Condensation

For the glass and glazing industry, the transition from winter to spring and summer to autumn often sees an influx in customers asking why they are seeing external condensation on their windows, especially from those with higher performing, low-emissivity glazing. While some homeowners may see it as a nuisance, external condensation is a tell-tale sign that energy-efficient windows are actually doing their job.

However, if condensation is appearing on the inside surface of your windows or between the panes of double or triple glazing, this is for a very different reason.

EXTERNAL CONDENSATION

External condensation happens because of the dew point – the temperature at which air can’t hold any more water vapour, causing droplets of liquid water to form. When the air next to a piece of glass reaches this temperature (which varies with humidity) condensation forms on the surface.

External condensation is more common with modern, high performing, low-emissivity (low-e) glazed windows, as the outer pane is colder as a result of heat being retained inside the home. With single or older double-glazed windows, more heat is passing through, warming the outer pane and reducing the likelihood of external condensation. An analogy is frost on roofs – those with good loft insulation can remain frosted for a long time, while those without quickly defrost.

Above: External condensation with the tell-tale gap around the edges as shown here indicates your low-e sealed units are performing well.

This phenomenon is more likely to happen in the spring and autumn, when cold morning and evenings combine with high levels of humidity in the air.

Not all panes are affected by early morning condensation, even in the same window. Small differences in the orientation and the position of objects outside, such as trees or a close building, can change the surface temperature of the glass to the point that one pane suffers and another doesn’t.

There is little that can be done to avoid condensation to the outside of the window entirely without specialist glazing. However, its occurrence doesn’t tend to last for long. Once the window pane warms from the sun, the moisture evaporates and the condensation clears. The air movement from a gentle breeze can also help to clear it. You will find that as the weather warms (spring) or cools (autumn) the phenomenon simply disappears.

CONDENSATION IN BETWEEN PANES

Condensation within the cavity of a sealed unit is likely to indicate a failure of the edge seal. You will usually notice a misting or “steamed up” effect inside the gap between the panes of the sealed unit. In this case, the sealed unit has broken down and will need replacing. Sealed units are designed to last many years, but occasionally may break down due to some external factor or a manufacturing default or simply due to age. If your windows are still under guarantee, then you may be able to have your broken down unit replaced under your guarantee.

CONDENSATION ON THE INSIDE

All air contains water vapour, but the amount of water air can hold is determined by the temperature of that air. This ratio is called the relative humidity. Hot air is able to carry much more moisture than cold air, so as the temperature of air rises it is able to hold a greater volume of water. The water comes from everyday activities including bathing, cooking and washing. Even our breathing causes condensation, and this is why your car will steam up when you sit with the windows closed and the fan off.

As soon as warm air, containing vapour, hits a cooler surface, it will condense. This is most obvious on windows, mirrors and wall tiles, but condensation can also gather on walls and ceilings and often go unnoticed. The only way of preventing condensation is to provide ventilation. The warm air, containing the water vapour, will rise and circulate around the room until it finds a cooler surface, unless we let that air out and some cooler air in.

In order to ensure that there is good ventilation in your home, a change of air is recommended in all rooms of the house at least once a day, and ideally more often. Install extractor fans at the sources of water vapour such as the bathroom and kitchen. Increasing the room temperature so that the air can hold more water vapour without condensing can also help.

  • Ventilate your home regularly and open your windows. If you have trickle vents, leave them open.
  • Fit an extractor fan, and use it: ensure your bathroom fan is working while you are bathing and showering, use your kitchen extractor fan when you are cooking.
  • Avoid drying washing indoors. If you have a tumble dryer, ensure it is properly vented or use a self-condensing model.
  • If the condensation still remains a problem, use a dehumidifier.

Want to know more technical details about condensation? We recommend this online article from St Gobain here. If you need any further help then give us a call on (020) 8868 1133 or drop us an email – we look forward to hearing from you soon!

Feeling Flush? We check out the new Flush casements that are giving wood a run for their money.

Gone are the days when people had to rely on traditional and expensive materials for older, quaint and period properties. Now you don’t have to compromise on appearance if opting for more efficient and modern uPVC solutions. 

