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Glazing rep is due tomorrow. What should I ask him?

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Advice Please!

A triple glazing rep (Gaulhofer) is due to call tomorrow. And I don't want to look too much of an idiot when talking to him.

So what should I look for, or ask about?

I know the basic stuff about his brand of windows, like  the figures for the glass and frame -they're  all within the range for PH - if they weren't the rep wouldn't be calling.

 

I need pointers towards what I should look for in terms of manufacture. I'm conscious of the recent thread on windows and security, so I'll ask about the relevant standards. But to be honest with you, at the moment, to me, windows are windows are windows. But I'll be spending a good chunk of our budget on them. .....Not a time to get it wrong. 

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@HerbJ went with Gaulhofer. You could give him a call.

 

One thing to discuss is installation: do they offer to install, or even insist upon installing, the windows themselves?

 

What's the lead time from sign-off - will they give a guaranteed delivery date?  Do, eg, continental August shut-downs affect your build schedule?

 

Do you want any extras (eg, blinds?)  

 

Are there options for, eg, higher-spec spacers?

 

I assume they'll be double low-e coated, but worth checking, and confirming what type of coating they use.

 

Are cills included?

 

What information can they provide about installation details - can they work with whoever's doing your construction drawings to make sure installation will be a smooth experience?

 

That's all that jumps out at the moment.  I was hugely impressed with the guy I spoke to at a building show a few years ago (Tomas, I think), who was the MD.  Assuming it's the same guy, he's a Passivhaus trainer, which is the next step up from Passivhaus consultant, so he really gets low energy building.

 

If I had my time again I'd likely have gone with Gaulhofer.  The only reason I didn't was actually because they flagged an issue with window sizes early on.  The people we went with didn't, and it was only when we were finalising everything that someone at the factory pointed out exactly the same issue that Gaulhofer raised the first time they saw the drawings.

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In no particular order...

 

Firstly, who is doing the measure and what fitting tolerance they recommend (10mm? or 15mm?). Recommended fitting method for any fixed lights - i.e any brackets, who supplies. 

 

Finger jointing - if timber framed and lacquered, pay more for none (although I doubt Gaulhofer would do finger jointing anyway)

 

Ironmongery - internally, I believe you can specify at extra cost 'hidden ironmongery' - something we only realised after and wished we'd specced. This is in the space between an opening window and the frame - on some of ours, you can see the mechanics behind, which I don't like. 

 

Window spacers - what colour? Some look at you like you're an alien, others know exactly what you are talking about and tell you what you can specify. Despite the hassle it caused, the black on ours looks great - so slick on triple glazing.

 

Offload method - how will they arrive and how will they be offloaded. 

 

Special glazing - we specified special solar glazing on our south elevations to reduce the solar gain. It's also tinted blue slightly, although you can get other colours. Looks good but also adds a degree of privacy. 

 

Fitting - can the glazing be removed for fitting? Can make life easier - some do, some don't. 

 

Adjoining panels - if you have say a door and side panel, how are these afixed? Is there a cover panel for the joint either internally or externally?

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, jamiehamy said:

Ironmongery - internally, I believe you can specify at extra cost 'hidden ironmongery' - something we only realised after and wished we'd specced. This is in the space between an opening window and the frame - on some of ours, you can see the mechanics behind, which I don't like. 

 

Hidden came as standard on ours, although further down the line we discovered that some of the larger leaves required heavy duty hinges that aren't concealed.  I don't mind the visible hinges that much, but they did make the internal finish a lot more difficult.  It's hard to do a good job with the skim coat near the hinges when there's only a few mm between the reveal and a hinge.  

 

4 minutes ago, jamiehamy said:

Window spacers - what colour? Some look at you like you're an alien, others know exactly what you are talking about and tell you what you can specify. Despite the hassle it caused, the black on ours looks great - so slick on triple glazing.

 

Agreed - ours are black and look great.  A bit annoying that they have slightly visible text on them, but this seems to be pretty standard for some reason.

 

One of our main issues was the thickness of our walls.  The jokers that installed them didn't pack the windows up by 15mm as shown in the construction drawings.  Unfortunately, the thickness of the walls and the position of the windows within them meant that we needed that packing to allow the cills to be installed.  

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Walk through their delivery and install process if you want them installed.

 

Our installers turned up with the window delivery and took 100% responsibility for the windows until handed over after install.

 

Unfortunately I couldn't find someone that offered the same service for my roof lights. I was left responsible for receiving delivery and storing roof lights until installers came, and I was also responsible for the lifti. This did not work out well for me!

 

Do they offer a passive house type install? I found standard installs would not provide the required air tightness, and the use of suitable tapes etc. was an extra cost. Following on, are the installers trained fro PH installs, and get them to talk through how and when the tapes are applied. There seems to be a few approaches to corners. I guess it's less important which method is used, as long as there is a method and they all work to it.

 

For doors and full height windows, what's the threshold detail, and can you find common ground between them and your chosen floor/foundation. If you are going with off-site cut/manufactured upper structure you may be able to order windows off drawing, saving quite a few weeks build time, but if you have drop thresholds for doors and full height windows that's a dimension that not so easy to control at floor pouring stage, so if it's out of tolerance, how you going to bring it back into spec.

 

If ordered off drawing, they need to allow for deformation (sag) of structure above wide windows. Very important for timber frame, especially so over sliders and bi-folds. You'll need the SE to state the expected deformation.

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