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About Me


Found 32 results

  1. I'm close to picking a window supplier and hence spent the last few weeks looking at windows. We have aluclad and had planned standard grey 7016 on the outside as it seems contemporary and the safe bet. However part of me wants to buck this trend, its a bit boring and I don't want it to be just same same. I'm not looking for anything extreme like cool pink or anything...but something that will add interest, fit with the setting and stand the test of time. Anyone done anything different to grey? Any pics. House is rural Scotland, very large plot with a render finish and siberian larch cladding. Its meant to be white render but now I'm even thinking I want a different tone here too.....
  2. Overall it went swimmingly well, couple of minor issues but soon resolved and need to return to sort out a handle issue but John Knight Glass were, IMO really great and for final sign off we wait for contact over next couple weeks when someone else comes to site to check everything with us so enough time to raise any snagging issues hopefully. Despite some panic on the canal bridge when the trailer was about 8 inches off the floor, everyone held their breath when the glass got over successfully. The other option being discussed was asking CRT who were dredging at the time to transport them to us. Although that didn't happen, I'd of been quite pleased to see that 😁 The windows we picked were the aluclad UPVV studio KF320 windows and KS430 sliding door and we are more than happy with them. A couple from work in progress. It was nice as the sun was setting getting some pictures of the house today, finally with the windows.
  3. Any one having issues with Rationel door external ironmongery rusting ? these are under 4 years old ,Rationel won't replace saying ....
  4. Hi there, I'm in the process of a wee project in our house. We are thinking of moving the kitchen into the dining area, removing a non-load bearing wall, dropping windows down to the ground. Getting a bit frazzled by it all....hoping for ideas, support and experience from members of this forum
  5. Hello, I am going to retrofit MVHR in 1930s semi and this also goes hand in hand with getting new windows. The question is: are windows with airtightness class 3 sufficiently airtight to allow MVHR work efficiently or do I need to get windows class 4? Any experiences?
  6. Original house contained cheap UPVC windows that were ill fitted and would not match the new windows in the two extensions. So the decision was made to fit new windows throughout with the original plan to go for alu-clad wooden, nut resorted to UPVC due to cost and worries on how some of the alu-clad windows were constructed. Surprising how difficult it was to get quotes that were in an affordable category. Some companies needed numerous follow-up calls which was very frustrating in view of the fact that I would be spending approx £20k on their product. In the end, although I would have preferred to buy local, I ended up sourcing windows from abroad which ended up costing a lot less than anything UK-sourced and also meant they were passivhaus certified! Pity how many sectors in the UK shoot themselves in the foot by atrocious service which is partly down to them not wanting to deal with end clients/self-builders. There was a lot of email ping-pong, but I think that would have been the case with UK windows too, but they were at least keen to do business which didn't seem to be the case with many of the UK ones. The only area I was hesitant about was measuring the window openings which was further complicated by the fact that I was using special EWI brackets which would position the windows outside of the window opening itself. So I had to take into account the bracket measurements in addition to the window openings. I must have measured each opening at least 15 times before submitting my final order. Glad to say everything seems to fit (just 3 doors to fit now). Unloading some of the units was a bit precarious especially the 800kg 4.6x 2.3m slider using a standard forklift and then travelling 200m down the road! I got a local window company to help me fit the windows and of course they had no clue how to fit them with the EWI brackets. It took a while for them to admit that the client knew best in this case as he'd actually read the bloody instructions. Means I'll have to rectify their first window later on. External view: Next stage on the exterior, is to EWI all walls with circa 100mm insulation. Note the brackets above (this is the first window and the bottom