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Friday April 11, 2014 at 10:18am

How we deliver DIY Double glazing

 I’m In France, as I write this, and there are is a weird assortment of camper vans driving around. Yesterday, I saw the very same type of camper van that we used to make our first delivery of DIY double glazing back in 1996. And I thought it would make a topic for a blog entry about how we deliver your double glazing orders.

 But,firstly let me put on my rose tinted glasses and go back to June 1996. At that time we took an order for 23 double glazed windows. I was over the moon, It was our first really big order. The problem was that, we had to deliver them to Loughborough about 35 miles away.

This was a problem because at the time we did not have a works van. We needed a van any way for local deliveries anyway, I'd been borrowing a friends van to do the few we had previously, but he was away. So I bought the cheapest van I could find,bear in mind, I was a bit skint at the time. I was the fairly proud owner of a B reg 1983 short wheel base transit camper van, the cost £400 and a new upvc front door.

 The man said he was selling it because it was too thirsty,I soon found out why. At some point in the vans life it had been given an engine transplant, not the 1.6 petrol, but the 2.0 L petrol ford unit normally put in Sierras. This meant the van struggled to do 14 mpg but as a bonus it was, well by van standards, ultra rapid. Providing you didn't mind the rear diff' screaming its bearings apart. Anyway the windows were duly made and loaded.

 Most fortunately were very small fixed frames and went in easily through the side door. I decided to leave the interior intact, so the frames were wedged around the fitted interior. The problem was that we had two very large double glazed windows. That would not fit through the door. This was solved by tying them either side of the van, secured with rope that ran from one frame on one side ,through the middle of the van to the other window. You could say they were counterpoised in perfect equilibrium. Alternatively, you could say it was a pretty good lash up.

I decided to leave early one Saturday morning. Just as we got to the Loughborough ring road,we got stopped by the police. The reason being one brake bulb was broken. The policeman walked off commenting it would be a good idea not to travel with people in the back with all that glass on board!

The van lasted about two further weeks before the diff' expired and we went 'up market' and got a newish Leyland DAF. That's another story and an expensive one. Next time I write, I'll explain how 18 years later we now deliver your double glazing orders.

Friday April 4, 2014 at 7:03pm

DIY Double Glazing getting the right specification

 Perhaps the best thing about buying double glazing from u-fit, I'm trying to remain unbiased!) is that as a manufacture with nearly 20 years experience.We can offer a very wide range of different double glazing specifications.

The biggest problem is that there is so much choice, that it can be difficult to remember all the various options. I've found that people take largely one of three different approaches to choosing their Double glazing.

The very cheapest window you can do -

We manufacture as standard a 70mm internally glazed window,with a high security German manufactured locking system.The cheapest windows have the fewest openers and use C rated sealed units (Glass) if they are going in a domestic dwelling.If the windows are to be installed in a uninhabited building, shed,garage,animal barn etc you can specify normal clear double glazing( the kind used before 2004) it's still 28mm with two panes of glass but has a U value of typically 2.0.

 The very best window you can do – I like people like this, not least because the order value is the most,but because they are buying the 'very best in the shop' and it's nice to see a fully loaded window packed with every single possible option. I've listed the specification of an order that we recently did.

  • 60mm 5 chambered outer frame 
  • Chartwell green on white
     Silver satin anodised handles
     36 mm triple glazed sealed units Energy Rating A+13
     Heavy Duty side hung hinges , with easy clean
    Security pack upgrade to Hinge side
    Winkhaus locking system
    equal sight lines achieved with dummy vents
     8000mm trickle vents to all openers
    20 mm extenders to all window heads
     pattern glass was Pilkingtons oriel collection
    A window to suit my exact requirements
     Perhaps this option is the most popular,If you have a south facing window in a court yard, it might be prudent to specify anti sun coated glass to try and help prevent heat build up in the room. If you can tell us as much as you can about your requirements we can advise and spec the window to suit you. If you have an existing quote we can often improve or remove some options to suit your requirements.
    Please ask us about any aspect of double glazing we are happy to help and offer free advice.
Wednesday March 26, 2014 at 10:59am

Getting a price for DIY double glazing

By this stage, You will have no doubt realised that going the DIY route with Double glazing will save you a lot of money. That’s great, the question is how do you get a price for your new windows.

UPVC double glazing comes into varietys,the first are windows that are off the peg and are made to a limited range of sizes and styles.

