I’d like to introduce another great guest post from Mark McLean!

This might be interpreted as a rant……but here goes anyway!

This week has seen me travel the length and breadth of bonnie Scotland cleaning up the mess left behind from a “continental glazing specialist”.

Now before I get into depth about this, I for one whole-heartedly support the innovations and general high-end specification pushed by large glazing companies from the continent, however, you have to understand the beast that you’re fitting!!

People spend money on products like WERU, INTERNORM, KATZBECK, NORDAN & OLSEN for one primary reason…..they want to make their home more energy efficient.

There is no black art surrounding window installation, its basically the same principal no mater the product right?…….Wrong!

Continental windows nowadays are usually all triple glazed, this gives them that all-important ultra low U Value and balanced solar gain level.

However, bear in mind that triple glazed units can now come in up to 54mm units, and quadruple (yes you read correctly) up to 68mm. These units for a window 2m wide and around 2.1m high can weigh just over a tonne.

This brings problems itself when it comes to installation:

  • How do you transport the window?
  • How do you man-handle the window?
  • What fixings do you use?

While the answers to the questions above may seem obvious to some, a lot of installers out there seem to be taking the liberty of using the old “day light” fixing approach adopted from the old double glazing days, this completely defeats the purpose of the windows themselves.

If you read the installation manuals for some of these windows they specifically state that the windows are to be installed to a 10mm tolerance all around the window, and that they should be installed BEHIND the brickwork reveal!

The windows which I visited this week, have obviously measured wrong, or on the premise that the installer wants to complete the project with the least disruption to the property (and the easiest and quickest way), while this commendable in some cases, people really need to take into consideration that these high specification windows need to be installed to an airtight standard, behind a reveal, and sealed with foam.

Simply packing out the window (in some cases with gaps of up to 30mm) and filling with expandable foam will not suffice.

As installers and retailers of windows (whatever the standard), we need to be inform clients pre installation, on a site visit, that yes, there will be a bit of damage caused during installation, however, to get the optimum performance from the window some slight surface damage may be caused to the internals, yes, we can fix it afterword’s, its an opportunity to upsell and make some extra margin after all, BUT if the client doesn’t want this disruption, and they fully understand that to get the most benefit they need this damage to be caused then should we be marketing, selling and installing “energy efficient windows” to that property.

As the title says, your products only as good as the hole the window goes in!

Take the responsibility, make the client aware of the implications of installations, take pride in your work and help preserve the reputation of the industry and your own company.

If you find problems when you strip back the plasterboard or reveals, show the client, let them see what the issues are and offer to fix them to make the building more energy efficient DON’T cover them up with trims and mastic.

I purchased a thermal imaging camera for our window division of the company and its been a great investment, take a before picture and show the client where the windows and doors are leaking then take and after picture as well, if you are as good as you say you are there should be a vast improvement and the pictures will speak from themselves.

It’s the easiest sell in the world, use evidence not Bull Sh*$, your customers will be more inclined to boast about how good there windows and the installation is to their friends and neighbor’s……that brings you more business, a better reputation and you can then honestly say that you install Energy Efficient Window Systems.

Rant Over……..


Blog By Mark McLean: Director, Callum Walker Energy Source

e-mail: mark@energy-source.co.uk

twitter: @markmclean41

website: www.energy-source.co.uk