bracket aren't fitted correctly, so will need to be fixed before EWI). The brackets will cause minimal thermal bridging at least and certainly be better than having a timber frame constructed all round the window frame. The external aluminium cills (sourced from Germany, cheaper and thicker than UK suppliers) will fix onto that bottom mini (grey) cill at the bottom. EWI will tuck in under frame (well all sides of frame of course): and will marry up with the insulation I plan to add under the internal cill also: My next job is to get started with the internal plastering, so I'm looking at how to detail the internal reveals and cills. My plan is to insulate under the cill also. Cavity wall will most likely be filled with PIR where I can force it down or EPS beads (with a bit of PVA). I'll then fix 60mm PIR board to the now insulated cavity wall using PU adhesive. I'll have to channel out a bit of the PIR to accommodate the window brackets so the board sits flat: I should have enough clearance then to fit a wooden cill on top of the PIR. Not sure how best to affix that to PIR. Maybe the plasterboard reveals will sit on top of the cill and help pin it down. Probably overkill with the EWI, but my intention was to also insulate the reveals (see grey EPS example above) with 20-25mm PIR board and then plasterboard over the top. Just need to leave sufficient space to get at the internal beading in case the glass ever needs replacing (sons and footballs....). The other consideration is to decide where to stick the air tightness tape. Initial thought was to stick that on face of window frame and onto brickwork before I stick down the PIR board. But how well does the stuff stick to clean brickwork? I could add a further layer of tape from window frame and stick to top of PIR board before the final cill goes down. I'll try and post some drawings up here later on. Not great, but some of the intended detail:
  7. For a fixed window (external, non-opening), is there any reason in principle why one could not skip having a window frame altogether and mount a triple-glazed "sealed unit" directly in to the aperture created in an exterior timber wall, perhaps with only a minimal bracket for fixing purposes? It strikes me that frames are expensive, complicated, (sometimes greatly) reduce glazing area, and are designed mostly to enable windows to open. And frames also have comparatively poor U-values (even for Passivhaus windows) than the glass they contain. Problems I can imagine: Sealing and ensuring water runs off properly. Coping with differential heat expansion (bang goes the window on a hot day!). Access to swap the sealed unit if necessary. Undoubtedly, there must be something fundamental that I am missing. Please enlighten me.
  8. Hi Folks, Going round the bend here trying to decide on what type of windows we want to install on our upcoming new build. We thought we were all set for timber windows however we have been suggested by our potential builder that using uPCV windows will save us a huge amount of money (approx 20k). Saving this amount is critical for us and may even mean we can actually start our build. However! As per usual its a constant battle between myself, contractor and architect. The architect is adamant that timber windows are a far better option given the superior thermal properties (which i don't dispute) of timber and also that the profile of timber windows will be much thinner than uPCV - something which I am not entirely convinced with - perhaps someone can clarify from experience? A big factor which is swaying me towards uPVC is we are located beside the coast and it concerns me even though we upkeep and maintain timber windows the salty air will eventually win the battle and turn them into a rotten mess - like a lot of other properties in the area. With our location in mind we did consider AluClad however we are reading conflicting information regarding the suitability of these on the coast in that the Aluminium will corrode if not treated properly - again adding to maintenance costs like timber windows. Has anyone got any experience on choosing a material for your windows in a coastal location? Any information on your decision and end result would be a huge help for us!
  9. Hi there, Hoping for a bit of advice from anyone who may have Rationel aluclad windows. Ours were installed this week and look great, but my better half is slightly (very) nervous about the wood finish in the bathroom (we went for clear lacquer finish). Anybody who has had the aluclad windows for awhile, who perhaps has any words of comfort/tips on maintenance? Thanks in advance!
