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CHOOSING THE RIGHT COMPANY
Don't be tempted to go with one of the larger multi nationals. Sometimes smaller local companies are as good if not better. The problems you find with the larger companies is they tend to loose that personal touch. To start with the salespeople are just that, they are there just to get the sale, many of them only know the basics of the product they are selling. If you put 100 double glazing salespeople in a room and asked them what upvc stands for I bet less than half would know the answer, the answer is Unplasticised Polyvynal Chloride. Do not be easily swayed by some slick sales patter. Always remember they are there to advise you and guide you as to what best suits your requirements.
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Once you have are happy and you have signed the contract you can expect a phone call or email to book an appointment to carry out the survey.Most company surveyors are ex installers so they have a greater product knowledge. One very important thing to remember is that the survey SUPERSEDES THE CONTRACT.
In short whatever you sign for on the survey is what the factory will make and the fitters will arrive with to install. When the surveyor arrives he will either bring a copy or ask for your copy of the contract. He will use this as a guide in respect of the window styles glass patterns etc. He will need to ensure that the installations complies with building regulations document L.
Document L of Building Regulations
All replacement window installations in England & Wales are subject to BUILDING REGULATIONS. This regulation in particular affects the minimum levels of insulation that replacement windows must have when fitted in your home. Levels of insulation are measured as U values. The lower the U value, the better the insulation level. In future what we may have in the past have referred to as "normal" double-glazing - i.e. two pieces of glass separated by a spacer bar is very unlikely to conform to building regulations. To get the required level of insulation it's almost certain some sort of LOW E glass (typically Pilkington K in the UK - although there are other brands) will have to be used. It may also be necessary for the sealed double glazed units to be Gas Filled (probably Argon).
INSTALLATIONS WILL ALSO HAVE TO CONFORM TO THE FOLLOWING
Glazing within critical locations replaced with safety glass
Existing measures of background ventilation to be retained
Existing measures of means of escape from relevant rooms will be retained (if window styles to be changed this may affect means of escape)
Open flue appliances checked for adequacy of air supply
If necessary, a suitable means of support will be provided above the replacement window/door