30 Jun 2007

On Everest Double Glazing

There was an interesting thread over on the selfbuild list last week about someone getting Everest in for a quotation for new glazing.

Had Everest round to quote on windows for our upcoming project. I 
thought they would be expensive, but was in for a shock when he came up 
with £45k for 12 windows, 3 double doors, 2 standard doors and a front 
door with side light! The quote is for UPVC with a lifetime guarantee 
for double glazing, U-value 1.2 and light oak finish. The front door 
is hardwood, all the windows look very good quality and it includes 
fitting. 2 garage doors added another £8600 to the price.

I pointed out that was 1/3 of our budget for the whole house build and 
he seamed to forget all about the sales pitch! I also showed him the 
prices in the self build bible for a similar number of doors and 
windows for £7k, again he was stuck for words.

Before I pushed him out the door he had knocked off 28% for bulk order, 
10% for ordering straight away and after a phonecall to the boss 
another 20% if they can use the house for advertising purposes. 
Knocking off the front and garage doors that we didn’t like much anyway 
left a best price of £20k for 12 windows and 5 doors (inc fitting). I 
was budgeting to get all of them (including oak front door and garage 
doors) for £15k max. Am I in the wrong ball park?

Must say my heart always goes into my mouth when I read that someone is using my book for pricing purposes, especially when there is a huge discrepancy between quoted prices and what I’ve suggested that the going rate actually is. I needn’t have worried. Two replies came back thus:

Your instinct is right. Everest is a very expensive way to go and not really
suited to a new build. As an example, we got 15 assorted (softwood) windows,
with glazing (all double, toughened, Pilkington K and Argo-filled) from
Travis Perkins for £2000. Had to fit the glass into the frames ourselves
which added a few hundred pounds. OK, that was a cheap 'n cheerful answer
(which suits me well enough) but a VERY far cry from - what did you say? -


'get three quotes for anything significant, and six for windows ... 
unless you know what a good price is !

'we paid roughly £10k for six French windows, one very large 
window, one corner window, another window, and two small windows ... 
a few years ago ... toughened & silvered, double glazed, with 
internal glazing bars, fitted ...

Joinery is one of the more complex parts of a build to quote for but what I have been trying to do over the past few years is to reduce the price down to a square metre rate. It’s not perfect because some elements, particularly the smaller pieces, are much more expensive on a metre basis than larger ones. But given that most houses consist of a mix of small windows, large windows and largeish doors, it tends to work out
 reasonably well over a whole house. What people don’t do, of course, which would be very helpful, is to state how much joinery they are buying in square metres. Instead you get long lists — effectively unmeasured joinery schedules — which you can merely hazard a guess at. As a very rough guide, you can guess that the area of joinery is going to be around 20% of your internal floor area, so if you don’t have a joinery schedule to hand, this is a good place to start.

The costs of joinery are also very variable depending partly on the quality but also on how they are finished and fitted. Is the glazing being purchased separately? Is fitting included in the cost? What I found on my last trawl through joinery costs is that prices varied from as little as £80/m2 for unglazed, unpainted softwood frames through to as much as £400/m2 for pre-finished upmarket glazing from the likes of Rationel and Velfac. A basic uPVC system, of the kind that Everest turn out, should be costing no more than £150- £200/m2. My guess is that the house in question has around 40m2 of joinery (not atypical on a selfbuild these days) and that the Everest rep was pitching initially at over £1,000/m2 and ended up down at around £400-£500/m2 mark, still way more than the prices of far better alternatives.


  1. AnonymousJuly 06, 2007

    Mark, here are one of the national brands using the same "sales technique" as in the 80's, sign tonight (so I get the deal), call my boss(actually its the speaking clock), and promote you home as a show house.......WILL THE PUBLIC NEVER LEARN?

    Sure there's differences in price, ours as you know range from the most expensive to the most competitive, its all about VALUE for money, NOT how much.

    Get 3 quotes sure, but get their best offer in writing and read the small print. Reputable companies (like our network of local preferred installers)

    All too often products ordered bare no resemblance to the salesmans pitch......get it in writing so its legal.

    kindest regards

  2. Alan,

    Back in 1974, I spent a daft three months selling encyclopedias door-to-door, and we used exactly the same techniques back then. The old ones are obviously still the best!