  10. Our VELFAC windows are being delivered next Wednesday and our VELFAC approved installer, E R Aluform, has just advised they're ceasing trading as of today. We paid them a 50% deposit. Please no abuse on why we agreed to pay them a 50% deposit for the installation; I'm feeling rather fragile and would be grateful if anyone can offer any advice on what to do— whether we can recoup the money? and / or who can fit VELFAC windows at such short notice. Thanks in advance
  11. Soon after our windows were fitted last September we noticed two defects in one of the large panes. We were told this was part of the manufacturing process and one of the risks of getting a large pane of glass. The pane in question is about 3 m x 2 m. We have 12 such panes of glass in our house and none of the others have any defects. Other than this window, we are absolutely delighted. At the time we raised it with the UK distributor of the windows. They agreed it was unacceptable. They raised it with the European supplier who noted it was part of the acceptable defects that may appear in a pane of glass this size. Now that the walls of the room are plastered and painted, the sun reflects through the defect and puts a rather hideous shadow onto the wall. Does anyone else have any defects on large panes of glass? Are such defects normal? Windows are aluminium clad, triple glazed. Supplier and distributor shall remain nameless, currently, as I dearly want to get this resolved. The only resolution for me is a replacement pane of glass, fully paid for by the supplier, including transport and fitting. That would be honouring our original contract in my opinion. We have been offered a compensation sum of about a 10th of the cost of the entire window. The windows were very expensive. I don’t want to wake up to that shadow every morning. Photos show the shadow on the wall and also the view out of the window when the scaffolding was in place showing the distortion in the view. Any thoughts welcome please.
  12. Hi All, I am currently doing my timber frame drawings and sorting out window opening sizes etc. and it got me thinking about the installation - the plan is to get the timber frame up and install the windows almost immediately to secure and weather-proof the extension long before the block-work goes up around it. I know it is common practise to install windows into the frame before the masonry goes up so I wondered if anyone has an installation detail or some good photos showing how they sit exactly and the sort of depth into the cavity they sit. I don't want to install them then find I have them in the wrong position. I was on a site recently and I saw how they had installed them, albeit from a bit of a distance and it appeared to me they had done this: Typical timber frame sheathed in OSB and wrapped in a building wrap, then circa. 50x50 rough treated had been attached to the outside of the opening round the timber frame, so basically like a picture frame over the top of the building wrap, this I assume was to acct as the cavity closer, the cavity was 50mm, so my assumption was that the window was then going to be installed flush to the outside edge of the 50x50. Then, when the masonry went up, the back brick face would be hard against the 50x50 (as you would expect a cavity closer) and the masonry would be brought right up to the edge of the window frame. The render would then go on thus "sealing" the window in and a bit of mastic at the end (as appears common on new builds around all doors/windows) to seal the UPVC to the render. Does this sound correct? Would you attach band to the window and then fix it from the inside of the timber frame? In theory it sounds fine to me but I just want to check. The next question is the sill, the supplier can supply me with a stub sill or longer versions. Do I get the sill, then build the masonry up to the underside of the sill, bit of mastic and job done? Or should I be thinking about a proper concrete sill to the top of the masonry? I will be able to ask questions of suppliers and people involved when I get there but I need to get some of these things clear in my head before I start the frame drawings as it could make a difference to exactly where I place a window to ensure I get get a whole block or brick up to the bottom of an opening etc.
  13. Our windows arrive next week and the window manufacturer is also installing them for us. The final payment is therefore due soon after completion. I have been told by them that the VAT is payable up front and I will be able to reclaim at a later date. However, I have also heard that if I submit an invoice for such a claim it will be rejected as it will be considered to be a wrongly charged VAT invoice. That is, the VAT shouldn't have been charged in the first place and therefore can't be reclaimed as a result! What is the collective's view on this? Thanks.
  14. I'm having an MBC frame with Velfac windows and a Parex render on my new house. Whilst they all promised to liaise with each other re: final aperture sizes at the time of booking, it's less than a month before we start and no one is willing to take responsibly for the final size of the windows. Velfac say MBC's aperture sizes need to be adjusted for the battening, cementboard and render as this needs to be done before the windows can be installed. The render company will not promise an exact thickness, and MBC are trying not to get involved. How do I ensure the window sizes are right?
