Anyone who’s ever sold windows supply only or to builders will know how frustrating this part of our industry is. When a builder comes in and buys windows off you, you know how many potential issues and arguments there may be when it comes to them fitting them!
Do any of these quotes sound familiar to you?
“There’s a scratch on this glass!”
“You’ve made the windows too small!”
“You’ve made the windows too big!”
“My door has dropped!”
All these quotes fall into the category of: Excuses not to pay. I think most of us cringe at the prospect of supply only work, especially to builders, because of the inherent difficulties that come with that type of work. The problem is that builders are builders. They’re good at building things (well, supposed to be) like walls and extensions. They’re not fully trained in fitting windows and doors, so any potential issues with the product are down to installation more than anything else.
The thing that frustrates most installation companies is the blame that is put on them for any problem with the job. Fact is, it is highly unlikely that the installation company will have scuffed any frame, scratched any glass unit or made the windows and doors wrong. The company relies on the person buying the products to give them wholly accurate information. By this time, the installation company is probably way late on getting payment from the builder, the relationship has turned sour and leaves the installation company thinking what’s the point for so little profit?
These jobs are simply way too complicated than they are straight forward and don’t command decent profit margins. Is it worth it for installation companies that mostly deal with residential contracts to delve into builders contracts and other small scale commercial work? I don’t think so, but for fear of keeping up appearances, we all do.
Builders should stick to building, that’s what they’re there for. Leave the window and door fitting to dedicated window and door fitters!
Jason, You`ve missed the most important thing, they won`t be registered with certass/fensa. Probably won`t even bother with the their local building regs dept (i want to say more ,but don`t think Andy`s ready for that yet) I know i`ll get some stick for saying this…. Joiners are the worst for it. Everyone of them has Upvc windows etc signwriten on the vans..Never seen one a member of a competent persons scheme. They may be able to fit a window, but i`m fairly sure they won`t know the regs eg toughened glass,fire escape windows etc etc. I either turn building… Read more »
Nige – you’re right, I can’t believe I missed the FENSA/CERTASS point out! But thanks for adding that! It’s a shame that it’s the end user, the customer, that loses out. If every trade was more professional then maybe we wouldn’t have the issues we do with supply only and building jobs. Thanks for your comment!
never had any of the issues you raise to be honest and you’ve also missed out a couple of vital points as well…. The vast majority of us in supply only work will only proceed with the manufacture of the items once some form or order acknowledgement has been signed off by the customer! So if a customer says the window is too big or too small, that’s 99 times out of 100 their fault not the fault of the manufacturer. The expectation of builders or any other customer who chooses to buy a product and install is is that… Read more »
Get paid for the windows up front, all contracts to be signed and also get them to sign for the job before they go out. If you get say 8 windows to make. Profit £720 around 3 hours work. Can you turn that profit away? I don’t think so
We supply quite a lot of supply only work, we have never had any problems and we call it our “bread and butter” work. With retail, payment can be delayed by all kinds of excuses but with trade we do “pay on delivery”. At this point they have to check glass and frames to check they are happy and then hand a nice cheque over. Keeps our cash flow neat and tidy :)
Yes Agreed but I am doing both.
Maybe you should declare this in the contract while you were talking to your contractor. And make sure you know that they can do the job. Cool Post!
Thanks for this. I’ve got an interesting dilemma where an installer has damaged all around my windows (exposed brick, and foam) after install but say that it’s not their problem to sort it and I need to get a builder back in. What’s your call on this as it seems unfair they can cause any damage they want then walk away.