Monthly Archives: August 2014

It’s official Anglian Home Improvements are Made in Britain


It has been announced today that Anglian have been accredited with the Made in Britain marque.

According to their press release the accreditation is for “businesses that sell goods that have been manufactured or have undergone a final substantial change in Great Britain before sale”.

Anglian Home Improvements install 4,800 windows and 600 doors every week but the new accreditation covers all their windows, doors and conservatory products.

Melanie McDonald, Head of Marketing and Communications at Anglian Home Improvements, said, “Achieving the Made in Britain accreditation, which showcases the best in British manufacturing, is an important endorsement for us as a business. As a company that has been manufacturing its own products for almost half a century, Anglian Home Improvements is proud of its British heritage and is focused on raising the standard across the industry.”

With the Scottish referendum just around the corner, will the “Britishness” be superseded with independence claims, made in England or made in Scotland?

Still to read their full story click here


LATEST NEWS…… You can Win a Pashley bicycle with Anglian Home Improvements

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21 August 2014

To celebrate its newly acquired Made in Britain accreditation, Anglian Home Improvements has launched an online competition to give away a Pashley bicycle worth up to £1,000.

Quintessentially English, the hand-built Pashley bicycle has been a firm favourite since the company was founded almost 90 years ago. Pashley Cycles is now the longest established bicycle manufacturer in the country.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply post a picture on Anglian’s Facebook or Twitter page of something that you have made yourself such as a piece of furniture, a delicious meal or a handy garden shed, along with a few words on why you would like to win a Pashley bike.

The Made in Britain marque is accredited to businesses that sell goods that have been manufactured or have undergone a final substantial change in Great Britain before sale, enabling consumers to quickly and easily recognise British made products.

Anglian Home Improvements has been manufacturing its own products from its factory in Norwich for almost half a century. The Made in Britain marque now covers all of Anglian’s windows and doors; conservatories, orangeries and extensions; rooftrim; flat roofs; driveways; and more.

The competition will be open until Tuesday 30th September and full terms and conditions can be found on the Anglian website.


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How to get the best deal on replacement windows

pricing for double glazing

With over 40 years of experience in the double glazing sector, one industry insider speaks out to help you avoid being ripped off and find companies offering fair prices. Here he provides answers to the 5 most common worries that people have, about having sales people in their home to provide a quotation and offers advice on how to get the best deal on replacement windows.

Which is the UK’s best double glazing company or premier window installation business?

How do you find a company that you can trust to work in your home?

How can you avoid lengthy sales pitches?

What can you do to avoid being ripped off?

What is a fair price to pay for double glazing?

Okay, before we go any further,  you need to know that these answers aren’t just for double glazing salesmen (or women) they equally apply to other sectors, like solar power installations, cavity wall insulation, mobility scooters, orthopaedic beds;  in other words any anyone wanting to part you from your hard earned cash!

So here’s the first question you must ask them (or yourself), is the person you are speaking to paid a salary (so they get paid whatever the outcome) or being paid by commission (if they sell nothing the get paid nothing). The answer to this simple question will explain the behaviour of many a salesperson.

You don’t need a psychology degree to figure out that if someone only gets paid when you agree to buy something, they are more likely to be more pushy for the sale compared to a sales person who is paid to offer you advice, regardless of your decision to buy or not.

Consider the companies view point. Imagine running your own company and you only ever had to pay a sales person when they brought you an order. This would certainly keep your costs low (and increase your profits) even if you had to pay them a large commission like 20%. Just think about the alternative; employing a salaried person who gives prospective clients great advice but never sells anything, makes no sense at all and certainly adds to your overheads and running costs.

Yet everyday, homeowners are frustrated by salespeople who outstay their welcome, that try to gain your order at the first opportunity and whose behaviour often tarnishes they entire industry, whereas in truth the industry have vastly improved its image and you should be able to avoid these issues by following a few simple hints.

Broadly speaking there are window installation companies and window manufacturing companies, however some companies do both.

