Cutting installation costs

Customers buying in Residence 9 unglazed are saving up to third on installation costs compared to the install of glass-bonded products by reducing weight and simplifying handling, according to reports.

HWL launched R9 unglazed last year following investment in its manufacturing process and the addition Timberweld sash-welding technologies.

This gives it the capability to butt weld window sashes inside and out, replicating the aesthetic delivered in a 90° mechanical joint.

The process also eliminates the requirement to glass-bond units to provide structural strength to the window. This means that HWL’s window can be supplied frame-only and glazed on site, significantly reducing weight and simplifying installation.

“We’re levelling the playing field,” said Mark Haley, director of HWL Trade Frames. “In butt welding the window, it looks the same as a mechanical joint but you don’t need to glass-bond sashes so you fit it in exactly the same way as you would any other window.

“There isn’t an installer in the country who would fit a window glass bonded by choice because of the weight and because the install is much more difficult.

“We’ve removed all of those obstacles. You buy your glass from your usual supplier and fit it just like any other window. What that leaves you with is a great window but one that is also easy to install.”

This means that where the weight of a larger glass bonded window, for example bay, would require a three-man fit, as a standard unglazed install, HWL says it can comfortably be delivered by a single team, reducing the cost of installation by a third.

“An average day rate for a fitter is £120, and the average R9 install will generally run from two to three days,” Mark said. “In choosing to buy non-glass-bonded frames, you could be cutting as much as £360 off the cost of each installation.

“If you’re paying per window at say £50 per window you could be looking at £500 back on a three-day fit on an average property with 10 windows and doors – that goes straight back on to your bottom line.”

HWL’s unglazed/frame-only R9 window secured PAS24 and Part Q approval in May. This also follows a series of top passes under BS EN 6375-1 Weather Testing completed in April this year.

“R9 is a great product,” Mark said. “It’s defined a whole section of the market but there are other systems out there which, while not matching R9 on aesthetics or performance, have been better to fit because they’re not glass bonded.

“Remove the glass bonding process and installation is infinitely easier – you buy your glass from your usual supplier, fit as you would a standard window and save up to £500 on installation costs compared to fitting a glass bonded window. Why wouldn’t you?”