The Cost of Secondary Glazing
Secondary glazing pros and cons
Secondary glazing involves installing supplementary glazing on the inside of an existing window and can be permanent or are added as a temporary measure. Secondary glazing is often installed for the same reasons as double glazing, to offer better insulation and soundproofing, but is usually cheaper than double glazing and is the best option if you cannot replace your windows due to living in a listed property. If you are interested in secondary glazing you could always take a look at a secondary glazing calculator to provide you with another cost estimate.
For listed buildings or conservation areas, the slim Aluminium frames used for secondary glazing are unobtrusive and almost invisible from the outside, retaining the external character of your property and thereby avoiding the need for local authority planning permission (local planning authorities class secondary glazing as removable items).
Typical Secondary Glazing Quotes
Things To Consider With Secondary Glazing
Double-glazing is considerably more expensive than secondary glazing as if you decide to install double-glazing, you need to remove all the old windows and fit entirely new units, whereas with secondary glazing you can simply retrofit a second sheet of glass on the inside. With double glazing, to be effective, the gap between the panes of glass needs to be airtight and filled with an inert gas, whereas secondary glazing simply relies on a bigger gap which does not need to be airtight and can easily be done on a DIY basis using cheap kits.
Double glazing really needs a professional installer but with secondary glazing, you can do it yourself, or pay a much-reduced rate for an installer to do it for you. Both double and secondary glazing are great at cutting out noise but secondary glazing is much better, on the other hand, double glazing is better at reducing heat loss, but not by much.
Just like double glazing, secondary glazing is available in a range of colours including white, silver or brown, plus a number of glass options such as float, obscure, toughened, laminated and acoustic. Secondary glazing can also provide an extra level of security by creating a second barrier of protection that can prevent the most determined thief from smashing through the window. You can also get bullet and blast-proof secondary glazing! Blast mitigation can protect occupants from the effects of an explosion by containing the flying glass from the breakup of the primary window whereas protection from firearms is achieved by using several layers of glass of various thicknesses laminated together – but this is probably overkill, unless you live in a really rough neighbourhood!
There are 3 main benefits of secondary glazing; heat loss prevention, noise insulation and draught proofing. Many have started to turn to secondary glazing because it is a cheaper alternative to replacing all your home’s windows entirely. Secondary glazing can reduce the amount of heat loss from your windows by up to 40% using the standard glass. If you would like to know how much heat you lose from your windows you could always use an online calculator to get rough estimates on heat loss.
Is it worth installing?
I think secondary glazing is worth installing if you are unable to upgrade your current windows or if you live in a listed building and would like to reduce your window heat loss. To install secondary glazing, you are looking to pay around £300 per window depending on the size. To get new double glazing you are looking at paying around £400-£500 per window depending on the size.
Before making your decision on getting secondary glazing I would recommend getting calculations on the cost of new double glazing compared to secondary to check that you are getting the best value for money. Not all calculators will include labour in their calculation so remember to check when getting an estimate.
Doing it Yourself
One of the major advantages of secondary glazing over double glazing, is the fact that it much easier to fit, so much more suitable as a DIY project. However, you still need some skills and some patience to successfully install secondary glazing, this is not a project for the ham-fisted! To start, like many projects, you need to take accurate measurements so you can order the glazing, specialists are required with this as once you have ordered the units are made to measure and cannot be returned.
Once the secondary glazing units arrive, you can then lift the units into position and pack around the unit until fixed in place and level. Then using the pre-drilled holes, screw the unit securely into place ensuring it is level and centred. The work should be finished reasonably quickly and there is not much to go wrong as long as you measure correctly in the first place and are comfortable using a hammer drill. Unlike with double glazing, there is little chance of having to do plaster repairs after fitting secondary glazing, in fact apart from cleaning up some dust after drilling the holes, there really is no mess whatsoever.
Secondary glazing checklist
- Secondary glazing is always cheaper than replacing your original windows
- Listed and conservation area buildings do not require planning permission for secondary glazing
- Secondary glazing offers excellent sound proofing, it's even quieter that double glazing!
- Budget secondary glazing can be made from polycarbonate to further reduce costs
Hiring a Tradesman Checklist
- Always get at least 2 quotes before hiring.
- Never pay the full amount upfront.
- Get the quote in writing.
- For any payment you make, always get a receipt.
- On more expensive jobs, ask for references.
- Check if the tradesman is a member of any trades associations.
- Make sure the tradesman has public liability insurance.
Should I install secondary glazing or double glazing?
Can you get secondary glazing for sash windows?
How much noise will secondary glazing cut out?
How much warmer will it make my property?
Will it stop my condensation?
Window won't close. Locked open.
Submitted by Mandie
demisting a window measuring approx. 102 x 102 half opening window downstairs rear.
Submitted by Lorraine
Microchip cat flap needs fitting into a single glazed panel 67cm by 82cm
Submitted by Danielle
We want a cat flap fitted in our back door in the glass panel.
Submitted by Michelle
I have 3 misted window panes which need replacing.