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Over 65 Any Help With Getting New Windows?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Over 50s Money Saving
24 replies 4.8K views
FenrisFenris Forumite
676 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Over 50s Money Saving
Hi all,

Not sure if this is the correct board to post in, but I thought as it's the Silver Savers board it'd be my best bet. My question is this: is there any help for a 68 year old to get new double glazing? I've added some details of our circumstances below that might be of use to anyone "in the know".

I live with my Mum who's now 68. She owns this house outright and doesn't have any loans or anything. She gets a small State Pension and doesn't get any "top-up" pension because she has an even smaller Army Pension which means she's not entitled to any Pension Credits etc. She does get Council Tax Benefit. I'm not working due to sickness. Neither of us have any savings.

The problem we have is that, even though the house is double glazed, it's of a poor quality. We have to wipe the windows down every morning and some times again in the evening at this time of year. All the windows literally run with condensation. This, in turn, causes a build up of mold, which, despite being bleached on a regular basis, keeps coming back!

We have now found that the front door (which my Mum paid over £1500 to have installed a little over seven years ago) is also running like a river every morning and, again, there is a large mold problem forming in the small porch. It's also smelling very badly of damp. We've already had the fitters back earlier this year because both doors (as Mum paid for the kitchen door to be replaced with a double glazed one at the same time as the front door) had dropped and were not closing properly.

This whole problem is really stressing my Mum out. She sufferes from osteoarthritis and the damp being caused by these poor quality windows is not helping her condition. There's a large damp patch which runs up the side of the window in her bedroom which is certainly adding to her medical problems!

When she moved into this house in 2002 she had to put a lot right that she didn't know about; a new boiler as the old one was leaking was her main outlay. But she also paid for cavity wall insulation and loft insulation because she didn't qualify for any grants at that time. So she's got nothing to spend on new glazing, but I can't see her go on like this. I can cope with it because I'm younger, but it's really putting a strain on my Mum so we really have to do something, we just don't know who to ask. We were thinking of Warmfront, but the last time we asked them for help Mum was refused because she doesn't get Pension Credit.

If anyone has any ideas, we'd both be very grateful! And sorry about the long post.

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

Fenris.
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Replies

  • edited 31 December 2009 at 3:27PM
    BigglesBiggles Forumite
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    edited 31 December 2009 at 3:27PM
    How is it she gets Council Tax Benefit but doesn't get Pension Credit, even though she only has two 'small' pensions? That doesn't stack up, somehow. Have you tried the Pension Credit Calculator?

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Pensionsandretirementplanning/PensionCredit/DG_180167
  • edited 31 December 2009 at 3:59PM
    EdInvestorEdInvestor
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    edited 31 December 2009 at 3:59PM
    Biggles wrote: »
    How is it she gets Council Tax Benefit but doesn't get Pension Credit, even though she only has two 'small' pensions?

    AFAIK quite a few people are eligible for CTB but not pension credit.Many fail to claim I have heard because they don't realise they can get the CTB - or it is such a small amount they think it's not worth the hassle.

    Warmfront doeswn't seem to cover double glazing, but there is an additional £300 rebate scheme which might be worth looking into.

    http://www.warmfront.co.uk/heating-rebate-scheme.htm
    Trying to keep it simple...;)
  • When you say you're not working due to sickness - does that mean you're claiming any kind of benefits yourself? You may not have savings but are you contributing to the household expenses?
  • minimadtrixminimadtrix Forumite
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    You could try your local council to see if they have anything like a decent homes grant available that you and your mother might qualify for. If you're not working due to sickness and claiming any benefits, you could apply for grants if your mother's home is your main residence.

    On a side note, I assume the council know you're living there re CTB
  • FarwayFarway Forumite
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    Condensation may not be "cured" by new double glazing, it is just physics, the moist warm air meets a relatively colder surface, like a window, and the water held within the warm air condenses onto the colder surface

    What I am trying to say is, do not think new glazing will solve the condensation problems, what may alleviate it is fresh air flow and reduce moisture in the air, keep lids on pans etc. So instead of closing things up tight, throw open a window or two, but of course turn heating off in the room whilst you do this
  • FenrisFenris Forumite
    676 Posts
    Thanks for all the replys!
    Biggles wrote: »
    How is it she gets Council Tax Benefit but doesn't get Pension Credit, even though she only has two 'small' pensions? That doesn't stack up, somehow. Have you tried the Pension Credit Calculator?

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Pensionsandretirementplanning/PensionCredit/DG_180167

    She was getting Pension Credit, but about two years ago she received a letter telling her she was no longer entitled. She was even forced to pay some of it back! I've just used that calculator (thanks for that) and, according to that, she's is entitled to an extra £13 and some odd pence per week. We're going to phone on Monday to confirm that and see if she can get it back dated to when she was told she wasn't entitled. We do still have the letter she was sent so we'll see what they say.
    EdInvestor wrote: »
    AFAIK quite a few people are eligible for CTB but not pension credit.Many fail to claim I have heard because they don't realise they can get the CTB - or it is such a small amount they think it's not worth the hassle.

