Lessons from the past:
Learning the hard way can be expensive. Very often, mistakes made by others - maybe your suppliers - can cost you an arm and a leg, 'cos it's YOU that carries the can.
Here's a typical example of how the best intentions can come back and bite you in the bum:
Ultra Violet Light - UV - can be the death of surface finishes. We're talking about that part of the spectrum of radiation from the sun invisible to the naked eye, but which fades paint and carpets as it comes through the window and bounces around inside. That's why many art galleries are gloomy places: they want to slow the ageing process.
Windows and other exterior joinery - of whatever material - suffer particularly badly, because they also get the full whack from the weather.
All this may be obvious. But what you perhaps don't know is that, while uPVC is usually white to reflect as much radiation as possible, translucent varnishes for wood contain iron oxide - finely ground rust, plain and simple - as a barrier to the UV. So the darker the coating (and we're talking about modern micro-porous exterior finishes specifically for wood) the longer it will last.
This fact is often lost on architects, builders, and clients alike, because pale shades are fashionable.
As a consequence, with inadequate protection from UV, and no annual maintenance, that lovely oak or mahogany wood door or window will probably go blotchy grey within two or three years, as the wood itself is damaged by the sun. On the other hand, I have seen those same windows and doors finished in "dark oak" lasting more than fifteen years with no more - as far as I can tell - than an occasional wipe with a damp cloth.
Many years ago I received a call from a client of a SupaWOOD licensee. His "light-oak" windows and doors were turning - surprise, surprise - blotchy grey. My answer was to suggest that he engage a local decorator and paint the outside any colour he liked, while retaining the delightful "light-oak" inside. That he did, and everyone lived happily ever after. There's the house, on the right.
There's an interesting addendum:
More years passed, then I received another call from this friend of a friend. He now had some casements he could no longer open. Could I call and investigate?
I did, and these windows with broken multi-point high-security locks from Securistyle were impossible to open. The handles just waggled around while the hook-locks did their stuff and would have resisted any attempt to jemmy the window open to fix the problem.
Any ordinary wood window would have to be destroyed and replaced. But here is another blessing of the SupaWOOD System: From inside, I was able to remove the cassette complete - failed lock and all - and carefully take the whole thing apart to remove (and replace) the faulty lock without any damage. Six windows took just one morning to repair, all done from inside the house with no ladders or scaffolding required. It wasn't even necessary to touch-up any paint.
I noticed that these new lock-bolts from Securistyle were slightly different to the old ones that had failed, so I opened up both new and old and compared the mechanism inside.
Lo and behold, the new locks were more heavily-built and robust than the old ones that had failed. So this wasn't an isolated failure: It was a shortcoming of the original design.
Did Securistyle honour their moral obligation to replace them? Do horses fly?
Updated Nov 2018