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Home & garden.

Updated: 4 Aug 2021

Independent double glazing companies

Should you buy double-glazed windows and doors from a big brand, such as Anglian, Everest or Safestyle, or use a trusted local double glazing firm?
Sarah Ingrams
Double glazier drawing up plans in his office 478481

We spoke to more than 3,000 people who bought double glazing in the past 10 years, and 45% of them said they used a local independent firm. We reveal why they didn't choose a household name and how the independent firms' service compares.

Our top-scoring big-brand double glazing company has an impressive customer score of 81%, while the lowest-ranked brand managed just 52%.

Independent and local double glazing firms offer a wealth of different service standards so we don't have customer scores for each one. But our survey did reveal that their customers are often very satisfied and happy to recommend them.

Which? members can log in to see how independent firms compare with the big double glazing brands, plus the pros and cons of choosing a small local firm. If you're not already a member, get instant access by joining Which? today.

The top-scoring double glazing firm in our survey, CR Smith, has an impressive customer score of 81%, while lowest-ranked Everest managed just 52%.

Independent and local double glazing firms encompass a wide range of different services, companies, traders and situations. Any single overall score won't be able to reflect these.

However, we found that, in general, customers of independent firms were more likely to be satisfied with them than those who chose big brands. They were also more likely to recommend them to others.

This is based on our analysis of the responses of the 1,470 people in our survey who bought from an independent double glazing firm.

That's not to say that no one has had a bad experience. But it gives you a good idea of the average experience people had, and how that compares to the service offered by the household names.

Visit the best double glazing companies rated to see exactly how the major double glazing brands compare.

Why choose an independent firm for your double glazing?

Man installing double glazing

With 45% of customers opting for a local or independent trader to fit their double glazing, and another 29% buying from a fairly small firm, we asked them to tell us why.

Their reasons were different from those who chose big brands, including Anglian, Everest and Safestyle, whose top motivations included them selling windows or doors they liked, a good reputation and offering a discount.

Which? members can log in to see the top reasons people chose independent brands, compared with bigger chains. These are based on our survey of 3,467 people who bought double glazing in the past 10 years.

Double glazing near me

Man installing seal around double glazed window

If you’re keen to employ someone local to make and install your double-glazed windows and doors, rather than opting for a national chain, use our Which? Trusted Traders search tool below to find reliable traders near you. 

Comments from some customers in our survey included:

They were recommended by Which? Trusted Traders and on other sites and I prefer to go local if I can as I think I will get better value and service.

We had word-of-mouth suggestions for local companies. One of them was a Which? Trusted Trader.

Every Which? Trusted Trader is independently vetted so you can be confident in their service. You don’t need to be a Which? member to contact traders using the service.

Before a double glazing company can use our logo, we carry out extensive checks. We look at:

  • their background - how long they have been trading, whether they have been liquidated at any point, and whether they're financially sound now;
  • whether they have the right qualifications and accreditations for the job they do;
  • their website and paperwork to ensure it gives the right amount of information and contact details;
  • whether they have adequate insurance for the work they undertake.

These checks all help to protect you against rogue traders. All our assessors are ex-Trading Standards, so have years of experience in spotting reputable traders and discounting the dodgy ones.

All Which? Trusted Traders must also agree to our code of conduct, which means no cold calling, giving customers fair and appropriate contracts, and being signed up to an Alternate Dispute Resolution service in case there are any difficulties.

Take the stress out of finding a recommended trader in your area by visiting Which? Trusted Traders.

Double glazing reflecting a winter snowy scene

Independent firms vs big brands: which are best for double glazing?

One person in our survey of 3,467 double glazing customers who bought it in the past 10 years said: 'I think local ones need to keep their reputation up, and the service feels more personal and they are easier to contact physically if problems arise.'

Our analysis reveals whether this is true across the hundreds of independent firms customers told us about.

A quarter of customers who bought their double glazing from an independent or local firm also considered both Anglian and Everest.

To help you find the best double glazing firm for your project, we asked customers to tell us how satisfied they were with the brand they chose, and how likely they would be to recommend it to others. We also found out about other aspects of companies' products and services including sales, delivery, customer service, installation, how well the double glazing has lasted, and value for money.

Which? members should log in to see what customers thought of independent brands. If you're not a member, you can join Which? today to access all of our double glazing results.

What do we mean by independents?

Independents mainly include:

  • local double glazing companies;
  • small firms, rather than nationally or regionally recognised brands.

It may also include local builders and joiners, which people are more likely to have used if they're having a home renovation, such as an extension.

If you want to find out more about using an independent glazing compnay, the process of buying double glazing and the different types, visit our page on choosing the best type of double glazing..

Top problems with independent double glazing companies

Three quarters of customers of independent companies said that they had no problems with either buying, delivery or having their double glazing installed. It was a similar impressive result for a couple of bigger brands. But two firms had more than four in 10 customers experiencing problems.

Which? members can log in to find out which firms those were, and which problems were most common with independent double glazing firms.