Crystal Home Improvements Review
Who are Crystal?
Crystal Home Improvements provide products and fitting services for windows, doors (including garage doors), rooflines and porches. They cover the same sort of ranges as other window and door manufacturers and providers, but market themselves under the ‘home improvements’ umbrella due to the range of services they offer. However, they are not to be confused with ‘Crystal Home Improvements’; a patio, driveway and garden services company who are returned in the same google search.
Crystal predominantly specialise in uPVC windows and double glazing and both manufacture and install their products themselves. Unlike many other UK manufacturers and providers who promote how much of the UK they cover, Crystal tend to focus on the London and South East areas keeping their focus more targeted and working on a more local basis. They consequently attribute the success and growth of their business down to customer recommendation and word of mouth in the South East regions. Considering the strong recommendations passed amongst friends and family, Crystal do offer a ‘recommend a friend’ incentive and regardless how much money is thrown at a nationwide marketing campaign, a personal recommendation from a friend or family member is still the strongest form of promotion and is backed up by their 95% customer satisfaction rate.
What areas do Crystal cover?
Many other UK manufacturers and providers pride themselves on covering every corner of the UK, but when you begin to make your way through customer reviews, it is easy to spot where both the customer service and standard of service fall down where a company is trying to cover too wide an area. Supply chains, engineers, installation specialists and general customer service standard operating procedures are difficult to enforce and deliver across every town and village in the UK. This is perhaps why Crystal quite openly stick to what they know and operate predominantly in the London and South East regions of England.
Their website is not as informative as larger UK manufacturers and providers but directs customers much more frequently to get in touch with their service team with any queries, which will inevitable provide a more personal touch. Crystal do have showrooms as well, although information on their locations is not easily come by on their website.
As with all window and door product manufacturers and installation services, no fixed price list is provided as each job is unique to the individual, property and specific requirements. Value for money is of course important for all customers and Crystal’s products exceed UK standards as regulated by the British Standards Institution and FENSA, so you can be sure that you are getting a good quality product. Price-wise there is little indication of what these come out like comparative to other companies but, unusually, Crystal do not offer a ‘price match guarantee’, like many of the national UK providers. Whilst this may initially raise suspicion that they are perhaps more expensive than their competitors, it could actually be perceived as a positive indication in regards to price, as they do not need to offer such a service as their prices are competitive enough in the first place.
Other larger UK window and door companies shout from the roof tops about how they will match any price, but many of their customer reviews highlight how they did indeed have to do some leg work in terms of researching other prices to get the best deal, often referencing extortionate quotes upon initial enquiry.
Alike their competitors, Crystal do offer finance plans for purchasing their products and are quite transparent about the APR rates, which are not always displayed as clearly up front as Crystal do. Crystal also offer an online instant quote service on double glazing products but refer customers to their service team for other information and more specific pricing.
You can visit Crystal in person by going to one of their showrooms but exactly where these are is not heavily promoted on their website, although a photograph of a show room is displayed under their support tab confirming that they do exist. To find out your most local Crystal showroom it would be best to contact their customer service team on any of their below details.
You can visit their website at www.crystalwindows.co.uk.
You can write to Crystal by using the below postal address:
Crystal Windows and Doors
11 King George Close
You can message Crystal by using their contact form submission via their website at www.crystalwindows.co.uk and select exactly what your query relates to. You can specify through this contact form whether you wish for them to contact you by e-mail or phone and when you would like to be contacted.
If you wish to speak to them in person or have an urgent enquiry, then you can do so via phone on 0800 091 2136. There is just one standard phone number for all enquiries which helps to keep things simple, unlike some other manufacturers and providers who have different phone numbers depending where you are in the ordering process; i.e. one number for enquiry stage, another number for order in process and another for order received and installed but something is wrong.
Crystal do also offer a ‘request a call back’ service where you can specify when you would like them to call you rather than waiting in phone queues. This is also really useful is you are doing your research of an evening, outside of phone line hours, and can then request there and then for them to call you the following day or week, whichever suits you best, rather than forgetting to contact them.
Crystal manufacture, sell and install a wide product range offering a large selection of goods within each product category. Everything is made to order to ensure the best fit and maximum efficiency as a product is only as good as it’s fit and installation.
Windows (uPVC); Casement windows, tilt & turn windows and vertical slider windows
It is no secret that replacement windows have advanced considerably since the early days of double glazing and alike many other manufacturers, Crystal’s product incorporate the latest developments, technologies and aesthetics to offer products that are as efficient, as secure and as good-looking as possible.
Whilst Crystal manufacturer their frames, creating the perfect design and fit for their customers, they have teamed up with Pilkington in regards to their glass. Pilkington are a well-established and reputable glass manufacturer in the UK. If you can’t beat them then join them; Crystal pride themselves on their partnership with Pilkington and how they develop their exclusive product ranges closely with them, not just using them as a supplier or outsourcer.
