Financing Double Glazing
Buying double glazing can be an expensive business; trawling through the various quotes from different companies can be an arduous task. But if done correctly it should be a process that you only have to go through every fifteen years or so.
After selecting the style of windows, choosing the frames and speaking to suppliers and fitters, you face the decision of how to finance the purchase.
There is an abundance of different ways in which double glazing companies will take your money, many will offer repayment plans, and interest free credit; and of course, you can still pay with good old fashioned cash.
Home improvement loans, credit cards and bank loans are other options; but which is the best method of payment for double glazing? We will look at the different types of payment in detail below, and discuss the merits of each; to help you decide on the best way to invest in your home.
Paying in cash can be a good option as it leaves you with no debt and no repayments, but on the downside you may not have the same level of consumer rights as you would with other methods of payment.
Many suppliers will offer staged payments, whereby you pay an amount as each part of the job is completed. This type of staggered payment is worth asking about if you are paying in cash, as it puts less of your money at risk if the company fails to finish the job.
Avoid any company insisting on payment in full upfront. A deposit is quite normal and usually you can expect to pay anywhere between 10-30% at the start of the contract, although a bespoke design will command considerably more.
A home improvement bank loan
One way of financing double glazed windows is to take out a home improvement loan, or bank loan. It is an important decision to take, and one which you should think carefully about.
Interest rates can vary greatly from bank to bank and you should figure out how much you will be paying back in total over what length of time. If the monthly repayments will stretch your budget you should consider how important it is to buy new windows, and whether you really need to do it right now.
One downside to taking out a loan is that you will have no protection against your purchase. Regardless of whether the windows or the installation is up to scratch, the bank will still require repayment.
This means it is even more essential to check the background of the company you are buying from to ensure you get the best quality and the best service. On the positive side, if your property is in desperate need of replacement windows but you don’t have the capital to pay upfront, a bank loan can be a good way to finance the windows and spread the cost over a long period of time.
Using an overdraft facility is another option to consider as a method of payment for new or replacement double glazing, however, as with a bank loan it is important to know what sort of interest or charges you will be paying for the privilege.
Some banks will charge a monthly fee for every month you are in your overdraft, where others may charge interest at a certain rate against the amount you are in debt.
Either way you will have to figure out your own repayment plan to reduce the overdraft over time. This requires a lot more discipline than a loan, where payments will be taken by direct debit, as you will be responsible for repaying the overdraft off your own back.
Again, by using an overdraft, you have no real purchase protection as you will still be required to repay that amount at some point in the future, whether you receive a good product or not.
If you choose this method, make sure you draw up your own repayment plan, and stick to it. Banks love nothing more than a person who is continually in their overdraft, and continually paying charges.
Most double glazing suppliers will allow you to pay by credit card, and will often accept card payment
for the deposit and any part payments throughout the course of the work. A big advantage of using a credit card is the consumer protection it offers.
If you have any complaints about the quality of the product you bought or the service you received, you have 28 days to file a claim with the credit card company, and should be able to recover your money.
This is a big advantage when making any large purchase, and even if you have done thorough research into the company supplying your windows, it still offers a good deal of peace of mind.
Double glazing company finance
Interestingly, many double glazing companies offer their cheapest rates to those using the company’s own finance plan. Do not be fooled by the great deals and ‘best’ offers, the reason that these suppliers want you to take out their own finance is because interest rates are often very high. In the long run you may end up paying far more than if you had used another method of payment such as cash or credit card.
One scenario where this could be of benefit is when you are offered an interest free period, before you start monthly repayments. If you are sure that you can repay the full amount within that period, then you can take advantage of the extra discount, without getting caught in the trap of paying high interest rates.
It could be well worth checking with your mortgage supplier if they offer incentives for improving the energy rating of your home. Some mortgage suppliers, such as the Co-op, offer their customers very low interest loans subsidised by the government, if they are being used for energy efficient home improvements.
The repayments will be linked in with the mortgage, but as the interest rate is often as low as 2% APR, it may be worth taking advantage if this kind of scheme is available through your mortgage.
Double glazing will probably be one of the single biggest purchases you make for your home. Figuring out the best and most protected method of payment, as well as the overall cheapest, is an important process to ensure that you get full value for your money and the best protection against poor quality products or services.