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    • CommentAuthorandy t
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2011
    Hi guys, been out of the loop a bit following redunancy from the glass company I worked for, however back doing some gainful for almost a year now.
    So i'm working for a uPVC window company (distant sounds of gnashing teeth) which I know isn't a popular subject on here, but they do a good job and have an excellent reputation. All work comes from referal and although the last couple of years hit them a bit (who didn't suffer?) they have survived.
    My job is to help them re-generate which I have done ok with re-ngotiating prices from suppliers etc and making them leaner (no this isn't a CV).
    I am looking at this http://www.whshalo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=160&Itemid=287
    as an alternative product to generate more work.
    Yes I know it has no wood in it or aluminium, and has been the downfall of many wood frame manufacturers.
    The problem is, uPVC isn't going to go away no matter how much we wish it. Simply because the majority end user wants cheap. It has a bad reputation caused by companies like S@festyle (I have yet to meet a window fitter that works for free) and such like.
    There are times though when I wonder about the hostility towards upvc as thermoplastics are used in underfloor heating pipes, light switches, plug sockets, cables etc all accepted without hue and cry.
    Aluminium and copper manufacture isn't much cleaner, all acceptable.
    So why can't we embrace (?!) it as we do other use of the same materials?
    (begins digging trench for cover)
    • CommentAuthorevan
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2011
    I think uPVC has a bad press because it's often used in low quality, unattractive windows which have low thermal performance and end up being replaced too often.
    Then it's just a waste.

    If you can make decent 3G with it, and it's affordable, then good luck to you.
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2011
    It is when it is very wide and white, neighbours either side of me have 'brown wood look' ones and it does not seem out of place.
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2011
    The upvc guys have been shooting themselves in the foot for years. Too many cowboys competing for the same market on price alone means quality of both workmanship and advice has taken a hit.

    A prime example of crass stupidity is the replacement of wooden sliding sashes with upvc top-hungs. I can't find enough words to express my complete contempt for anyone who does that, whether the customer or the supplying company/fitter. There is simply no excuse. Just walk down any long-established street in a town or village and you'll see its character utterly destroyed by ranks of top-hungs, particularly the lower light top-hungs, fitted to "comply with fire regulations". Jeez. A upvc vertical sliding sash, even the bad ones, are hard to distinguish from timber at pavement distance and retain the character of the originals.

    Planning departments can't do a lot to prevent such vandalism if the street isn't a conservation area.

    Coincidentally I made a Freedom Of Information request to Shropshire Council a couple of weeks ago and got a reply this morning. It concerned a planning app for the local rugby club who had fitted upvc top-hungs when sliding sashes had been shown on the application. The club is in a Article 4 conservation area but, because it's classed as a commercial premises, is exempt from the restrictions that apply to domestic properties in such an area. I'd been told at the time that an enforcement notice had been applied. It hadn't, so the ugly upvc top-hungs remain in one of the most sensitive approaches to the town. The drawings had been done and the app submitted. Permission was given and the job given to the lowest bidder who thought top-hungs were "near enough".

    If the upvc window industry gives a toss about its reputation it might consider reconfiguring its professional approach to design and application.

    And for nearly four years I managed the production side of the fourth largest replacement window and door manufacturer in the UK (went bust 18 months after I'd left, despite being part of Triplex Group) back in the mid 80s, and worked for Window Fitters Mate for eight months in 2005, so I know there are some good guys out there. Trouble is, they're up against guys who simply don't give a damn as long as it pays for the BMW.
    • CommentAuthorandy t
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2011
    You're right joiner a lot of the industry is not good. During my unemployment i did a month training for @nglian
    and their sales tactics are horrendous. I couldn't do it, just too honest and knowing the basic cost of the materials and the prices they expected to pitch was totally against my principles.
    There are vertical sash window available in upvc which have a U value around 1.4wm2 but these are around twice the price of the standard profiles, very few customers, when offered like for like, will spend the extra.
    So if you don't fit what they want, someone will...

    • CommentAuthorchuckey
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2011
    I went for UPVC DG some 25 years ago. Frames are thick and ugly and it took a great deal of effort to find any sliding sashes for the victorian hovel. A lot of DG suppliers are in a race to the bottom, cheapest frames rough old fitters. How do I know, some 8 years ago I decided that the holiday cottage was in need of DG. Very cheap job, no sashes on offer only top hinged windows very poor fitters, very poor components. I rejected a pane because the vertical internal bar was not vertical, replacement was only just better, still 3mm out over a height of 600mm. Fitters could not see it, they did not "heel and toe" the door properly either. But I am skint and life is too short to waste time with these people. Trouble is out in the sticks there is not much choice.
    • CommentAuthorwookey
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2011
    All drains, and solvent-welded waste pipes are PVC too, and soil pipes and rainwater goods too, unless you go for steel/copper/aluminum. No-one complains much about the drains either. Pipe seems quite durable in this application. (not as durable as the incredibly heavy 5mm-wall-thickness cast-iron soil pipe I've just taken off, I must admit - one wonders how much it cost).

    That whshalo looks interesting (SWMBO likes never-paint uPVC, but reluctantly accepts proper timber windows as there is no such thing as 3G uPVC - better not show her these :-)
    • CommentAuthorandy t
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2011
    Well I tried withWHS/Halo and after 6 attempts managed to get a rep to call and see us.
    and because we aren't liable to be making 200 plus a week by the end of the month they weren't interested.
    Basically the investment in software and tooling we would have to make for a small turnover, couldn't justify their investment.
    Apparently there is only one company making this as yet and that is Remploy who have a factory in Oldham, if thats any help to anyone interested in the system.
    Their are alternatives from L.B. plastics (Sheerframe) which I intend looking at, but it seems that truly energy efficient uPVC is yet to arrive...
    • CommentAuthorRoger
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2011

    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Joiner</cite>
    The club is in a Article 4 conservation area but, because it's classed as a commercial premises, is exempt from the restrictions that apply to domestic properties in such an area. I'd been told at the time that an enforcement notice had been applied. It hadn't, so the ugly upvc top-hungs remain in one of the most sensitive approaches to the town. The drawings had been done and the app submitted. Permission was given and the job given to the lowest bidder who thought top-hungs were "near enough".</blockquote>
    I think Shropshire has fobbed you off there. An Article 4 direction removes permitted development rights enjoyed by domestic properties and makes replacement windows, walls etc.. require planning permission. Commercial premesis do not enjoy these rights so if the windows materially alter the appearance of the building then they would require planning permission.

    The ones in your example aren't the ones in the approved drawings so both the applicant and the planning authority are at fault and enforcement action ought to be taken. Keep pushing.
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2011
    Vested interests, Roger. Vested interests. Change from District to Unitary authority too, so the paper trail is "scattered", allegedly. I knew when I made the FOI application that what I suspected would happen, would happen. Sure enough, it did. It was a cock-up all round, rather than a whitewash. I did nothing at the time because I'd been told by the (then, she has since left the authority) Conservation Officer that an enforcement notice had been served. My FOI request was only a bit of mischief to stir it up a little. I had no expectations.
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