One feature that would always stand out on a wooden casement window was that the casements would sit flush to the frame. This would give a neater, more symmetrical look, and until recently, it wasn’t something that a uPVC could emulate. Opening vents on a uPVC window sat proud from the frame, often creating unequal sightlines, and, if you chose dummy sashes to create an equal sightline (ideal for feature leads and Georgians), the vents could often appear bulky looking.

Examples of timber flush (left) and “lipped” casement windows. The “lipped” casement’s opening vent sits proud of the frame. The flush opening casement sits flush within the frame.

Wooden windows would often have a much more pleasing finish than a uPVC window, which at the time, would inevitably look like the smooth white plastic it was. Over years, the clean white finish would often fade, and take on a more grubby looking appearance.

Even the introduction of so-called “woodgrain effect foils” some time ago now, simply looked like a uPVC window pretending to be wood. It didn’t help that these foils were only available in a limited colour range – including the rather tangoed-tones of “golden oak” and the 80s inspired mahogany rosewood, neither of which looked anything like a genuine stained wooden window.

Example of an oriel bay window in the classic orange tones of Golden Oak, with dummy sashes throughout (so that all the leads line up). Does it look like wood? Not really.

uPVC windows may have been maintenance free with better thermal and security properties, but they were no match aesthetically for their wooden counterparts.

The problem was actually quite simple: that a uPVC window is constructed differently to a timber window. And until the construction of a uPVC window could match that of a timber window, it was never going to cut the mustard.

Finally some innovative companies began to push the boundaries in design and manufacture, producing windows and doors that included genuine timber aesthetics with improved woodgrain foils and traditional ironmongery. These windows, now usually marketed as “timber replacement” led the way in revolutionising the window industry. Consequently today we now have products that much more closely resemble the handcrafted qualities of genuine timber windows, but with none of the maintenance issues – the very best of both worlds!

Deceuninck Heritage flush casement window in English Oak with 90° timber effect corner welds and traditional pewter handles and stays. Does it look like wood? Yes it does!

Here at Ruislip Windows, we have not one, not two but THREE different Flush systems that we can offer our customers – the Heritage Flush from Deceuninck, The Rio from Rehau and our premium windows from the Residence Collection.

Residence 9 Flush casement window in light oak with 90° timber effect corner welds and ovolo putty horizontal Georgian bar. Does it look like wood? Yes it does!

Find out more about our Flush casement windows here and download the brochures from our website:

Want to know more technical details about our Flush casement windows? Then give us a call on (020) 8868 1133 or drop us an email – we look forward to hearing from you soon! 🙂

 

The Guardian Warm Roof

Re-invent your existing conservatory with one of our super fully insulated solid roofs by market leader Guardian.

 

THE PROBLEM
If you already have a conservatory, you’ll know how the outside temperature and weather conditions can effect the overall comfort of your room and how it’s used. If you’ve inherited an older conservatory through a house move for example, you may find that it’s an unusable space during the winter or hot summer spells. A common remark we hear is that “my conservatory is too hot during the summer and far too cold in winter.” A new Guardian Warm Roof could therefore be the perfect solution for you.

THE SOLUTION
The Guardian Warm Roof is a revolutionary step forward in home improvement – a high performance, lightweight roof system that has been designed to replace your existing glass or polycarbonate roof or be installed as an alternative on your new conservatory.

INSTALLATION BY RUISLIP WINDOWS. BEFORE: Glass conservatory roof with decorative cresting. AFTER: New Guardian Warm Roof installed – a complete transformation!

Fully tested and approved to all thermal and structural standards, the Guardian roof is a high performance insulated roof system comprising of a pre-engineered lightweight frame, two layers of rigid insulation board, internal insulated plasterboard, exterior grade plywood and a vapour membrane. Altogether this creates a more thermally efficient living space than your existing conservatory, keeping the warm air out in the summer and preventing the heat from escaping in the winter.

  • The solid roof will help you to maintain a consistent interior temperature.
  • Your room will be quiet and comfortable all year round.
  • Your new room can now be fully integrated into your ground floor living area.
  • It will give you the extra space you have always wanted.

