Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)

Categories



Green Building
"The most popular book on green building in the UK today."
New fourth edition in two volumes!

Order both books now for the combined price of just £9.95
and free delivery!

(free delivery applies to UK addresses only).

Or get both books for just £7.90 if purchased at the same time as a subscription to Green Building magazine





Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.




  1.  
    Having struggled to get quotes for replacement of all windows and some doors 49sq m in our house we need to now make a decision which company to go with - we have the following quotes for aluclad timber/top hung outward opening which were all fairly similar price wise : I have added some comments on the ease/difficulty of getting quotes as a marker of how business like the company might be in producing and delivering windows on time and as agreed ?
    Rationel - -quote within 2 weeks with one prompt
    Velfac _ - 1st quote wrong - 2nd quote very high (26k) - 3rd quote 17k
    Allan Brothers -- quick to respond - very straightforward to deal with
    Olsen -- quick to respond
    We are still waiting for Russell Timbertech - 1st contact in mid Feb and follow up on 20th March - no quote yet -
    Origin - quote awaited........ your comments on these companies -especially from people who have used their products would be welcomed ... who would you go with and why ? Thanks very much
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2017
     
    Every time I've asked Russell Timbertech they've been pretty slow with a quote - but once they eventually come through, consistently cheaper than others. Haven't used their stuff so can't comment on quality.

    Velfac and Rationel I think churn a lot through so initial quotes can be a bit sketchy but I've found Velfac pretty helpful and proactive once you start going into more detail. They also periodically call up with "special offers if you order by X" so might be worth playing the game and not going with their first quote even if it's your preferred one!

    I'd recommend Livingwood - got a triple-glazed window from them about 3 years ago, they are helpful, well priced, and the window continues to function well.

    Also on my standard list to try for aluclad - Optiwin. They have some interesting systems if you are doing external insulation and want slim frames. They seem to price broadly similar to others too.
  2.  
    Thanks lineweight - will wait for Russell Timbertech to quote and thanks for info re "special offers" from velfac. IWill contact Optiwin and Livingwood. Feedback fron anyone who has fitted any of these windows would be helpful. Thanks !
    • CommentAuthoranth.payne
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2017
     
    Assuming Newcastle upon Tyne, you can go visit Allan brother factory just up the road in Berwick. The only thing with allan brothers is that I find them more traditional appearance. So no good for contemporary builds
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2017
     
    Posted By: lineweightwait for Russell Timbertech to quote
    chase em up every other day.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2017
     
    Posted By: anth.payneonly thing with allan brothers is that I find them more traditional appearance. So no good for contemporary builds
    Oh I dunno ...
      04-20021.jpg
  3.  
    Agree that Allan Brothers design of timber windows is traditional - we were looking for a simple slim design. ..... a bit more contemporary than fostertom's pic ? 🙂 What do we need to look out for re the payment terms Djh ?
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2017
     
    Posted By: lineweightAlso on my standard list to try for aluclad - Optiwin. They have some interesting systems if you are doing external insulation and want slim frames. They seem to price broadly similar to others too.
    They do look nice; can you expand on why they are particularly suited for EWI - do you just mean aesthetics for a contemporary appearance? Any guidance as to which range you have looked at? I notice they have a few each classed as "basic" or "advanced".
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2017
     
    With EWI and aluclad windows, watch out that the standard practice of bringing the EWI as far as poss (just short of the effective hinge line) across the frame's outer face, doesn't work. The EWI doesn't make contact with the frame proper, just the aluclad face - and behind that is airspace vented to outside air.
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2017 edited
     
    Optiwin (like most continental windows) are hinged inwards. This combined with the way the frame is made - see attached image - means you can bring the insulation very close to the edge, avoiding the issue Fostertom mentions.

    I can't remember specifically which range I was looking at. As yet, I've not actually had a project where they were the best choice.

    But it's nice to see a window manufacturer designing windows with thought put into how they actually interface with the insulation layer. With most, including many triple-glazed, it feels to me like this just isn't really thought about, and we are left to do the "best we can" according to whatever frame section they give us. Thermally, the frame becomes the weak point in triple glazed windows and Optiwin seem to have taken this issue and dealt with it. There may be others who do similar, that I'm not aware of.
      Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 12.01.58.jpg
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2017 edited
     
    Note the insulation in the sill, too, so you can take EWI right to the underside of it (edit: actually, no, there must be a sub-sill too). The only bridge, really, is what I assume is the drainage route for anything that gets past the glass/sill gasket joint.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2017
     
    Good diagram - and
    Posted By: lineweightthought put into how they actually interface with the insulation layer


    Posted By: lineweightthe drainage route for anything that gets past the glass/sill gasket joint
    you mean how the space around the edge of the 3G unit is vented to outside air?