Crystal’s partnership with Pilkington enables them to offer a wide range of glass products, styles and designs including obscured patterned glass, leaded designs, Georgian bars, coloured glass and bevels with the idea of being able to suit and match the windows for any property. Crystal offer a range of pre-set designs, which is most likely quite safe to assume would be their cheaper range, and then make and fit to measure. If you are after something a bit more unusual or can’t quite find what you are looking for, they also offer a full bespoke service to tailor the windows design, pattern and colour to what each customer feels is right for them and their home.
This service is really important for period properties and those with a more traditional character as uPVC does not, in its most standard and generic form, typically suit these older or more enchanted properties.
Casement windows are Crystal’s most popular product of which they install approximately 50,000 of every year. For a company covering only certain regions, rather than the whole of the country, this is comparatively quite impressive. All casement windows come with a ten year ‘no quibble’ guarantee that pretty much covers an entire customer service facilities for the full ten years for any problems with the windows. The only thing the guarantee does not cover is damage caused by you, which is only to be expected. All casement windows are A-rated in energy efficiency.
Tilt and turn windows are also available in as wide a selection of colours and decorative glass options as Crystal’s casement windows. Originally designed for taller buildings as well as buildings with restricted space reducing room for opening movement, tilt and turn are not as energy efficient as casement (B-rated opposed to A-rated), but are a much more complex design offering a unique, traditional style.
Vertical slider windows are also known as sliding sash windows and ‘Georgian windows’ due to the period of which their style is inspired by and typically reflects. Georgian windows are praised for their elegance and their ability to maintain the traditional character of a building and add or enhance classic style. Whilst referred to as ‘Georgian windows’ because of the typical period of style, these windows are not just restricted to Georgian properties and can actually be adapted to suit buildings of all ages.
Crystal cast a lot of detail over their Georgian window frames and exactly why they have been manufactured the way that they are; whilst timber frames are rather attractive, they are by no means as practical as uPVC and can cause a number of problems over a period of time. On the other hand, preliminary uPVC frames designed to replace timber frames were quite frankly ugly and often destroyed the aesthetic of a period property. So much so that in the UK organisations began to put in place measures to prevent individuals from replacing timber frames with uPVC. Listed buildings are protected by certain restrictions as are properties in preserved areas. Estate agents have gone as far as well to suggest that replacing timber frames with uPVC can actually devalue a property.
Consequently, window manufacturers have had a challenge on their hands in creating a modern, energy efficient alternative that is equally aesthetic. Crystal pride themselves on using the latest 3D design technology and for pouring in significant investment into the design and manufacturing to eventually achieve the desired combination of a slim but strong frame for their Georgian, or, sliding sash windows. They include a deep bottom rail and run through sash horns to harness a genuinely authentic touch. A significant proportion of their range are also A rated in energy efficiency.
Doors (uPVC); Residential molded panel doors, GRP composite doors, sliding patio doors, French doors and bifolds
Crystal offer a wide selection of uPVC doors and pride themself on their exceptional service during the manufacturing and installation processes. So much so that they cite their good management, attention to detail and unrivalled customer services as the key reason for their growth and what has led them to be such a trusted brand.
All of their doors are made to measure and include a great range of market leading products. uPVC doors enable manufacturers to be creative and flexible in design to suit almost any style and Crystal’s partnership with Pilkington glass offers an even wider selection of options for you to personalise your door exactly to your tastes.
Crystal also offer a 10 year ‘no quibble’ guarantee on all their doors, as with their windows. Crystal doors including a 6-point locking system enhanced by anti-bump, anti-stick, anti-snap and anti-drill features to maximise their security.
Crystal’s patio doors share the same level of security as their traditional ‘front’ and entrance doors but with a more slim-line, sleek style to provide a room with as much light, style and security as possible. The uPVC frames themselves are not the only element that can be uniquely designed and adapted; the handles, numbers, hinges and knockers can be customised to match any style and preference too.
2010 saw the introduction of enhanced requirements in relation to the glazing of all replacement doors with 50% glazing coverage or more as imposed by Building Regulations to ensure the thermal efficiency of all products. Crystal doors fully meet these new regulations in all of these product ranges.
Garage Doors; Retractable steel doors, roller shutter doors and sectional doors
All Crystal garage doors including high quality materials using the most durable products for maximum longevity. Alike their other product ranges, Crystal offer a selection of garage doors for you to choose from but also offer a bespoke design service for those requiring something a little bit more tailored to their individual requirements or property design. The range of styles and colours enables you to choose a product that suits your property regardless of style or period. Garage doors are typically thought of to be less flexible and varied in their styles and designs compared with standard doors but this is not quite the case which should pleasantly surprise customers.