Designed to retain the conservatory’s original windows, doors, frames and walls, the Guardian Warm Roof System is fully tested and approved to all thermal and structural standards.

(1): Choice of tile finishes. (2): Membrane. (3): Exterior grade plywood. (4): 25mm high performance insulation. (5) 40mm high performance insulation. (6): Timber battens. (7): 72mm high performance insulated plasterboards. (8): Rafter.

By removing your old conservatory roof and replacing it with a new insulated tiled roof, you’ll completely change the appearance of the rear of your home and garden. Now your conservatory will more closely resemble a proper extension and by choosing tiles that match your house you’ll be getting all the benefits of a ground floor extension along with the convenience and style of a conservatory.

If you’d like more details about the Guardian Warm Roof system and how you could transform your existing conservatory, download our PDF brochure here >> or contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail. We’re here to help! 🙂

Double glazing -v- triple glazing: what’s the best option?

Triple-glazing is often marketed as a better option than double-glazing, especially when it comes to thermal insulation. But is this really the case?

 

If you look at the websites of the big nationals for instance, you could be forgiven for wondering why so many companies are still even selling double glazing when triple glazing appears to be so much better at insulation and soundproofing your home! Here we attempt to debunk many of the myths that surround triple glazing, and clarify the facts to help you make an informed decision that’s right for you.

Example of a triple glazed sealed unit and a double glazed sealed unit.

While it’s true that triple-glazing does offer some benefits, it may not be the best or most economic solution for you.

Triple glazing is a better insulator for your home than double glazing.
The energy performance of windows is measured in U-Values. Lower U-values = a more energy efficient window. Traditional single glazed windows can have a U value in excess of 5. Building Regulations now stipulate that modern double glazing should have a U-value of no less than 1.6.

U-Values for older double glazing used to be much higher. However in recent years the manufacturing process has been greatly improved to provide much more energy efficient units. These improvements have been brought about by the introduction of wider cavities between the two glass panes, low-emissivity coatings being added to the glass to stop heat escaping (glass such as Pilkington K or Planitherm Softcoat Total), the cavity being filled with an inert gas (usually argon) and the use of warm-edge spacer bars (instead of aluminium).

Triple-glazing enables window manufacturers to achieve U-values of 1.0 and lower. So yes, triple glazing can enhance heat retention.  But such U-values are really only of benefit when they are installed into an overall energy saving build, such as in a low energy house or a “passive house”.  Where windows are being fitted into a standard build or as part of a refurbishment project then sealed units offering U-values as low as 1.1 are preferable and easily achievable with double glazing.

With the exception of perhaps the northern reaches of Scotland, the rest of the UK is simply not cold enough to warrant the use of triple glazing. Scandinavian countries such as Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and other far northern countries use triple glazing because temperatures such as -20° C can be quite frequent. Highly energy efficient windows and doors, triple and sometimes quadruple-glazed are absolutely necessary to help reinforce the fabric of the buildings against the cold.

As far as the UK is concerned, there are many who argue that triple glazing simply doesn’t make sense in our climate. It is more costly to produce, produces much heavier sections and has an embodied energy approximately 50% higher than double glazing. Why would home owners pay more when good double glazed windows would easily tick the box?

Triple glazing is a better sound insulator than double glazing.
One of the biggest selling points of triple glazing has been its ability to reduce noise and outdoor sound. The thickness of the glass used is one of the three key elements of the sound insulation. Different thicknesses of glass will block a different frequency, so a combination of panes of varying thickness is more effective at keeping noise out. This is known as asymmetrical glazing. However, (and somewhat ironically!) most fabricators currently appear to offer triple glazed units with standardised cavities and glass thicknesses.

The second key element is the size of the gap between the panes. The larger the gap, the better the overall sound insulation effect. Finally the use of an acoustical resistant gas to augment or replace the inert gas (usually argon) will effectively help reflect noise away.

