Archive | December, 2010

A single pane in the….

23 Dec

In the summer it was so nice, ahhh the summer, you know that period of the year where we can wear shorts. Oh it seems so long ago…But we did have a great summer, the sun shone, the air temperature was reaching some record highs in certain places, and we all got a little burnt…Oh didn’t we? Well some of us may have done….But it all seems so long ago now doesn’t it?

I remember some friends inviting us over, and when we arrived I noticed just how nice it was to have their rather classic looking old French doors wide open at the back of the house, how refreshing it was to “let the air in” (an older saying, but its great)  and then to be able to walk out into the garden from their lounge. Ahh the summer. I know not all of us are that lucky to have French doors opening into a lovely garden, but you get the picture I am trying to paint here. Well back in those summer days, it really wasn’t a concern to my friends that those ageing French doors were getting rather old, that they were single glazed doors, and that, to top it off, were starting to let a draft in once closed. To be honest, in the summer I think the draft was a welcome feature of the old doors. But like many of us, they just wanted to enjoy the summer and put off replacing the old doors and windows with new double glazed ones…

window

However, the summer has come and well and truly gone, and all of a sudden we find ourselves in a real cold snap. Usually this means a bit of frost and most of us moaning about the cold and how it may have an impact on the garden. How many times do you hear “it’s all a bit sudden, the plants will be in shock and will probably die off”. But, this time I mean a real cold snap, after all, my phone informed me this morning that outside my lovely bedroom, it was actually -10c. That’s cold for just outside London! Anyway, I digress; the point is that those lovely old French doors my friends have, are now a real pain in the bottom shall we say. My friends really do have something to moan about now. It seems any sort of heat they generate in their lounge is lost through the windows and doors, that their old French doors now allow what feels like an arctic gale to blow through the room, and that they now find themselves not using the lounge at all (though they have the largest heating bill you can imagine).

To be honest, I don’t feel sorry for them though. I did tell them to get those doors and windows replaced….Well ok, I do a little. But, I didn’t want to say …”I told you so…”

What they should have done is replaced those French doors in the summer when it was quite easy to do so. Ideally they should have had all the single pane doors and windows replaced with double glazing. FENSA fitters make all this easy for you; the FENSA certificate means you don’t have to go through local building control either. If they had only contacted a fitter sooner, then they wouldn’t be so cold right now, and wouldn’t be paying the earth to try and heat certain rooms…

 So what have we learnt from today’s tale? Well a number of things:

  1. You won’t always want a draft in your lounge
  2. Loosing heat from your house is only really good in the summer
  3. A cold draft in a room = a no go zone in the winter
  4. It’s expensive to heat rooms with drafts in them
  5. Single glazed windows and doors are massive heat losers
  6. It’s easy to replace doors and windows, especially with a professional FENSA fitter
  7. Cold home = friends only visit in the summer

To finish off this post, all I can say is, “don’t make the same mistakes” as my friends have. If you have a cold draft in your room (even if you find it in the summer), or think your windows let out too much heat, then do something about it quickly. Check our website for a FENSA registered fitter (find a FENSA fitter here http://www.fensa.org.uk/asp/member_search.asp) and get them to come and have a look at your windows and doors. Potentially, windows and doors can be the biggest heat losers in your home, and in cold snaps like the one, that’s uncomfortable to say the least, and makes it rather expensive to keep your home warm…

Compliance and Reliability – All in a day’s work

17 Dec

Hi. Yes, it is that time of the month…..drumroll please….for the results of our latest poll. Now, we didn’t have a huge response in this poll, but from the responses we did have, the answers were very illuminating.

 We asked what was most importantly in a window fitter for you. The 2 most important qualities were deemed as ‘Compliance with building regulations’ and ‘Reliability’. Now I can definitely understand these 2 – if you have paid to get your windows done, you want a good job and to know that they are compliant with building regulations. It would be awful to have to get them all changed again further down the line because they are non-compliant. In the same way, if you have agreed a date for installation, you want the windows installed at that date, to cause minimal disruption to you. Interesting also, that value for money and availability didn’t get any votes at all – shows that knowing you are getting the job done to the standard you want is the most important thing.

feedback poll

Ok so that brings me on to the next poll. As it is nearly Christmas, we decided we would have a bit of a Christmas themed poll. So we want to know, if you  could have any new windows for Christmas what would they be?

