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Thread: Why is double glazing so expensive?

  1. #1
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    Default Why is double glazing so expensive?

    Coming from The Netherlands, it was pretty weird to see that a lot of houses in NZ don't have double glazing, and only recently people really started with replacing single glazing with double glazing. In NL they recently started with triple glazing....
    Looking at prices, I noticed huge differences. In our Dutch house we replaced single glazing with double glazing (5-6 windows) in 3 rooms, about 4-5 sqm. Total costs 600 Euro (1000 NZD).
    In New Zealand that would cost way more I've been told. Googling I find prices between NZD 400-800 / sqm!
    Why is it so more expensive here? Is it all imported from overseas and not fabricated here?

  2. #2
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    It's not that cold here. Put on a jumper. Take a teaspoon of cement and harden up.

    --Kiwi Mike

    Seriously, N=not to turn this into a "Things are expensive in New Zealand" thread, but all home improvement items are expensive. Paint? 3 to 4 times what I would expect to pay in the US. Replacement lock for a sliding door? <$20 in the US. I can't afford one here. Please don't rob my house. Wood screws? They are like an afterthought in the US...I wouldn't even think about the cost. They're like 30 times as expensive here. I could go on and on.

  3. #3
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    Really helpful and friendly. NOT. Please don't reply if you have nothing useful to say.
    All new windows must be double glazed, so it is cold enough... Everyone I know of coming from Europe is complaining about damp and cold houses. We spend a lot of money each winter for our heating in our single glazed, not-insulated house.
    NZ has a LOT of isuses with damp houses, caused by lack of insulation. The rate of Asthma is very high in NZ, because of the bad houses.

    Let's not turn this into a topic whether double glazing is good or not. I'm just curious why it's more expensive. Is double glazing not produced here (thus imported), causing higher prices?

  4. #4
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    There is somewhat of a culture in NZ of charging not a fair price but as much as you can get away with...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by boland View Post
    Really helpful and friendly. NOT. Please don't reply if you have nothing useful to say.
    All new windows must be double glazed, so it is cold enough... Everyone I know of coming from Europe is complaining about damp and cold houses. We spend a lot of money each winter for our heating in our single glazed, not-insulated house.
    NZ has a LOT of isuses with damp houses, caused by lack of insulation. The rate of Asthma is very high in NZ, because of the bad houses.

    Let's not turn this into a topic whether double glazing is good or not. I'm just curious why it's more expensive. Is double glazing not produced here (thus imported), causing higher prices?
    I think your reply was a bit harsh. I think the PP was just pointing out that a lot of things in NZ are generally more pricey, for whatever reason.

    I am not sure why it is expensive. Maybe because it is new technology over here. But it is definitely worth it. Coming from the UK and US where it was standard we finally just had a new house built with full insulation, double glazing, thermally broken windows in bedrooms, and central heating/AC. We are enjoying a very comfortable summer and our electricity bills have halved.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hagabel View Post
    I think your reply was a bit harsh. I think the PP was just pointing out that a lot of things in NZ are generally more pricey, for whatever reason.

    I am not sure why it is expensive. Maybe because it is new technology over here. But it is definitely worth it. Coming from the UK and US where it was standard we finally just had a new house built with full insulation, double glazing, thermally broken windows in bedrooms, and central heating/AC. We are enjoying a very comfortable summer and our electricity bills have halved.
    Well, I don't like people saying I have to swallow cement to harden up. Just the tone that is not helpful at all.

    Thanks for your reply. It seems New Zealanders are understanding more and more that NZ is not a tropical island, like the earlier settlers thought....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by boland View Post
    Well, I don't like people saying I have to swallow cement to harden up. Just the tone that is not helpful at all.

    Thanks for your reply. It seems New Zealanders are understanding more and more that NZ is not a tropical island, like the earlier settlers thought....
    The comment about cement was a joke. It was meant to be funny.
    Have you asked the double glazing salespeople why it is so expensive compared to elsewhere?

  8. #8
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    Why is it so more expensive here? Is it all imported from overseas and not fabricated here?
    As previous posts have mentioned, building materials are very expensive in NZ. Key reason is NZ is a very small market that importers and suppliers can not get decent prices on these products though high volume overseas purchases. In addition that cost of marketing and taxes = an even higher price. The biggest supplier of NZ building materials I believe is Fletcher and unfortunately, the business setting in NZ building is based under an oligopoly like environment (few suppliers). Then you have the aspect of building compliance for materials. In NZ (and i'm sure the Netherlands would also have) there are quality standards that building materials must achieve. While such testing of materials are done overseas, it is by all means these tests are NOT recognised in NZ. So a company that wants to import windows into NZ must undergo an exhaustive testing regime in order for local building councils can approve use of such products. BRANZ is an accredited NZ testing standard and their charge to do initial assessment testing per product starts at $20K - by the time the window product is approved for use in NZ, the cost of getting through the red tape could be well over $100K (and that's if it passes).

    The window industry in NZ is primarily aluminium framing. You will not see high performance window sash / mullion units found in N. America / Europe in NZ because of the wide dominance of aluminium framing (despite their performance figures pale in comparison to properly insulated windows ie. wood or PVCu). As for the glass itself, most of it is imported but the cutting and assembling of the SGU in NZ because the glazing require production markings (ie safety tempered glass).

    The driving factor for building more comfortable homes in NZ is mainly due to the high price of electricity. Yes majority of old stock houses in NZ are uncomfortable but over time they will end up renovated (or knocked down for new) to current standards.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by boland View Post
    Well, I don't like people saying I have to swallow cement to harden up. Just the tone that is not helpful at all.
    I think because it was a "quote" and then was followed up by an agreement that, in general, most things in NZ are ridiculously overpriced, it should be taken as a joke. It's a Kiwi joke. He quoted "Kiwi Mike" but it very well could have been "Kiwi Trev" or "Kiwi Steve". Combined with what mylesdw said about price gouging, it sort of explains the culture of pricing in NZ. Kiwis, when faced with something that is outrageously priced and out of reach, tell themselves they didn't need it anyway and it's not as bad as all that.

  10. #10
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    Aside from the materials costs which needs to be almost wholly imported into NZ, double-glazed windows are very much more expensive due to the low demand in NZ for such an improvement addition to the homes. The materials have to be imported but the windows have to be fitted in NZ and installed and the labour charge for doing so is extremely high. In the past when I inquired about having double-glazed windows, my neighbour, felt that such a cost would be prohibitive and unnecessary. Having done a little research, I have to conclude he is right. Half the costs of having and fully installing these windows would be the labour and refitting costs alone.

    The cost to install such windows for my first house I bought in Auckland, would be nearly $24,000 and how effective would that be to reducing heat loss? Anywhere between 10-14%. Faced with such circumstances, it was more cost prudent to just simply improve the insulation to the house specifically to the ceiling as it was the most effective way to warm the house, spending productively.

    And when it comes to condensation on the windows, it was very much the Kiwi way of thinking, open the windows to air out the place, and use a dehumidifier every week or so. Unfortunately it also meant that having double-glazed windows as being "unnecessary". Furthermore there are cost-effective alternatives like window film which offers a cheaper way to prevent heat lost through the windows, though not as good.

    Unless you happen to build a new house (double-glazed windows are a standard) or install the windows yourself, it is very unlikely you will fork out such a large sum of money for so little gain in improving insulation to the house.

    And btw, I quite understand why you snapped back in response. I wouldn't quite appreciate a quip myself especially since I am looking for serious answers

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