your uPVC window requirements. The reason is simple: they want to subject you to the wiles of a sales rep that will try and boost up the price. Below, I give a few tips on what type of specifications you want in your uPVC windows, and how you should handle uPVC or rigid vinyl windows sales reps that pay you a visit.
When buying uPVC or rigid vinyl windows it is important to be sure of the energy saving aspects of the windows in question. Everyone knows that uPVC will save you money in heating bills compared to timber frame windows, but not all uPVC windows do the job equally as well. There are two key considerations. The first is R-Value. This is a measure of thermal resistance. The higher the number, the more heat the windows will trap and the lower your heating costs will be during the winter. R-value is affected by the number of panes of glass the uPVC windows contain. Thus, triple glazing is better than double glazing. Single glaze reflective or tinted glass provides some thermal resistance but reduces the light the window lets in and is not as good as double, triple or insulated glass units. The other consideration is the amount of heat the windows leak into a room. During the summer cooling bills can be reduced if the uPVC or rigid vinyl widows have a thin layer of metallic oxide on them. This is called a low-e coating. A low-e coating reflects the heat from outside at an angle into the cool air gaps between the panes of glass, and thus prevents more of the heat entering the room.
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On top of these two key specifications for uPVC windows is the issue of security. You want to buy a rigid vinyl window with a multiple locking system. The best is when the locking system is fitted within the frame work of the window. If you live in a neighborhood with high crime you might want to consider having hardened aluminum or galvanized steel reinforcements fitted within the hollows of the window which can bolt the uPVC window to the wall.
Next is the issue of getting a good deal. There are some simple rules for dealing with uPVC reps. Never agree to anything at the first meeting. Get more than one quote. Always refuse the first offer and apologize for having wasted the reps time. If you are good at continually refusing an offer you will be amazed at how much the first price is reduced. Often by over 50% the price will drop. Each drop in price will be accompanied by some bogus reason for a discount. These reason are too numerous to mention here. You will be amazed at the amount of phone calls and calculator tapping the rep will go through before you get a reasonable offer.
When you get an offer you like, don’t rush in. Check that the price includes installation and at least a 10 year warranty. If you go for financing then make sure you get a copy of the financing deal to study at your leisure. Often the interest is massive and the penalty clause for paying the debt off early is absurd.
Only after you have had three quotes and are satisfied with the specs of the uPVC windows, the warranty, the financing, the reputation of the company and the price should you go ahead and put pen to paper.