If sound insulation is important to you then it would be worth considering acoustic glass sealed units (such as Pilkington Optiphon or St Gobain’s acoustic glass, both of which are laminates) or even secondary double glazing instead. Secondary glazing will have a much greater air gap than can be achieved in triple glazing, and can achieve great noise reduction at considerably less cost.

In conclusion – For

  • Triple-glazing offers low U-values suited to specific low-energy and “passive house” projects and can return the value of your investment when fitted as part of these specifications.
  • If asymmetrical glazing is used together with acoustic glass, some noise reduction can be achieved.

In conclusion – Against

  • Higher cost.
  • Reduced light penetration due to additional layer of glass.
  • Minimal savings in energy bills in comparison to the higher cost.
  • Benefits such as noise reduction and solar control can be included in double-glazing for less than the cost of a standard triple-glazed unit.
  • Overall greater weight than a double glazed unit could pose problems for your windows – sashes dropping can be an issue.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information. We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you soon! 🙂

Door dilemma: composite -v- uPVC – what’s the difference?

Doors have come on a long way in recent years, but it’s the subtle new features that can make a big aesthetic difference to your home.

 

So what is the difference between a composite door and a uPVC panel door?

COMPOSITE DOORS
Quite simply, composite doors are designed to look like a painted wooden door. They are a single door with an outer frame and a threshold. You can have a choice of colours both inside and outside. Visually, a composite door looks much more like a traditional wooden door.

Two examples of composite doors with sidelights. Smooth white uPVC outer frames and coloured wood effect traditional style composite doors.

uPVC DOORS
These come in two main options, either with a full panel (usually decorative) or they can have a midrail so the door can have a half panel at the bottom and glazing at the top. For panel doors, essentially instead of having glass in the door you have a panel. With a resi door you also have an outer frame and threshold. Resi doors can come in smooth or woodgrain foiled finishes.

Two examples of uPVC resi doors with door panels. LEFT: Half panelled door in oak effect foiled resi with midrail and decorative panel to lower section and matching glazed sidelight. RIGHT: Full panelled resi with decorative cottage style panel in smooth white.

In our opinion, panelled doors are a more cost effective solution but composite doors are much better looking!

One of the most obvious differences between a composite and a panelled door is the look of the panel. Despite much improvement over the years, panels still have a somewhat “moulded plastic” look about them. And because the panel is fitted into the door, you have a somewhat heavy framed look, almost a “door within a door” look. Sometimes you can see a gasket line between the actual door and the panel itself, too. Composite doors generally have a much better aesthetic overall.

A contemporary panelled door in black/brown with sidelights. Panelled doors have improved greatly in recent years – this example is stylish and modern. But because the panel is fitted into the door, you have a heavy framed aesthetic which looks almost like a “door within a door”.

HOW DO THEY COMPARE ON PRICE?
A panelled door is more cost effective than a composite, so if you are on a tight budget and really want that new front door then the panelled option might allow you to do this. To be perfectly honest though, we would always recommend you opt for a good composite front door if you can, even if it means having to wait a while. Many customers get their windows replaced and then will have a new front door installed the following year or a few months later.

HALF PANELLED DOORS
These are more popular than a full panelled door and depending on the choice of panel, can actually look quite stylish. Panels are available in a range of colours with either flat or decorative options and are a cost effective choice for both front and back doors.

Half panelled doors. LEFT: Smart looking resi with midrail in Irish oak foil. Decorative moulded panel to lower section, glazed with leaded stained glass to top section. Gold lever handle and letterplate. RIGHT: Smooth white resi with midrail. Decorative moulded panel to lower section, glazed in obscure glass to top section. Complementary sidelights. White lever handle and letterplate.

THE YALE-STYLE RIM LATCH = KISS GOODBYE TO LEVER HANDLES ON YOUR COMPOSITE DOOR!
Multi-point locking doors have always been defined by their lever handles, there’s been no getting away from the fact; the handle is used to engage the multi-point locking system. Traditional wooden doors would have a Yale (or similar style) rim latch lock, where you would pull the door shut when you left the house. Now stylish escutcheon multi-point rim latch locks are available for composite doors. Operated with a thumb-turn mechanism from the inside, which activates the multi-lock when you are in the house, these new locks are the perfect answer for a modern, maintenance-free traditional style front door.

