Questions to ask your aluminium window and door installer before you place an order

Upgrading your existing windows or doors is a fantastic way to improve the energy efficiency of your home as well as update the aesthetics of your property, but a complete window and door refurbishment requires significant investment. Choosing the right supplier and the right products are big decisions, so we’ve come up with a list of questions, split into four categories: products, installation, installer, and technical, to ask potential installation companies before placing an order.    

reynaers installer

Questions to ask installers about their window and door products

Do your windows and doors have an energy rating?

All windows and doors should have an energy rating, or a U-Value attached to them. They need this to comply with government legislation and the better the rating, the more significant the improvement in energy performance. 

What accreditations do you have?

Using a FENSA registered home improvement company is not a legal requirement, but we recommend this because you do need FENSA certification on any new windows or doors installed before you can sell your property. It’s also worth asking about security accreditations such as PAS 24 or SBD, and the BSI ISO 14001 environmental management standard – all of which you can find out about here.

Which hardware should I choose for my new windows and doors?

Your choice of hardware may depend on your security requirements as above, and the style of window or door you have chosen. Perhaps you will want a lever handle on both sides of your sliding door, or a combination of a lever on one side and a cup handle on the other. Tell your installer your preferences and ask what options are offered.

What paint finishes are available for aluminium windows and doors?

Reputable aluminium installers should be able to give you a choice of colours and finishes, including whether you want the same colour inside and out, or one colour on the inside of your windows and doors and a different colour on the outside. Specific finishes may be required in exposed locations or coastal areas. Depending on the finish you choose, lead times and the final cost may be affected.

Are there any opening restrictions that will determine what style of window I need?

Different styles of windows will affect the inside and outside of your property in different ways and this needs to be considered prior to an order being placed. For example, if you have a window that opens inwards, like a tilt and turn window, there may be a clash with existing blinds. Similarly, if your window is a side or top hung window that opens outwards, consider the space it will open out onto – will it impede on an adjacent walkway, or impact an area of your garden space?

What guarantees or warranties do you offer?

It’s worth checking with your installer in these early discussions what guarantees or warranties they can offer on the products they are selling, but also on the work they are carrying out. Make sure it is clear how long they will last and what they will cover. You can read a copy of the Reynaers guarantee here.

Questions to ask about the installation

How much will it cost and what hidden extras do I need to watch out for?

Once you have selected the products you want, your installer should be able to give you a no obligation quote for the work. However, it’s worth asking about additional costs that might be necessary (such as extra requirements due to structural issues or water damage that is only discovered once the installation has started) and how they will be managed.  

How long will the installation take?

This will obviously depend on the size of the project and the style of windows and doors chosen, but once this has been confirmed your installer should be able to give you an idea of when they will start the work and how long it will take. It’s also worth asking whether they directly employ their installation teams or subcontract the work out.

How much disruption should I expect when you install my new windows?

Different companies have different ways of looking after the homes they work in. It’s worth asking up front what their policy is on cleaning up after themselves and whether you will need to redecorate after they have finished the work.

What will happen to my old windows?

An increasing number of home improvement companies are offering to recycle old products as part of the service when they install new windows. If this is the case, ask your installer for details of the recycling scheme they use to make sure it is reputable. You may be liable if they are disposed of incorrectly. 

reynaers installer

Questions to ask about the installer

Are you part of any networks that check your credibility?

Some installers that are keen to prove their credibility to customers join supplier networks that hold them accountable for delivering quality products and service. Networks like this often have entry criteria for companies to join, and a code of conduct for the installer to follow, which you can ask to see or may be able to find online. We publish ours here.

Can I see some of your previous work or talk to past customers?

Ask your installer if you can see some of the work they have completed locally, or a project that is in progress. If this isn’t a possibility, they should be able to show you some testimonials from happy customers.

Can I still contact you after the installation if there’s a problem?

All reputable installers should have after-sales care in place, as well as a complaints process in the unlikely event of any problems. It’s worth asking about this in your early discussions so you know what to expect.

Technical questions about aluminium window and doors

Which products will work in the structural opening I have?

Different products will have different restrictions, so for example with our own Reynaers range, if you know you want a sliding door in a 3m opening, only our MasterPatio door will be suitable. Your installer should be able to advise you on the products that are most suitable for the space you have.

Will I need reinforced windows or doors?

Depending on your location and surrounding area, window or door frames may need to be reinforced for additional strength. An example of this may be if your property sits in an exposed area, or open countryside. This is perfectly possible to do, but it’s worth being aware that your products may vary slightly from those viewed in a showroom.

What sightlines should I have?

Homeowners are increasingly asking for slim sightlines which ultimately means the appearance of slimmer frames on your windows and doors. However, slim sightlines aren’t always best for the project, so make sure you discuss suitability with your installer.

What glass thickness do I need?

The thickness of the glass in your windows and doors will affect their thermal performance, but thicker glass needs the right frame. Ask your installer about which products are suitable for the additional weight of thicker glass.

What will the floor level finish look like on my new door?

Ask installers about the detail of the finish, including at floor level. For example, a sliding door needs to drain water to the outside so a stepped level or clear gap with a gulley or gutter will need to be considered.

How will the building structure of my property affect my installation?

Installers will need to consider the structural materials involved in the project to ensure the finished installation is structurally sound and built to last. Timber structures for example can move more than steel, and while both can be catered for, it’s important to choose the right product for the job, especially where corners are involved in the installation.

What do I need to do to ensure a functional opening vent on my new windows and doors?

To make sure your new windows and doors operate as they should the installation needs the correct combination of internal plaster or external render and choice of window or door frame. Your installer will be able to advise on the best frame choice for your property.

Where can I find a trusted installer of aluminium windows and doors?

There are a lot of trusted trade websites available now that offer a list of installers with reviews of their service. However, if you would like some added peace of mind, we have a network of Reynaers at Home partners that we have vetted and who have committed to following a stringent code of conduct. Your local partner would be happy to answer all of the above questions and anything else you wish to know before placing an order.

Need professional advice on design, specification or installation?

We have a network of carefully selected Partners who will help guide you through your home transformation process.