CalvinHobbes

We haven't the budget for Internorm, what other brands are good?

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Lots on here speak highly of Rationel, we are currently awaiting delivery from Allen Brothers- been very impressed with service so far but obviously the proof is when they get here! 

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We’re going for Norrsken windows and doors. Been an absolute pleasure to deal with so far and the price was a lot lower than Internorm and the quality looks good. They will also fit them so it’s all kept under one roof. Ours are due to be fitted in December so once they’re in I’ll have a better idea on the whole experience. 

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Yes a satisfied Rationel customer here.  I put our windows out to tender to a lot of companies and Rationel were half the price on Internorm, and almost as good.  So worth a try.

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We went with norrsken, very happy, we have some huge windows and sliding doors, front and back doors turn up next week. 

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6 hours ago, CalvinHobbes said:

As little maintenance as possible, open minded.

If you are looking for zero maintenance a cheaper option to Aluclad is UPV 

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Most of the uPVC window companies here use Camden Windows based in Antrim for supply. You then have other companies like McMullen O'Donnell who have a very good reputation. Baskil which is Munster joinery will make you the cheapest 2g Windows. They also do a 3g future proof window passiv rated which I put in mine. 

Very few companies here do Alu clad so they charge a premium. Did you go to the self build show in Belfast to see all the displays there???

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I can't fault Turkingtons for us,  some of their manufacturing is done at Windows 2000 round the corner here in Ards, and Apeer do a big proportion of the composite doors..

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We found Internorm (feneco) to be the best value aluclad after baskil. Baskil couldn't make a lot of our sized windows so Internorm was best choice. We contacted loads of companies and virtually none did aluclad 3g.

 

Fyi, the wait for imported windows is about 6months at the minute. Get measured up asap.

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8 hours ago, Declan52 said:

Most of the uPVC window companies here use Camden Windows based in Antrim for supply. You then have other companies like McMullen O'Donnell who have a very good reputation. Baskil which is Munster joinery will make you the cheapest 2g Windows. They also do a 3g future proof window passiv rated which I put in mine. 

Very few companies here do Alu clad so they charge a premium. Did you go to the self build show in Belfast to see all the displays there???

We did go to the self build show but I realised my lack of knowledge in this means I find it hard to work out when sales people are being misleading (though as a blond female you can get stereotyped😉). I figured word of mouth from those that are buyers and who obviously have gained a lot of knowledge like yourselves would be of  value. I really appreciate all the answers above, it gives me a good basis to know where to go to get quotes. I saw another thread which was pinned which was good in that it explained to get quotes like for like etc. I will do my homework and hopefully gain a lot better knowledge before investing. Thanks all again.

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When the time comes to get measured up get every company in the phone book out and get the prices back. Rule no one in or out till you have it all in black and white in front of you and just compare each and every price with in this case the u values of the windows. You will also get a feel for the company by how the sales rep conducts themselves. If your gut goes no then it's usually right.

Then pick a winner.

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While in Birmingham recently, I called into the grand designs live thingy in the NEC.

 

Saw internorm 3g lift and slide door on display there, which I felt was really rather heavy and unpleasant to move. Beautiful looking quality, but not nice to use. Door must have been maybe 3.8 / 4 metres wide, simple 2 panel slider. 

 

Now in comparison, I tried a Reynaers CP130 in a showroom maybe a year ago that was the same kind of size, but 2g. That was totally effortless to operate and was lovely to use. 

 

Can anyone tell me... does 3g really make "that much" of a diff to operation?

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1 hour ago, Makeitstop said:

While in Birmingham recently, I called into the grand designs live thingy in the NEC.

 

Saw internorm 3g lift and slide door on display there, which I felt was really rather heavy and unpleasant to move. Beautiful looking quality, but not nice to use. Door must have been maybe 3.8 / 4 metres wide, simple 2 panel slider. 

 

Now in comparison, I tried a Reynaers CP130 in a showroom maybe a year ago that was the same kind of size, but 2g. That was totally effortless to operate and was lovely to use. 

 

Can anyone tell me... does 3g really make "that much" of a diff to operation?

I thought the same when I was at the Internorm showroom, my mother is 84 - she couldn't work the door.

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1 hour ago, Makeitstop said:

While in Birmingham recently, I called into the grand designs live thingy in the NEC.

 

Saw internorm 3g lift and slide door on display there, which I felt was really rather heavy and unpleasant to move. Beautiful looking quality, but not nice to use. Door must have been maybe 3.8 / 4 metres wide, simple 2 panel slider. 

