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When it comes to choice of material, the two biggest considerations are generally style and budget


maximising light and giving a clean, modern look. It’s ideal for high-end modern builds, where architects, builders and homeowners want unfussy, understated windows. The real driver behind its recent popularity though is doors – specifically bi-folding doors. Aluminium’s strength makes it ideal for large aperture doors that help builders and architects blur the line between indoors and outdoors. Like PVCu, aluminium is also low maintenance, and especially long lasting. However, typically it’s expensive, and in its standard form it suffers from poor thermal efficiency (although there are now hybrid forms on the market such as WarmCore which include a PVCu core through the aluminium profile in order to dramatically improve insulation).


AND WHAT ABOUT TIMBER? Timber is the traditional option for windows and doors, and brings a soft, warm feel. It’s been used for hundreds of years, so it’s well established. It performs well across the board and looks good – especially on more traditional projects.


If chosen with care it can also be long- lasting and sustainable.


However timber is generally in decline as a choice for windows and doors, replaced by PVCu in the window market and composite doors for entranceways. There are two reasons for this: cost and maintenance. Timber windows and doors are usually expensive to buy, especially if you go for a long-lasting hardwood option. It’s also the option that requires the most maintenance – repainting or staining every five years or so to keep it protected and looking good. This can put people off.


may/june 2018


ONCE I’VE SELECTED MY WINDOWS AND DOORS, WHAT ELSE I SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR?


Whichever option you go for, make sure you buy from an established manufacturer. Everything they make should be CE Marked, while information on U-values and energy ratings should be available and – if you’re taking any extra options such as enhanced security – a manufacturer’s PAS 24 or Secured by Design accreditations should be available to you too.


When installing your windows, be aware that they’re subject to building control, so they will be inspected. If you’re using an installer (rather than fitting them yourself or your builder


doing it), the installer should be part of an approved Certified Persons Scheme – FENSA is the most common – which negates the need for an inspection. Finally, as a manufacturer my advice is to not order windows and doors off plan – wait until the apertures are in place and have them properly surveyed. And always allow a 10 mm fitting tolerance. I’ve seen too many projects go wrong when windows were ordered off plan, arrived and didn’t fit – the windows were the right size, but the holes they go into weren’t. It can be a costly mistake!


Martyn Haworth is director of Bison Frame – manufacturers of the Genesis Collection and WarmCore windows and doors


www.sbhonline.co.uk 9


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