Yale-style rim latch locks are now a popular choice on composite doors. Unlike a Yale lock though, the rim latch acts as a multi-point lock, securing the door into the frame at a number of points upon closure. Operated by a simple thumb-turn mechanism on the interior of the door, the multi-lock is engaged as soon as the door is shut (known as a slam-shut). This is the Winkhaus Heritage multi-lock which is available on our Hurst composite doors. Quick, simple, secure.

Still not sure which to choose? Why not get some expert advice and give us a call on (020) 8868 1133 – we will be more than happy to talk you through all the different options available to you.

We hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

Bifold doors -v- sliding doors – which to choose?

When choosing whether to have a sliding patio door or a bifold door, there are a number of factors that you may wish to consider.

 

Here at Ruislip Windows we believe in offering our customers a choice. That’s why we install bifolding doors and sliding patio doors from top manufacturers such as Crown Sapa, Aluk and our premium range from Raynaers Aluminium. Bifold doors literally exploded onto the market a few years ago and saw a huge surge in popularity. And now the latest sliding patio doors are a far cry from the sliding doors of old, offering much wider, contemporary profiles, so the question is, which door do you go for – bifold or patio?

Raynaers aluminium bifolding doors.

The main advantage of bifold doors is that they allow for whole walls of glass to be opened up completely. However, they can be quite frame-heavy, meaning less glazing, and the stacked door panels when open can provide quite an obstacle to the more modest-sized patio or kitchen.

Raynaers aluminium sliding doors.

Sliding patio doors are shaking off their somewhat less than trendy associations of the past and are now a hugely popular choice in contemporary homes. They provide lots of light thanks to narrow frames and wider expanses of glass. Having no door sections to fold back, they save on space and provide visually “cleaner” lines.

Bifold doors remain a hugely popular choice but industry experts now feel that an increasing number of homeowners are opting for the new contemporary style sliding patio doors.

Both our bifolding and sliding door systems have superb aesthetics and excellent performance:

  • Bifold doors can open up about 90% of the aperture, really opening up the room to the garden. Sliding doors by comparison will typically open up between 50% and 65% of the aperture.
  • For ventilation purposes, the sliding door offers the most flexible solution with the ability to open the door just as far as necessary to make the room comfortable. The bifold door’s flexibility will depend on its design, but often opening a door leaf is the minimum you can do to let some fresh air in.
  • If having an uninterrupted view is important, then a sliding door may be a better option. Sliding doors allow larger panel sizes in wider widths, giving a maximised expanse of glazing when closed. The bigger door panels with large panes of glass give more of a panoramic view than a bifold door that has several narrower door panels, each with a frame around them.
  • With the bifold door, you can choose to have all the door panels stacking to the left or the right, or you can choose to split them so some stack each side. When making these decisions, it is worth remembering that the doors require some clear space around them in order to open, and you don’t want to be moving furniture or plant pots every time you open the doors.
  • The number of door panels will usually be dictated by the size of the opening, but it is worth considering the benefits of choosing a design with a single access “traffic” door. Found on designs with an odd number of door panels, the traffic door is a single door that can be opened without unlocking the rest of the door panels. Operating just like a normal back door, this is convenient for when you just want to nip out into the garden quickly.

Raynaers aluminium sliding patio doors. Sliding doors allow larger panel sizes in wider widths, giving a maximised expanse of glazing when closed.

THE THRESHOLD QUESTION
Look at the all those lovely marketing photos of bifold doors and you will usually see a door that has a flush threshold – a continuous floor with no step between the inside and outside. In reality, most bifold doors come with a choice of different threshold options, the reason being that there is a trade off between the height of the threshold and the level of weather resistance the door can offer. So whilst a flush threshold can be achieved, it is not usually recommended, thanks to the good old British weather! Doors with the best weather ratings will always have a higher threshold to step over. It is certainly worth considering how exposed your door will be to the elements, but rest assured that most people find there is a satisfactory compromise using one of the intermediate thresholds.

