Boiler Installation Guide | Get help arranging your new boiler

Quick guide summary

How do I arrange a new boiler installation? Who is the best person/company to fit my new boiler?

Who do you phone when you need to arrange a new boiler installation? Do you go with a national company, a local installer or do it all on-line? We thought we would cut through the industry fog and give you four clear options for arranging your new boiler installation based on industry operator. You can mix and match who to get a quote from and we’ll tell you the advantages and disadvantages of each. How else can we help? We give guidance on finding your Best Boiler, using an 'Approved Installer' and many other topics in our Information Hub. Ready to go? Try our online Boiler Quote Calculator.

Overview of our four main industry operators:

1) National & Regional Companies

They tend to employ their engineers – British Gas, Swale, Help-Link

2) Local Independent Companies

Small independent heating companies made up of 2-8 fitters, found local to you

3) Sub Contractor Networks

Such as the AA, Glow Green or on-line quote companies that use sub contractors such as BOXT or Hometree

4) Sole Traders

Lone installers, without premises, found local to you

How to use this Guide

Review industry operators

Consider pros and cons

Decide who is best for you

National and Regional Companies

British Gas is probably the only national company that employs the majority of its installation workforce. There are a number of large regional companies that operate in a similar way.

Advantages

  • They are easy to contact with long call centre opening hours
  • They have a large network of employed surveyors who can call at a time to suit you
  • They offer flexible ways to pay and spread the cost
  • They can offer cover for your whole central heating system to ‘top up’ the boiler manufacturer’s warranty

Disadvantages

  • They are often more expensive because they employ surveyors/sales persons as well as installations teams
  • You are unlikely to speak to the same person twice
  • If the surveyor is not an ex-installer, the quality of advice will not be as good as someone who has experience in installing boilers and heating systems

Local Independent Companies

Local heating companies are often well established, family run businesses in your area. Many employ between 2-8 gas engineers to install and repair boilers

Advantages

  • Local businesses often deliver a very personal service with the business owners involved in the day to day running of the operations
  • They keep costs down by the business owner or one of the installers carrying out the survey
  • Many now offer flexible ways to pay via a finance facility, the same as regional and national companies
  • Many are accredited with boiler manufacturers and can offer free extended boiler warranties
  • Some of the larger independent companies also offer heating system cover to ‘top up’ the boiler cover from the manufacturer
  • They are passionate about their business and provide job opportunities in their area

Disadvantages

  • Their office hours will likely be shorter
  • They may not be able to carry out daytime quotes, but can often attend at evenings and weekends

Sub contractor networks

The industry has evolved over the last 10 years and sub contractor (sometimes self-employed) networks offer a way for heating companies seeking to geographically expand their boiler installation services to reach further afield. These networks offer flexibility as sub contractors can be called upon during busy times but let go during the summer period.
2017 saw the launch of some interesting new business models in the heating industry – that of ‘online quoting’ I.e. a surveyor never visits your home, a quote is generated based on information you have submitted on line. This is usually followed by a phone call and then by you submitting some photographs. Other models provide prices in the same way but from a network of different installers.

Advantages

  • Like the established national and regional companies, they offer long call centre opening hours
  • Similarly they employ surveyors to carry out boiler quotes at a time to suit you.
  • They offer flexible ways to pay
  • For time-poor individuals, on line quotes are quicker than getting three companies around to quote
  • They offer next day boiler installations

Disadvantages

  • Surveyors travel large distances to carry out boiler surveys. This makes the job more expensive.
  • Sub contractors can also travel large distances to fit a boiler, making job overheads high
  • With so much of the job carried out by parties outside your area, it does not support your local economy
  • Getting a return visit in the event of a problem may prove more difficult as someone will likely have to travel a long way to attend
  • For on line quotes, photographic evidence is usually required which may alter the on line price
  • When jobs are priced without a site survey there is a risk of under-quoting. This could lead to corner cutting by the subcontractor in order to finish the job in the time they are given, not the time it would normally take.
  • A price orientated network only triumphs the cheapest, not necessarily the best value.

Sole-traders

Sole traders comprise either a lone installer or installer + apprentice. They do not have premises and rarely any kind of administrational support. They work from their vans.

Advantages

  • Often cheaper than regionals and nationals
  • A good local fitter will deliver good value

Disadvantages

  • More difficult to get hold of as no office support
  • Not likely to offer finance
  • In the event of sickness, your job will be postponed as there are no other fitters available to step in

Top Tips

How do you make a choice? It depends on your priorities.

Who you chose to install you boiler can depend on many variables:
  • You like the sense of support you get from a national or regional company
  • You like to use local businesses and support the local economy
  • You think only big companies offer longer boiler warranties and/or finance
  • You think using a sole trader will be cheaper
  • You think bigger companies are more reliable
  • You need a boiler installed tomorrow!
  • You want to cover your boiler and heating system for breakdowns after its installed
All of these are important factors in your decision making, however it is rarely quite so black and white:
  • All national, regional and some local companies have an office facility whereby you can always contact someone and get support
  • Supporting local businesses is very important and many have invested in their businesses to operate like much larger businesses, such as using cloud-based job management software.
  • Many local companies are now FCA registered and can now offer ways to spread the cost of a new boiler via a mainstream finance company
  • Many local companies are ‘registered installers’ with the main boiler manufacturers – such as Vaillant, Worcester and Baxi. As such they have undergone training on their boilers and can offer long warranties to their customers, sometimes longer than the national and regional companies.
  • Sole traders and local companies are often cheaper, although many regional and national entities have become more competitive in recent years.
  • On line quote companies are installing boilers faster than ever. This might be important in the middle of winter, but for the rest of the year it’s still best to get three quotes from people coming into your home.

What would you like to do next?

Use our calculator to get an estimate of boiler installation cost

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