Composite Fire Doors: safety, security and fire protection all in one. 👍

Our composite fire doors have been fire tested on both the internal and external sides for up to 30 minutes with fully independent third party certification.

A composite fire door is visually very similar to a standard composite door but with the added protection of specific fireproof materials. Controlled and exacting manufacturing standards coupled with rigorous third party testing* for fire doors not only demonstrates integrity against fire but also delivers performance relative to smoke control, security, weather, sound insulation and thermal performance.

*Bi-directional tests (tested on both sides of the door) are conducted by third party UKAS accredited test centres. (UKAS is the national accreditation body for the UK). 

Why would I need a fire door?

Fire doors actively help to control the spread of fire and smoke, allowing you vital time to evacuate safely. It is a legal requirement for residential apartment blocks to have an FD30* entrance door fitted. It is also an essential consideration for houses of multiple occupancy and any house that has an internal door leading from an integral garage into the home. Any new build or home renovation that has three or more floors must have fire doors fitted to every habitable room that leads from a stairwell. This applies to loft conversions where an extra floor has been added to a two-storey home.

*FD30 means the door has been tested and proven to withstand fire for 30 minutes. 

Why would I choose a composite fire door?

Composite doors were designed to emulate a traditional painted wooden door without any of the maintenance concerns associated with timber doors. Composite fire doors are available in both traditional and contemporary styles, with toplight and glazing options, a wide choice of colours and approved door furniture. You don’t have to compromise on looks, style, security or protection.

Examples of FD30 composite fire doors.

How are fire doors tested?

Doorsets (the full door, frame, any toplight and door furniture) are furnace tested at a UKAS accredited test laboratory. The doorset is secured into the furnace wall and is then fire tested on both the internal and external sides. Sensors are attached to the face of the door and record the performance of different elements of the doorset, such as deflection of the doorleaf and temperature of the furnace. The duration of the test is the number of minutes for which the doorset is to be classified.

The results of this furnace test form a fire door test report, detailing the exact specification of the product and how it was tested. It’s important to remember that the fire test report demonstrates how one particular sample fire doorset performed at one point in time.

The fire door test report is then combined with third party certification. The manufacturer ensures that critical factory production control systems are put in place and are regularly audited, together with the control of raw materials and components. This means that every doorset is manufactured to the same exacting standards and specification as the original doorset in the furnace test.

Example of a composite fire door furnace test.
Composite fire entrance doors in a residential communal hallway.
Courtesy of Guardsman Fire Doors.

All our FD30 fire doors have been tested to BS476 Part 22, and are subject to the Q-Mark enhanced security scheme. In addition, the doors have also been tested to BS EN 1634-3 smoke control test and comply with PAS023/PAS024 security accreditations.

For more information on our composite fire doors please contact us:

Can I save money on my energy bills by installing double glazing? Yes you can.

Black aluminium windows
Black aluminium windows double glazed in energy efficient argon-filled
sealed units with feature rectangle leads.

Did you know? 18% of heat loss occurs through windows. Across the UK, around 7% of households still don’t have double glazing. Heat is lost through single glazing twice as fast as through standard double glazing.

energysavingtrust.org.uk

All properties lose heat through their windows. But energy efficient double glazing, coupled with other energy saving measures keeps your home warmer and quieter as well as helping to reduce your energy bills.

What is energy efficient glazing?

Otherwise known as Low-e (low emissivity), this is a type of energy-efficient glass designed to prevent heat escaping out through your windows to the cold outdoors. Low-e glass has a special coating which is a poor radiator of heat and does not allow heat to be transferred to the outside. Instead, the low-e coating actually reflects the heat back into your room. Low-e glass can be used throughout your home to improve its energy efficiency. Windows, doors, conservatories and rooflights can all benefit from the use of energy-efficient glazing to help keep the heat in and save money on your energy bills.

How Low-e glass works in your windows and doors to prevent heat loss.

Window Energy Ratings (WER)

Window Energy Ratings (known as WER) are a guide to the energy performance of your windows. There are two main schemes run by the British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC) and the British Standards Institute (BSI). The window energy rating scheme checks all the components to ensure the final window achieves the energy efficient standard claimed. This means that you just need to look for the A-E ratings and remember the higher the energy rating, the more energy efficient it is. Windows installed by Ruislip Windows usually achieve at least an A rating, and often higher.

