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Finding a glazier
What does a glazier do?
A glazier is a tradesman that can measure, cut and install glass products. They may work as a general glazier or as part of a company specialising in related projects, such as greenhouses, conservatories or even glass roofing.
There is a strong technical element to what they do: a glazier will be proficient in measuring and calculating the amount and type of materials necessary for a job, and should also be comfortable following technical plans.
Certain glaziers can take on a direct role in preparing the glass, cutting and shaping it with specialist tools. They may also offer creative services, such as creating decorative panels for bespoke projects. Specialist glaziers are often required for restoration work on historic buildings, or to create entirely bespoke sizes and shapes for high budget projects.
What do I need to know about finding a glazier?
When looking for a tradesman, it is always important to check their background. While no technical qualifications are required to become a glazier, a good candidate will have completed an apprenticeship or at least a stint as a glazier’s helper. Ideally, a candidate will have several years of experience, as well as a string of previous clients from past jobs. If possible, contact some of these clients and ask about your potential hire; you should be able to find out information about the quality of their work, as well as their attitude on the job.
To make sure that you get an appropriate quote, ask your potential hires for a price breakdown. This will list all of the individual tasks that you will be paying them for, and you may notice a few that you can do yourself in order to save money. In order to protect your investment, it is also crucial that your final candidate has active public liability insurance.
A great sign of a glazier’s quality is if they belong to a national organisation of tradesmen, such as the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF). These groups have high entry standards which members are required to constantly adhere to. Because of this, you can be sure that a member of a group such as this is a high quality candidate.
One final thing that you will need to know about your glazier is whether they follow the appropriate safety procedures for their work. Working with glass can be extremely dangerous, especially from a height. Ask your potential candidates what procedures and safety equipment they use on the job, and make sure that they have active public liability insurance, in case of an accident. They should also have a guarantee in place for if you are unsatisfied with their finished work.
How much does it cost to hire a glazier?
As always, the price of hiring this tradesman will depend on the details of the job. Supplying and replacing a broken double glazing unit can cost around £150 + VAT, though this can vary depending on the unit’s size. Doing the same but with a single glazed pane will cost around £100 + VAT, while a replacing double glazed unit in a uPVC window will cost closer to £115 + VAT.
It can be dangerous to rely too much on averages, however. The cost of hiring tradesmen varies significantly across the UK, with Pros in the south, and particularly those in London, charging more for their services. Another important factor to consider is safety; if your glaziers will require scaffolding to be able to safely do their jobs, they may need to add between £150 and £180 to your quote.
Any quotes that you are offered for emergency repairs, particularly those outside of normal working hours or at weekends, will almost certainly be much higher than those for a job booked well in advance. For minor work, your glazier may simply charge you their minimal callout fee, so think carefully before hiring a professional glazier for simple or unnecessary jobs.
Your best bet of getting a competitive quote will be to collect them from at least three candidates. This will give you an idea of the average prices for your area, and will also allow you to spot rogue tradesmen trying to undercut their competition. Avoid these candidates at all costs: the reason their quotes are low is usually because they do substandard work, use substandard materials or are planning to take your money and run.