As some of you might know, we have recently moved into a new house and had our first child. We were planning to have kids hence we upsized to a bigger house and a new house so that we didn’t have to spend time renovating an older one. We just wanted a home that was built to a good standard and with all the major works done so we could almost just move in.

That was exactly what happened for the most part, and in general we’re happy with what we have. But in one crucial area, things could have been a lot, lot better.

Poor windows and doors

We looked around a lot of different builders, but landed on a Redrow home because we thought their homes had more character, was a better build quality, the rooms were bigger and the gardens were better sized as well. We knew we’d pay more, and we could have found cheaper for roughly the same size house, but we knew we would be sacrificing on areas we thought were important.

After three months in our new home, we’re generally very pleased with what we have. Apart from one major factor, the windows and doors. They’re just so poor!

I have changed the cylinders in the doors, a big thanks to Brisant Secure for sorting me out with cylinders I trust. They have now become the best part of the doors. I have two “composite” doors, which are only just worthy of the term, and a pair of French doors and side lights. The hinges on those have already started to come off and the doors dropped. The composite door at the front sometimes locks, sometimes doesn’t. I have permanently locked the utility room door because the locking mechanism has already started to fail and I cannot afford to leave the house with my wife and baby inside with a door that won’t lock.

The composite doors actually came White and were then sprayed a Green colour that isn’t quite Painswick and isn’t quite Chartwell Green. Surely it would have still been cheaper to buy a Chartwell Green door slab? Surely it must cost more to have another person/company spray the doors as a separate job? It makes no sense. The door handles are loose and the letter box is shoddy.

The window handles are already starting to develop faults, and I have changed one in our bedroom already to something much more solid.

Overall, the windows and doors that have been installed only just pass the necessary tests and are of no real quality. Its a shame, because everything else in the rest of the house is quality. They have just decided to cut corners on the things that really matter.

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Better standards

I won’t disclose how much we have paid for the house, but it’s not an insignificant amount. For the amount of money we, and others on the estate will be paying for their homes, and the Redrow premium, you might have thought the quality of windows and doors might be a bit better. That’s not the case.

I’m not surprised thought. I am fully aware that house builders will always choose the cheapest options that also satisfy regs to squeeze as much profit out per home as they can. Unfortunately, its the home owner that then has to suffer with poor windows and doors that may not be able to be upgraded for at least a few years due to various covenants and development rules.

For me, its time for this to change. If you’re paying hundreds of thousands of pounds for a house, surely its not too much to expect to have decent quality windows and doors installed. You wouldn’t spend £250k on a Lamborghini and then be given plastic wheel trims, you’d get crazy alloys and state of the art tech inside. So why would a house be any different?

We’re talking about vital elements of the fabric of a house here. The things that keep the weather and burglars out, and the heat in. We’re not talking about some en-suite taps.

Surely if we’re going to have to build 300k new homes per year to catch up with demand, we need them to be built to high standards, and that means installing quality windows and doors that might last more than a few years.

I would like to see house builders start to take a different stance with their homes in the future. Look less at cutting corners and invest in better windows and doors. I’d like them to get more creative as well. There is so much choice out there now, and other product types, like flush casement windows, colour etc can transform a house into one which is much more eye catching. Moreover, people will likely be OK with paying a little bit more for better products anyway.

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