What influences the cost of new double glazing?

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Nick Dardalis

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Whether you are comparing prices for aluminium, PVCu or timber windows there are many factors involved in how double glazing prices are calculated.  So in this article we are going to consider the cost differences when buying new double glazing.

what should you expect to pay for double glazing in a typical house?
What should you expect to pay for double glazing in a typical house?

The three materials that will typically be on offer are aluminium, PVCu and timber.  Prices for double glazing in PVCu, aluminium or timber can vary substantially from company to company.  If you also consider the big discounts offered by the national firms and check whether these are genuine discounts or just clever pricing the price variations can be even more dramatic.

Given the range of pricing options and special offers, such as “buy one get one free offers”or “back of the house free if you have new windows in the front of the house” it is no wonder the consumer can feel confused when considering the cost of new double glazing products.

How much does double glazing cost?

So lets consider a hypothetical three bedroom house where all the windows and the front door are being replaced. Included in the project are french doors to the rear and a single door to the side of the property.  Some rough prices for the complete job are:

  • PVCu windows and doors between £11,000 to £13,000
  • With aluminium windows and doors between £15,000 and £17,000 (typically a 40-60% uplift on PVCu)
  • Timber between £20,000 to £24,000 (typically a 100% uplift on PVCu)

The quality of the product, local labour rates and property specific challenges will affect the prices suggested above.  Pricing verses quality will also be affected depending whether the supplier only installs windows, or manufactures them.  However if you have had a quotation for aluminium windows and prices have been substantially more than the indicative uplifts please contact us and we may be able to help you.

What is the real cost of double glazing?

single windows
Single window replacements may incur minimum order charges.

Every window company prices their products differently.

If you are only looking to replace one or a few windows in your property it is likely the costs will be similar from company to company.  The margins in smaller jobs are not as good as larger installations.

If you are only looking to replace one window or one door some window companies will also charge a minimum price or a flat fee for just one window.  Typical charges can be about £500 for something like a bathroom or toilet window even though the cost of that product will be substantially less.  Whilst charging a minimum order value may seem unfair, it is important to remember costs that window companies have to incur even on a single window installation.  These can include:

  • the window company has to guarantee that product for 10 years.
  • the costs of a surveyor in establishing the manufacturing sizes and installation requirements.
  • the cost of one or a team of two fitters to replace the window
  • administration costs such as purchasing, invoicing, FENSA registration etc.
  • the costs involved in coming out to repair or do work under guarantee.

All of these costs have to be borne by the window company and rightly have to be charged to you the customer in some way. It is fair to say a single window installation is often not a profitable one for a window company.

On the other hand, if you are replacing all your windows and doors there are opportunities for the window company to offer you better deals.  For example some doors could be sold at a much lower price or at cost to make the price of the whole project more competitive.  Ultimately it is down to the individual company to make a commercial judgement on any prospective new window installations and price keenly to secure your business.

Are discounts on double glazing real?

It is important to know that the independent and local double glazing firms will mostly have a dramatically different pricing structure from the national firms.  It is unlikely that you will see the big discounts or incentives to buy there and then with the local window companies.  Rarely will you see 50% or  free window discounts with the local companies and whilst some discount will normally be available other companies simply stand by their products, their pricing and importantly their brand.

When buying new windows and doors, the reputation of the firm and the quality of the products and the installation will be as important a factor as the price of the windows themselves.

It is also highly likely that finance arrangements, interest payments attached and other charges will over the period of the finance agreement negate any big discount you may have received, therefore it is important to do your sums and make sure that if you are buying double glazing on finance that the sums stack up and you are not over paying.  It may be worth looking at other way of financing your new windows instead of committing to a finance agreement from a window firm.

You will get a better service from a local company than a national firm and this is reflected in the prices.  The local reputation of double glazing firms matters a lot as so much work comes from local recommendation and local repeat business.  One very important fact is that the owners and staff of local double glazing firms also live locally! Establishing a good name in the area is critical.

The way the products are sold you will also find different between a national and a local company.  You will rarely find “reasons” to commit there and then with a local firm. The vast majority will simply advise you in the best way they can, prepare their quotation and leave you to make up your mind.  Of course, all quotations will be followed up to gauge interest and get feedback but it is unlikely you will be put under pressure to buy there and then.

Why are there cost differences between aluminium, PVCu and timber windows?