  3. Hi Mark - not all double glazing companies are like that. There are double glazing companies out there who don't use these commission salesmen.

    For example, there's a local company here near us called Vantage who promote themselves as being honest as you can see on their website "www.vantagewindows.com" that they publish their prices!

  4. you lot have alot to learn. everest is a premium company that sells premium products at a premium price. they are the top of the market. comparing everest windows with windows from travis perkins is unbelievable! you cant buy a ferrari for the price of a skoda. are you really going to compare the two? if you bought a upvc window from travis perkins it will be just plastic, all the hinges and locks are just screwed into plastic therefore very easy to break into. the windows will also discolour in the sun and because the window isnt very strong( no reinforcement inside) the window will sag, expand eventually leading to the units breaking down and condensating. everest windows and doors have no less than 8 locking points, they are 50% more secure than british standards. they reinforce all of their windows and doors. you get a 10 year guarantee on the windows and doors and an unbelievable lifetime guarantee on the glass...a guarantee from a company that has been at the top of the tree for 43 years...a company you can trust. also a 10% discount for ordering straightaway isnt to push people into anything. its a genuine saving that is offered to people who make up their minds straight away meaning the representative wouldnt have to go back freeing up his time to see other prospects. people who play by the '3 quotes rule' think they're clever but all they will do is pick the middle quote if not the cheapest and hope that it is quality. also everests national competitor anglian will demonstrate a window to you and keep offering you discounts when you say no to the purchase. however what they dont tell you is that when the price is lowering so is the quality of the window. everest dont do this and the product you are demonstrated is their only grade of product. alan burgess you really need to get your facts right...

  5. Another way to do quicker price comparisons in regard to double glazing prices is to go to a price comparison website. There, people can enter what they are looking for and some specifications. Then the site will supply a list of results with information and prices that are arranged from the lowest ones to the highest ones.

  6. Even worse than the initial outlay - 11 years after fitting a clumsy oaf broke a handle, and Everest told me I have to refit the entire window as the handles are now obselete! This is not a computer that goes out of date, it's a building product that should be able to be repaired for at least 11 years! Their cavalier approach to my wallet, let alone the environment is amazing!

  7. Our house is close to the sea and the Everest bottom opening window locks are continually seizing. these window have been fitted for the best part of 20 years and I have been told that there are no replacement locks available, seems crazy when there is still plenty of life left in these windows has anyone overcome this problem?
    Graham G

    1. when purchasing anything as expensive as double glazing I try and find out which parts are likely to need replacing and purchase a few whilst they are still manufactured i have done this with the immitation coal effect part of my gas fire, sure enough after some years Icould not get hold of this part when I needed one, glad I bought the spare

  8. required three 1.5 metre square upvc windows
    saw everest's ad half price sale, rep turns up, asked him which windows were half price says they dont tell reps which ones are in the sale, WHAT!! says the computer works it out taking the sale into account comes up with a price of £4000 so the full price for the three windows would be £8000 so I show him the door
    next day his MANAGER (TEE HEE) rings how about £2375
    told him to drop it to £2000 and hes got a deal end of friendship

  9. Ran into an old pal who had left the army and got a job as a rep for Everest, back in the mid 90's. He told me he'd recently had a quote for 18k accepted by an 'old boy who had more money than sense' for a job. He then said he could have dropped the price, if pressed, to 7k. Says it all doesn't it!

  10. I was going to go with one of the larger window companies like everest or anglia, but after reading these comments I might be buggered. Don't want to use a local builder, they have a rep for charging you more through the job up until the so called end and are known for leaving a very real mess lol. One that would cost thousands to fix. What the f do I do. Can't fit them myself. Could be and should a huge job that I need doing, alteast 20 windows one of which has to be 10m in width for the open plan kitchen modern so that I can see the back yard lol. Oh and some huge designer doors.Preferrably french.

  11. I also showed him the 
prices in the self build bible for a similar number of doors and 
windows for £7k www.forgetthesalesman.co.uk