Examples of WER

Benefits of installing energy rated windows:

  • Reassurance of certified scheme approval of the windows.
  • Improves the energy-efficiency of your home, reducing the amount of energy you use and helping you to save money on your heating bills.
  • Significantly more effective than existing single glazing.
  • Manufactured to UK and European quality standards and meet the requirements for building regulations concerning energy efficiency of homes.

By installing double glazing into an entirely single glazed house, you could save the following each year (for a typical gas heated home):

What to consider

We recognise that choosing new windows and doors for your home is a big decision, and one you want to be confident in getting right first time. So it’s good to know that even our standard uPVC windows and doors (Rehau/Kömmerling) achieve WER of A+. However different customer circumstances will determine which windows and doors you can replace with double glazing and what products you can replace them with, for instance:

CONSERVATION AREA

What if you live in a Conservation Area or a listed building? There are strict rules about what you can replace your existing windows and doors with (such as like for like) and that can restrict your choices and options.

PERIOD PROPERTY

If you’re in a Victorian or Edwardian building you may have traditional sash windows, or an Art Deco home with steel crittal windows. You may have original stained glass and leads that you would like to preserve.

ALUMINIUM

Aluminium is a popular choice for contemporary homes but is more expensive than uPVC. Energy ratings have improved significantly for aluminium profiles, but uPVC generally hits higher energy efficiency targets.

We offer a wide range of products and many of these will be suitable for traditional properties who want to preserve their aesthetic style:

  • Sash windows: “A” rated uPVC sash windows that replicate very well a traditional box sash window. Good aesthetics and great energy efficiency mean these windows will make a huge difference to your home.
  • Timber replacement windows: “A” rated premium uPVC windows that don’t skimp on authentic style. Flush fitting like traditional wooden windows and available in a range of painted wood effect grained foils. 90° timber effect corner welds and ovolo putty Georgian bars complement their traditional aesthetics beautifully. See more here >>
  • Alitherm Heritage aluminium windows and doors: perfect for all crittal replacement installs, with slim slender profiles. Also available as multi-part windows and doors – ideal for commercial premises and warehouse flat conversions and even internal doors.

For more information about the energy ratings of our products and how they could save you money on your energy bills, please contact us. Also, energy ratings are available in all our product brochures for each type of window and door that we install. Download our brochures from our main website >>

See also our other articles:

We hope to see you very soon! 🙂

SMARTS Visoglide bifold and sliding patio doors

The latest addition to our portfolio of aluminium architectural doors is the much respected Visoglide range from Smarts.

With over 35 years’ experience, Smarts Architectural Aluminium are one of the UK’s leading supplier of window and door systems, taking great pride not only in the quality, breadth and depth of their product range, but also in their design expertise and support services.

Smarts Aluminium 4-panel bifold door
We’re excited to add Visoglide and Visofold doors to our portfolio, which currently includes Aluk and our premium range from Reynaers.

Create a relaxed feeling of light and space and frame the beautiful views of your garden and beyond. Suitable for installation in any room, these elegant door systems add a touch of finesse and provide a striking glass façade.

Whether you want to open up space using our Visofold multi-panelled slide-folding doors which concertina back to one or both sides of the frame, or introduce a Visoglide sliding door (comprising two or more large panes which slide open to leave the panels behind each other), we have the perfect solution. With high-security glazing and locking mechanism (including security deadlock and hook bolts), and an unrivalled colour range to choose from (including dual-colour options), each door can be tailored to meet your own precise requirements.

Smarts Aluminium sliding patio doors.
Smarts Aluminium sliding patio doors in white.

Our systems have been designed to not only withstand all that the elements can throw at them, but also to deliver minimum heat loss and great thermal efficiency.

  • Renowned for its perfect combination of light weight and high strength, aluminium is the ideal material for sliding and folding doors, providing slim, elegant designs and outstanding performance.
  • With a life-span measured in decades rather than years, together with extremely low maintenance requirements, aluminium has become the perfect choice for home owners.
  • All our systems are designed with performance, looks and efficiency in mind, with each frame incorporating a ‘thermal-break’ to insulate doors against heat loss, raise the internal temperature of a house and help reduce the risk of condensation.
  • Maintenance for aluminium systems is simple and straightforward, with a routine ‘wipe-clean’ all that is required to keep the products looking their best. With no requirement for re-painting or re-varnishing, aluminium windows and doors will never fade, deteriorate or rust, even in harsh environments, or coastal locations.
Smarts Aluminium 4-panel bifold door in anthracite.
Smarts Aluminium 4-panel bifold door in anthracite.

Discover more and download the latest brochure from our website here.

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! 🙂

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! 🙂

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 Watford and Eastcote, 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 35 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.