Look carefully at any discounts, buy one get one free offers or any other incentive to secure your business and you will often see that these offers relate mainly to the PVCu window.  Why is this?  Simply explained, the margins in a mass produced PVCu window often manufactured by huge companies turning out sometimes 1000 windows a week enable bigger markups to provide a big discount.

It is unlikely you will ever the same offers given for aluminium or timber windows.  These windows are never mass produced, remain specialist in the way they are made and are rarely subject to big incentives to buy.  The manufacturers of these windows are much more specialised, the ordering process can be different and delivery dates are longer on aluminium and timber window and door products.

The big discounts are simply not available to premium products such as aluminium and timber window and will be much smaller.

Beware the window company that offers a hefty premium for anything that is not PVCu.

Many window companies only offer PVCu windows. Others offer a limited aluminium or timber product range but will rarely show these products in a showroom preferring to sell PVCu.  These two types of window companies will often put a premium on their aluminium and timber windows, but why is this?

With profit margins are greater on PVCu windows it is often the case that some window companies will want you to have the most profitable and easy product.  The window company and the salesman that sells plastic doors and windows may not have the knowledge or experience on all materials available and will sell what is easier for them.

PVCu window prices are instantly available and these windows can be priced in the home. With aluminium and timber prices these often have to be obtained from the manufacturers and can’t be instantly priced.  This means for some double glazing salesmen they have lost the opportunity to quote you there and then and get you to commit quickly.

However if you find a window company that is expert and knowledgeable on all materials, this window company will generally have fairer pricing.

Let us help you find a competitive local installer

If you are looking for experienced window companies that can offer a complete product range and fair pricing, please contact us and we can put you in touch with quality window companies local to you.