Greener Windows, and we are not talking colour

16 Dec

I think by now we are all aware of how important it is to reduce our carbon footprint on our little planet. If nothing else, we are all aware of the potential cash savings we can make by ensuring we don’t let heat escape our homes (especially in the current Arctic conditions we are experiencing in the UK!).

 

 

Windows can be one of the big areas where we let heat escape our homes, be they single pane windows (rather than double glazed) or just poorly fitted. Remember, the more heat we lose, the more energy we consume to heat our homes, and the more energy we use, the more we pay in terms of cash, and our carbon footprint….ooohhh not good…

 

 

So today’s post is all about getting some quality double glazed windows fitted by a professional to get those heating bills down and reduce your carbon footprint.

New requirements for Competent Person Schemes

So first off, let’s address single pane windows. The single pane window is not great for keeping heat in. The bigger the window, the more of a loser it is in terms of keeping heat in. So have a look round your home, identify any single pane windows and think, double glazing…

 

 

Secondly, poorly fitted windows. If your windows are poorly fitted then you will be losing heat hand over fist. On top of that you may find you get some nasty drafts in the room too. I always remember my Gran saying “You’ll get a stiff neck sitting there in that draft”. I guess if you are sitting there reading this with a stiff neck, you had better check for drafts! But I digress….The point is that a professional window installer will ensure you get the benefits of double glazed windows. Saving you energy and ultimately on those energy bills.

 

 

If you are an avid DIYer, then perhaps you are thinking, “nahhh I will give that a go myself”. But windows actually take a lot of care and skill, if you want to get them to look good and installed right, and they need to be compliant with current building regulations too.

 

 

 

 

So what have we learnt, apart from sitting in a draft will give you a stiff neck…Oh yes, that well fitted double glazed windows (fitted by a pro) will lead to better thermal rating for your home, less heat escaping, lower heating bills and a lower carbon footprint…

I leave you with this thought, if everyone in the UK, all 61,792,000 of us, made sure our windows at home were double glazed and fitted well. How much of a cash saving would that be? How much of a reduction in emissions would that equate to?

Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2011

10 Dec
Fensa Installers at G10 awards

Robert Aitken, Chairman of FENSA presenting the G10 Awards 'Promotional Campaign of the Year - Trade' to Edgetech IG

Well, unless you have been underground or something, you won’t have failed to notice that Christmas is almost here. From the Christmas lights in the shops, to the constant Christmas music on the radio to, of course, the snow! But that is all part of the fun. So first of all I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

And then I thought that this would also be a good time to reflect on the year that has almost gone, and think about what 2011 will mean for the window industry.

2010  has been a tough year for a number of industries, and not just in the Double Glazing industry. There was some uncertainty surrounding the General Election with both businesses and individuals waiting to see the outcome before they acted. And then the summer saw a pretty depressing performance in the World Cup, but still meant some disruption to the normal working week. Then October, saw a big change in the Window Industry with the new WER (Window Energy Ratings) scheme, and various successful industry events (Glassex,G10 show  and the industry awards  sponsored by FENSA .

OK, so predictions for 2011. Well, obviously, if things continue as they are now, the start of January will probably see a lot more snow, which isn’t great at all for the glazing industry. It is cold out there!

 And that is not all. Obviously there is also the Government spending cuts, a lot of which are due to come in during January, or during the year, which may have an impact, particularly the increase in VAT.

But it is not all doom and gloom. There is some positive news too. The WER scheme will become more established, and prove a really useful tool for double glazing installers, and help customers improve the thermal performance of their home – saving money on energy bills and helping the environment. What is more, FENSA ourselves have been listening to our FENSA Fitters in focus groups we are holding in November and December. We will be looking at making changes in 2011 based on the feedback we have been given in these groups. And finally, with the loss of a number of consumer organisations with the Government spending cuts, it means that having a FENSA Fitter, and knowing for sure that your new windows complies with the latest building regulations, becomes more important than ever.

So what are our predictions for 2011? Well, all in all, a bit of a mixed bag. Times might be quite tough for both Fitters and the industry, but also customers. But at the same time, the work and developments that have been started in 2010, will really start to make an impact in 2011 and so there is a lot to look forward to as well!

 But for now, Merry Christmas and a Happy 2011 to all of you!