    There's also outside air coming right to the first weatherseal line, then just a (hopefully sealed) air chamber to the second weatherseal.

    One tip, applies to Russell Timbertech's incredibly good value 4-12-4-12-4 sub-PH (1.1Uw) windows, whose timber sections are just a 95mm deep version of their much more expensive 125 deep PH window (or rather the other way round, product-evolution-wise).
    The 95mm one has just a single waetherseal (making the effect mentioned above much worse) but it has the slot for the second draughtseal, which the 125mm PH version has.
    I've found they're willing to install an extra weatherseal into the 95mm version at no extra cost - but only possible for butt hinged windows (and 'balcony doors') - the slot gets chomped into by slide-hinges. Which I dislike anyway for ground floor windows.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2017
     
    If you take the insulation right to the glazing, essentially with inward openers, what does that do to the amount of light admittance? Don't really want to make my rooms darker.

    Yeah I've often looked at profiles and seen all that lovely glazing and insulation and then... the one seal upon which everything seems to depend.

    I think Internorm have three seals don't they?
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomGood diagram - and
    Posted By: lineweightthought put into how they actually interface with the insulation layer


    Posted By: lineweightthe drainage route for anything that gets past the glass/sill gasket joint
    you mean how the space around the edge of the 3G unit is vented to outside air?



    No, I meant any water that runs down the outside of the outermost glass layer, then meets what looks like a compression gasket to divert it onto the sill - I'm assuming there has to be a way out for any water that isn't caught by that gasket.

    I can see what you mean about the first air chamber - however, I just grabbed that image off a google image search for optiwin, and it may not be a fair representation of current systems, would have to go back in a bit more detail.

    A quick look again seems to show versions which do have three seals.
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2017
     
    Posted By: gravelldIf you take the insulation right to the glazing, essentially with inward openers, what does that do to the amount of light admittance? Don't really want to make my rooms darker.



    Depends what you compare... if you keep your frame the same size, then move the render reveals inwards relative to its edges, then yes you lose a bit of light.

    However, if you keep your render reveals the same size, then move the frame outwards to come nearly into line with the render reveals ... you gain some.

    All depends what's constraining your window size... structural opening, window frame size, apparent opening viewed from outside ... etc etc
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2017
     
    Another trick is to put an angle other than 90° on the reveals, which allows more light in. It theoretically also allows a bit more heat out, but the calculations are usually fudged there anyway.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2017 edited
     
    Yeah I was wondering about an angle.

    So to make sure I understand @lineweight and others...

    Are you saying to fit EWI to a slightly larger aperture around the window opening, fit the frame inside the insulation layer, with the back of the frame against the old external wall, then cover over the front of the frame with the insulation?

    Does that allow for sufficient clearance when opening inwards such that the window can open to its full extent?

    Isn't the solid wood onto existing wall a bridge? Depends on the frame construction I guess. Or maybe I misunderstood.
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2017
     
    Posted By: gravelldYeah I was wondering about an angle.

    So to make sure I understand @lineweight and others...

    Are you saying to fit EWI to a slightly larger aperture around the window opening, fit the frame inside the insulation layer, with the back of the frame against the old external wall, then cover over the front of the frame with the insulation?

    Does that allow for sufficient clearance when opening inwards such that the window can open to its full extent?

    Isn't the solid wood onto existing wall a bridge? Depends on the frame construction I guess. Or maybe I misunderstood.


    I was thinking more of a newbuild scenario, where you can design everything to work together, and make your structural opening a little larger than you might otherwise, in order to end up with the same size aperture in your rendered insulation layer.

    In a retrofit situation, then yes it might be different.

    See if the diagram below makes sense. In each scenario A/B/C the size of the aperture as viewed from outside is the same.

    A - what you might conventionally do with outward opening window, external insulation, window inline with insulation.

    B - What gravelld was suggesting, which would apply in a retrofit situation as a fair comparison to "A" because you are stuck with a certain size opening in the masonry. This gets you a bit more light into the room, and slimmer frames from outside, but yes then there's a problem with inward opening sashes.

