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Your Build - Winter 2017

Phase3 Interior & Exterior Finishing See the light: windows why 50 Winter 2017 Phase3 Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 and doorsare so important Gareth Mobley, CEO of DW3 Products Group – which includes premium door and window brands Solidor and Residence Collection – advises on choosing the right products for your project If you’re planning to build your home or complete a major conversion or renovation, you know what you want. You’ll have an idea of how it should look which is usually translated into architectural drawings. But how do you make sure what you get matches up to your original vision? And how do you choose the right materials to deliver it? Local authorities will have a big say in what you can do, but once you know what is allowed, it’s up to you to select the products to help you realise your dream. Choosing the right windows and doors is one of the important decisions to make. They will have a major impact on the finished building and can make the difference between just ‘OK’ and stunning. So where do you start? Planning approval Whether you’re starting a new build or hoping to convert an existing building, the local planning authority is the first port of call. They can insist on certain design elements or features. It’s easy to think of them as ‘the opposition’ but that’s not really the case – they want the same outcome as you: a home that’s safe, secure, energy efficient and that looks great, and works with its surroundings. When it comes to planning it’s all about design, particularly with windows. The material – aluminium, timber, PVC-U, or composite – can have an impact on energy efficiency, maintenance and weather performance, but some high-end PVC-U windows can be indistinguishable from traditional wooden windows. If you have a period or listed property, live in a conservation area or just want a more traditional look, details such as butt hinges, Georgian bars, weather bar / mullion stiffeners, fluted and square corner posts and equal sightlines can replicate original features and add character. The design brief for Residence 9 (R9), for example, is based on the key principles, shapes and dimensions from the Article 4 Conservation Area guidelines for windows. Residence 7 (R7) is a more recent addition to the Residence Collection and suitable for various architectural styles. Beautifully flush inside and out, R7 windows can be mechanically jointed for a traditional look, or welded for a more contemporary feel. Both R9 and R7 come in a wide range of colours, with options for inside and out, and traditional hardware including monkey-tail and pear drop handles and stays. But you shouldn’t have to compromise on energy efficiency or security. All new and replacement windows either have to be rated ‘C’ or better or have a U-value of 1.6 or lower. But self-builders often want to go further. R9 and R7 windows can achieve A++ energy ratings and 0.8 U-values with triple glazed units, without having to resort to expensive glass. Our systems have also been specifically designed to accommodate the additional weight of triple glazed units, so heavy duty hinges fit and operate perfectly. Meanwhile, for security, look for multi-point shoot-bolt locking, night ventilation and glass bonded windows for security. If the glass is bonded to the sash and the glazing bead is always on the inside, burglars can’t remove the beads from the outside and take out the glass. Making an entrance So, we’ve covered windows, but what about doors? Your front door is the first thing visitors see, and it’s your first line of defence against intruders. PVC-U panel doors are inexpensive and energy efficient, but limited in styles and colours, and not as secure as other options. Veneered timber doors are ideal for DIY-ers but need a lot of maintenance and are more vulnerable to the elements, as are traditional solid hardwood timber doors, although the latter are more durable and can look fabulous, with a hefty price-tag to match. Composite doors are one of the most popular options: maintenancefree, energy efficient and durable. But the materials used and depth of the door itself can impact on the performance. GRP composite doors are usually 44mm thick with a foam core and a fiberglass (or Glass Reinforced Plastic) skin. They’re one of the most energy efficient options – but ensure they are PAS24-2016 Certified, which tests weather and security. Nicedor PVC-U doors and Residor GRP composite doors are part of the DW3 Group, but many self-builders prefer the wide range of styles and colours, and more premium edge that comes with timber-core composite doors. These premium doors are probably the most secure, and replicate the look of a traditional solid timber door. With a thermos-plastic skin (the same material used to make Lego) they are incredibly durable and energy efficient. Solidor, for


Your Build - Winter 2017
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