Such as. Widths- 450, 600, 900, 1200, 1350, 1500 and 1800 mm

Heights- 600, 900, 1050, 1200, 1350, 1500 and 1600 mm

It's important to know that off the peg windows are nearly always mass produced for shed retailers, often originating from factories in Eastern Europe. You get the required size but also the manufacturers specification, which is virtually always of a low contract specification or built to a price.

The important thing to remember if you intend buying these windows, is to make sure that your brick opening size is larger than the size of the window and cill. Sounds simple but you need a nominal gap of around 5-7 mm around the perimeter of the window frame. Or else you will be stuck with a window that won't fit the hole.

If you ever get into this situation, there is a remedy by where you can power plane the extrusion rails off the outside edge of the window frame. This will make the frame 10mm or so smaller and may make the difference between fitting in the opening and not.

 The second variety and much more common is made to measure UPVC windows. With this option each window is manufactured from the customer supplied sizes. So if the front bedroom window 1 is 17mm wider than the front bedroom window 2 it's not a problem. This is how the majority of the UK housing stock is. Even ones built using metric brick sizes.Mortar joints & beds can vary and this makes virtually every window bespoke to its brick aperture.

Getting your windows priced.

A price for double glazing does not require the accuracy of a brick survey. The quickest way to do it is from the inside of the house. Pick up a tape measure and measure the internal reveal, between the walls. Never ever use this size for a window survey! The window will always be about 20-30mm larger than this rough size.

Draw a rectangle and mark on your width in MM if your my Dads age here is a link to a site that converts inches to metric. So you now have your sizes.

Choosing the style of window.

Often people keep exactly the same style as the existing window style that makes sense if you want to keep the outside of your house looking the same as your neighbours etc. A good point to consider though is that you may want more glass area or more openers, also called vents, casements and sashes. More openers allow more ventilation options, but as you increase the number of openers the window price increases. So have a think, and maybe sketch down both the existing style or check out our large range of window styles. You can also have something manufactured that is completely custom if you chose.

 The window is viewed from outside the house.

 An important thing is the above. All manufacturers that now exist, view the window style from outside. ie Looking at the window from the outside of the house. This is very important as been demonstrated for centuries. The style of the window is reversed when you view from inside and when it is made viewed from outside.

Take a scrap of thin paper draw a window with an opener on the right, as viewed from the inside of the room. Now, turn the paper over, hey presto it's now on the left hand side! Viewing windows from inside the room is a no,no. So go outside in the garden or street and make your sketches to position your window openers. Once you have your window sizes and window styles you can get a price, quickest is to go online and get a double glazing price or contact us by phone 0800 389 0595 or chat online to us.

Wednesday March 19, 2014 at 12:01pm

New double glazing machinery

quad upvc welder

It's that time of year,when companies invest in new equipment,it's tax deductible so it encourages firms to upgrade or expand. Earlier this week we took delivery of our second Rotox quad welder.

As a company we are a great believer in some rather simple but core philosophies; 'If you want to sell quality products use the best machinery to make to those products'

Having spent 25 years fabricating UPVC windows, I realise that the above philosophy is true on so many interconnecting levels.Sadly in our early days I ignored this philosophy and instead focused on the philosophy of 'lowest cost = quickest payback' .

I say sadly, as I only realised that buying cheapest sometimes means buying twice after I had invested several hundreds of thousands of pounds in cheap machinery.Yes, it worked, but it required almost continuous maintenance and we frankly, knew that the quality it produced was not the best.

Just recently, A new customer was walking round our factory and took out his phone and snapped a close up picture of a foiled cruciform weld.To which commented ' bloody good that,do you leave here especially for people to see?' We laughed, 'No,its how they all come out,thanks to our cruciform welder'

So when it came to expand our UPVC door line welding capacity we went for a Rotox quad welder.A quad welder,like it sounds,has four welding heads that weld every corner in one operation.What this means is that the finished square is just that,square.And that ultimately means that the opening part of the window or door works as well as it can.

To us,this means that our customers are happy and a happy customer is more likely to stay our customer,as opposed to becoming a customer of one of our competitors! . The other benefit with buying the best machinery is that your reject rate is a lot lower compared to that using cheaper machinery.

With that in mind I don't think we will be buying an inline 8 head welder corner cleaner line any time,soon unless the boss of Rotox wants another glowing testimonial!

Wednesday March 12, 2014 at 10:42am
DIY windows why do it

Over many years I've had the opportunity to speak to a lot of DIY window customers. We have had Scottish Lords buying windows for there estate,A German who travelled over in his Mercedes complete with roof rack and trailer to collect his windows and my favourite three nuns in a Nissan micra who collected a door, that was tied on to the roof of their car, with string and ribbons.

