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

PVCu ‘still going strong’? Let’s keep it that way

Regular readers will have heard me talk about the importance of the housing sector getting the most out of its assets; so you may see why the following news raised a smile…

PVCu manufacturer REHAU celebrated its 50th anniversary with a competition to find the oldest working installation of its windows or doors ‘still going strong’. It was hoping for something at least 25 years old, to match the date when its Blaenau factory first began extruding profile in the UK. The results did not disappoint. Continue reading

Resident satisfaction: why we’re pushing for perfect

Older female resident smiles as Prima specialist completes his upgrade.As her team aims for 100% resident satisfaction, General Manager Anna-Maria Dreksler explains how small changes can make a big difference to strengthening relationships.

‘Thank you for doing such a good job’; ‘very professional’; ‘phoned in the morning; it was fixed by afternoon’.

Just a handful of resident’s comments we have had in our latest KPI feedback, as we go about our business of  providing solutions for social housing residents’ windows and doors. Continue reading

The case against replacing replacement windows

Like me, some readers will remember the point in the mid-80″s when PVCu windows swept onto the UK market, replacing wooden and metal frames as the industry standard.

Using strong and durable PVCu certainly removed the need for the continuous repaint and restore cycle of the original frames, but in my opinion its ‘maintenance-free’ properties were taken far too literally.

Twenty years on, and with little done to repair them, many of these replacement units began to develop faults. Housing Associations and Local Authorities asked the question: ‘How can we replace our failing stock?’ 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

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