 

Now in comparison, I tried a Reynaers CP130 in a showroom maybe a year ago that was the same kind of size, but 2g. That was totally effortless to operate and was lovely to use. 

 

Can anyone tell me... does 3g really make "that much" of a diff to operation?

Raynaers are all aluminium. maybe it's the timber that makes the Internorm slider heavier? Also, remember that at a show like Grand Designs/Build It Live/HBR etc the stands might not be perfectly level and so could affect the movement of the sliders and make it seem heavier. we visited an Internorm showroom and I don't recall thinking it was too heavy.

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Maybe your correct on that Thorfun, but surely, if they are using a show to promote a product, youd expect a business to ensure the product is showcased in pristine order, to gain as much positive exposure as possible.

 

I found it disappointingly difficult and no matter how efficient it may be, it would drive me nuts if I had it in my own home. 

Edited by Makeitstop
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Also, this was a PVC door and not wood.

Edited by Makeitstop

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It's a tough one, where and how do you spend your money? I have / do wrestle with this.

 

One starting point is to ask.. what do you want the windows to do for you!

 

Do you need lots of light, do you want thin frames, (say a set of sliding doors with thin 20mm thick mullions) do you need to comply with planning conditions, reduce noise or are you trying to use your windows to achieve a certain U value to make your scheme work? How long do you want your windows to last.. in other words is this your forever home or are you doing this as a step to something else? I'll leave it to you to moralise..

 

The windows/ doors are a big ticket item. Considerations for me are:

 

1/ Do you really need 3g? Is this for insulation or sound? If sound insulation then plus point, if just for insulation then can this be achieved with less long term risk..(say by spending your money on insulating elsewhere go for the simple stupid option) beyond the glass guarentee. Put three panes of glass together and they are heavy. The inner pane can heat up like fury as it is in it's own green house, lots of thermal expansion which stresses the seals. Then you probably have some argon gas that is supposed to not behave like a gas does and just stay put!

 

2/ The hinge and locking technology.. look carefully and you'll see that this has not developed as fast as we would like. Again fine for a few years but look at the size and embedment of the fixing screws in the hinges. It's a weak spot. Three panes of glass? Remember that some windows and doors will be opened a lot.. some on few occasions. Seriously have a look at the screws.. you can have some really high end windows with "tiny screws " .. it's a serious weak spot!

 

3/ What level of adjustment do you have in the locking mechanism. Take a tilt and turn window/ casement.. can you as a home owner adjust them yourselves after reading the instructions?

 

4/ How flexible are the seals? Well as a lay person unless you have a good knowledge of the materials that are used to form the seals you won't really know and your window supplier is not likely to tell you! But as a lay guide. Imagine you are sealing a shower tray on a bouncy timber floor. Put in a tiny bead of silicon (aka a small seal) and that tiny bead has to stretch a lot over a  short length, put in a big thick bead ( heavy seal) and the stress is less as you have a longer length of bead. Same with your window seal, don't ask it to compress too much and it will return the favour in the long term.

 

5/ Overcladding timber with aluminium. All sounds good, warranty for say ten years.. but what about the windows performing for say 25 - 40 years? Like say a timber sash and case window that can be maintained with ease. It would be good and I would welcome info from the "Aluclad" type suppliers on their recommendations for long term durability and low cost maintenance in the long term. What do you do when you need to replace a hinge and have lost fixity / embedment of the screws?

 

Yes these composite frames may be fine in Scandinavia but hey.. this is the UK..  we just don't get the low temperatures in the winter with the associated low humidity, we get British weather.. it's a different animal, wet, a bit cold but plenty water in the air. Covering wood with metal which seals moisture in? Really but how do you keep the joint watertight on the aluminium section in the long term when the substrate of timber is doing what wood does..?

 

6/ Now we all know that for timber to last it needs to breath. We have for a long time used cross laminated timber (CLT).. it's like plywood where you glue films /veneers of wood together. Engineered flooring is a good example.. we often use this when we have underfloor heating. Look at the UF heating specs for engineered flooring and they are quite clear that you need to control moisture, let the CLT breath.

 

But suddenly the window folk are sealing one side at least with an impervious material? Once the water gets in what then? Much reliance seems to be placed on say the glue, how the timber is dried and the fact that the metal cladding will remain water tight. I am at a loss as to how this works in the long term given the different behavoirs of the wood and metal subject to varying moisture contents. Maybe the glue is the thing?

