Upgrading your windows is a big deal. The size of the job and the price tag that comes with it is often quite the surprise if you are not familiar with it. The problem with replacing windows is that very often it is not something that you choose to do; most of the time it is down to necessity. The reasons for replacing windows are generally to do with decaying windows and frames, a desire to make a property more energy efficient and cheaper to run or because a glazing upgrade will add value to a house.
The good news is that it is an outlay and, if you do it right, that you will only have to commit to one. Once modern, high-quality windows are installed they should be able to do their job well for generations. But what about the price? The cost of window installation, both the materials used and the labour required, range from the low hundreds into multiple thousands. Here we take a look at how glazing is priced in the UK, and what you can expect when deciding on what windows and services will best fit your budget.
The double-glazing market is as competitive and progressive as ever. As with any market, it is always in a state of flux, changing with the times, and manufacturers are doing their best to keep up with glazing trends demanded by consumers. The top three trends that are dominating the windows market in 2018 are as follows:
Energy Efficient Glazing. The world is becoming more and more aware of our responsibility when it comes to caring for the planet. Most people are also trying to save a bit of cash where they can. This considered, it is no wonder that the appetite for energy efficient windows is now so big. As well as double and triple glazing, which are already great at keeping the heat in and the noise out, many other types of glazing have been developed to minimise energy use. One example of this is low-emissivity glass. This glass has a coating which significantly reduces heat transfer. The effect of this is that, even in cold weather, the room within remains at a comfortable temperature. This glass is generally used for conservatories or rooms that have particularly large windows.
Industrial Aesthetic. Home design has taken quite a Scandinavian turn in the UK, open plan living is on trend! A huge part of this type of design is finding ways to allow more light into a building. This is often done by removing walls. However, some walls cannot be simply ‘removed’ because they are supporting walls. Instead, many are opting to replace these walls with floor to ceiling steel framed windows. The look is clean and simple; it is on trend in 2018.
Light. Letting the light in was the prime reason for which the first window was invented. However, we are still trying to improve on the amount of light a window can let in. This is being achieved through design. Glass, believe it or not, is getting clearer and clearer, and window frames are getting slimmer and less intrusive.
Double glazing doesn’t come cheap, but it is undoubtedly worth the price tag it comes with. Many might be tempted to downgrade to single glazing, go with a cheap product or scrimp on the installation by hiring an unregistered installation company or installing the windows themselves. None of these are worth the trouble they cause. Single glazing will send the noise pollution and your energy bills through the roof. Cheap products will need replacing sooner and will break more easily, so you will either end up spending a fortune on window repairs or end up upgrading in the end anyway. If you don’t hire professionals to install your doors or windows mistakes will be made, and you will have to pay for the repair or refit down the line. Do it correctly now, and all will be well.
Different window companies charge different rates, and the cost does vary depending on the materials you decide to use. The average double-glazed window costs around £500.00 including installation. Single-glazed windows cost around 30% less than that, and triple-glazed cost around 30% more than their double-glazed versions. You will save a little money per window once you purchase multiple units.
The cost of double glazing is generally affected by these three elements:
Glass. Believe it or not, the price of glass does vary; it comes in varying price ranges. Budget glass might only reach a double-figure sum. On the other end of the scale, the same amount of designer glass might take you to prices as much a £3000.00.
Toughened Glass. If the window you are replacing is within 80cm of the floor or 30cm from a door, then UK regulations state that you must install toughened glass. This is more expensive than regular glass.
Frame Material. The three mainframe materials; UPVC, wood and aluminium, vary significantly in cost due to the differences in the raw material price, the labour required to make the frames and the durability of which they are capable.
The price of double glazing has not changed a great deal since 2017. However, it is fair to say that many of the migrant workers that made up a large amount of tradespeople in the UK are gradually moving on with the threat of what the UK’s exit from the European Union might mean. Because of this, although the cost of materials is not set to change dramatically any time soon, the cost of labour will creep up throughout the next few years, and there is likely to be a dramatic change from next year, more specifically on March 29th, 2019! Another change is that grants for double glazing from the government are no longer available to anyone.
But fear not! Double glazing is still affordable. Many glazing companies are now offering competitive finance schemes to their customers, including a number of interest-free options. This, as you may know from purchasing furniture and the like, means that you can pay for your windows over an extended period. The big window companies such as Safestyle, Everest and Anglian are offering finance agreements that range from 12 to a whopping 120 months. Double glazing is still very much affordable! Here is an example of one of the deals that Safestyle is currently offering:
|TOTAL GLAZING COST||DEPOSIT||FINANCE PERIOD||INTEREST RATE||MONTHLY REPAYMENT|
Some companies are also holding flash sales, so keep your eyes peeled for those deals if you are looking for an affordable window upgrade.