I like speaking to our customers and getting an understanding of why choose to buy from us and why they went the DIY window route, instead of having their windows installed. The primary reason is, and is no great surprise, there is a large saving over having your windows fitted.

Very often people tell me they have saved enormous amounts of money ,by fitting their own windows, in fact thousands of pounds. My own estimate is that if you fit your own DIY windows you will save about £200- 400 per window, which if you have five windows to do is a fantastic saving.

For some people the money saving aspect, although important is secondary to their desire to complete a DIY project for themselves. The satisfaction of achieving something you've never done before is a great feeling. And many of our customers become product evangelists ,telling all their friends and neighbours how they can save money by fitting their own windows. We supplied some windows to an 80 year old lady, who fitted them, with a bit of help from her grandson. The grandson said 'Nan, always like to be hands on'

Another reason is that you can often get what you really want in terms of specification by buying your windows direct. Rather than being 'sold' what the window salesman wants to sell. You will also get a trade price on the up grade specification. An example is the Optithon glass option we sell, it's a special kind of glass, used in high noise environments, to reduce the noise. You can order or get a quote online for it on our website at a far lower price than if you had it a retail price.

So with DIY double glazing you make a large saving over the installed price and what's more you can get the specification you really want and one that suits your needs.

Monday March 3, 2014 at 3:22pm

Coloured UPVC windows

Many of my blogs start with the words, 'back in.....' and I then I go on to describe events from far back in my double glazing history. Not sure why that should be the case, perhaps it was a lot simpler back in 1990.I mean, coloured UPVC windows? Everything or virtually all UPVC windows were white.

Mahogany woodgrain UPVC windows were pretty new back in 1990.My first experience of coloured UPVC was visual as well as audible. At the time I worked for a profile extrusions company and one of our customers said 'A conservatory they had fitted was making funny noises'
and could we have a look.

I travelled down to Essex in my Sierra, and met the customer, a window fabricator at his factory.
Jim, the owner had a white Rolls Royce at the time and suggested we should go in his car. Jim, should could have had a Nordic Dad, as the way he threaded the white roller along a dirt track in rural Essex was terrifying. We kept coming out on to main roads and then exiting about a mile later, then going literally sideways, down rutted or gravel tracks.

The other thing about Jim, was he liked to look sharp, to the extent that he'd change his clothes around dinner time, into something different. As we pulled up outside the customers house,Jim,
opened the boot of the Roller and took out a new suit and shirt. Ignoring me, he calmly stripped down to his boxers in the street and proceeded to put his new gear on. Jim was an enigma, that's for sure.

We went to look at the conservatory, a mahogany brown one. I stood inside, in the bright mid day sunshine, two things struck me; one it was hot in there and two the creaking noises. It was very noticeable. It transpired that there was no steel reinforcing in any part of the conservatory and the roof had been made from coloured UPVC window profile( as was the 'norm' back then) the ridge was in fact a woodgrain bay pole.It was the kind of thing that nowadays you'd have said was made in Cuba or Vietnam, by a very inventive person.

All I could say to Jim was that it was a pile of shit. He totally accepted this and asked what to do, I told him, but that's another story.

The point I wanted to make is now you can have any coloured UPVC window. We fabricate UPVC windows in 13 foiled finishes. We are able to supply any colour in a painted finish, including pink.
The coloured foils are the Synseal Artisan range and really do look the part. The pink window in the picture is actually an order from a customer. The customer in question wanted a pink bath room window for her daughters own en suite bathroom. So if your looking for coloured UPVC windows, please talk to us we'd love to help.

Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 11:23am

double glazing office

New Double glazing admin Office

We moved into our current double glazing factory in Coventry, back in 2003.I can still remember the laminate flooring going down and at that time not imagining that it would be in place for the next eleven years. There are eight people in the office, four in sales the other four, work in order processing. The Sales people used to sit in a long pod like thing. I designed the 'pod' using window profile and kitchen work top, It contained all the power and network cabling and I think worked really well.

The laminated flooring however took a battering. The castor wheels on peoples office chairs wore a circular groove in the floor and in one case down to the concrete! It was widely considered that a new floor was needed.

The décor was in lilac for the walls and magenta for all the wood work. As you can see magenta features in our company logo and the office was often called the 'pink palace'.I was loathed to have the paint scheme changed, firstly, I like it's non conformist statement and secondly the bloke who painted all the offices and factory did it all in just two weeks for £500.Because of his amazing labour and incredible price. I possessed a certain amount of sentimental protectiveness over the garish pink on the walls.

