Monthly Archives: July 2011

A new Ombudsman scheme for the double glazing industry


Today sees the launch of a new Ombudsman scheme for the double glazing industry, The Glazing Ombudsman (TGO).

Since 2002 when Fensa was established as a competent persons scheme, it has focused upon building regulation compliance issues. Mistakenly, many customers believe Fensa regulates the industry on all matters including quality, service etc and are disappointed when their complaint is dismissed because it’s outside Fensa’s remit. (more…)

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Conservation and the Hertitage Lottery

Article 4 directives

John Roper the editor of Fabricator and Installer Magazine,  recently requested sash window fabricator Masterframe, to write a short article, outlining the pitfalls and opportunities that exist.

Sash windows are no longer the niche they once were, today there are dozens of window fabricators that offer standard plastic vertical sliders and think their products should be accepted by planners.

However, area conservation officers and planners often hate PVCu windows. Their perception is based upon the thousands of hidious, unsympathetic, cheap UPVC double glazing that has blighted so many properties. (more…)

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10 Ways to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

traditional sash windows

We had an email about an interesting blog in the US, suggesting 10 ways to improve the quality of the air that we breath inside our homes. Factors such as household chemicals and cleaning fluids, tobacco smoke, paint fumes, mold etc let alone dust from shoes, pets and other animals.

There are almost as many factors that can affect indoor air quality (IAQ) as there are outdoors.  Fortunately, there are some solid steps you can take to help keep it clean. Here are 10 ways you can improve the air quality in your home:

The article explains a number of mechanical devices, extractor fans, dehumidifiers, vacuum cleaners and alike, along with natural helpers like plants. (more…)

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Police figures show Burglaries are up 14%

burglar break in

Recent reports suggest that burglaries are up this year by 14%. Although a significant increase, it is the first following more than years of decline. Why, well there are a number of reasons but interestingly, since the early 1990’s the police have actively been involved with with making products more secure, through their preferred specification scheme, “Secured by Design”. (more…)

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Empire State Building reduces heat loss re-using glass.


Imagine the heat loss if you have 6,514 windows, over 110 floors in a 1930’s building!

Well thanks to a contributor from the USA, we were pointed towards a company, Serious Windows, that has recently finished a project that saw glass being reused to create new energy efficient windows. Mr Anthony Malkin, the buildings owner, having invested in new windows in the 1990’s was loathed to waste all that glass he bought, yet he recognised his global responsibility towards climate change, energy efficiency and saving hard cash. (more…)

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Gas & Electricity prices set to soar


IBT has announced that Gas providers are hiking up the prices, again. Scottish Power has led the way with others expected to follow, announcing an increase in gas prices of 19% and electricity by 10%.

British Gas owner Centrica warned its 16 million customers last month that it had not increased its prices in line with what it is paying in the wholesale market. Gas prices closely follow the price of oil, which has risen sharply this year in the wake of unrest in the Middle East, a weak dollar and continued demand from emerging markets.

Homeowners will therefore need to conserve even more energy than last year. (more…)

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Grade I listed property gets new double glazing.


According to the This is Bath, a local Grade I Listed property is set to get new double glazing.

The St John’s Hospital charity reckons its city centre almshouses will be among the first grade one historic listed buildings in England to be fitted with double glazing.

As with all historic properties, it is hard to make them energy efficient as they have solid walls and glazing is such an important feature. Approved by Bath and North East Somerset Council and backed by the Bath Preservation Trust. (more…)

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Everest purchase Amdega conservatory brand name


Everest are reported in the Northern Echo, to have purchased the trading name Amdega, from the KPMG following the companies collapse earlier this year. It says,

The Amdega name, established in 1874, has been sold by administrators KPMG, who are disposing of the business’s assets to settle the company’s outstanding debts. Amdega went into administration in April, cutting 188 jobs out of 197 at its Faverdale, Darlington, factory, and leaving up to 300 orders for conservatories – which can cost up to £150,000 – potentially unfulfilled.

Doesn’t help those who lost out previously however the name lives on.

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How can I avoid rogue salespeople in double glazing?


Well firstly, the industry has improved immensely over the years. In the 70’s and 80’s commission only sales people were the norm, slick, well polished and well rehearsed spiel, answers to every objection you could think of. Being self employed and paid solely upon results, they were there to sell, at any cost because if they left empty handed there was no second chance!

Today, thankfully, many of those sales people have moved onto other markets, security alarm systems, solar panels or new emerging markets. The vast majority of sales people today are salaried, with a suitable bonus for achieving targets. Very few are self employed but there are still a few around. (more…)

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How to check a fensa company number?

fensa logo

First off Fensa is a competent persons scheme, one of a number but they account for the vast majority of window installations. Others include Certass, BSI, BM Trada, and Network Veka or direct with LABC the local building control. more here.

Although many people have heard of Fensa, they often incorrectly think it’s a quality mark, it isn’t. Fensa is only concerned with building regulation compliance; members guarantee that installations are in accordance with the building regulation requirements; it is not a QUALITY standard, nor does it regulate QUALITY other than compliance with standards. Created in 2002, over 7 million Fensa certificates have been issued, and more than 28% of UK households of England and Wales, have used the services of a FENSA registered installer.

Companies can display their accreditations, like their Fensa number on this web site (for a fee) and using the “verify” button to confirm their claims or you can search their site direct.

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