Guest Post: A day in the life of a double glazing salesman

1 Dec

Guest post by  http://doubleglazingblogger.blogspot.com/

I thought I might give my account of what a day is like in the world of double glazing.

Some background information first about the company I work for; we are a small family run business based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. We will have been in business for 30

FENSA Fitters

All in a days work

years by January 2011. There are three of us that are involved in the selling side of the business.

I’m a fully self employed salesman. This means simply that I have no basic, and I’m paid on what I sell, so it’s all purely based on results. Being self employed comes with the perk that I can arrive to work as and when I want, though I do get into the office at 9am every morning, despite having flexible hours! It does also mean I work damn hard for my money. The spectre of not being paid is one I do not like hanging over my head!

First thing for me is to check the diary for leads. I need to know where I’m going so I can plan the rest of the day around my appointments. During the busier spring and summer periods we can expect to have at least 2 leads a day each. It can be more sometimes due to others being away on holiday for example.

Once I know what leads I’ve got it’s straight upstairs to get the showroom open. The outdoor conservatory show site is usually opened up by the time I’m there. A quick sweep round to see if anything needs adjusting by the service engineer and if there are any bulbs that need replacing. Then it’s tea and breakfast time!

The way the leads pan out mean we usually have a mid to late morning appointment, and then one in the afternoon. So the hours in between are filled by catching up on paperwork for quotations for clients you’ve seen previously. If I’m lucky enough to get caught up and I have a bit of spare time I get myself out of the office and on-site. If a customer is kind enough to give you an order, I always think it’s nice of the sales person to go out occasionally and show some interest in the job while it’s going through the fitting process. I try and do this as often as time will allow me. It’s fantastic PR, but it’s also helped my fitting knowledge massively. Without going out on site I wouldn’t know 10% of what I do now.

Anywhere between 12-2pm is lunch. It can vary like this depending what time leads have been booked on for you. It can also leave you feeling light headed and starving if you have a 12:30pm and you don’t get back for a couple of hours and you’ve not had time to eat.

All the above is assuming you have a quiet day in the office. We are a showroom also. This means we get people regularly coming through the doors wanting to see what we have to offer. So depending who is in and who’s turn it is we give demonstrations of what we sell. These can range from anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour depending on what the customer wants and how much they wish to know. The desired end result is that they arrange for one of us to come see them at their property to give them a quote for the work they want doing. Luckily for us we get plenty of people through the doors and we make plenty of leads to go around all three of us.

So, you can have a day where you get in at 9am, not have time to eat because your doing a showroom demo straight away, then go on your morning lead, and get back by 1pm-ish hungry, hot and bothered!

Because we try and space the appointments out, that usually gives us an hour or two again to get paperwork up to date and quotes ready for delivering. If time allows us, the three sales people try and get together to talk about sales figures, what targets we should be aiming for and reviewing what we’ve done over the past few weeks and what we can be doing to improve. We aren’t as regimented as some companies on daily/weekly/monthly meetings. The reason is that both me, by brother and my Dad (the boss) all sell. It means we can talk about work both at home and in the office, so we find no need to set time aside during the working day to talk targets. I understand that most other companies don’t have that luxury.

During the busier days I have a sort of flexible routine. During the afternoon I get my quotes ready for delivering, then go on my afternoon lead. After that I go straight from my appointment to hand delivering my quotes. This is something we all do at our company. I feel it gives a much more personal touch. Obviously if we’ve been out somewhere that’s 30-40 miles away we would just put the client’s quote in the post! The spring and summer months being the busiest means these are the times I regularly finish anywhere between 7-9pm. You could have 2-4 quotes to deliver in one drop, all miles apart from each other, and you may have to spend some time with each customer going through the quote. I usually get at least one order per night doing this.

Then that’s my working day done. The job I do isn’t a physically testing one. Not like the fitting side of the job is. But it’s a mentally tough one. Uncertain wages, constant late finishes, the nature of my job means I’m out and about all the time, never really sat down relaxing, always on my feet. It’s ultimately quite frantic, and that’s what takes it out of you.

However, I love what I do. I’m a people person. If your not a people person, then your not right for selling. But I am. And despite the fact that I have no basic wage, I do ok for myself. I’ve been doing this for about 4 and a half years, and I’ve got better each year. The recession years were tough, but it made me improve and become better.

This is an outline of a typical day for me, other sales people at other companies will have something a little different. Hope you enjoyed reading!

By Double Glazing Blogger