    Warmfront doeswn't seem to cover double glazing, but there is an additional £300 rebate scheme which might be worth looking into.

    http://www.warmfront.co.uk/heating-rebate-scheme.htm

    The problem is that neither of us have any money to pay for it in the first place. And because Mum's a pensioner and I'm not working there's no chance of either of us getting a short term loan.
    chesky369 wrote: »
    When you say you're not working due to sickness - does that mean you're claiming any kind of benefits yourself? You may not have savings but are you contributing to the household expenses?

    Yes, I get Incapasity Benefit now. Up until the begining of October this year I was only getting £51 a week due to having to wait over a year for an Incapasity Benefit Tribunal (long story!), so no, I've not been contributing to any bills since I moved in. (I'm aware of how awful that sounds, trust me it's been soul destroying.) So, basically, Mum's been paying all the household bills out of her pensions for the last couple of years.
  • FenrisFenris Forumite
    676 Posts
    You could try your local council to see if they have anything like a decent homes grant available that you and your mother might qualify for. If you're not working due to sickness and claiming any benefits, you could apply for grants if your mother's home is your main residence.

    On a side note, I assume the council know you're living there re CTB

    I will look into that, but I won't hold my breath! :rotfl: West Norfolk Council couldn't even be bothered to grit the roads last week when it snowed. But I'll phone up and see, just in case Hell really has frozen over (it's cold enough up here today!)

    Yes, WN Council know I'm living here. Mum has to fill out CT Benefit forms on a regular basis and I always send a copy of my IB form, so they know I'm here.
    Farway wrote: »
    Condensation may not be "cured" by new double glazing, it is just physics, the moist warm air meets a relatively colder surface, like a window, and the water held within the warm air condenses onto the colder surface

    What I am trying to say is, do not think new glazing will solve the condensation problems, what may alleviate it is fresh air flow and reduce moisture in the air, keep lids on pans etc. So instead of closing things up tight, throw open a window or two, but of course turn heating off in the room whilst you do this

    Yes, I understand the physics of condensation. (I wondered how long it'd be before someone stated the obvious! ;) ) However, the problem is exsaserbated by the fact that none of the windows are properly fitted. There are large cracks around most of the frames and, in the case of my Mum's bedroom, there's actually a hole underneath the sill on the outside of the house. We had a local in who said he'd fix it. After he'd gone, Mum realised he'd done the room next door, which didn't need fixing. So we're reluctant to get anymore local "handymen" to do anymore work. We've tried filling in the cracks from the inside, but they just crack out again. So, to be honest with you, yes, I believe having decent quality units fitted by professionals would ease the problem. We had uPVC double glazing in our house in Milton Keynes (where, I hasten to add, I had three fish tanks where no-end of water could cause condensation problems!) and we never had the problems we're having here. Now I only have one 18" tank half filled with water so it's not that!

    As for opening windows, it's drafty enough in this place as it is, what with none of the blasted windows fitting properly! Lol! And we tend not to cook between the hours of 7pm and 5pm the following day, so no pan lids to keep closed! :D Seriously though, I understand what you're getting at, but it's not day-to-day life that is affecting the windows, it's the windows affecting day-to-day life.
  • minimadtrixminimadtrix Forumite
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    Fenris, I would just like to say thank you. Yours must be the first post I've read that responds to all those who have made suggestions and (I might add) not been put off by what has been said and come back with something sarcastic. It's wonderful to know that some people that really do need a bit of help and guidance and are not offended by what people suggest, but are able to respond so politely. Happy New Year to you and I hope you get something sorted x
  • FenrisFenris Forumite
    676 Posts
    Fenris, I would just like to say thank you. Yours must be the first post I've read that responds to all those who have made suggestions and (I might add) not been put off by what has been said and come back with something sarcastic. It's wonderful to know that some people that really do need a bit of help and guidance and are not offended by what people suggest, but are able to respond so politely. Happy New Year to you and I hope you get something sorted x

    Thank you very much! I know my (very dry and wicked) sense of humour sometimes doesn't translate well over forums where not everyone knows eachother, but it's nice to read that I haven't offended anyone... today! :rotfl:

    Happy New year right back atcha. :D
  • edited 1 January 2010 at 2:59PM
    MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    edited 1 January 2010 at 2:59PM
    Have you thought about trying a dehumidifier? It sounds as if damp air is the problem rather than the windows.

    My parents have been helped by these people - https://www.anchor.org.uk/OurServices/At-home/Home-improvements/AnchorStayingPut/Default.htm
    They were given a grant to get work done in the house so it would be worth contacting them.
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