Here at Better Offer Towers, we have a number of double glazed units fitted throughout the house. In fact, we probably have in excess of 70! The front of the house is fitted with leaded light glass in a diamond format, whilst the rear of the house is plain glass.
Over the years, some of the units have deteriorated and condensation has formed between the two panes. The only thing to be done is to replace those units.
Two years ago, we did just that. We replaced about 10 units. We found a reputable local double glazing firm and employed their services. And, for the most part we were very satisfied with their service and product. So much so, we decided this year to replace some more ‘blown’ units – 14 in all.
So, four weeks ago, a man arrived at the house complete with tape measure, pencil and paper and proceeded to measure each of the 14 units. Paying particular attention to the diamonds of the leaded lights.
Or so I thought!
Yesterday, a window fitter turned up with a van load of double glazed units and a work order detailing the windows by room and the order in which they were to be fitted. Starting at the front of the house, downstairs, before moving upstairs but staying front of house. The first eight on his list were the leaded lights – 6 downstairs, 2 up.
He had his own method of working, which was to remove a window, take the unit to the van, find the corresponding window, bring it to the house and fit it. It soon became apparent this was going to be a mistake!
As he finished the first window, I mentioned that, to me, the window looked to be in upside down, as the diamond pattern did not align with the window above it. He agreed, but left the new pane in place so that he could return the old to the factory and have a replacement correctly made.
He moved onto the second window. This was also incorrectly made – not only were the diamonds misaligned, but the lead used was of a different thickness to the existing windows. So, although wrong, it stayed in place and the old window was left on the van.
Onto the third. Could this one be right?
Not only were the diamonds wrong and the lead too thick, but the actual pane was too big for the opening left by the old! This meant the window fitter had to return to the van, find the old unit and refit it.
So, three down and not one right. This was not going well, and the fitter was somewhat frustrated by his colleague who seems to have wasted not only time but also money by not correctly measuring in the first place.
Moving on, the fourth window was removed and taken to the van to collect the replacement, but the replacement didn’t appear to be on the van! So the old was put back. Onto the fifth, which was, yes you’ve guessed it, the wrong pattern and the wrong thickness!
Then came the sixth with no change in fortune.
Out came the ladders as the fitter moved onto the upstairs. So, if he kept up his routine and the windows didn’t fit, he would go up the ladder, remove the window, come down the ladder, go to the van, get the new window, return to the house, go up the ladder, try to fit the window, come down the ladder, go to the van, collect the old window, return to the house, go up the ladder, fit the old window, come down the ladder – cry!
And guess what?
Yes, windows 7 and 8 followed the pattern (albeit incorrect!) as the previous six.
And so we move on to window 9. Finally, a plain pane. No lead, no pattern.
And finally we have a window that fits! Hurray, one out of nine! Could we now be on a roll?
No, number 10 wasn’t even attempted as the fitter decided it was a two man job and he was working solo.
Back down stairs now and no more leaded lights to think about, however, number 11 was a frosted window – what could go wrong here?
OK, three to go, can we finish on a high?
Number 12 was just a plain pane, no frosting, no lead, no pattern – would it fit?
Yes (loud cheer) – we have two out twelve. Now, onto number 13 – was the fitter superstitious?
Well, it didn’t matter because that one was perfect as well – three from thirteen – not a great result I know, but bearing in mind we were zero from eight, it’s a reasonable recovery!
And so to the last. This one did have a chance of going wrong. It wasn’t patterned but it did have a cat flap in it. So was it going to be perfect or too small, or too big or maybe no cat flap?
Oh dear, not a great result for the window firm – 3 successfully fitted, 1 not attempted, 1 not found, 9 to be remade!
I won’t name and shame the company (yet!), I’ll give them a chance to redeem themselves.
I did feel sorry for the fitter – it wasn’t his fault and he was trying to keep smiling. After the third failure I started to help him replace the units as it was really clear it was going to be a long day.
I wonder if I could get a job with this firm. I do have my own tape measure and what’s more, I know how to use it!