The individual costs of windows, of course, vary greatly. There is the size of the window to think about, the type of materials you want to be used and how much the company charges for installation. The average cost of each window is also likely to go down the more windows you need to get fitted, as the labour cost does not duplicate at the rate at which the materials for the new window units will.
However, before you decide what type of glazing you want and get your quote, it helps to take a look at what kind of pricing you should be expecting. This table gives an estimation of the pricing of various windows and doors. These approximated costs include the price of the window as well as the cost of installation.
|WINDOW TYPE||RANGE OF WINDOW SIZES AVAILABLE||RANGE OF PRICE PER WINDOW|
|UPVC Double Glazed Casement Windows||50cm x 50cm to 120cm x 120cm||£275.00 to £460.00|
|UPVC Double Glazed Sash Windows||50cm x 50cm to 120cm x 120cm||£540.00 to £975.00|
|UPVC Double Glazed Tilt and Turn Windows||80cm x 80cm to 120cm x 120cm||£415.00 to £690.00|
|UPVC Double Glazed Dual Turn Windows||80cm x 80cm to 120cm x 120cm||£440.00 to £725.00|
|UPVC Double Glazed Bay Windows||240cm x 120cm to 360cm x 150cm||£1000.00 to £1700.00|
But this is not all you need to consider when budgeting for your new windows. The material used in the window frame should also be considered. In the UK double glazed window frames are readily available in three materials; UPVC, wood and aluminium. UPVC Window frames are the most common, especially in new builds as they are the cheapest option, they are also easier to install and extremely durable. Aluminium frames are more durable than UPVC frames, but they are much more expensive. Because of this, aluminium window frames are generally reserved for high-end construction. Wood is often required for windows in conservation areas or in the re-glazing of listed buildings, as the new windows must be in keeping with the rest of the property. You might also want to consider that aluminium and wooden window frames can be anywhere between 30% and 50% more expensive than their UPVC equivalents. This table takes a look at the kind of numbers you might come across when choosing your window frames.
|WINDOW FRAME MATERIAL||RANGE OF WINDOW SIZES AVAILBALE||LOCATION OF WINDOW||RANGE OF PRICE PER WINDOW|
|UPVC||60cm x 90cm to 120cm x 120 cm||Ground floor||£500.00 to £895.00|
|60cm x 90cm to 120cm x 120 cm||First floor or above||£560.00 to £960.00|
|WOOD||60cm x 90cm to 120cm x 120 cm||Ground floor||£845.00 to £1405.00|
|60cm x 90cm to 120cm x 120 cm||First floor or above||£900.00 to £1495.00|
|ALUMINIUM||60cm x 90cm to 120cm x 120 cm||Ground floor||£540.00 to £875.00|
|60cm x 90cm to 120cm x 120 cm||First floor or above||£605.00 to £955.00|
It is tricky to put a price on double glazing installation as a single element of the quote. The labour cost usually takes up a fair chunk of any glazing quote. Installation should be considered as part of the whole service and should not be overlooked. A bad installation is tantamount to a bad window; the window is useless without a top-quality installation job. However, for the sake of argument, an individual installation cost might be around £300.00 per window. For one window this could mean that as much as 60% of the cost is for labour. However, if you are buying multiple windows the percentage of the cost which pertains directly to labour will decrease exponentially.
Every property is different. Having said that, the variation in numbers of windows doesn’t have a particularly wide range. In fact, the average 3 bedroom house in the UK has somewhere between 9 and 11 main windows. This may be less on something like a terraced house, which, of course, will have no windows on either side of the house if it is a mid terrace. A detached 3 bedroom house, however, has twice the opportunity for glazing, having four external walls as opposed to two. If you live in a 3 bedroom house, you can probably work out how many windows you have without looking. To give you an idea of average window costs for a house or flat, take a look at the following table. The costs for the average 3 bedroom house should sit somewhere in the middle.
|TYPE OF PROPERTY||NUMBER OF WINDOWS||WOODEN WINDOWS||ALUMINIUM WINDOWS||UPVC WINDOWS|
What if you don’t need a complete window overhaul at all? What if the current state of your glazing simply requires someone to replace a few handles and window panes? Even though quality double glazed windows generally last up to 30 years before you need to consider replacing them, they will certainly become prone to the odd crack or break as they begin to wear and erode. In many cases, double glazing is actually pretty easy to repair. There are many companies out there that specialise in double glazing repair, generally at very competitive prices. In fact, make sure you check your warranty, you may not have to pay anything for repairs at all! That said, let’s take a look at what you might be expected to pay for some of the most commonly required double glazed window repairs.
|REQUIRED REPAIR||APPROXIMATE COST|
|Replacement of glass||£100.00|
|Replacement or repair of hinge||£65.00|
|Replacement or repair of lock||£50.00|
|Replacement or repair of handle||£25.00|