All your renovation projects should be eco renovations. Eco renovations will save you money on heating and electricity. They save you money and pay for themselves. Draught proofing and insulation projects pay back your investment fastest, but other eco renovation projects are still worthwhile.

Once you have insulated and draught-proofed your home it is time to look at eco renovations that have longer payback periods.

Eco Renovations – New Doors and Windows

Fitting replacement windows and doors is an investment that adds value to your home and makes it much easier to sell, should you ever decide to do so.

Replacing softwood windows or old aluminium double glazed units with modern uPVC double glazed window units will save you money on heating bills, but the payback period is a long one because of the high cost of this eco renovation.

Other Advantages of Fitting Replacement PVC or uPVC Windows

PVC and uPVC are the same thing, the 'u' stands for 'unplasticised', which basically means the PVC is rigid. All PVC windows are uPVC windows.

There are other benefits to fitting replacement PVC double or triple glazed window frames, besides the reduced heating bills.

New uPVC windows will eliminate cold spots in your rooms, so more of your living room space will be usable. They reduce condensation, too and draughts caused by the cooling of air in the room by the cold window's surface are eliminated.

New PVC window frames will enhance the appearance of your home and totally eliminate all maintenance. Selling a home without PVC window frames has become virtually impossible, because buyers factor in the cost of doing the job, so reduce the price they are prepared to offer.

What Are the Best Replacement PVC Windows?

The best replacement windows are those that reduce heat losses by the largest amount. Companies selling these windows manufacture their own frames instead of using generic PVC window frames such as your local builder would use.

Sealed double glazed window panels with larger air gaps cost more, but do a better job of reducing heat losses. You can buy windows made from special glasses that do a better job of reducing heat loss. These special glasses cost more.

Triple-glazed sealed units cost more than double-glazed ones, but they do a better job.

The best replacement window PVC frames and sealed units cost more, but this is a job you will only do once, and those windows will last you a lifetime.

What Is the Best PVC Replacement Window Company?

The best uPVC window replacement company will be the one that fits the best windows and frames.

This might be the most expensive one, and the best company will definitely cost more than your local builder. Local builders use generic frames and sealed units. A specialist PVC window replacement company will manufacture and install its own higher quality window frames.

Most homeowners do consider the price when they are deciding which window installation company to use and it is for individuals to decide on the compromises between price and efficiency that best suit their needs.

Choosing Your Window Installation Company

Most window replacement companies employ high-pressure salesmen. Double-glazing salesmen have a reputation for being thick-skinned and hard-nosed that is well deserved. Once you let a double-glazing salesman in your door he will not go away until you have signed his order form. The only way to get rid of him is to walk out of the room and tell him you are going to bed or going out.

If you are trying to compare costs you need to adopt a different approach because you do not want to have to deal with salesmen from five different window installation companies on successive nights.

A national company will have local showrooms. Visit a few of these, taking your window measurements with you. Look at the different window systems and insist on getting a price. Any company should be able to give you a price for a standard 48in x 48in window. If they will not do so, then it is because they rely on high-pressure sales tactics and salesmen who will not go away to sell their windows and you need to decide whether you are prepared to buy from that kind of company.

Once you have prices for a standard 4 ft square window you can decide which window company offers the best combination of price and quality, which offers the best value for money.

This is the stage where you ask for a whole-hose quotation. You will need to get at least two quotations to replace all of your windows and doors because some companies will load the price of a door, others will have higher prices for windows.

How Do You Get Rid of a Double Glazing Salesman?

Double glazing salesmen only make appointments to see you in your home in the evening.

Before the Appointment

  • Make sure that two adults are present at all times. One person's sole job is to prevent the other from signing anything
  • Have your escape plan ready, including code words, perhaps get someone to telephone you with an urgent message to get to the hospital because there has been an accident
  • Have someone with a big dog in the house or on the end of a phone

It sounds extreme, but you will be glad you were prepared

During the Appointment

  • Let him go around and measure all your windows and doors and give him time to do his calculations
  • Sit down in the kitchen or dining room, never get too comfortable with a double-glazing salesman
  • Let him go through his sales spiel
  • Look at the price
  • DO NOT ACCEPT the first price
  • Make it clear that you are getting other quotations
  • Do not tell him who else you are asking to quote, he will have some awful story about each one
  • IGNORE any incentives to sign NOW

This is the stage where double-glazing salesmen are trained to ignore what you want and to carry on with their script. They are paid when you sign, no signature, no pay, so they have quite an incentive to pressurise you into signing.

Ending the Appointment

  • Tell the salesman that you are interested, but need other quotes first
  • Ask him what his best price is. He will not tell you out straight out
  • Make it clear that you are NOT going to sign anything tonight
  • Offer to have him come back during the day on a specific day next week-You can always cancel the appointment later
  • Ask him to leave- He will not leave
  • Tell him you are going to bed. Leave the room, he will wait five or ten minutes, then he will leave

Can You Buy Used Double-Glazed PVC Windows?

You can buy used PVC window frames, but these will be older, generic frames that perform poorly. They have been taken out from their previous installation and replaced with better units.

The only time you should consider these second-user windows is in a new build where you are building a house with the object of selling it immediately. In this case you should ensure that window frames are intact and without scratches and that all sealed units are condensation free.