    C - This (I think) is the intended use of the optiwin type window - you can get the slim frame/more light, with the same size aperture in the render layer, and you can open inwards, but only if you can size your masonry/structural opening to suit, which obviously only works with newbuild.
      Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 11.28.32.jpg
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2017
     
    Obviously with 'A' there are variations where the insulation wraps around the back of the frame but the insulation layer has to be bridged by whatever fixes the window to the structure, and detailing complications to do with vapour barriers and so on. At first sight 'C' looks appealingly straighforward. I've yet to have an opportunity to use these windows though so haven't actually been through the full detailing process and I'm sure there are various subtleties I'm not aware of.
  4.  
    I waited 6 months for a quote from Russell and am still waiting one year on. Went for all aluminium from Intercombi: absolutely fabulous. Better price than any alu-clad timber, no decoration, no deterioration, exceptional quality, new design with much wider thermal break. Very highly recommended, see them at the shows. Went for tilt and turn, using several tall windows as doors.
    Ordered them in the winter, and they gave me an extra 10% discount for ordering out of seaon!! Only problem was delivery vehicle: they deliver free with a 16m arctic, but charge £650 if you can only received a smaller vehicle. I insisted on the free delivery and the arctic driver manoevred superbly to provide fab. servie with each frame individually screwed into it's own timber box. What protection and service. You do need a special star-shaped screw-bit to undo, which would have been a great idea if they had told me beforehand. Luckily I had organised manpower to offload - our local furniture removal company, and at 84 kg. for one window, they worked hard.
    Highly recommended, good service, great price, lovely windows I drool over even now.
  5.  
    Intercombi?

    Can't find a window supplier called that on google.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Maybe Internorm and Idealcombi merged... :wink:
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime7 days ago edited
     
    Posted By: lineweight
    See if the diagram below makes sense. In each scenario A/B/C the size of the aperture as viewed from outside is the same.

    A - what you might conventionally do with outward opening window, external insulation, window inline with insulation.

    B - What gravelld was suggesting, which would apply in a retrofit situation as a fair comparison to "A" because you are stuck with a certain size opening in the masonry. This gets you a bit more light into the room, and slimmer frames from outside, but yes then there's a problem with inward opening sashes.

    C - This (I think) is the intended use of the optiwin type window - you can get the slim frame/more light, with the same size aperture in the render layer, and you can open inwards, but only if you can size your masonry/structural opening to suit, which obviously only works with newbuild.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this.

    I thought C was a no-no - see my thread on this: http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=13677&page=1

    Maybe you could do B "just enough" to still allow the window to open fully, but would be a bit nervous with the measurements!
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTime7 days ago edited
     
    Posted By: gravelldSigh -http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=13677&page=1" rel="nofollow" >http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=13677&page=1


    Ok, I think I *sort of* understand what people are saying there.

    They are talking about heat path from masonry through frame to outside.

    In 'C' as I've drawn it, because the insulation can carry on across the outside of the frame it's only that small corner of the frame that's actually in contact with outside air.

    If you get some insulation between the frame and the masonry that improves the situation. But I don't see that as a big issue, you just need the right kind of stand-off fixings that leave a gap that you can fill with foam. Same principle as the lugs you use to achieve versions of 'A' where the frame stands off the masonry.

    I don't want to mislead you here though... my diagrams are just illustrating what I understood the idea of the Optiwin type frames is, but I may have understood wrongly. I've just been having a look on their website; unfortunately they don't seem to have any typical interface/installation details available.

    Like you, I struggle a bit to visualise what's actually going on with this heat path stuff. Learning to model details in Therm would probably help me get a better grip on things. One day perhaps I'll get around to that.
    • CommentAuthorMarkyP
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    back to the OP's question about suppliers. I'm in the midst of installing my Russell Timbertech windows. I think if you are a self builder/one off job you have to be persistent. Don't sit and wait months, call them every week or more, keep asking when the estimate will be ready. I did make a bit of a nuisance of myself but it was worth the effort. Once I had my initial estimate the spec refinement began and while it also took long while (lots of iterations on the spec sheet) they were responsive during the process up to putting in the order.

    Russell were cheaper than quotes I had from velfac and the other big names by a very large sum. I took a bit of a punt on Russell as I hadn't seen their product but it worked out well- they are good quality, I'm pleased with them.

    if OP wants to whisper me an email I will happily send some high res pics of my Russell windows and share some more thoughts on the buying process.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    All my experience entirely, MarkyP - they're well worth the effort. I'd add though, their delivery dates also slip.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Posted By: lineweightIn 'C' as I've drawn it, because the insulation can carry on across the outside of the frame it's only that small corner of the frame that's actually in contact with outside air.

    If you get some insulation between the frame and the masonry that improves the situation. But I don't see that as a big issue, you just need the right kind of stand-off fixings that leave a gap that you can fill with foam. Same principle as the lugs you use to achieve versions of 'A' where the frame stands off the masonry.

    The normal fix is to move the window slightly more outboard, so that the warm side of the (typically insulated) frame is alongside the masonry whilst the insulation in the frame and the cold side of the frame is alongside the EWI.

    The bridge is more important than it looks at first sight, because the relevant cold area is not the area of exposed frame but the whole glazed area.
Add your comments

    Username Password
  • Format comments as
 
   
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   
Logout    

© Green Building Press