If you are in the process of deciding whether to get double glazing windows, one thing you may be wondering is if it is better to get the windows supplied and fitted for you or to do it yourself. There are pros and cons to each option, and which route turns out to be best for you, depends on whether you are prioritising cost or convenience. Here is what you need to know about both supply & fit and the DIY approach in order to make an informed decision about which is the best choice for you.
Installing double glazing windows yourself
This is a job for a relatively experienced do-it-yourselfer who knows how to use a drill and isn’t afraid to take on a large, and very significant job. If you have never done a DIY task like this before, you should think very carefully about whether this is the right course for you. Assuming you are experienced enough to take the job on, and have the right tools, it is a fairly straightforward task, although there are lots of things to be careful of. Here’s how you should go about it.
First you will need to remove the old frames. It is difficult to do this without damaging the wall, so try and cut the frames at intervals and remove them in pieces. You will need to order the new windows and frames from the supplier – and when you do, make sure you get plenty of spacers, as these will be important. You should measure the frame 10 mm smaller than the opening, put the 5 mm spacers on the bottom of the opening and check they are perfectly horizontal. Then sit the frame on the spacers. Next drill the frame into the wall, making sure that there are spacers next to the frame fixers so that the frame doesn’t get pulled out of position. Making sure that the frame is level on all sides is really important, and very difficult to achieve if you are not experienced at this sort of job. When the window frame is in place use expanding foam around the whole frame and, when it has dried, seal the whole window, both inside and out, with silicone.
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Supply & fit of double glazing windows
All of these things will be taken care of for you if you choose to have your double glazing windows supplied and fitted. The company you choose will be able to supply all of the materials, fixtures and fittings. They will also provide a contractor who is able to give a high quality installation service. Depending on how many windows you are having installed, they are likely to be able to get the job done in a day or two.
The other problem you will encounter when installing windows yourself, is that they will need to comply with part L of the building regulations (http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/buildingregulations/approveddocuments/partl/approved). A FENSA registered installer will be able to do this for you, but if you are taking the DIY approach, you will need to contact your local building regulations inspector, and have them come and check your windows. If they meet the required standard, you will be issued with a certificate. This will cost you – how much depends on the number of windows and your local council’s rates. Expect to spend between £50 and £150 on getting the necessary certificate. This is an added expense that will already be included in the price of your double glazing windows if you choose to go with the more convenient route of having them supplied and fitted for you.