  15. Is 3g worth the investment over 2g? We have a lot of windows and doors, including sliders etc, altogether we're looking at 200m2 over 70 items. I've had around 10 quotes now and the feedback from the window companies has been to stick with 2g (possibly because they know it's cheaper and therefore within my budget) however, it seems the majority of you guys have 3g and you all seem to know what you're doing! I would say that my main priorities are equally: Quality (highly rated, long warranty etc) Aesthetics (They have to suit the contemporary style of the house, the slimmer the better) Cost (I'm trying to get a LOT of house for the money so would be glad to just get the shell made, sealed and clad leaving the rest to be finished bit by bit) I've had quotes from all the main players mentioned on here selling Alu clad as well as some Aluminium frame companies and there are many pro's and cons with each. Initially I was pretty set on 3g but I simply can't ignore the potential additional cost, it could be the difference between getting the project started right away or waiting a while longer to save up the necessary funds. I'm even considering flush casement plastic windows as they look pretty decent but I'm yet to be convinced. Ultimately, this is our forever home and as such, I really don't want to make a decision I'll later regret. P.S - We're not building a passive house but it will be as air tight as we can make it (ICF construction married to brick and block)
  16. People have been discussing budgets recently and I just wondered what people have spent on travelling to Self Build shows, courses and product selection such as windows, kitchens etc. Over the last couple of years we have been to quite a few shows at the NEC incl Self Build and Grand Designs. We travelled to Glasgow and Truro to see window manufacturers and numerous visits to the window manufacturer of our choice, 100 mile round trip each time. Went to South Wales to do our roofing course and not to mention all the local trips, 50 to 60 mile round trips to see kitchen suppliers,tile and lighting shops. Not only is this costly but it takes a lot of time but we think it is all worth it if you want to build the house of your dreams.
  17. good morning all ! We have the roofers starting next week (fingers crossed) and the chippys are just finishing the exterior battening to get teh render board on ....and its got me thinking about window detail (as you do!) now our house is almost IDENTICAL, to the image below ...which is one build around 7 years ago ...except Instead of a course of tile creasing on the plinth ....we have gone for cant plinth brick (3.1.1) As you can see (and its the same at the rear ...but the side doesnt have many windows (for planning happiness!) SOME of the windows on the lower floor will finish just above plinth brick ,,,and some of the windows upstairs will basically be flashed to the roof (dormer) and some will have to meet the rendered area (2 will) ... what would you suggest should be the window sill detailing ?... bearing in mind our plinth does not have an overhang but is finished FLUSH with external course (to avoid chipping) I mean i suppose i need to work out some way of the brickwork MEETING the render area ? as the flush plinth course doesnt really create a protruding sill ....someone suggested slanted "brick on edge"...hmmm with a tile crease, a plinth and a brick on edge ....LOL. I am thinking it could look "bitty" and non-consistent ... anyone got any suggestions? as usual it is appreciated
  18. Howdy my windows are being delivered via hi-ab next week, so I assume palletised Its just dawned on me that I somehow need to get these things in a house that's surrounded by scaffolding one of the windows is 200kg. and others a fair size too How can I get them from trackside into house? is there anything that I can get to assist me?
  19. I am having a 'discussion' with our BR supplier about what sign offs are included, what I can certify myself to their satisfaction and what I have to seek elsewhere. I guess its about having all the paperwork completed before sign off. I have my list but I am not sure it is complete so thought I would put it out there by way of checking: Windows install - so do not need installation by FENSA certified team. Electrical install - so I do not need electrical sign off by electrician (as it happens I will get this done by my brother-in-law) but for completeness it is included here. Gas install - don't think this is ever in the BR peoples scope as needs gas safe qualification. Oil fueled install - I don't have one but it is here for completeness. Solid fuel install - I don't have one but it is here for completeness. Pressure vessel (UVC etc) install - so I don't need a plumber to sign it off. Water install from meter. - not sure there are any regs here but just in case. Sewerage connection - so I don't need involve the water company, other than inform them. Waste water and general plumbing, flows & trap sucking ect - always assumed this was part of the sign off by BR anyway but could be wrong! Ventilation system balance - so I can do it myself. Ventilation system compliance - always assumed this was part of the sign off by BR anyway but could be wrong! Air tightness - So, assuming I can trace the pressure and airflow sensors to national standard, I don't need a third party to do this. Sound insulation - not sure even how to test this but can't be rocket science, can it? So I don't need a specialist again. CO2 Energy Performance certificate - I wanted to do these but as I needed the pre-build one quickly I have already paid for this and the final one. Water use certificate - I wanted to do these but as I needed the pre-build one quickly I have already paid for this and the final one. What have I missed - probably something glaring!