The large “nationals” in Anglian, Everest, Zenith and Safe-Style will make and install, thousands of windows each week while around the country there’s an array of smaller family businesses and one man bands which generally just install products that another company has made.

Sales people can be employed on ether basis (salaried or commission only) regardless of the size or type of business, so don’t think that just because the sales person is from a large organisation they are salaried, they tend not to be.

Many people like the assurance that if they buy from one of the big national companies, they get a proper guarantee; they made the products, so they guarantee them. You may prefer this “peace of mind” even if it comes at a little more cost.

The cheaper option often appears to be a smaller perhaps local company, which “buys in” windows, however the window manufacturer only offers are guarantee to the installer, not you the home owner, so if something goes wrong with the product or the installer goes bust, you have no redress to the company who made the products.

There are some manufactures who run, approved installer schemes or preferred installer networks, that extend the manufacturer’s warranty to home owners, some even guarantee the workmanship of their installation partners, so you are fully covered by the company making the products.

So which is the UK’s best double glazing company or premier window installation business?

That depends upon your requirements. Some people are discount blind, they would buy a parachute reduced by 50% because it has been repaired, while others may think that pure stupidity.

What are your priorities? Are you happy to pay for enhanced products, products which “look right”, with a cast iron guarantee or are you only interested in price because you believe that a window is a window, there are no differences, it’s just hype to con you out of more money?

Every company is going to say they offer good (or the best) products, quality and service, nobody in their right mind would say the quality of their windows and service is less than perfect and yet, there are real differences. Every company has its strengths and weaknesses, so you must decide what is important to you first, then find companies which fit those priorities.

Start the process here.

Do some research, understand what the industry accreditations mean and if they would add value to your project or provide you with additional peace of mind.

Think about the character of your home, do you want windows that blend in or stand out, what do you like about the existing ones, is it the handles, the glazing pattern or just that they in keeping?

Maybe you want more than one estimate? Good companies will happily provide a selection of prices to cover your specific requests(rather than forcing you to take the one they want you to sell you)

How do you find a company that you can trust to work in your home?

What are your fears?

Are you concerned about the structural integrity of the building during the replacement, that they won’t damage your furniture or carpets or that you have the safety of elderly relatives or care for young children to consider?

Well any decent company will take care and provide supports when bay windows are being replaced but why not ask them how they intend doing the work. Some companies lay used dust sheets to protect carpets while others appear to go overboard, removing curtains and furniture then fully sheeting the room with plastic then laying clean dust sheets. Which would you prefer if a tin of paint were to go over?

Most companies will employ “qualified” fitters, who are experienced with replacement windows, but have they ben CRB checked. Don’t think that FENSA or CERTASS check who installs your product, they run competent persons schemes (qualified fitters) they don’t do any back ground checks. Again ask who will fit the windows, small companies will tell you who the fitters are, larger companies are less likely to know until the day of fitting.

How can you avoid lengthy sales pitches?

Tell them what you want!

Tell them you have 4 others to see today and that they have 30 minutes to provide you with the answer to the question, how much.

If you let a salesperson talk, they will run the show telling you every special feature about their products, people and processes. They will take hours to try to convince you that they are, best, cheapest, right for you. Instead, tell them what you like, give them a sketch and approx. sizes and say everyone is being asked to quote on the same information.

Tell them you want their best price in writing, one that’s based upon the information you give them so that you can consider the merits of each company in the next few days. In short it is your home, you should run the show not them. Be confident, the better salesmen will appreciate your request and provide just what you ask for, while the commission only sales people will decline to quote or leave you anything in writing.

What can you do to avoid being ripped off?

Think about the sayings, ”you get what you pay for” and “no one regrets investing in quality”.

That’s not to say the cheapest is always worst or most expensive is always best, however if price is the ONLY thing you are concerned with, ask yourself, why? Don’t be surprised if a company which is cheapest also fails to see out the guarantee period they promised.

How can you be certain that a company will survive if it was formed last year? That’s why the company house tab is so useful; it tells you when limited companies started.