All Crystal garage doors are fully adaptable to your garage and come with electric door options enabling you to open your garage door from inside the comfort of your own car – absolutely ideal in cold winter months. The mechanisms themselves come with a 2-year guarantee covering all fitting and parts but the doors themselves carry Crystal’s usual 10-year guarantee although some product doors carry a 5-year guarantee.
Crystal offer a variety of designs and styles that can either replace an existing porch or porch-like structure, or build a completely new one. They offer a range of options to suit your needs. So, whether you are looking to add a porch to provide some additional shelter to part of your property, for example protection from bad weather outside your front door, or whether you are looking to gain additional storage along with shelter to home umbrella’s, wellies and other footwear, hats and coats etc. to free up space in your hallway or utility, they are able to meet your needs and offer a design to suit you and your property.
Crystal porches require minimal maintenance with their secure and warm uPVC frames and a range of decorative glass from their partnership with Pilkington glass to choose from. In addition to the range of styles, colours and designs that the doors and frames are available in, Crystal offer a wide selection of roof designs too which are arguably the finishing touch of your porch and important in matching the style of your property.
Crystal provide uPVC alternatives to replace current rooflines that are either currently wooden or just in need of replacement or upgrade to take advantage of the new designs and products available to style-match your property. Crystal rooflines are a simple way of enhancing the appearance of your property; this small change can have a significant impact and Crystal also heavily promote that their prices for this are very reasonable and cost effective.
Unlike typical timber frames, uPVC does not rot, stain or lose its colour and is basically maintenance free. They steer away from over-cladding citing it as a cheap and short-lived solution which ends up causing more damage in the long run providing a temporary solution.
Whilst uPVC, do not confuse these products with what you would typically imagine is used for window frames and doors; a heavy-duty uPVC is used for rooflines and cladding providing a premium quality and highly durable product that can completely replace old timber rooflines and cladding entirely. Crystal rooflines and cladding come with their famous 10 year ‘no quibble’ guarantee.
What do their customers think?
It is easy enough for any organisation to feature their best reviews on their website, carefully selecting the 4 and 5 star ratings with shining feedback on their products and customer service. Most other UK window and door manufacturers and providers have their website heavily endorsed with customer reviews promoting their fantastic customer satisfaction. Crystal are quite different in this aspect as it is actually very difficult to find any customer reviews on their website. In fact, no customer reviews are provided on their pages in a promotional way.
Crystal speak a lot about their happy customers, being a trusted brand and how their customers strongly recommend them, but do not highlight or promote their recommendations. This is quite unusual but fits Crystal’s understated approach to their product, customer service and promotion of these. Upon further research of third party review sites, Crystal actually come out incredibly strong in their reviews. Usually third party sites reveal a mixture of reviews that would bring down the average typically suggested by the company’s website, however Crystal are quite the opposite scoring one of the highest average ratings amongst their competitors.
Crystal’s customers praise the quality of their products as well as their varied product range available to choose from. There are a few issues here and there but nothing that raises alarm bells to be out of the ordinary or that could be typically expected every now and then. Crystal’s customers speak highly of their customer service as well and how friendly the installation experts were upon fitting. It is frequently highlighted how quickly the installation was although this is noted as a concern by some customers as well; almost too good to be true. Some customers believe the installation was in fact too quick and a rush job, often citing loose sealants and rough finishing. This is not hugely common as the majority of reviews are incredibly positive, but where a customer is not 100% happy, it is generally because of this reason which raises a slight concern.
Of course, with their ‘no quibble’ guarantee if you had any problems that arose from installation you would be fully covered, but it is best to not have these in the first place. When obtaining a quote from a company it is perfectly acceptable to raise concerns over points you have seen noted in customer reviews and generally their customer service team offer some reassurance that this will not be a problem. Nonetheless, regardless of a company’s reviews, it is always strongly advisable to check you are happy with the work they have done before they leave your home, just to be sure in any case.
Crystal are quite unusual in not offering a ‘price match’ guarantee but frequently refer to their reasonable prices suggesting that perhaps their prices are good enough in the first place so that you do not need to hunt around and haggle them down unnecessarily. This problem is highlighted in many of their competitors’ reviews, for example ‘great job but first quote was extortionate, had to go elsewhere to get a quote to price match’ is not uncommon to see amongst customer feedback. This is fortunately something not featured with Crystal or their customer’s reviews who are generally very positive and praise their products and services highly.
Crystal are so confident in their services and customer recommendation that their main offer lies within a Recommendation Reward Scheme. If you are happy with your product and service received and recommend a friend, you will receive £100 for every friend that you recommend. If you recommend 10 people, then you will have the cost of your installation complete refunded. Whilst this is a fantastic offer, unless your friends or family also require their services, you are unlikely to receive any benefits, deals or other offers. However, it may be that Crystal’s prices are competitive enough.
To see in the new year, Crystal are offering a £250 bonus for all customers who obtain their quote by 31st January 2017 for any of their products which has no recommendation ties.