 

The argument does not stack up in the long term for me. Just say you get a leak in your aluclad near a fixing screw for the hinge. The timber will suffer, your window drops.. you don't need to be a technical wizard to work out what the consequences will be for you heavy 3g sash!

 

In summary what I'm saying is this.

 

If you want good looking windows and go for timber over clad with aluminium then fine. But if it is your forever home then we need the manufactures of these types of windows to step up to the plate and tell us how we can maintain them in the long term. If you are just trying to do something that complies with the regs.. well spend a bit more time on build hub.. the cost effective answer is probably here.

 

On 14/10/2021 at 23:12, CalvinHobbes said:

Any recommendations for any other brand that isn't quite as expensive?

 

Calvin.

 

Hope the above helps.. I have laid it on a bit thick but windows and door are a big ticket item so the hard questions need to be asked.

 

If you have a tight budget then look at improving insulation where it is easy and cost effective, cost effective to buy and cost effective labour wise to install.

 

Do a bit of research on how windows should be installed. In particular how you insulate the ingoes and seal the frames. Spend time on getting the workmanship right here and this will pay dividends. A cheaper window well installed will often perform better than an expensive one that is not well installed. Maybe go for UPVC windows, install them well and spend money on the kitchen, or just a nice sofa/ curtains/ just family stuff?

 

Lastly all the best with the project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Gus Potter said:

It's a tough one, where and how do you spend your money? I have / do wrestle with this.

 

One starting point is to ask.. what do you want the windows to do for you!

 

Do you need lots of light, do you want thin frames, (say a set of sliding doors with thin 20mm thick mullions) do you need to comply with planning conditions, reduce noise or are you trying to use your windows to achieve a certain U value to make your scheme work? How long do you want your windows to last.. in other words is this your forever home or are you doing this as a step to something else? I'll leave it to you to moralise..

 

The windows/ doors are a big ticket item. Considerations for me are:

 

1/ Do you really need 3g? Is this for insulation or sound? If sound insulation then plus point, if just for insulation then can this be achieved with less long term risk..(say by spending your money on insulating elsewhere go for the simple stupid option) beyond the glass guarentee. Put three panes of glass together and they are heavy. The inner pane can heat up like fury as it is in it's own green house, lots of thermal expansion which stresses the seals. Then you probably have some argon gas that is supposed to not behave like a gas does and just stay put!

 

2/ The hinge and locking technology.. look carefully and you'll see that this has not developed as fast as we would like. Again fine for a few years but look at the size and embedment of the fixing screws in the hinges. It's a weak spot. Three panes of glass? Remember that some windows and doors will be opened a lot.. some on few occasions. Seriously have a look at the screws.. you can have some really high end windows with "tiny screws " .. it's a serious weak spot!

 

3/ What level of adjustment do you have in the locking mechanism. Take a tilt and turn window/ casement.. can you as a home owner adjust them yourselves after reading the instructions?

 

4/ How flexible are the seals? Well as a lay person unless you have a good knowledge of the materials that are used to form the seals you won't really know and your window supplier is not likely to tell you! But as a lay guide. Imagine you are sealing a shower tray on a bouncy timber floor. Put in a tiny bead of silicon (aka a small seal) and that tiny bead has to stretch a lot over a  short length, put in a big thick bead ( heavy seal) and the stress is less as you have a longer length of bead. Same with your window seal, don't ask it to compress too much and it will return the favour in the long term.

 

5/ Overcladding timber with aluminium. All sounds good, warranty for say ten years.. but what about the windows performing for say 25 - 40 years? Like say a timber sash and case window that can be maintained with ease. It would be good and I would welcome info from the "Aluclad" type suppliers on their recommendations for long term durability and low cost maintenance in the long term. What do you do when you need to replace a hinge and have lost fixity / embedment of the screws?

 

Yes these composite frames may be fine in Scandinavia but hey.. this is the UK..  we just don't get the low temperatures in the winter with the associated low humidity, we get British weather.. it's a different animal, wet, a bit cold but plenty water in the air. Covering wood with metal which seals moisture in? Really but how do you keep the joint watertight on the aluminium section in the long term when the substrate of timber is doing what wood does..?

 

6/ Now we all know that for timber to last it needs to breath. We have for a long time used cross laminated timber (CLT).. it's like plywood where you glue films /veneers of wood together. Engineered flooring is a good example.. we often use this when we have underfloor heating. Look at the UF heating specs for engineered flooring and they are quite clear that you need to control moisture, let the CLT breath.