You can also use another exclusive feature from DGC, our “short list” feature. You can simultaneously email as many companies as you wish, with the same request and you’ll get prices from each of your selected companies (not ones that anyone is forcing upon you). Don’t worry, they won’t know you’ve asked dozens of others to quote at the same time.

What is a fair price to pay for double glazing?

Only you can decide this.

Will the company install the windows you have selected, at a time of your choosing, using qualified fitters, taking their time to finish windows and not rushing.

Have they assurance you that your fears are unfounded, provided you with references and genuine testimonials on independent review web sites (not their own web site) and provided you with product and deposit insurance?

Did you select the company or do you feel bamboozled or pushed into a contract that you are having doubts about?

Don’t forget there are companies where you can get prices without seeing anyone. Homebase have introduced windows into their stores and provide instant online prices.

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What is a fair price to pay for double glazing?

pricing for double glazing

“Is this a fair price to pay for double glazing?” is the most asked question on forum sites, “How can I be certain I’m not being ripped off?” is the other.

As I’ve written on other blog pages, prices for windows are not governed by any government department; each company is free to set their own rates.

Some companies employ self employed sales people, who want to “close the sale”, they want you to buy there and then, so that you don’t have time to see anyone else or have chance to compare their offer with other companies.

Unfortunately, the salespeople who earn their wages via commission sales or by hitting targets, can be tempted to out stay their welcome or be over pushy, even criminal like these who were sentenced for aggressive sales tactics

Some companies however, do try to educate you about choices you have, they offer you a range of products they “think you may like” rather than, “you must have this” and they provide written estimates for you to mull over at your leisure, however the question remains, is the quoted price, fair?

Well, anti-competition laws prevent companies forming cartels or agreeing to fix prices behind the scenes, so care has to be taken whenever any organisation collects data for comparison purposes, because we certainly don’t support that sort of action.

However a survey was done last year by a blogger in the window industry called glazingblogger which may assist you with your deliberations concerning the spread of prices for you to understand the issue. He wanted to establish the typical range of prices and see what the national average was and the extent of the regional differences.

The results are very interesting and prompt more questions.

He asked 8 questions, answers were anonymously recorded, detailing the highest, the lowest and the average prices received. In total, 31 companies across the UK gave answers to most of his questions.

You’ll notice there are significant differences between the lowest and highest figures given, which begs the question, are they real? I don’t doubt the collation methods but it could be that 1 or 2 of the respondents wanted to distort the survey with very high or very low figures so may be its best to discount the very highest or lowest.

Variations could also be due to geographical variations, wether a company is busy or not, besides the actual variations in materials used and level of security, energy efficiency etc.

Do remember, these aren’t the salespersons “asking prices” but the actual prices achieved that double glazing companies say they received on their last job, so your quote could be significantly higher.

Some figures seem impossibly low, well below “the norm” raising further doubts about the truthfulness or viability of the respondents business if true.

Still, he was good enough to conduct the survey and publish the results so that you could benefit from them.

Question 1. What was the price of the last ‘standard’ composite door you sold? (900×2100, normal range of colours, normal glass, no top lights or side lights).

Average: £954 Highest: £ 1,400 Lowest: £400 Difference: £1,000 Replies: 31

Question 2. What was the price of the last ‘standard’ PVC panel door you sold? (900×2100, white in colour, standard glass, no top lights or side lights).

Average: £650 Highest: £1,000 Lowest: £200 Difference: £800Replies: 28

Question 3. What was the price of the last ‘average’ sized conservatory you quoted? (4m x 3m white frames including base work and dwarf walls)

Average: £11,231 Highest: £15,779 Lowest: £4,500 Difference: £11,279Replies: 29

Question 4. What was the price of a full house of 8 windows and 2 doors, based on white windows and standard composite/PVCu door.

Average: £4,902 Highest: £8,500Lowest: £3,100 Difference: £5,400 Replies: 31

Question 5. What was the price of a full house of 8 windows and 2 doors, based on wood grain foiled PVCu & wood grained composite/PVCu door.

Average: £6,129 Highest: £10,000 Lowest: £3,650 Difference: £6,350 Replies: 29

Question 6. What was the price of PVCu Bi-folding doors, (2100mm wide to 3000mm wide, any finish white, woodgrain, foiled, coloured).