Still not sure which to choose? Why not get some expert advice and give us a call on (020) 8868 1133 – we will be more than happy to talk you through all the different options available to you.

We hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

 

What is smart glass?

Glass has got intelligent. And we think it’s all the better for it.

Generally used in conservatory and lantern roofs, the term “smart glass” or “intelligent glass” usually refers to the new generation of glass systems that feature additional built-in properties. This can include solar control, privacy glass and self-cleaning glass. There is now a growing demand for better performing conservatory roofing systems, both for brand new installations and for the emerging replacement sector. Glass is at the very heart of the thermal and acoustic performance of any conservatory and smart glass is not only far quieter but can also regulate temperature so your conservatory can be used all year round. It can reflect unwanted heat and glare from the sun in the summer, yet will also help to retain warmth during the winter months, and is almost three times as efficient than standard double glazing.

Smart glass can also filter out harmful UV rays and use self-cleaning technology, reducing the frequency of cleaning required and keeping your roof looking better, for longer.

TYPES OF “SMART GLASS” AVAILABLE

Pilkington Activ™
This was the world’s first self-cleaning glass. It’s basically the same as conventional glass, except for a unique permanent dual action coating. It works in two ways: first it uses daylight to break down organic deposits (such as dirt) and then uses rain to wash the dirt away. Pilkington Activ™ also dries faster, leaving the glass clean and with less streaks. It’s an ideal solution for conservatory roofs, orangeries, glass extensions, skylights and windows in hard to reach areas. The Pilkington Activ™ range comprises of several different types of self-cleaning glass:

  • Pilkington Activ™ Clear – self-cleaning glass.
  • Pilkington Activ™ Bronze – a tinted self-cleaning glass that combines self-cleaning with solar control.
  • Pilkington Activ™ Blue – a tinted self-cleaning glass that combines self-cleaning with medium solar control.
  • Pilkington Activ SunShade™ Neutral – a coloured glass that combines self-cleaning with superior solar control.
  • Pilkington Activ SunShade™ Blue – an attractive blue tinted glass that combines self-cleaning with superior solar control.

Check out the Pilkington Activ brochure on our website here >>

Dynamic SMARTGLASS®
This is an exciting new product by Clayton Glass – the industry’s first automatically self-tinting, glass technology for conservatories, orangeries and lantern roofs. In the middle of summer SMARTGLASS® Dynamic will change from a clear state in the morning to a darker blue one during the day, where solar control and light shading is needed most. Then as the unit cools, it will return to clear at the end of the day and into the night. (This reminds us a bit of those reactions lenses you can have in your glasses!). At all other times of the day and season this glass will offer various semi-tinted states, dependant upon the surface temperature of the glass. In its clear state, this glass offers a similar light transmission to a standard clear glass unit.

SMARTGLASS® Dynamic by Clayton Glass, shown in its clear and tinted states.

SWITCHABLE PRIVACY GLASS
Almost like magic, this glass can turn from clear to opaque instantly. Truly the stuff of “Grand Designs”, switchable glass is operated by a simple electrical switch, controlling the opacity of the glass from clear to translucent. The opacity is down to a special Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) film which includes conductive interlayers and allows you to change the visual appearance of the glass at the flick of a switch.  The latest generation of switchable double glazed smart glass windows combines the benefits of improved thermal performance with the immediate control over privacy and security. The PDLC can be applied to any type or thickness of glass including toughened, laminated and double glazed sealed units, offering a number of glazing solutions for both the domestic and commercial markets.

Now you see it, now you don’t! Switchable glass used in a shower screen to give privacy. Ok, we know it’s not a window or door, but hey, we liked this and think it looks cool!

SOLAR CONTROL GLASS
Excess heat and glare caused by the sun can be a major source of discomfort in some indoor environments, especially those with glass roofs, conservatories or with large glazed areas. The latest solutions for solar control reflect and filter the sun’s rays, allowing natural daylight into the room, but without uncomfortable visual glare. Rooms can be kept cooler during sunny periods, reducing the need for air-conditioning. A range of solar control glass solutions are available, from a number of trusted manufacturers such as St Gobain, Pilkington and Reflex.