  20. I am new to the forum and building with an architect in the cotswolds a new home suitable for an elderly person. I am a retired farmer, yes some of us do retire, I had an offer too good to refuse. MBC are doing the timber frame, it was them who guided me to this site.. The planners say I must use timber windows and at the moment I am favouring Green Building Store. I have read most of the posts about windows but I see no mention of them. I know that they are less thermally efficient than Rationel who seem to be favoured by most on the forum but they are considerably less expensive. My calculations say that the difference in u value about 0.1 which is not going to have a life changing effect. What am I missing and has anybody any experience of using Green building store windows.
  21. caliwag

    Bi fold doors

    Greetings all...I am curious about the rise and rise of the use of bi-folds and similar devices to throw open a room to the elements. Virtually every illustrated Self/custom build appear to show bi-folds fully open. Could I ask why this is? Could members tell me how often they use them? Do you believe, in hindsight, are they such a grand idea or mere advertising puff? Surely, such huge glazed doors/windows are not very green and are net losses to a heating load. I live in a converted, yet inefficient, Yorkshire cottage with a pair of trad French windows to the living room...facing a lush garden and receiving the sun until 2.30ish. The French windows have never been fully open in my 3 years here...I don't want a living room full of leaves. Just wondering!
  22. Modern Houses, especially developer built ones, seem to have extremely mean windows...not helped by extremely thick frames and mullions. Consider the room you're in now. What effect would it have if the sill(s) were 18" higher or indeed 18" above floor level. The former would be be rather depressing, the latter quite enlivening, particularly if you have an interesting view, or likely to collect winter sun. Our old friends Chris Alexander et al in A pattern Language have much to contribute on the subject of windows and sill heights..."One of a window's most important functions is to put you in touch with the outdoors. If the sill is too high, it cuts you off." As mentioned, the award winning property journalist Anne Ashworth of the Times suggested "...a Georgian rectory remains the dream home of most of those house-hunting in the country" (indeed a growing trend if current reports are to be believed). I suspect one reason is that the main rooms have low sills, as well as comfortable, proportional attributes. I wonder why developers do not notice this. Many of Baillie Scott's early 20th century houses were built with low sills in at least one room, especially if it was a bay window. (see Diane Haig's book of Baillie Scott's houses, The Artistic House.) Alexander also talks of having windows in two walls of a main room. This seemingly has several advantages, animation of the room, objects and furniture, different glimpses of sunlight and a choice of seating location. You will notice in a cafe or clear-windowed pub that, given a choice, people will gravitate, almost without discussion, to a window seat. Bailie Scott in his 1906 book "Houses and Gardens" railed against anything other than one window in a room..."It is best, therefore, to concentrate the window space so that the light comes from one side only..."and so on. Interestingly most of BS's houses after that date contradicted that, at least in the main rooms. It should be uppermost to note in your portable notebook when walking around or visiting a pub, cafe, hotel foyer, friend's houses, or browsing through the design magazines or weekend newspaper supplements, surprising or pleasing window arrangements and relationships with the rooms. Window are often characterful devices used to advertise other things...sofas, curtains/blinds, wallpaper, an Aga and so on, so keep your eyes open for ideas that might add character to your design and take note, sketches, photos before you forget. Excerpt from the book on Happy designing
  23. caliwag

    Bay windows and Oriels

