August 14, 2018
If you’re a window industry veteran like me, chances are you’ll remember the ‘pinking profile’ issue that arose during the late 80s and early 90s. As systems companies fought for better margins they ‘value engineered’ their formula, taking out essential components that resisted UV attack. The net result was profile discolouration and it severely damaged the reputation of the uPVC window and door industry, costing installers millions in the process.
Next came the ‘pitted’ letter-plates and handles fiasco when ‘shiny’ new PVD plated hardware arrived in the UK on mass from China. Six months after these products were installed, the plating started to pit and homeowners demanded their money back – costing installers millions once again.
Neither product had been properly tested before being sold into the market in large volumes and unfortunately, history is now repeating itself thanks to the growing number of fabricators preaching the ‘benefits’ of buying non-glass-bonded, unglazed Residence 9 windows. Yet the fact is Residence 9 has been designed, fully tested and is trusted as a glass bonded system, integral to its performance and longevity.
Residence Collection windows achieve industry leading U-Values through smart design. The frames and sashes are deeper than conventional systems, there are more thermal chamber pockets and the chamber webs and external profile walls are much thicker. But most crucially, Residence 9 profiles are bonded to the glass unit, strengthening the mechanically jointed frame and eliminating the need for traditional steel reinforcements. Glass-bonding also prevents movement and bowing in a system designed without large steel reinforcements.
Steel reinforcements have been used since the advent of uPVC windows to give the window strength, in particular, the lateral ‘I Value’ in the sash. When it’s windy, steel reinforced frames stay rigid and when it’s hot, the steel keeps the uPVC in shape and resists any bowing, ensuring the window will close and seal properly.
The downside of steel reinforcement is that it reduces the thermal performance of the window, so eliminating it through glass-bonding is really smart – the window is just as strong but offers significantly improved performance.
So, when I hear that fabricators are promoting Residence 9 windows unglazed and without glass-bonding my knees begin to tremble. Are we going to see product warranty issues with the best premium window in the industry, due to out of specification manufacturing processes? I have personally seen the consequences of non-glass-bonded welded Residence 9 sashes in a dark foiled finish and it’s not a good outcome! The net result is call backs, replacements, unnecessary costs and customer disappointment – a terrible outcome considering all installers rely on recommendations.
It’s true to claim that unglazed ‘timber welded’ and welded Residence 9 will be cheaper to buy, a bit easier to handle and if a glass unit does fail, then the IGU will be a bit easier to change. But in reality a window that isn’t factory glazed and glass-bonded can cause major problems once it’s installed into a home, when it’s fundamental design is based on this trusted glazing process – just like ‘pink’ profiles and ‘pitted’ letter plates from back in the day.
If you choose to buy unglazed Residence 9 you have to glass-bond on site, but how practical is that? Glass-bonding should be carried out in a dry factory environment and allowed to cure and set for a specified period – you simply cannot guarantee these conditions when out on site.
We have highlighted the issue with the team at the Residence Collection, and they agree that unglazed, unbonded Residence 9 is simply not manufactured to current specification. To be fair to them, they are currently researching and testing all of the new welding technologies in conjunction with glass bonding, as part of a diligent process as a premium systems company.
We also know that they are in communication with the machinery companies and to their knowledge, no product testing has been carried out on unglazed Residence 9 windows, therefore, any product warranties will fall purely to the fabricator or installer. Would any installer want to install a product without the backing of the systems house?
We understand just how tough it is for installers at the moment, facing fierce competition at both local and national level, as well as external forces already making it harder for consumers to commit. The promise of one of the industry’s hottest products at a cheaper price is of course incredibly attractive. However, it’s a false economy – an inferior R9 window creates more problems than it solves and you can’t be sure your supplier will support you when things do go wrong.
Dekko have achieved PAS24 accreditation across the entire Residence Collection range -including R7, R9 and the aluminium lookalike R² – meaning if you’re installing on new-build, self-build or renovation site you can be assured of a safe and secure product.
Whilst some fabricators are cutting corners to drive down prices, we have always been committed to doing things right. We employ a dedicated Residence Collection team and have a separate manufacturing facility to ensure absolute quality. We simply won’t cut corners and provide our customers with products we know to be below-par. It’s a crying shame that more fabricators don’t share our ethos.
In short, you need a fabricator you can trust to deliver Residence 9 to the highest standard. At Dekko we have an incredible history with R9, starting out as one of the launch partners in 2013 and growing to become the UK’s largest Residence Collection fabricator manufacturing 700 quality frames each month. We will continue to make our R9 windows ‘The way they’re meant to be.’
Dekko Window Systems
For more information contact Dekko on 0161 406 0055 or send us a message online.
"Ordered double glazed window for our shop. Dealt with Nathan on the Trade Counter, who was excellent and went above and beyond the usual customer service. Window was very well made and arrived with no problems. Fast delivery and would highly recommend."
"Recently used Dekko Windows to supply the windows and aluminium bi-fold doors for our renovation project. We paid a short visit to their showroom where Rob and Neil were really helpful, showing us around and providing options for us. We were really happy with the whole process and the windows look fantastic. Would definitely recommend this company."
"I've been using Dekko Windows for a number of years now and have been very happy with the level of service and products. Rob and Neil have never failed to get back to me promptly with quotes and lead times etc and Leon the delivery guy is always happy, friendly and helpful whenever unloading frames on site."
"Excellent service. It's always a joy to deal with Rob, Neil and Leon. They always go out of their way to assist me with my projects and are very professional and friendly. Thanks again to the Swindon Dekko Team!"
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