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16:42 30 Oct 23
Nick responded incredibly quickly to my enquiry (on a Saturday too!), and was able to offer invaluable advice on both aluminum systems and manufacturer / suppliers. Thanks Nick!
chris steerchris steer
16:18 09 Oct 23
Had a meeting with Nick during the grand designs show. Was extremely helpful and professional would highly recommend
Chris WesthorpChris Westhorp
19:55 13 Sep 23
Extremely helpful with pointing us in the right direction to find the products we required and suggesting firms that could reliably fit them.Nick was quick to reply and very detailed in his advice.Highly recommend reaching out to them.
Cathy GreenwoodCathy Greenwood
07:03 11 Sep 23
Update - A second email to nick for help on bifolds resulted in a detailed informative reply even on a Sunday ! This guy is so knowledgable and helpful .I approached Nick for an independent view on sliding doors v bifold and the different brand options . His reply was extremely detailed and prompt and allowed me to navigate this often confusing world in a much more informed way . Thanks so much Nick
Anthony CraigAnthony Craig
12:45 05 Sep 23
This is a must site for anyone looking for advice. Great service and very quick answers to questions. Nick has been of great help quiding us through the maze of aluminium products. Thank you
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20:24 26 Jul 23
I contacted Nick @ ATS for guidance on what aluminium sliding door systems would be suitable for an opening in an extension that is going to be both wide and tall. He came back really quickly with very detailed and incredibly helpful advice. He is clearly extremely knowledgeable about the systems on the market and their respective features and capabilities. If you’re feeling a bit lost by the overwhelming range of choices out there, I’d definitely recommend contacting him.
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17:25 19 Jul 23
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Alan FosterAlan Foster
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09:24 16 Jun 23
Fantastic website full of valuable and pragmatic advice about product selection and comparison: no other website gives information like this. Truly written for public interest. Don't hesistate to reach out to Nick via the mailing system. He responds very quickly, is friendly, and has very sound and high knowledgable advice. I have already shared this with my friend planning her own grand design.
guard Charlieguard Charlie
12:28 14 May 23
I emailed this company just on the off chance they could help me with new magnetic sliders for my patio door. They were not able to supply those but were so very helpful providing me with the name of a company who could. I am so very grateful at the great service. Dare say customers must be very happy. thank you so much.
Benjamin LewisBenjamin Lewis
10:06 04 May 23
Nick is very helpful indeed. Extremely knowledgeable on bifolds which was in relation to my query. Great website as well, some very useful articles. Particularly appreciated the article that lists all the major bifold options in order of their sightlines! Thank you!
P JonesP Jones
08:07 15 Apr 23
I asked Nick some questions about an installation we were considering and he replied within hours with some very useful suggestions that will probably lead us to using a different make and supplier. Thanks, Nick. Great work.
Nicholas WallNicholas Wall
13:18 02 Apr 23
Looking for fair and honest expert advice on all aspect of aluminium windows and doors? These guys will arm you with all the information you need to make the RIGHT choice in a highly complex, crowded marketplace. post a question and you will get a very quick professional answer you can rely on being based on fact. Thanks guys!
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16:25 21 Mar 23
After a lot of research to find doors that would meet our unusual size requirements and feeling increasingly uncertain about the best way to spend our small budget, I stumbled on the ATS website, and I'm so glad I did! I contacted ATS to request advice and Nick promptly replied with a wealth of information, providing us with options and relevant contact details. I only wish I'd found them sooner!
Carol NortonCarol Norton
10:01 17 Mar 23
I've been so confused about how to achieve the look I'm after, and going round in circles with various window/door companies, trying to get away from the huge chunks of plastic currently around my windows. I didn't expect an email to a company found through a Google search to really help - but I was desperate, so I tried. I'm SO glad I did. Finally I have clear explanations from ATS of where I've been going wrong, exactly what I'm looking for, and a list of local companies that might be able to provide it! The response has excelled my expectations and I feel as if I'm finally inching closer to a home with which I'll be happy and comfortable: thank you.
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20:54 14 Mar 23
It is rare that I write reviews, however after my very positive communication with Nick - enquiring about suitable slim sash aluminium windows for my project, I felt that a review was definitely warranted. I can reinforce the many positive reviews posted so far, Nick was very quick to respond, providing comprehensive detail, with excellent independent advice.In summary, great service, thank you Nick.
Chantal AuerbachChantal Auerbach
13:04 09 Mar 23
Nick from Aluminium Trade Supply was incredibly helpful informative and pleasant to deal with. He responded quickly to emails and was very knowledgeable. Highly recommend being in touch with Nick if you are considering new aluminium windows or doors.
Lee JonesLee Jones
20:21 22 Feb 23
I dropped Nick at Aluminium Trade Supply an email re high security slim sightline bi-folds and their alternatives and he responded that quickly (and so comprehensively) that I felt bad I’d not paid him for his time!Nick Sir your product knowledge is outstanding and you are providing a level of service that goes wayyyy above and beyond expectations. I’ll definitely make sure I mention Aluminium Trade Supply to anyone I encounter looking for a fenestration solution 🙏🏼
15:13 13 Feb 23
We are looking to replace some old UPVC patios doors with aluminium ones. The ATS website is a great source of advice in an area where clear information is sorely lacking. Having used the website, I then followed this up with a number of specific questions relating to our search, and Nick came back very quickly with clear, detailed and very useful advice.I have been very impressed with both the website and with Nick's advice. My only regret is that I didn't come across ATS before replacing various windows in 2021 - I'm sure it would have saved me a lot of grief and money! Thanks again Nick.
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17:47 01 Feb 23
So impressed with this company.Responded to my query quickly andgave valuable advice. Nick was extremely helpful and we were able to move forward with our project.
Adri LoloçiAdri Loloçi
11:21 08 Jan 23
Nick was super fast to respond and provided some great recommendations. I would recommend this website to anyone looking to find bifold or sliding aluminium doors.
Stephen HoustonStephen Houston
16:16 03 Jan 23
Looking for aluminium crittall style internal door and external patio French doors. Noted good reviews and thought would ask for advice. Comprehensive reply with excellent independent advice and lists of fitters who could provide products and installation. Great service.
Inga GeachInga Geach
08:25 21 Dec 22
Nick from Aluminium Trade Supply has been extremely helpful with navigating the jungle that is aluminium glazing for our upcoming extension project. His advice was prompt, detailed and always impartial. Very grateful for your input, thanks Nick!
Amanda BurtonAmanda Burton
10:54 16 Dec 22
Brilliant website and an excellent service. Nick provided not only detailed advice and supplier contacts, but highlighted the considerations of various products so I could make an informed choice. Our Sunvista minimal sliders were fitted this week and I couldn't be happier, stunning. Thanks once again for your advice and recommendations, invaluable!
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11:45 13 Sep 22
Nick has been very helpful on signposting me to a number of partner organisations for steel/aluminium doors.
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