Here at RISA we know a thing or two about installing windows and doors. We have to: we provide the assessors that verify the work of FENSA Approved Installers for compliance with relevant building regulations.
As FENSA is the original and leading Competent Person Scheme in the glazing industry that means travelling around the UK to assess everyone from large national brands to small local companies. Along the way - and in the course of our own careers in the window and door industry - we've amassed decades of knowledge that we are only too happy to share with installers.
Here are our Top 5 Tips on how to turn a good window or door installation job into a great one.
1. Talk to the client
It might seem obvious, but manage their expectations. Are they expecting huge streams of light to flow into the room when they’ve picked chunky white plastic frames with transoms and mullions everywhere? Good communication is key so you don’t have a disgruntled customer.
2. Know your options
Windows and doors have come a long way recently. There are still the staple PVC products that are thermally efficient, easy to fit and very low maintenance but aluminium is making a comeback with its narrow sightlines and the ability to be very easily recycled at the end of its lifecycle. Timber, steel and composites all have their virtues as well.
3. Measure, measure, then measure some more!
Small mistakes can be expensive. Always measure at three points for width and height then use the smallest. Then make sure you tell your supplier if you’ve made the required deductions for movement or not. If you’re working on a refurbishment job then measure the openings before you start taking frames out, then measure the new frames. Don’t rely on your survey as it won’t tell you if they’ve made a mistake on the factory floor!
4. Floor levels and plaster lines
These are particularly important when it comes to door installations. Check how deep the plaster line is going to be on ‘open in’ doors, hinges often foul a deep plaster line so consider adding a packer to the hinge jamb. If you’re fitting bi-folds, make sure there’s enough room for them to open over the floor when fitted. Make a mistake here and it’ll be a costly one!
5. The finish
You’ll have a good idea of how it will look at the end of a job. Will it be plastered or do you need to trim it? What size and colour trims and when it comes to colour what about sealant? If you ask these questions at survey it will stop unnecessary trips to your local trade counter.
The Bonus Tip – Photographs
You’ve got a camera on your phone, use it! Take photos from all angles, both during and after the job. These pictures could end up saving you a fortune.