We talk to HWL’s Managing Director, Mark Haley, about the benefits of the company’s non-glass bonded Timberweld R9 window. The ultimate timber alternative window and door system.
Q: Can you give us some background on your Timberweld R9 window? What makes it different to other PVC-U ‘timber alternative’ products on the market?
Mark Haley: We are not unique in offering the R9 window. We are also not the only fabricator to manufacturer the Timberweld joint. Where we stand out is our ability to combine the two into a non-glass bonded version of a Timberweld R9. This presents several key advantages for our customers.
Traditionally, Residence 9 had to be manufactured with glass bonded IGUs. This is because the system relied on this method to provide it with enough structural rigidity. That meant it was heavy and it required additional fitters on-site to ensure safe handling for installation.
With our version, thanks to a pioneering application of Timberweld, that’s not the case. It has all the class-leading features of the R9, enhanced in turn by the Timberweld joint. Creating a perfect, timber style butt joint that’s welded on the inside and outside of the sash.
But as it’s non-glass bonded, installers can treat it as if it was any other window. In the current climate of high demand and the pressure to fulfil orders, that’s a major advantage. It’s easier to install, and we estimate that installers can save as much as a third on fitting costs. Around £120 a day as a result. Over the course of a week, or a month, that’s really going to add up.
With our non-glass bonded Timberweld R9 they have a window that combines two of the industry’s most compelling innovations for heritage-style windows, in a much more convenient package.
Q: Are there other benefits aside from installation efficiencies?
Mark Haley: Installers have the flexibility to source IGUs from their regular suppliers but offering non-glass bonded R9 also delivers benefits to the homeowner. Consumers are increasingly doing their research, they can appreciate the technical benefits of a product like R9. They’re also able to understand that if the unit is ever damaged or fails, it can be a headache to put right.
We have customers who have won business from installers of glass-bonded R9 purely on the strength of how easy it is to replace the units.
Q: How much work went into developing your R9 Timberweld window? How easy would it be for other fabricators to replicate it?
Mark Haley: It is the result of a considerable amount of R&D. And working with Residence Collection and a rigorous test programme.
This included a series of initial tests at an independent testing house, Exova, for BS EN 6375 severe weather performance, which we passed. Followed up by mechanical load and manual intervention testing. Our window meets PAS24 and Part Q Building Regulations approval and we supply it with a 10-year guarantee.
Our research and development also resulted in non-glass bonded R9 gaining official approval by Residence Collection and it is now included in the technical manual.
Technically speaking, this means that other fabricators can also manufacturer it. However, I would emphasise that it is not as simple as just setting up the machinery and feeding in the profile. Making a product like our non-glass bonded Timberweld R9 requires a level of experience above and beyond regular PVC fabrication. The process is a lot more specialised because the tolerances are very precise.
The investment we have made in machinery and our experience in manufacturing means we can supply non-glass bonded Timberweld R9 to trade customers. Meaning they can still take advantage of the higher margins you’d expect for a product that’s positioned at the upper end of the market.
Question: How has your non-glass bonded Timberweld R9 been received by your customers?
Mark Haley: It took a long time and a lot of effort to bring it to market, but the results have really made it all worthwhile. We have now supplied thousands of our Timberweld R9 frames, and not a single one of our customers who had previously used glass bonded windows has continued to do so.
But then why would they, they’re saving time and making more money without it.
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