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Published on: May 28th, 2018
Who actually sells timber windows? Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple “the timber window shop”. There are actually several different outfits that you can buy timber windows from which all have their pros and cons. I will explain what a few of these outfits are and some of the pros and cons of working with them.
A reseller is a company that buys different types of windows from different manufacturers at a trade price and then resell to the general public.
The main benefits of buying through a window reseller is that they offer a wide range of window specifications to suit most budgets; whether you’re in the market for uPVC, Aluminium or quality hardwood windows. They typically have a showroom with different products on display for you to visit. Tending to be smaller outfits they typically stick to working in a few local counties, this can give them extensive knowledge of the local market and a better ability to respond if problems arise.
As they offer a wider range of products, they may not have the intimate, specialist knowledge you require e.g. traditional English joinery details for an older property. Many resellers will carry out the installation process themselves or subcontract this element out, this can lead to disputes and become a blame game between the manufacturer and the installer if mistakes are made.
A builder’s merchant sells a wide range of building materials and products to both the public and to trade; you may be surprised that most will also sell timber windows and doors. If you have a builder contracted to carry out work and they have included for the windows and doors as a part of their package it may be that they will be sourcing these from a builder’s merchant.
Available immediately to purchase there is no lead time to plan for, they are pre-manufactured to standard sizes and come in different styles to suit a range of buildings. Due to the nature of standardised products they are typically cheaper than bespoke joinery manufacturers.
There are drawbacks to this, typically they do not carry a guarantee that is worth the paper it is written on. They are usually made from poor quality materials and are only available in white. Typically, they are used where budget does not allow for anything better. It can give peace of mind to know that the builder is supplying the windows but in many cases the end customer ends up inheriting the problems. It is wise to ask the builder about the windows and doors they’re including for to make sure they are what you expect; if you have concerns, then visit the manufacturer to see the products being made.
Click here for a list of builders merchants in the uk.
Buying direct from the manufacturer has a lot of benefits, the chain of custody is reduced, there is no “middle-man” adding margin or another step in the process. Buying direct is beneficial if the customer needs to have something fixed under guarantee as there is a clear line of responsibility. It can be cheaper than buying from a reseller or sourcing through the contractor. There is more flexibility with customisation as they can decide to alter their processes if they need to. This is important if you are in Listed building with stringent design restraints or building a highly bespoke dwelling. A manufacturer is usually more specialised in working with certain materials and will have intimate knowledge of that market.
Manufacturers often do not have the processes to deal with the general public directly and often they will work only with main contractors and architects. A downside to buying direct from the manufacturer is that they do not offer the same variety of products as a reseller organisation might, this means you might have to do more leg work in receiving and comparing quotations. Most will work nationally but having one factory means that the logistics could be difficult depending on the project location.
It is not uncommon for manufacturers to work with resellers to deliver their products direct to the general public, where a service level agreement on maximum lead time often exists. This means that depending on the order book, buying direct could mean waiting longer to get product on site than buying via a reseller.
In conclusion when finding out who sells timber windows near you, it is important to consider your individual circumstances before placing an order with someone. Speak with a few different companies, understand their position in the market and value they can add to your project. Request multiple quotes and weigh up the pros and cons that affect you most. Don’t be convinced to buy on the initial cost of the quote but consider the appreciation or depreciation of product over time. Windows and doors make a huge impact on a home both in terms of aesthetics and efficiency.
We pride ourselves on being honest and upfront with customers, it is not about selling our products and services to a customer but helping them make the best decision for their situation. Please get in touch to find out if we can add real, significant value to your project.