In a recent press release (Fenestration News, 28th September) Liverpool fabricator Warwick North West says: “For years conservation areas were a ‘no-go area’ for PVC-U windows”. Indeed many that were installed on poor advice have had to be removed and the originals reinstated. That’s distressing for the homeowners and a bodyblow for the installer’s reputation as it’s often a big story in the local media. It’s bad for PVC too because it reinforces all the old prejudices.
The facts are these. Planners use Article 4 Directions to determine whether they accept or reject proposed windows in conservation areas. This document, the planners’ bible, doesn’t specify material, it specifies dimensions. So the only reason PVC-U hasn’t been successful in conservation areas is because the windows don’t match the dimensions. Most PVC doesn’t look right for properties, because it isn’t.
That’s why we designed R9 to match the most common dimensions used in Article 4. It looks exactly like timber windows because of its 100mm frame depth, its flush sash, its beautiful mechanical joints and its stunning traditional hardware. People are often astonished when they realise R9 isn’t timber.
Conservation areas are a huge opportunity for installers. In fact, R9 fabricator Prescot Windows is having huge success with R9 in Liverpool’s 36 conservation areas. But you need more than a flush sash and mechanical joints to get windows approved for conservation areas. It’s all in the detail. One significant difference between R9 and other flush sashes, aside from these important details is the frame depth. Planners are looking to replicate what came out, not put a false face in. R9 is the real thing, that’s why planners themselves have been recommending it.
Anyone who wants to know what’s required for conservation areas can look at Article 4 Directions for their local conservation areas. They’re accessible and the drawings have the necessary dimensions. Download our conservation brochure at www.residence9.co.uk for a full explanation.
R9 is designed for conservation areas, and homeowners can see which installers in their area have completed installations in conservation areas and listed buildings using the postcode search on the R9 website ( www.residence9.co.uk/find-a-stockist).
So yes, conservation areas do offer big opportunities for installers – with the right window. That’s why our tagline for R9 is: Windows the way they’re meant to be!
Dan Gill, Managing Director
Opportunities for installers in conservation areas, say Warwick North West