• Laura Molineux

First time buyer glazing guidance!

Approaching home improvements as a first-time buyer is daunting to say the least! Us millennials have plenty of spirit and are willing to get our hands dirty to keep costs down - with the power of Youtube tutorials the DIY world is our oyster! But there are certain areas where we should still be obtaining expert advice. Some of the areas falling into the ‘boring yet essential’ category would be roofline works, asbestos removal, re - plastering and, very often, windows and doors. So, before you start splashing your savings on that designer sofa, maybe consider addressing these areas first!

Having a customer base with cash to spend, who are upgrading their glazing for design and luxury purposes is fantastic and great for me getting stuck into design options! However, being in the first-time buyer generation, I think it is really important to also help guide this customer group as they make these decisions for the first time.

Within this blog post, my aim is to help you with some tips on improving the security, performance and style of your windows and doors.

  • Do not be afraid to call a local glazing company for advice and prices. Nearly all companies offer free no obligation quotations - use this service! There is no harm in getting a quote to replace all your windows and doors but make sure you ask for the quote to be itemised so you can prioritise rooms and approach the upgrades in stages to suit your bank balance.

  • Good quality firms should be more than happy to offer honest advice on what items absolutely need replacing due to being either a security risk or in very poor condition and which frames could tick over for a little longer with some service work and repairs. For example: An additional locking mechanism that screws into your existing frames. Our recommendation would be, Fab & Fix uPVC Sash Jammer retailing @ £8.34 each from ironmongery direct

  • Is having lead or georgian bars on your current windows not giving you the modern aesthetic you want? Did you know you can just change the glass unit rather than the whole window frame? This is a quick and cost-effective way of giving your property a face lift. I will include a case study laying out the average cost for this later in this post.

  • A good clean and polish will brighten up your existing frames; use warm soapy water first, then dry off and use Silicone spray (you can buy this online or in most screwfix-like stores) to act as a polish. If the silicone around the windows internally and externally has gone an off colour or has a messy finish due to weathering, this can be removed and resealed offering a clean and neat finish at a low cost.

  • Make sure your doors have upgraded 3* security barrels, these are anti snap police accredited. There is a selection of high-quality brands available. We use Ultion - follow the link for more information on this brand. This is a relatively quick and easy changeover to do yourself if you’re handy with a screwdriver or most glazing companies or locksmiths will offer a replacement service.

  • Personalise and style up your windows and doors by changing the handles and hardware to a colour and style you like! Follow this link to see some available options, you can buy these separately and switch them over yourself.

  • Do not scrimp on your front door. This is the most important element of your home both for safety but also because it is the first thing people see so a chance to make a design statement! There are so many composite doors out there but I would always advise spending a little more for a reputable brand and avoiding low quality foam filled products. The trick is going for a higher end brand but more of a budget design! For example, with our range of #solidor some of the traditional range paired with standard hardware will be more affordable than the Italia range featuring designer hardware. A good quality composite door starts from £1,100 including VAT & installation.

  • Do you have a family member or friend that works in the building or glazing industry? Pull in a favour and add them to your Christmas card list! Reputable companies should still give you the same level of customer service and design advice even if ordering the products on a supply only basis. Saving some money on the fitting enables you to invest more in the product. (Always double check each companies T&C’s so you are fully in the loop of where you stand with guarantees).

  • Not quite got the funds to cover the full cost? My motto (in a polite manner) is if you don’t ask you don’t get! If you know you can afford a larger chunk of the payment, ask the company if you are able to split the cost, pay what you can afford initially with the rest to be paid off at a later date or over a couple of months. This avoids getting tied into long finance options when the firm may be happy to help with a more personalised plan!

Case study:

Phase one for our first-time buyer couple was the front door, as the existing front door was extremely old with single glazed wobbly glass! A few visits to the showroom and we settled on a Flint door paired with the standard Avantis lock, architectural handle and letterbox. Going for a fashionable grey colour and brushed aluminium finish on the hardware gives a high-end look which they then finished off with a more expensive etched glass. As the pane is small, we managed to include it within the budget!

The next phase will be the windows and French doors. Upon assessment the current window frames are not in terrible condition and they are internally glazed which is a huge plus on the security front. Some service work is required with a few replacement hinges but other than that a good clean will bring them back to life. Some panes of glass have gone misty and broken down so we will be replacing the glass throughout the property with clear A rated units (modernising the front removing the Georgian bar), paired with new handles in brushed aluminium to match the front door.


The windows and French door service works & upgrades come in under £1,300 including all parts, installation, and VAT.

If the couple went all out and upgraded the windows and French doors, the bill would be coming in at just over £3,500 for a basic design in an A rated upvc white system.

The Front door came in at just over £1,100 including installation & VAT.

If you would like to get in contact for advice on your own property, please do not hesitate to contact me -

Shout out to #notonthehighstreet for the lovely sketch image, my first time buyer couple had a fab moving in gift featuring this!

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