 Some what sadly the office was due an update. So new desks were ordered, carpet tiles,(seconds) These were supplied, initially in a brown and grey striped pattern, and looked bloody awful. The supplier tried to tell me they were in fact, dark-green ,they offered to knock a £100 off the bill if we accepted these. Next day, our the original order was with us, in a sea green colour. The new paint, which was called 'sandstone' and is a masonry paint. The total budget was £480.The labour was provided by the office workers, who were very keen to have a change.

 They even came in on a Saturday to rip up my old double glazing tele sales pod. I was secretly delighted that it was a real struggle to break apart. I mused it was quality built. Now, everyone is happy with their new office and I must admit I do like the fresh new chemical smell from the paint and carpet adhesive. As long as the sales staff don't get high and start over discounting the Double glazing prices we should be fine.

Finally if you like to visit us to get some double glazing prices please feel free to do so.We even bought some new visitor chairs.

Wednesday February 19, 2014 at 10:31am

Linda, one of our long term inmates, I mean employees, is retiring in June this year. For the last 12 years, Linda has worked in our accounts department in that time, Linda has been absent for just two days!.I will be sad when she leaves us. Linda’s reliability and long standing will feel like the loss, of a much treasured possession, in our working lives. I'm sure there are scores of people who provide the vital support role in double glazing companies as Linda does and sometimes we are often guilty of taking every day, essential things for granted. So I just thought I'd say a heart felt thanks for all the hard work you've given the firm over the years.

Your replacement will have a tough act to follow. I'm not very good, actually, crap is the word at writing job vacancy adverts. Luckily another key member of the accounts department, Susan Ashby is good at writing them. So if your looking for a new role, working for an almost 'infamous' Double glazing firm contact Sue.

 Accounts Assistant

Established manufacturing Company require a full time and permanent Accounts Assistant. The successful candidate will need to have previous experience of a similar role, using Sage Accounts, Excel and Word Reporting to the Financial Controller your responsibilities include; Sales and Purchase ledgers, cash book, daily banking, petty cash, and assisting the Financial Controller. You will be required to work on your own initiative The salary will be £17 -£18k depending on experience.

You will be based in Coventry working from air conditioned and double glazed offices holidays, normal statory entitlements.

If you would like to apply for this role please email Sue with your CV and covering letter before the 10th March 2014 Interviews will take place week commencing 17th March 2014 A job description is available for you below

Accounts Assistant Job Description Sales Ledger Producing and sending out daily delivery lists to trade customers Printing off collection notes/despatch notes Calling for / chasing payments and taking card payments over the phone Entering all payments on to the cash book and allocating them to their respective jobs on First Degree and on Sage Preparing daily banking and end of day report for card payments Checking bank statements on line for any customer BACS payments Printing customer sales invoices off daily Dealing with any queries that the Input Clerk may have with the sale invoices when entering on to Sage Producing statements when required Reconciling all Sales Ledger accounts.

Unpaid Cheques Agree a procedure with the Finance Controller that follows through all unpaid cheques and ensures that debts are collected and job production put on stop if necessary.

 New Trade Accounts All new trade accounts to be entered onto the Trade Customers spreadsheet and all payments terms kept up to date.

 Purchase Ledger All invoices to be matched to delivery notes Where there are discrepancies or no delivery notes, authorisation needs to be obtained by the person who ordered the goods/service Credit notes need to be requested where required and chased up Entering invoices onto Sage (Glass invoices done by the Input Clerk) Paying weekly and monthly suppliers by BACS, producing and sending remittances Checking bank statements on line and entering DDR/STO onto Sage Reconciling all supplier statements

Petty cash Control of money in and out of the petty cash Ensure all money out is signed for and has a VAT receipt where possible Entering all receipts and payments onto the petty cash spreadsheet monthly and reconciling the float Entering journals on to Sage Filing This is continuously on going and to be kept up to date. Year end

filing on accounts Post Open daily and channel to the correct department Holiday/Sickness cover for Input Clerk

 Adhoc Duties Carrying out any other duties as and when required by the Finance Controller and General Manager.

Tuesday February 11, 2014 at 3:05pm

Do you remember your school summer holidays? Did you spend them in a sweaty Double glazing showroom? Where you were indoctrinated into the world of double speak and learning that the word 'FREE' actually means giving nothing for something.

