What is the worst issue about a refurbishment or new build?
I am often asked what is the most troublesome part of refurbishments or new build elements to construction projects? Without hesitation, I would say WINDOWS (and to a much lesser extent doors, potentially procured from the same company).
There are a multitude of reasons for this:
There is a client aesthetic judgement to contend with.
In of itself, this is not a problem, but there are so many options available that cause the decision making process to become lengthy. Timber, uPVC or Metal. Double or triple glazed. Tricke vents or MVHR. Opening and closing elements. Frame and transom sizes. Toughened glass. Window restrictors. Key lock mechanisms or handles. Interior and exterior colour. Who measures for them?
A choice is made and the specification forwarded. Window companies will then put all these details into their own computer matrix and then ask the client/Project Manager/Architect to sign off. So, every mistake made on their input needs to be picked up on and commented by the Design Team, again.
One also has to contend with the problem that Eurocodes and British Standard (BS) and their methodologies for inward and outward opening elements are different. Sometimes European companies give you an order sheet in one format (Eurocode), and the production sheet comes back in another (BS). Some have different annotation between doors and windows in the same company, hard to believe but true!
Don’t forget, you still have to sign this off, as any mistake is yours and having signed it all off and into production.
Then one has to contend with any issues on site at the fitting stage. Who will carry the windows to the positions for fitters to fit, and at what cost? Normally lorries offload to kerbside only.
What about cills. When are these going to be fitted? If externally insulating, will these be fitted before or after the insulation and render coat. I have had examples of both.
Who is going to mastic seal around the reveals and cills? Because, you’ve guessed it, window companies generally don’t carry this out and one will need to employ a ‘mastic man’ or the general builder – yet more costs that need factoring in.
Hopefully there will not be any need to change anything, because the torture will simply begin again.
Have you listed windows as your most problematic issue in building? If not, what is your biggest issue when reburbing or building a new house? We’d love to hear about it.