Site Survey - all you should know about PCW on-site surveys

          There’s an old proverb that says ‘Measure twice, cut once’, or if you’re familiar with the Russian version ‘Measure seven times, cut once’! Preparation helps us avoid errors and our industry is no different. That is why, before we proceed to manufacture your order, despite having all the details specified by you and clearly written in a quote, we have to pause and review to confirm the exact measurements. Only then we can ensure that all the aspects of your product installation will run smoothly, and that you will receive our bespoke products tailored to your specification, situation and maximum satisfaction.

          The process involves our surveyor visiting your property, reviewing the site and taking accurate measurements. This includes examining the location and surroundings so we can be sure our Installation Engineers can work safely to HSE Health & Safety standards. Our surveyor looks out for any potential issues that could occur during the installation, and even during the future operation of your doors and windows.

How can the quote for windows or doors be given before a survey?

          Survey is not required until the price for the windows and doors has been agreed and we have received the signed order and the deposit payment. You may therefore wonder how we can quote so accurately without surveying the project.

          This is simply because we trust our highly trained staff to provide accurate quotations based on architect drawings and in-depth conversations with our customers to understand their exact needs and what they want to achieve from their project. We may discuss topics like special wind load pressures to meet, “U-Values” to ensure your project complies with the latest building regulations, or the location of the project, as for example the proximity to the coast means that it requires a special marine grade paint to provide the additional protection. Thanks to the experience of our staff, this can all be taken into account without the need of an extra site survey.

How to avoid frequent pitfalls and unnecessary charges

          The scope of the survey and our responsibilities are set out in the quotation and our terms and conditions. We can only examine those parts of the property that we have access to, so make sure that the site manager, builder or decision maker is available on-site;

          This is your opportunity to catch any irregularities or mistakes. Survey can highlight that structural reinforcement, new building work or building repairs may be required before we can install the products. In this case you will be advised clearly of any works that you are required to complete prior to us proceeding with works to make the process as easy as possible for you.

          If you can not be present for the survey, please make sure you contact our Customer Services department in advance on 0208 963 9704 to reschedule the visit. This will ensure you avoid unnecessary additional charges for a potential required second survey.


          In many instances, as customers usually decide to begin their search for their new windows fairly early in the build stage, we may turn up when there’s nothing to physically measure – the building has either not started at all or is just getting off the ground. In some cases we can agree the sizes for your builder to prepare the apertures to and we will work with you to ensure your project schedule is maintained as closely as possible.

          Another situation to be mindful of is measuring opening for the bi-folding doors. The height of the flooring will impact the height of the new bi-fold doors, therefore we can only survey your property when the floor had been installed.

          Usually there’s no issues when dealing with the replacement windows, as clear openings are in place. Let us know, though, if your project is still in development and there no openings and nothing to measure when you’re being allocated a survey date. If there’s nothing to measure and our surveyor has attended your property additional charges might apply. Please do let us know if it’s too early so we can reschedule your survey accordingly.

          The vast majority of our projects are installed by our own team and an on-site survey comes as part of the job. And one thing we have learned over the years is the importance of having a great surveying team in place. Sometimes, architects’ drawings are misread and elements are sited differently than intended. The homeowner then needs to make a call on what they think is best to keep the project on course and in budget. This is where our surveyor’s experience is invaluable, because he can help the customer in making the best choice in respect of the glazing specification or build amendment.

Changes to initial order

          Whatever the decision of the customer regarding any quote amendment, our surveyor’s job is to ensure that if anything gets changed from the original quotation that everyone involved knows about it in detail. Once your survey has been completed our Customer Service department are in contact with you to confirm any details that require amendment after survey and any costs associated with what is required.

What happens next?

          On completion of the survey details are then passed over to our Customer Service department and finalised. It usually takes up to a week since the day of the site visit to process all the data and prepare your order for production. Once this has been completed your order goes straight into production and the materials necessary to complete your project are ordered. When this happens you will receive an email confirmation from our Order Tracking system confirming all the details and giving you the estimated date of production completion. At this stage we’re not ready to provide you with the exact installation dates. The date advised at this stage is based on our lead times advised on your quotation.

What if I don’t want a survey?

          If we do not carry out the survey you will be responsible for providing such specifications and measurements as required and requested by us. In those circumstances we PCW cannot be liable for any additional costs arising from inaccurate details. You will also need to ensure a compliance with Building Regulations, and that the supporting structure is capable of supporting the weight of the products and the site is structurally safe.

          If you have any questions about the on-site survey, please leave a comment below and we can provide the expert answer for you!


For bespoke advice on the best design for your property 
contact our glazing experts 
or visit us in our Park Royal Showroom.


Other posts you might find useful:

> How to prepare your home for new windows or doors installation

> Benefits of double glazing

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