How to Save Money and Get a Great Deal
One very important reason for replacing your existing windows is to save money. Superior insulation and heat retention properties can dramatically reduce your energy bills. However, you don’t want to spend more up-front than you have to. In this article we will explore ways to save money and get the best deal..
The double glazing industry in general is quite innovative in their promotion and discount strategies.
Instead of just offering cheap windows, they use offers of interest free credit, buying some windows and getting some free, and additional deal sweeteners such as extended warranty and free installation.
There are so many different packages and combinations that it can be really confusing to the consumer. We’ll talk about what you need to consider when choosing the right deal for you.
Are local firms likely to do a better deal than big brands?
Quite often local firms can give more competitive quotes since they don’t have the huge expenses of national advertising and lots of sales commissions to pay, two costs which the big companies will undoubtedly pass on to you, the consumer. Generally speaking, a local firm will probably deliver a better price and with less sales pressure.
You’ll also more likely deal with someone who really knows the product inside and out, as opposed to a salesperson whose knowledge of the actual product will be less extensive. With the local company, the person you deal with is also likely to have greater authority to negotiate on the price.
There is one factor, however, which can allow a big company a bigger profit margin, and therefore more price flexibility for you, and that is if they manufacture their own product.
How many quotes should you get?
A good idea is to get three quotes, with at least one of them being from a smaller, local company. You can use these quotes to play the companies off against each other. This is a great way to find out what their true bottom line price is and ensure you get your best deal.
It is important to make sure you are comparing the exact same package when you use this strategy. However, if there is just one difference in package quotes, you can use that in your negotiation. For example, if one company offers free installation and their total package is cheaper, you can push for a discount on installation with another company.
Avoid falling for tricks of the trade
The today-only offer: With this tactic, there is a lot of pressure to make a decision right now: the offer is only good for today, end of month, the weekend, etc. If you don’t buy now, you lose the discount. Don’t fall for it! Sleep on it. If you call the next day, or even a week later, the “special” price will be just as valid as it was that day.
(Side note: The only situation in which a today-only offer may be valid would be if you are buying a display or other open-box item or such, in which it is literally only that specific item which will be sold at that price.)
The fun part about this tactic is that you can turn it around and use it on them. You can do so by telling them you have the money and are ready to go, but that you still aren’t happy with the price. Ask for a reduction of somewhere between a further 3 and 10 percent off the deal you have negotiated so far. Ask for more than you want and negotiate from there. However, you really should be serious about purchasing from that company before applying this tactic.
Sweeping: The salesman comes and offers a very high price, much too high to be competitive. The sales manager calls a day or two later, either under the pretence of customer service, enquiring about your experience with the sales person, or to inform you that they’ve just made their monthly sales target and can now offer you a special discounted price. He may even speak in a conspiring way, hinting that he can give you this better deal because he is cutting the salesman, and thus his commission, out of the deal.
Showroom discount: If you will allow an installation board placed out front for a few weeks, you will be a showcased customer and receive a discount. Additionally, of course your installation will be of the highest quality workmanship, because it will be a live testimonial to their work. If you don’t object to the board, this can actually get you a better deal, and the assurance of a top-notch installation job.
Save money by avoiding features you don’t really need.
Double glazing is classified on a rating system. Windows with an A, B or C rating are far more energy efficient than standard windows. However, the marginal increase in your energy savings decreases as you progress from C to A rated windows. According to Pilkington (the world’s largest manufacturer of glass), switching from single glazed windows to C rated double glazed windows will render a saving of £4350 (and 11 tonnes of CO2 ) over the lifetime of the window. (The lifetime of the window being estimated at 20 years and the figures given for a gas fuelled, semi-detached home).
However, the upgrade to a B rated window gives only an additional savings of £300 and 11.5 tonnes of CO2, and the most expensive A rated window gives a lifetime savings of £5000 and 12 tonnes of CO2. That is just £650 more savings than you get with the C rated windows, but with a much higher price tag.
Different gases can be used to fill the space inside double glazed windows. Argon is the most cost effective, coming in at the lowest price but still delivering an excellent reduction in heat convective transfer.
Krypton and Xenon are more effective but they are quite expensive. Argon should be more than sufficient, as you are already going to experience a huge improvement with the simple move to double glazing.
Additional Money Saving Tip For Buying Double Glazed Windows
Double glazing can be quite expensive, and if you don’t have the cash lying around, you might see financing provided by double glazing companies as your only option.
However, the terms the double glazing companies offer are usually not good, and with lots of small print and maths that may not make sense to you. If you have a Co-operative Bank mortgage, you might be able to get an “energy efficient advance”. These are offered by the Co-op mortgage company in the form of a low interest loan for the purpose of home improvements which combat climate change. With interest rates like Bank of England Base Rate plus 1.04% for the first two years, it is definitely worth your while to see if you are eligible.