Solar control glass can be incorporated into double glazing window with combinations of other glass, such as self cleaning, Low E and decorative glass. Combining solar control glass with Low E thermal insulation in one double glazed unit offers optimum temperature comfort all year round.

Talk to us about the different glazing options that are now available for your home. We hope to see you very soon! 🙂

What is an insurance backed guarantee and why do I need one?

The low-down on Insurance Backed Guarantees and what they mean for you, the customer.

 

For all replacement window and door installations that are notifiable to “competant person schemes” such as FENSA or CERTASS (we are members of both) the installer is required to provide the following insurance policies for their customers (it is a government requirement that companies must have certain insurance policies in place where applicable).

  • Insurance Backed Guarantees (IBG): Replacement of windows and doors in domestic dwellings must have an Insurance Backed Guarantee provided.
  • Deposit Protection: If a CERTASS or FENSA Registered Business takes deposits in advance of installations, they must give some form of deposit indemnity. Deposits may be guaranteed by, for example, trade association Deposit Indemnity schemes, or credit card protection.
  • Guarantee or Warranty: Registered businesses must provide a guarantee or warranty covering the cost of completing rectification work in respect of installation defects for a period of ten years.

Deposit protection and Insurance Backed Guarantees can be provided by a number of companies – we have been using Quality Assured National Warranties (QANW) for many years now. Watch their short video below which explains the benefits of IBGs to consumers.

If you have any further questions about your insurance backed guarantee or deposit protection, please give us a call on (020) 8868 1133 or check out the QANW consumer website here >>

We hope to see you again very soon! 🙂

Solutions for planning and conservation areas

Conservation area woes – now you can have the best of both worlds with our Residence 9 windows!

 

“I’d love to replace my rotten old timber windows with a maintenance free option but I’m in a conservation area and need to obtain planning permission. The council won’t allow uPVC windows – what can I do?”

A conservation area is an area of specific architectural or historical interest, the character or appearance of which is desirable to preserve or enhance. Many towns and villages rely on historic windows for much of their architectural impact and character and inappropriate, poor quality replacement windows can easily erode traditional features on historic buildings.

ARTICLE 4
Article 4, as it is known, is when a planning authority applies to restrict development rights in a conservation area and replacement windows will then need to be approved by planning. Some planning authorities precluded the use of modern materials because the window designs were considered inappropriate in size, shape and design. However with the recent introduction of new profiles that are designed to resemble traditional wood, some authorities have now adopted a more modern approach and will approve the use of specific profiles because of their consideration of the Article 4 directives. Residence 9 has been specifically designed to replicate the documented historical window designs from the period.

Looks like wood – Residence 9 Window showing authentic looking ovolo/putty Georgian bars, flush sashes and 45 degree “timber effect” welds.

The design brief for Residence 9 was to extract the key principles, shapes and dimensions from the Article 4 Conservation Area guidelines for windows and integrate market leading technology into the design using virtually maintenance free materials.

Residence 9 is thermally and acoustically brilliant. It features the latest security, maintenance and performance innovations, whilst appearing completely traditional. Your windows won’t warp, swell, flake or need sanding and painting.

  • Residence 9 has nine chambers and is 100mm wide, resulting in superior thermal, acoustic, strength and security performance.
  • Achieves a certified window energy A+ rating
  • Can accommodate 44mm triple glazing and 28mm double glazing.
  • Attains U-values of 0.8 with triple glazing, PassivHaus Standard, and 1.2 with double glazing, far surpassing the British Building Regulation requirements.
  • All of this contributes to lower energy bills, keeping you cosy in the winter and cool in the summer.

Interior view of a Residence 9 window clearly demonstrates the authentic timber styling and feature monkey tail handles.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Residence 9 windows are not only stylish, they will withstand the test of time too. They include state of the art design features and champion British craftsmanship using time honoured traditions and modern manufacturing processes. With a range of splendid styles and configurations, Residence 9 allows you to create an individual design statement for your home – choose from a vast colour palette and a series of decorative options such as peg stays, authentic looking Georgian bars and weather bars to truly personalise your windows.

