Published On: Tue, Sep 16th, 2014

Total Glass – staying ahead of the game

T Glass, vertical sliders at Halewood 1Today’s technological advancements in PVC-U profiles have created very different products to those from three decades ago when Total Glass was in its infancy. Phill Cresswell, Trade Sales and Marketing Manager, reflects on the business opportunities these developments have opened up for the company and its customers.

The introduction of PVC-U windows to the UK in the mid-1970s heralded a revolution in the window and door industry. Although mainly single-glazed, these early generation windows steadily gained acceptance by homeowners eager to escape the chore of having to regularly repair and repair their old timber or steel ones.

Strong, lightweight and extremely durable, PVC-U was the ideal material for making windows and other low-maintenance building products. Over the intervening years, production of PVC-U windows has increased dramatically to the point where over 90% of windows, sold and fitted in the UK today are made from PVC-U.

Significant investment by the industry in recent years has produced modern, high-performance and attractive windows and doors that more closely replicate older style windows, especially timber. For example, contemporary PVC-U vertical sliding sash windows can be difficult to distinguish from their wooden counterparts, making them acceptable modern replacements for sensitive projects, such as Conservation Areas.

In 2010, a decision by Liverpool City Council planners to accept non-traditional materials, such as PVC-U, provided the design is an authentic replica of traditional windows that characterise the particular conservation area, created fresh refurbishment opportunities that have since helped to improve countless older privately-owned and social properties across the city’s 36 historic areas.

Modern windows have not just become better-looking; they’re more thermally-efficient, sustainable and cost-effective than ever before. From a fabricator’s point of view, improved systems, materials and assembly methods have made PVC-U windows simpler and faster to fabricate.

Thanks to sleeker profiles requiring no mechanical jointing and using Recycled Composite Material (RCM) reinforcing made from 100% waste PVC-U, today’s modern windows are far more ‘user-friendly’, lighter and easier to install too. RCM also delivers improved thermal efficiency and a 20% higher weld strength than traditional methods.

Such technological improvements have also benefited the industry as a whole, elevating standards, workmanship and general professionalism, which in turn has improved its standing with consumers.

For installers, this has made selling the features and cost benefits a whole lot easier. From the latest ‘A+’-rated energy-efficient windows to coloured profiles and composite doors, the opportunities have never been greater.

As one of the UK’s leading fabricators, Total Glass has over the years stuck to its core principles of maintaining investment in products, people and machinery, pursuing innovation and listening to its customers. This has helped us to grow strongly, to keep the business thriving and stay ahead of the game.

Having been among the first to offer ‘A’-rated windows as standard, we now supply the new upgraded ‘A+’ products that can deliver superior energy savings; a valuable addition to any installer’s portfolio.

Introducing coloured profiles from stock has created new business opportunities across both the retail and social housing sectors with demand for these shades continuing to grow. The advent of new foils means choice has widened considerably since the days of just plain white.

Window design too has evolved, to provide the modern clean lines, symmetrical design and practical features that today’s homeowners are seeking. Our fully sculptured and chamfered – or bevelled windows are available in one of the widest range of colours on the market – currently more than 25 – with more shades planned in coming months.

The success of our Grey on White profile, which is available from stock, is evident in scores of projects across Merseyside and beyond. From schools to social housing, this RAL 7016 dark foiled finish has provided the contemporary appearance required by clients.

A recent example showcases the supply and installation of ‘A’-rated PVC-U casement windows in 18 modern town houses for social housing provider Liverpool Mutual Homes.

The windows, in RAL 7016 dark grey external foiled finish and white on the inside, give the two and three-bedroomed town houses in Barlow Street a smart and modern appearance. The Secured by Design specification included restrictors and laminated glass panels in the ground floor windows.

Built on the site of old vacant maisonettes fronting Westminster Road, the new homes have rejuvenated a major gateway to the city, while their energy efficiency should result in cheaper fuel bills for residents.

LMH Chief Executive Steve Coffey said that the Barlow Street scheme addresses many of their key priorities, such as providing high quality homes to meet demand and help to transform communities. He added that the homes have already made a big impression, ‘providing a great visual impact’.

For more information, contact Total Glass on 0151 549 2339 or visit the website at