    I have always tried to design in Bay and even oriel windows in my house designs. Bay windows can often add a quite 'slot' to do the home work, read, write or draw, use a laptop, have breakfast and even admire, relatively undisturbed a sunrise or set-set, or admire your efforts in the garden. In a busy kitchen, where more people gather round these days to await or help with supper, a bay can provide the social spot, but still with work etc...more like the trad farmhouse kitchen many which seem to admire...(perhaps another blog). As Arthur Martin says in his 1909 book on house design 'The Small house', " Bay windows are convenient architectural devices for gaining extra space beyond the main walls of the house, being in themselves interesting features in the rooms. They not infrequently in small houses (Mr Martin describing in Edwardian Times houses more akin in area to executive homes now!) form the only comfortable corner for an easy chair or writing table..." Chris Alexander et al. in 'A Pattern Language' make a plea for care in built in seat design for hardness and back height. A Pattern Language is indeed a wonderful guide to jolting a memory or spending time considering decision making, especially at design and detail level. Anyone considering designing and building should invest in a copy...wonderful and unique piece of work. Obviously another advantage of a bay window is that it captures sunlight and garden activity from three or more if your wondering whose car is pulling up or what the kids are up to! Oriels are harder to make work, structurally and thermally. Plainly as a cantilever the structure will penetrate the building so will require ingenious insulation solutions...Theses are not impossible, but need careful exploration. Of course a solution is to build one on top of a ground floor bay or support from the garden...all to taste I guess (and the budget). A favourite device of mine is to extend outwards an oriel from a standard landing to create a hobby or work place which is very much part of the home's activities. There's more in bays and oriels in my for details
  24. Hello All, I suppose I should let you all know who I am. My name is Craig and I've been in the passivhaus industry now for nearly 10 years and built up my knowledge and understanding from friends, colleagues and learning about the methods and different construction methods etc. I've mainly been involved in the supply of windows and doors and Im basically the tech guy at Ecowin/Gaulhofer Windows & Doors in the UK. I'm not here to self promote or claim we are better than everyone else but I'am happy to help anyone with my knowledge and understanding. I recently turned 40 (ouch), I have 3 wonderful kids and I was recently surprised to be informed of an impending fourth. As mentioned, I do work for Ecowin/Gaulhofer and I'm not here to generate sales or push products or claim we are better than anyone else, as a lot of good suppliers/manufacturers exist (a lot of poor ones also). If I can be of any help, please let me know. Thanks Craig
  25. Opposite our house, to the South, there used to be (until today) a 30ft high Leylandii hedge. It was the other side of the lane, and the other side of the stream, and behind it there's a two storey house. Today, the owner of that house had contractors in and they've cut most of the hedge down to just a few feet high. As our house is around 10ft higher than theirs, this means that the windows to the front of our house now look directly into the bedroom windows of the house opposite, which was previously hidden behind the tall hedge. I'm not sorry to see the hedge go, but think it could have been trimmed a lot better than it has been, but that's neither here nor there. One consequence is that we get a great deal more light at the front, and overall that's no bad thing. However, we've always had a slight problem with solar gain from the kitchen window and a small window in the living room, both of which face south. We also had a problem with the big glazed gable, but that was fixed by installing reflective film, which has the added benefit of making that gable into a one-way mirror, so no one can normally look in. Now that the hedge has been cut right down, we need to do something to give some privacy. As I've also been pondering over ways to reduce the solar gain, I'm wondering if I can't do both, by fitting a horizontally slatted brise soleil, with the slats arranged as a sort of projecting canopy of boards on edge, with a slight pitch downwards to provide the required privacy. I've had a look around online, but all the off-the-shelf systems I've been able to find look a bit too contemporary. Our house looks fairly rustic, and anything I fit will need planning approval, so has to be in keeping with the waney edge larch cladding. Has anyone got any good ideas, by any chance?