The devil is in the detail – these small but very important design features create an authentic looking window beyond comparison.

Download our latest Residence 9 brochure from our website here or give us a call and have a chat with John about how Residence 9 could work for you. We hope to see you soon!

 

The double glazing industry explained

Our handy quick guide about the double glazing and conservatory industry.

DOUBLE GLAZING
The term double glazing refers to windows and doors that are glazed with sealed units – two panes of glass with a spacer bar around the edge. The edge is sealed with a special sealant (usually today known as a “warm edge spacer”) to prevent air and moisture entering the sealed unit. Sealed units can be used in uPVC, aluminium and timber windows and doors, although timber traditionally used much thinner units.

Example of a sealed unit fitted into a uPVC window profile.

Although the first double glazed units were experimented with in the 1950s, it was in the early 1980s that the double glazing industry really began to grow and develop. Windows had, until that time, usually been manufactured in steel (such as Crittall windows) or timber. Aluminium windows and doors, often in a matt silver anodised finish, were manufactured and installed into hardwood subframes (often Brazilian mahogany). By the mid 1980s, many small companies were manufacturing their own aluminium windows and doors. Powder coating meant aluminium was now available in white and other colours such as brown and black. Towards the late 1980s, uPVC windows and doors started to become more popular. Manufactured from a thermoplastic polymer known as unplasticised polyvinyl chloride, uPVC is a rigid and cost-effective plastic, ideal for building materials.

Today, both aluminium and uPVC are available in a wide range of colours and the profiles are now direct fix, so no subframes are required.

SYSTEMS, FABRICATORS AND INSTALLERS
Both aluminium and uPVC windows and doors are are manufactured from a series of profiles that are cut and crimped or welded together, such as the outer frame, sash, transom and beads. Together, the profiles make up one complete system, and the companies who design and manufacture them are known as extrusion or systems companies. There are around 25 or so main uPVC and aluminium extrusion companies who supply the UK market.

Lengths of residential aluminium window profiles

These systems companies supply businesses who then manufacture the windows and doors – these are known as the fabricators.

Fabricators manufacture the finished window or door, cutting and assembling the profiles together and adding hardware (locks, hinges, handles) along with weatherseals and gaskets. In the UK currently there are around 4500 window and door fabricators, of which some 1500 fabricate uPVC, 800 aluminium and the rest are joiners, or timber window and door manufacturers. Some companies manufacture more than one material type and may supply and fit direct to the homeowner, whilst others may supply only to the trade, such as builders or specialist window installers.

Fabricating uPVC windows

There are over 12,500 specialist double glazing and home improvement companies who fit windows and doors in the UK, primarily in the domestic sector. Many small companies used to fabricate their products and then install them too – it was common back in the 1980s and 1990s. However with the introduction of the new building regulations back in April 2006 (known as Document L), most installers today now prefer to focus primarily on sales and installation.

CONSERVATORIES
A conservatory consists of three main parts: The base and foundation (including dwarf walls), the elevations (window and door frames), and most important of all, the roof.

Conservatory roofs are a specialist engineered product designed to withstand the elements and support the weight of the glazing material. The conservatory walls (including windows and doors) need to be structurally strong enough to support and secure the conservatory roof above it.

Similar to windows and doors, the roof is manufactured from a series of profiles, components and glazing materials. Due to structural requirements, the material tends to be aluminium or aluminium clad with uPVC. There are a number of specialist conservatory roof systems, including Synseal Global, Ultraframe Quantal, and K2 who manufacture the roofs and also supply a network of around 260 conservatory roof fabricators.

A popular variation of a conservatory is the orangery. A more solidly built structure than a conservatory, an orangery tends to have a solid roof with roof lanterns and is more like a proper extension with lots of glass.

Conservatory elevations and roof installed by Ruislip Windows

If you’d like any further information on any of our products, or would like to arrange your free no-obligation quotation, please give us a call on (020) 8868 1133. We hope to hear from you soon!