 

But suddenly the window folk are sealing one side at least with an impervious material? Once the water gets in what then? Much reliance seems to be placed on say the glue, how the timber is dried and the fact that the metal cladding will remain water tight. I am at a loss as to how this works in the long term given the different behavoirs of the wood and metal subject to varying moisture contents. Maybe the glue is the thing?

 

The argument does not stack up in the long term for me. Just say you get a leak in your aluclad near a fixing screw for the hinge. The timber will suffer, your window drops.. you don't need to be a technical wizard to work out what the consequences will be for you heavy 3g sash!

 

In summary what I'm saying is this.

 

If you want good looking windows and go for timber over clad with aluminium then fine. But if it is your forever home then we need the manufactures of these types of windows to step up to the plate and tell us how we can maintain them in the long term. If you are just trying to do something that complies with the regs.. well spend a bit more time on build hub.. the cost effective answer is probably here.

 

 

Calvin.

 

Hope the above helps.. I have laid it on a bit thick but windows and door are a big ticket item so the hard questions need to be asked.

 

If you have a tight budget then look at improving insulation where it is easy and cost effective, cost effective to buy and cost effective labour wise to install.

 

Do a bit of research on how windows should be installed. In particular how you insulate the ingoes and seal the frames. Spend time on getting the workmanship right here and this will pay dividends. A cheaper window well installed will often perform better than an expensive one that is not well installed. Maybe go for UPVC windows, install them well and spend money on the kitchen, or just a nice sofa/ curtains/ just family stuff?

 

Lastly all the best with the project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Gus, excellent points very well made. Puts it in perspective. Appreciated.

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10 hours ago, Makeitstop said:

Maybe your correct on that Thorfun, but surely, if they are using a show to promote a product, youd expect a business to ensure the product is showcased in pristine order, to gain as much positive exposure as possible.

 

I found it disappointingly difficult and no matter how efficient it may be, it would drive me nuts if I had it in my own home. 

yep, fair point. all I was saying that I wouldn't discount the company on that alone and would give them a little slack and go and see a proper installation of the slider before making a final choice. as @Gus Potter said, they are a big ticket item and you want to make sure you've made the right choice as much as possible!

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9 hours ago, Gus Potter said:

Yes these composite frames may be fine in Scandinavia but hey.. this is the UK..  we just don't get the low temperatures in the winter with the associated low humidity, we get British weather.. it's a different animal, wet, a bit cold but plenty water in the air. Covering wood with metal which seals moisture in? Really but how do you keep the joint watertight on the aluminium section in the long term when the substrate of timber is doing what wood does..?

Rationel at least, leave a gap between the timber window and the aluminium cladding.  So the wooden window can breath and the aluminium keeps the rain and the UV off it.  That I feel confident will last.

 

I did wire a house a few years ago that had "aluminium clad timber windows" and that had a thin strip of painted aluminium tight up touching the timber window frame.  That did not strike me as a very good arrangement as indeed water would at least wick by capillary action and the small gap between wood and aluminium might end up permanently wet.

 

I the subject of weight, there is no disputing my 3G Rationel slider is a big lump of window but once you get it moving it slides smoothly, but agreed someone weak and frail might struggle to get it moving.

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16 hours ago, Gus Potter said:

5/ Overcladding timber with aluminium. All sounds good, warranty for say ten years.. but what about the windows performing for say 25 - 40 years? Like say a timber sash and case window that can be maintained with ease. It would be good and I would welcome info from the "Aluclad" type suppliers on their recommendations for long term durability and low cost maintenance in the long term. What do you do when you need to replace a hinge and have lost fixity / embedment of the screws?

 

Yes these composite frames may be fine in Scandinavia but hey.. this is the UK..  we just don't get the low temperatures in the winter with the associated low humidity, we get British weather.. it's a different animal, wet, a bit cold but plenty water in the air. Covering wood with metal which seals moisture in? Really but how do you keep the joint watertight on the aluminium section in the long term when the substrate of timber is doing what wood does..?

 

 

 

I'd say Internorm are more composite than merely "aluminium clad". There is lot of external material there until you actually get to the wooden element. We looked at Nordan and that really was just clad it seems - some very thin pieces of aluminium laid flat on the wood. The Internorm was very solid and seemed in a different league. A bit like calling all wood flooring "laminate", like lots of people do.

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Most alu clad have a drainage channel behind the alu. Internorm don't; they fill it with insulation. So, product dependant, it's a straw man to say alu clad have a problem with water penetration. Check the product.

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