Introduction: The Ideal versus Reality in Housing Stock Maintenance
Social Landlords often anticipate a 25 to 30-year life-cycle for windows and doors in their housing units. In theory, this aids Housing Associations and Councils in maintenance budget planning, ensuring residents have well-maintained housing. However, windows and doors are often not maintained. This makes the 25 to 30-year life-cycle for these assets unrealistic.
Why a 25-Year Life-Cycle Isn’t Always Realistic
Envision a situation where, 15 years into a window’s life-cycle, a seemingly minor issue like a malfunctioning locking mechanism crops up. Neglected repairs, or mishandled ones by underqualified engineers, can catapult small defects into significant, complex problems, often propelling an early replacement recommendation. Such replacements not only generate waste but also enforce an unanticipated 50% value write-off from the asset’s life-cycle, shaking the financial stability of the maintenance budget. However, this scenario is not a predetermined fate for windows and doors. This article demystifies how landlords, by pivoting from the traditional belief of a 25-year hassle-free window and door lifespan, can deploy strategic asset management to stretch life-cycles by an additional 25 to 30 years, ensuring continuity and robustness in their maintenance approaches.
Strategy 1: Window Overhaul versus Replacement
Stop Automatically Replacing the Whole Window
Achieving optimal value for money begins with understanding that windows and doors can undergo an overhaul instead of immediate replacement at the first sign of a fault. Upgrading – replacing moving parts, hardware, and glazing panes methodically – can economically extend the life-cycle of a window well beyond its initial 25 to 30 years. Thus, through window overhaul contracts, the window remains not only cost-effective to maintain but also extends its active life through second or even third generations (life-cycles).
Strategy 2: Choose Specialisation Over Generalisation
The Value of Specialised Maintenance
Cultivating a refurbishment culture, opposed to replacement, often hinges on the type of maintenance contractor employed. Many Housing Associations and Councils utilize general operatives for maintenance. Leveraging the expertise of a window and door specialist surpasses the commonplace hurdle of misdiagnoses encountered by general maintenance teams. Specialists’ detailed technical knowledge allows for precise inspections and better quality. High-rise window repairs are highly specialised and should be treated as such.
Strategy 3: Focusing on Moving Parts
Preventative Measures: Moving Parts Upgrades
Faults with moving parts, like a stiff door or discoloured window opener, often trigger the first resident complaints. Select a maintenance provider whose service package envelops moving part replacements. This ensures residents consistently have fully operational windows and doors. Elevate customer satisfaction rates and embark on large-scale window replacement projects only when necessary.
The Win-Win Outcome for Landlords and Residents
Extending Asset Life-Cycles through Preventative Maintenance
Embarking on a preventative maintenance journey, emphasizing refurbishment and upgrades over automatic replacements. It tangibly extends the life-cycle of your assets. This method reduces the number of issues residents report, curtails and stabilizes repair budgets. It validates the financial plans of landlords, ensuring they’re rooted in tangible cost predictions.
Moreover, it significantly diminishes the need for window and door replacements, promoting a sustainable and economical approach to maintaining property assets. Especially crucial for sectors like social housing, student living, and commercial properties. Available across Yorkshire, Humberside, East Midlands, Greater Manchester, Kent, London, and the South East.
Unlock More Insights with Our Free eBook
Dive deeper into the world of preventative maintenance. Uncover additional strategies to elongate the life-cycle of your assets with our eBook: ‘The Windows and Doors Planning Guide for Social Housing’. Visit our website to download your free copy. Explore how to weave strategic, preventative, and cost-effective maintenance into the fabric of your asset management approach. Useful if whether dealing with residential window repairs or commercial window projects.
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