Average: £2,698 Highest: £4,450 Lowest: £1,100 Difference: £3,350 Replies: 27

Question 7. 8 white windows no doors?

Average: £3,417 Highest: £5,500 Lowest: £1,999 Difference: £3,501 Replies: 28

Question 8. What was the price of 8 foiled or wood grained windows, no doors?

Average: £4,109 Highest: £6,700 Lowest: £1,999 Difference: £4,701 Replies: 27

As you can see there are no standard prices, they vary enormously.

The cheapest has to be cheap for a reason, but the most expensive doesn’t mean its the best.

So decide what you want, ask for a written quote so that you can compare alternatives, check out the claims each company makes, read independent reviews left by real customers and don’t be rushed into signing something, take your time, get the decision right and you’ll be delighted, rush it and you’ll regret it.

Leave your comments, were your windows more expensive, has this article helped you?


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Is triple glazing better than double glazing?

triple glazing

Such a simple question, yet more complicated answer than you may think.

Think back to razor blades. Once they were cut throat razor blades like a knife, then the small blade was introduced, smaller lighter, less metal meant it could be cheaper and two edges meant double the shaves.

Then we had the slogans for twin bladed razors, “the first cuts close, the second closer still” so fast forward to today’s  triple, quadruple  even 5 edge technology razors, are they truly able to shave 5 times better than 1 blade, or is it just hype?

Well weird it may sound, but glazing is similar and all depends upon your view point about solar gain.

Solar gain is the free heat that comes into the room, just like standing outside when the suns rays penetrate through the glass, some of the heat comes through to warm the surfaces near the window.

Too much solar gain can be a massive problem requiring air conditioning units to cool down the excess, however some solar gain should be welcomed, because once it is trapped inside the room it can offset the need for heating.

So why is solar gain an issue?

Well there are two or three ways to measure energy loss through windows U values SAP testing and WER’s (window energy ratings).

The first, U values, have been around for many years and the same formulae are used regardless of the material, ie the U value is the units of heat lost through a window, door, roof, wall etc every hour, for every 1 degree difference in temperature.

It is easy to understand and measures the amount of heat (energy) that passes through the material being tested, the lower the number the better it insulates. However this is just about saving energy, no allowance is made for any free solar gain, just the amount that goes through the material.

If you think about it, a room with no windows but lots of insulation have a very low U value 0.2, way lower than the average window of 1.6, however it will be dark and need electric lighting, consuming energy, and the free solar gain would not penetrate the solid wall, so some glazing is needed to allow light in, negating the need for electric lights.

SAP is a method to calculate the absolute energy efficiency used in new build construction. Every size of window will have its own value, derived from the orientation within the building, the direction of the sun and if its north, south east or west facing. It will include detailed calculations combining both energy loss (U values) and solar gain. However it is very complex, time consuming to do and therefore costly, so a third method was introduced, WER’s

Window Energy Ratings, calculate the energy lost through a window (not just the glass) and allows for solar gain, and is based upon the averages in the UK, so technically no WER is 100% accurate for the precise location; they average the findings from across the UK. They are a good comparison tool to compare styles so a casement or sash window will have different values and you can see which is more efficient.

So how does this affect double or triple glazing?

Well, triple will be more efficient if you are just comparing U values, as three sheets of glass will prevent more energy loss than just two sheets of glass. However if you agree that collecting free solar energy makes sense, then  just as a second sheet cuts down the solar gain of single glazing, so too the third sheet still further. There is virtually no solar gain on triple glazing.

In tests we have seen evidence that a triple glazed sash window got down to 1.4 U value (far lower than the 1.8 then regulation) however the WER fell from an A rated product to a D rated product, because of the lack of solar gain.

If triple is better than double, then why stop there, why not quadruple glazing (it does exist) or even more? Well whilst it would be very energy efficient, it would always be dark inside and the costs of electric would soon offset any energy saving costs!

Like razors the marketing people would have you believe the more the merrier.

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