Neil Rabbitts, Specification Manager at Yale Door and Window Solutions, considers the effects of raising the bar in window and door replacement programmes.

Housing providers are always looking to maximize the effectiveness of their budget, but what forces have been at play? Well the rise in the number of consortia is perhaps testament to the part economies of scale has to play and, in these increasingly competitive times, companies tendering for work continue to explore new ways to sharpen their pencil. On the face of it, these downward price pressures are good news for housing providers as they are able to refurbish more properties, but is all this so called value engineering really delivering on said value? For the unimaginative, reducing the up front cost is easy - just fit something cheaper. Reducing whole of life costs, thus delivering true best value requires a more innovative approach.   

Many housing providers tell us remedial work consumes a significant proportion of their resources, in both time and money. There is of course a connection and considering the disproportionate cost of remedials does adopting a short term approach really make any sense? Hardware needs not only to comply with a complex range of British standards and building regulations it also needs to be fit for purpose, robust and tolerant to the potential for movement in frames and sashes over time.  

So what can we achieve by actually raising the bar? And how much will this cost? Well the good news is that employing better products does not necessarily mean increased initial outlay. Well-designed products offer something for all. By enhancing the manufacturing process through greater flexibility we introduce a valuable cost benefit at fabrication. Well designed products also perform better, last longer and require less maintenance – so reducing the need for housing provider’s to carry out remedial work in later years - work that also exposes residents to unnecessary inconvenience.    

Hardware represents a small percentage of the overall cost in both window and door refurbishment programs, yet it is this element that does most of the work. Allowing quality to slip can only result in avoidable expense further down the line, sometimes a surprisingly short distance. With the smart money on innovation perhaps now is the time to consider what raising the bar can do for you.

For information on how we can help, our latest innovations and a peek at what we’re working on for the future contact the Yale DWS specification team on 01242 221200.

Yale DWS - innovation is in our blood.