You did? then you have have my admiration, as I too worked in a double glazing showroom when I was 17. I actually started as a door to door canvasser. On the first door I knocked I got what is known as a 'sit'.My boss who was with me said 'That was very special' and he and all the rest of my new found family regarded me with a certain sense of awe, for a little whilst.

A 'sit' is where an appointment is made for a product 'dem' or demonstration to be given to the home owner. I got paid 3% of the deal if the salesmen closed the deal on the night and 1% if he didn’t. The sales men in the office were literally, shadowy figures. You didn't see them before 4pm. You could tell the successful ones, they oozed, to a young man an intoxicating aura of Shiny suits, silk ties and Paco Rabane, too disguise a beery breath.

I aspired to be one of these 'Grand a week' men and I despised their poorly performing counterparts, with their; Ill fitting suits, stained nylon ties and stale body odours. In fact the branch manager created a separate office for these poor wretches. It was in fact a broom cupboard, retitled 'losers corner'.In 1985 double glazing apartheid thrived in our stuffy showroom in the heart of Northamptonshire.

You know as a young person your all mixed up and you can fall for what you would consider now to be ,an absurd role model. Well I did, Sid, he was called, sadly, I can't remember his second name, perhaps it was something like 'Sizzling' .More likely Smith. But,he was in fact known as 'Sid the Kid' because he said selling double glazing was easy and his catchphrase was 'Like taking candy from a baby'

To be honest, looking back now, Sid was a mess, there were multiple marriages, kids and girlfriends all on the scene at the same time. But Sid was more often than not the top performing salesman and got to drive the coveted black BMW 3 series for the month. Sid, saw I was eager and had me pass him directly all the 'sits' I made in return for the odd £20 note, that was unfolded from a wallet that bulged. Sid always like to have 'a grand on the hip' in case he saw something he liked.

Very often I'd have to drive the BMW to the dem with Sid barely conscious from having boozed for hours. Sid would sleep on the back seat, sucking mints whilst 'Blondie' blasted out the tape deck. Christ only knows what people thought, as A spotty 17 year old boy pulled up outside their house in a brand new BMW and helped carry all Sid’s, 'pitch Gear' to the front door.

Some 3 or 4 hours later 'Sid the Kid' would come swaggering back 'Like taking candy from a baby' and we'd go down town to for a drink.

Tuesday February 4, 2014 at 7:05pm

I don't know about you,but our home phone number is TPS (telephone preference registered) .This is meant to mean companies must not call you, to sell you something that is unsolicited.

It does however allow them to phone you and canvass your opinions, purely for survey purposes. I don't really mind much, when double glazing companies call me at home.They launch into thier pitch about how wonderful their double glazing prices are.

This is because I enjoy hearing the methods and techniques being used by the caller. How I respond to them depends on my mood.And how their opening pitch sounds to me.A friend of mine suggested I use the 'YES' technique.When their opening pitch is not to my satisfaction.

This is where you answer 'yes' to each and every question.Amazingly I was able to keep a caller talking for a good five minutes,until they understood the game. It ended thus;

'So can you confirm your postcode'

 'Yes'

Can I ask you your full postcode?

'Yes'

 'Do you have a bill with your postcode address on it?'

 'yes'

 Can you read it to me?

'Yes'

What does it begin with?

 'Yes'

'Thank you for your time'

'Yes'

And they politely hung up.I felt bad, really, all they wanted to do, was get me to agree to have a salesman visit and give us some double glazing prices.

I might add I have used the 'Yes' technique on a caller who was insisting that I had a virus on my computer and I must give them access to my PC, so they could remove it.That went on for ages and I even got transferred to a senior manager,during the call. On this occasion the caller did not say 'thank you for your time' at the end of the call.I swallowed hard and confirmed 'Yes' I was a C8unt.

Sometimes,I will just say

'Yes,my wife wants new windows'

Suddenly you can hear the callers enthusiasm in their voice lift.But only to be sadly dashed when I follow up with.

'I own a double glazing factory,but I won't let her have any,she'll have to put up with the ones we've got'

 That normally gets a laugh.

Once a very enthusiastic and sharp dressed young man came up the drive.On this occasion I spoke to him at length.I told him that I've been in the trade for nearly 30 years. How great it is to be in Double glazing.I gave him some advice on how to progress his career path.I thought I'd pass on some of my double glazing 'wisdom'.

We are still getting calls weeks later from the company he works for.... But sometimes I'll let one of the big double glazing companies actually visit.It makes good market research to see their latest product offerings. Next time I'll tell about how some of these visits went and ended.

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