Technical guidance from Rapierstar could play a vital role in improving end-user satisfaction and reducing negative consumer feedback, given the findings of a recent survey by consumer champions Which?
The Which? survey of nearly 3,500 buyers of double-glazing in the past decade found that the most common faults in installed windows and doors stem from poor hardware choices or assembly. Issues to do with locking systems, hinges and friction stays account for most of the problems that develop – substantiating for the first time anecdotal evidence reported by many installers.
According to researchers, 30% of householders reported that their windows or doors had become difficult to open or close at some point over the past 10 years. One fifth said a window or door had dropped over time so it no longer fitted as well, and 15% of respondents said they had experienced a problem with locks not working.
Andy Holland, Technical & Marketing Manager at Rapierstar says: “Whilst damage in use or ‘user error’ could account for some of these reported faults, it does suggest one or both of two things – using poor quality hardware or not fitting hardware correctly. In the case of the latter, we can help fabricators prevent these issues with our advice on which fasteners to use to get the right hardware result every time.
“Often, it’s something as simple as using a fastener with a different head style – in many cases using a pan head rather than a countersunk screw – or a different size screw can make a big difference. But it may also be that we can advise on the best type of metal to choose, especially where an enhanced resistance to corrosion is needed, or the ideal products to use with a specific profile system or type of reinforcement.”
As part of the technical support for the UK and Irish door and window industry, Rapierstar produces Recommended Fixings Manuals (RFMs) for all the most popular PVCu systems. Available to download free on the Rapierstar RFM page, these easy to use guides clearly show which fasteners to use for different window or door constructions, helping to reduce the risk of quality issues with the finished unit.
Following the RFM ensures the right head styles, threads and sizes are used so every hardware element has a secure fix. This is particularly important for enhanced security windows and doors to the Secured by Design standard, where a tiny weakness resulting from the wrong fastener being used could undermine an advanced hardware solution that the end-user may well have paid a premium for.
Rapierstar also provides a Fastener Health Check service. This is a comprehensive audit of the window factory undertaken by Rapierstar’s technical consultants to assess where positive changes can be made to the types of fasteners being used during fabrication and assembly. It can deliver multiple benefits including better quality finished products, improved productivity, fewer errors and reduced risk of health and safety incidents.