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! 🙂

 

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!

 

Welcome to the Ruislip Windows’ blog!

Features, articles and comments on just about everything you might want to know when purchasing your new windows and doors.

 

HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Based in Eastcote, Middlesex, Ruislip Windows and Doors are a respected local installer specialising in replacement windows, doors and conservatories in both uPVC and aluminium. Proud to be celebrating over 30 years in the business, the company was established back in 1986 by John Flynn, a City and Guilds qualified carpenter and double glazing installer. Originally trading as Ruislip Building Ltd, we became Ruislip Windows and Doors Ltd in May 1995 to better reflect our business.

As the company grew and became more experienced, we undertook increasingly more challenging contracts and our portfolio continued to develop and expand. Now, over three decades since we first began, our installations range from the local domestic market to large commercial contracts.

Advances in the development of uPVC and aluminium systems, along with cutting edge technology and attention to detail now means there has never been a better time to experience the benefits that our home improvement products will bring to your home.

As professional installers with a reputation for quality and integrity, we choose our products very carefully, ensuring that our customers will benefit from the latest in technical and security specification. To this end, we install a range of products from trusted leading manufacturers, guaranteed to provide you with a top quality product that you will enjoy and benefit from for many years to come.