Are housing associations getting value for money on replacement windows and doors?
Howard Trotter, business manager of window and fire door manufacturer Shelforce, discusses whether housing associations are getting value for money for crucial products – and how they can successfully balance both cost and quality.
The social housing landscape is constantly evolving; but what is not, is a commitment to the safety and quality of life for residents.
As housing associations strive to provide comfortable and secure homes for their residents, a critical aspect involves the maintenance and enhancement of properties, with replacement windows and doors, including fire doors, essential components for both safety and energy efficiency.
Fire doors play a pivotal role in safeguarding lives and property during emergencies, while windows not only contribute to a property’s aesthetic appeal but are vital for energy efficiency, insulation, and overall resident well-being.
The question that looms large, however, is whether housing associations are truly getting value for money when investing in these crucial upgrades?
A delicate balancing act
The pursuit of value for money is not without its hurdles, with financial constraints, changing regulations, the evolving market and the demand for swift implementation often creating a delicate balancing act for housing associations.
The pressing demand for affordable housing often means that housing associations must contend with tight budgets, and while that can mean a race to the bottom on price, you can’t cut corners when specifying windows and fire doors.
The major challenge that housing associations face is navigating the many options available in the market. The range of materials, designs, and manufacturers for replacement windows and fire doors can be overwhelming and while there may be budget-friendly choices, the long-term durability and adherence to safety standards must be met.
Furthermore, the evolving landscape of building regulations and safety standards adds another layer of complexity. Scrutiny on fire safety measures has prompted regulatory changes that demand stricter adherence, so housing associations find themselves grappling with the dual responsibility of staying compliant with these evolving standards while ensuring that the selected materials and installations are both effective and value-engineered.
Getting it right
Striking the right balance between cost-effectiveness without compromising on safety standards and durability requires thorough research and expert guidance and it can be done.
Housing associations have successfully managed it by embracing innovative approaches, such as long-term partnerships with trusted manufacturers to make sure the right products are being specified for the right project and by negotiating better deals without compromising on quality and meeting the right regulations. Collaborations with local authorities can also help provide financial support for these upgrades.
Advanced materials, construction techniques and world class manufacturing techniques are also helping in the pursuit for value for money, providing enhanced performance, durability, and energy efficiency, helping housing associations to not only meet the immediate needs of their residents but also position themselves for long-term sustainability.
At the forefront
At Shelforce, we have worked on a huge number of housing association projects and projects for local councils, from high rises to new builds, providing windows, doors and fire doors that have been tested and certified to meet the necessary standards of safety and efficiency with no hidden costs.
As social landlords, housing associations have a responsibility under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) and due to our experience and world-class manufacturing, we understand that navigating building regulations and compliance can be tough for housing associations when specifying windows and fire doors and they need to have all the right information to hand.
Fire door manufacturers must provide a Field of Application for test evidence and fire doors must be third party audited for fire and security compliance and have third party certification.
We have the answers to the questions they must ask and can simplify the process and offer transparent information and guidance on what they need to meet the necessary regulations and standards.
Housing associations can get value for money on replacement windows and doors to ensure that every penny goes into keeping residents safe, secure and comfortable if they work with right manufacturer.
If you would like to discuss your next project with Shelforce, telephone Shelforce on 0121 603 5262 or visit www.shelforce.com.
Images © Shelforce