Looking back….looking forward

As we enter a new year I thought I’d take a moment to look back at the stats from our blog to see which of our posts had received the most views.

The clear winner – “Why do PVCu or Aluminium windows and doors fail in social housing”

This is interesting because I believe it shows that for all the posts and news articles we have published there is still a clear requirement from social landlords to understand why rising budgets are required in this specialist repairs trade. Continue reading

The case for a specialist – Window repairs & maintenance

There are a number of delivery methods for organisations when it comes to repairs to our social housing. DLO, joint venture, multi-trade contractor (on standard SOR’s or price per property) or specialist contractor.

There have been various discussions over the years about the best method but most have concentrated at a high level – ie contract delivery across multiple trades.

I’d like to take us down to the individual trades. The point I want to make is that if the items being covered require specialist knowledge, a large specific van stock AND can be maintained to reduce reactive calls then the specialist contractor route is worthy for consideration. Continue reading

Introducing 3 free courses – Upgrade options, specification and depreciation policies

Prima Service are pleased to announce the general availability of three introduction courses.

These are technical introductions covering upgrade options, specification writing and depreciation policies for PVCu and aluminium windows, doors and glazing.

They range from an hour to two hours long and are delivered by one of our directors who all have over 15 years experience in the window and door repairs, upgrade and maintenance sector. There is no cost to attend and all three can be delivered at your premises or our head office with a webinar option for the two shorter durations.

Each course is centred around real world case studies – either projects we have worked on or stocks we cover. In all cases references to clients and addresses have been removed.

There is zero marketing content and each is tailored to allow you to go back to your own stock/projects and apply your new found learning.

The full course listings can be found here – alternatively to discuss the delivery of a customised course please email enquiry@primaservice.co.uk

The £825,000,000 gamble

So with a very blunt pencil…

  • Approximately 4 million social homes.
  • Say each home has approx 6 windows and 2 doors
  • Assume for each item an average supply and installation cost of £350*

So 4m homes x 8 items x £350 = £11.2 Billion (cost to replace all window and door frames)

Now the scary part (as if those numbers aren’t enough) Continue reading

First Time Fix vs First Viable Fix

In our industry KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are not just important internally and as a contract performance tool for our direct clients but are also published externally for various stakeholders such as resident groups, boards and other oversight committees (not to mention the press).

‘First Time Fix’ is used extensively within social housing repairs and the term is often bandied about with little understanding of the underlying processes – but this doesn’t stop the achievement of 100% First Time Fix being set as a goal. The question here is not whether targets are a good thing but is this a good target to measure.

So what does First Time Fix mean? There are a few definitions around but the basic understanding is that the issue is resolved on the first visit. For our trade (PVCu or Aluminium window and door repairs) this would mean after receiving the order to solve a window that isn’t closing our engineer would arrive at site, assess the issue, identify any parts that are required, retrieve these parts from their van and undertake the repair. Who wouldn’t want 100%?

So far so easy…    Continue reading

Why do PVCu or Aluminium windows and doors fail in social housing?

This is the sort of question I love. It gets to the heart of the issue of how we should go about managing the repairs to the millions of windows and doors that keep residents safe and comfortable.

To answer this question we need to back-track to a time of predominantly timber or Crittal windows (steel often with timber sub-frame) within our social housing stocks. We’ll use 1985 as a marker but this differs wildly between stocks.

Timber windows prior to this time were simple. A couple of butt hinges and a peg stay in most cases. Single glazed in nearly all instances.  Local contractors were employed to cycle through these properties every 5 years or so and provide a new coat of paint. Crittal windows were treated in pretty much the same way.

Then came the revelation of uPVC framing (or PVCu which is actually the same thing. And in some early instances PVC). The wonder material that required no maintenance. Property owners tripped over themselves to replace their windows and doors. And aside from the odd ‘yellowing’ experience all was good. No more cyclical maintenance. Now what to do with that surplus budget? After all maintenance free means no maintenance budget.

But, as always, there was a catch.    Continue reading

New Asset Partner – Will Chan joins the team

Prima Service are delighted to announce the appointment of Will Chan to the role of Asset Partner.

This newly created position means we now have a dedicated individual working alongside Surveyors, Project Managers and Asset Managers to analyse and provide solutions for their current stock issues covering repairs, upgrades and maintenance connected with PVCu and aluminium window, doors and glazing. The role is primarily field based with visits to clients and project sites.

Speaking on his appointment Will commented

“With the majority of PVCu and Aluminium installations to social housing now moving in to the second half of their lives it is imperative that there is undertaking to ensure that these asset components reach their write down period and, if possible, beyond. I believe that the services being offered by Prima not only fulfill this need but can go beyond just lifetime delivery. I have already worked up one project proposal where the saving for refurbishment against renewal was over £200k which equated to close to 50%. This is fairly indicative of a project so I am looking forward to a busy future!”

With over 10 years experience in the PVCu window/door installation industry Will is ideally skilled in design, specification and project planning. Please use the contact details below if you have any issues or projects you would like to discuss.

Contact Details – email: chanw@primaservice.co.uk – mobile: 07725 591128

Twitter – Follow Will here
Linkedin – Connect with Will here