Replacing old windows and doors
Replacing your home's old windows and doors is a good investment both for security and energy saving reasons.
For example, our house has all of its original doors, and all of the windows on the back and on the side of the house are wooden and made of a single pane of glass (the windows in the front were replaced with modern PVC - 2 glass panes).
The old type of window not only is considerably easier to break into than the more modern versions, but the location on the back / side of the house also makes it a likely break-in point for potential thieves.
Regarding the energy saving, replacing your old windows and doors will help reduce your energy bills, improve your BER rating and you can also claim a tax credit under the Home Renovations Incentive (HRI).
As usual, my first step was to search the web and forums and put together a list of potential companies, so that we could compare the quotes and the products. I requested a quote for the following:
2 windows - 700x800 cm
1 window - 1400x1100 cm
1 window - 700x1100 cm
1 sliding door - 1800x2100 cm
These are the companies I contacted and their respective responses:
I emailed them Sunday August 7th, and Tuesday 9th I received a phone call from them asking when would it suit me to have a representative drop by to measure the windows, give us a personalized quote and show us window examples. We set up an appointment right for the next day - Wednesday 10th.
We were thoroughly impressed by the representative's pitch! Professional, affable, and super informative: he took the time to listen to the type of windows we wanted, and thoroughly answer all our questions (of which there were many!) - he also gave us a leaflet with the specifics for the windows and sliding door they sell, and an invite to visit their showroom in Santry.
We received a quote by email the next day, which listed in detail the type of windows and the sliding door we wanted, and included the price with a 35% discount, which brought it down to €3,797.
The representative tried to call us only once after sending us the email, which I appreciated: there's a follow up, but at the same time you're not pressured into making a decision.
-2- ASGARD WINDOWS
I emailed them Sunday August 7th, and on Monday 8th I received a phone call asking me more information on what type of windows we were looking to install.
I'll confess that I hadn't done a thorough research on how each type of window (different types of opening) is called and I'm fairly a novice in this area - for example, I had no idea why it's important that the windows were multi-chambered, or what it means that they are internally glazed, etc.
So I was a bit at a loss when the sales person asked me for more information on what type of windows we wanted (without really explaining the different options) - I only knew we wanted new, double glass pane, white PVC windows.
We received a quote the next day by email (Tuesday 9th) for €2,950 - it described in general the features of the windows and of the sliding door. There was no follow up after this.
-3- HORIZON WINDOWS
I emailed them Sunday August 7th, and I received a phone call back Thursday August 18th (more than 10 days later...). That same day we had signed the order with Fairco so I told them we already went with the other company, because I asked for a quote one week ago. The cheeky reply from the sale's agent was:
"We would have given you a better deal than Fairco, and we just received today your email..."
Now, that's absolutely possible - they might have been able to give us a better deal than Fairco (I didn't wait to hear it) and they might have had problems with the form submission on the site or their email provider. However, if I'm to spend approximately €3,000 I expect good and prompt service with it - a good quality product and a fair price is only part of the deal for me.
Not to mention that if you're trying to recover a potential sale... defensive and petty is not the way to go about it.
I emailed then on Thursday August 11th (I had read good things about them on different forums), but have never received a reply.
After signing the full order with FAIRCO on August 18th, a surveyor measured again all our windows and doors on August 24th, and I had my custom made windows ready by September 12th!
The installation crew was very competent and nice, all of them were very polite and they took the time to make small talk with me - asking questions about our renovation jobs.
They were super quick - there were three of them and they worked non-stop from 9am to 2pm.
After finishing, they showed me how to open and close the window and the door, ensured that I had my invoice and asked me to fill out a small survey. A truly exemplary customer service overall!
Here you can see the before and after of the windows and door we changed: