‘Mind the Gap’ Choosing the right installer
People are pretty good at doing their homework before buying new windows and doors – we see them all the time.
They will know about Window Energy Ratings (the colour coded energy rating for windows – if you’re unsure what they are just think fridge freezers and washing machines, the rating works on the same principles), they might have heard of U-values (the measure of heat loss), and most will ask questions about triple-glazing and the benefits vis a vis double-glazing.
Then we get the question, can we ‘knock down the price because so and so down the road is offering 50 per cent off?’ And our answer? Well nine times out of ten, it’s ‘no’, not because we want to make more money than everybody else but because we believe in giving our best price first time around.
Could you get the same product cheaper somewhere else? On the very rare occasion perhaps but in general, no, because the point is that there is a huge difference in product quality out there and a huge gap in the quality of installation work. We’re committed to coming top for both.
For example, there are lots of triple-glazed windows out there but not all are ‘made equal’. The assumption that three panes of glass must be better than two, is too often wrong. A top performing double-glazed window will often match the thermal performance of ‘bargain-basement’ triple-glazed products or even exceed them. You have to look at the detail.
We currently offer a 44mm triple-glazed unit which achieves a u-value as low as 0.62W/m².K. This is the value used by the construction industry to measure heat loss and the lower the figure, the better the thermal performance.
We do this through a special configuration of glass and the space between panes, using 4mm glass and a 16mm gap in a 4/16/4/16/4 configuration to create a 44mm triple-glazed unit. This is important because very few window systems able to accommodate this optimum configuration.
This allows us to achieve a far higher level of thermal efficiency, above that of other triple-glazed windows and by up to 40 per cent over and above a top performing double-glazed products.
Again, we’re not alone in offering this product but out standards of installation are among the very highest offered by the window industry. There is after all not a lot of point in spending what for most of us is a lot of money on the most thermally efficient products if they’re not fitted properly. You might buy a 0.62W/m².K energy efficient window but if the gap around it isn’t sealed properly, its performance isn’t going to come close.
I joined KJM from its very beginning in 1983 and served my apprenticeship as a fitter. I know first-hand just how important the right training is in doing the job well, also how it’s important to have the time to do it properly. We now have eight fitting teams on the road, all of which are our own people and local to the area.
We believe that local connection is important. From the outset our customers are dealing with people who know and understand the area and its architecture. If you’re going to get it right you need to understand the style of local buildings, what works, what doesn’t and what’s appropriate for the area.
Going into our thirty-third year, we now employ more than 28 people in total. The majority of our sales people and installers have been with us for years, while we have developed a product range that reflects our understanding of local architecture and the communities, which we serve.
This includes and extensive range of low maintenance and energy efficient windows and doors, including casement, tilt and turn and vertical sliding windows and doors in PVC-U, timber and aluminium. We also supply a new generation of highly insulated and high specification conservatories, sun rooms and orangeries and bi-folding doors.
For us it’s about quality of product and quality of service. There are a few window installation businesses that share those same values and there are others that don’t. There is the old adage that you ‘get what you pay for.’ We’re not expensive but we won’t ever be the cheapest because if we were, we simply couldn’t offer the level of service that we provide to our customers.
On behalf of the whole team here at KJM, we’d like to wish all of our customers, old and new, a very happy Christmas and great New Year.