New Post Advanced Search

How much deposit is reasonable?

3 replies 151 views
Hope I've got this in the right category - guess someone will tell me if I haven't (newbie here . . . )
The windows at the front of my house are shot - we last had them replaced 37 years ago and they haven't fared well - we have bowls on the living-room window ledge to catch the rain that gets blown in . . . 
A representative of a certain large double-glazing company (no names, no pack drill . . . ) came a-knocking a couple of weeks ago asking if I was interested in a quote on replacement windows so within the hour I had a salesman in the house putting on his best smarm. Took the measurements, entered the details on his i-Pad and showed me the price on the screen. It said 'Under Sold' in big red letters so he said he'd have to ring his sales manager to see if he was allowed to sell at that price. The sales manager wanted to talk to me, knocked a huge amount off because they already had work to do in my area and said he'd send a surveyor to measure up properly for the new windows. I know the script - we bought some other windows from them years ago - they put the price up to take it off and make you think you're getting a good deal. As it happened, I was going to buy anyway because I needed windows and it seemed the least hassle to buy from them. 
So the surveyor turned up a couple of days later, had a poke around and measured everything up properly, then when he had finished he said a couple of jobs needed doing. Two of the windows are flat-fronted bays, one above the other with rendered stud-work between; the bottom bit under the downstairs bay is brick - standard 1930s construction - which needed re-pointing. The surveyor told me that the stud-work was rotten and was coming away from the surrounding brickwork and would have to be replaced before any windows were fitted, but that his company don't really do that kind of work . . . They did phone back eventually and said that they could actually do the job but it would take a week and add £3000 to the price of the windows . . . 
This news floored me a bit - I'm an OAP living on State Pension but I save some of my pension to allow for these essentials and I have enough saved to cover the cost of the windows and a little bit more - but I can't go writing blank cheques . . . I asked around for a builder with a good reputation to give me a quote - one of the people was a young fella I meet and pass the time of day with whilst on my daily constitutional in the mornings. He said his friend had a double glazing company and was experienced in this sort of work so passed my phone number on to him. 
His friend came to look at the job last week and said he'd send me two quotes - one for worst-case scenario and one for best-case scenario. When it arrived this morning the prices seemed quite favourable - worst-case was £5096 and best-case was £3400 (including the windows . . . ) The fly in the ointment was that he wants a deposit first. Fair enough - but he wanted 75%  and 52% respectively of the two quotes upfront. 
IF I knew him personally I wouldn't think twice but I only know him through a casual acquaintance. He turned up in a lettered van - but a place down the road does vinyl graphics for about £35 . . . The quotation only has two mobile numbers and no address; the email he sent it on was a Yahoo account and I can't find the company on the internet. Alarm bells are ringing . . . 
I'm tempted to ask him for references - his last couple of jobs, whatever suppliers he uses; that sort of thing - and then offer a lower deposit. 
What does anybody else think? 


  • EssexExileEssexExile Forumite
    5.2K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I'd want more than that to go on. I'd want an address I could look at & I'd like to know how long he's been going. Surely you must have established local double glazing firms where you are? Get a quote from a couple.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
  • edited 30 March at 8:39PM
    Y_CymroY_Cymro Forumite
    5 posts
    Tenth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    edited 30 March at 8:39PM
    I've asked two - only one has bothered to reply as yet and they are sending someone next week. That firm has a very good reputation and has been in business for years - they fitted a new front door for me 19 years ago. 

  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
    11.2K posts
    10,000 Posts Sixth Anniversary Name Dropper PPI Party Pooper
    I would certainly wait for the quote from the established company.  Being in business for many years is generally a good sign, especially for independant companies.
    We've just had work done on our house and the guy wanted 25% deposit as everything was custom made and would be no use anywhere else.  He had done work for friends and has been trading for about 8 years.  I did discover that he is terrible at communicating e.g. responding to e-mails but he's done a superb job.  A second payment should have been requested once work started but that request only arrived yesterday and he will complete today.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support