Tailoring Your Window and Door Survey: Options for a Bespoke Approach

Every property project has unique needs. By choosing a bespoke approach to your window and door survey, you ensure that every aspect aligns perfectly with your specific requirements.  This week we have given a detailed overview of Window & Door Surveys.  Monday we discussed What Makes A Good Window & Door Stock Condition Survey? on Wednesday Planning Your Programme of Window and Door Surveys.  Today we focus on;

The Importance of Preliminary Discussions

Before embarking on any window and door survey project, a crucial step in the preliminary planning stage is to hold detailed discussions with the client. This stage sets the foundation for a successful survey, ensuring that the final outcome aligns with the client’s expectations and requirements for their property.

Conducting Site Visits for Accurate Assessment

Site visits are integral to this stage. They provide an opportunity to view samples of the windows and components that will require inspection. This first-hand observation allows the survey team to understand the variety and condition of the windows, which is vital for tailoring the survey accurately. These visits not only inform the surveyor about the types of windows and their current state but also help in planning the logistics of the survey.

Key Decisions on Desired Outcomes

A critical decision during this stage is determining the desired state of the windows post-maintenance. Clients generally have two main options:

  1. As Close to New as Possible:
    • If the goal is to restore the windows to a condition as close to new as possible, the survey will need to be thorough.
    • In this scenario, the surveyor will identify all minor defects.
    • Time will be allocated not just for adjusting and fixing but also for cleaning, ensuring a comprehensive restoration.
  2. Safe and Operational Windows:
    • Alternatively, if the requirement is for the windows to be safe and operational, the focus of the survey will shift.
    • Here, major issues will be prioritized, while aesthetic defects may be overlooked.
    • The surveyor will identify areas where cleaning is necessary solely to facilitate any required repairs.

Deciding on the Scope of the Survey

Another vital decision is whether the survey should cover just the internal aspects of the windows or include their external condition as well. This choice significantly affects the survey plan:

  • Internal Survey Only: Focuses on the interior condition, functionality, and safety of the windows.
  • Including External Condition: Expands the survey scope to assess external factors like weathering, external damage, and aesthetic aspects, which requires a more comprehensive plan.

Tailoring the Survey Plan

Once these key decisions are made, the survey can be tailored effectively. Understanding the client’s priorities allows for a focused approach, whether it involves detailed inspections for a near-new restoration or a more streamlined survey for operational safety. The choice between internal and external surveys also dictates the resources, time, and techniques needed for the project.

The preliminary planning stage is thus a crucial phase where clear communication and understanding of the client’s needs lay the groundwork for a successful window and door survey.

Tailoring Your Window and Door Survey: Options for a Bespoke Approach

Here’s a summarised guide to the options available, helping you tailor the perfect survey for your project.

1. Survey Specifics:

  • Scope: The scope is where you say what you want the survey to look for.  Detail the standard you want the windows when works are completed.  Confirm if the windows in internal only or should include an external inspection too.
  • Timing: Surveys are usually conducted during weekdays, either in the morning or afternoon.  However, if you are worried about access levels consider Evening or Weekend survey appointments.
  • Coverage: Every window in all rooms will usually be inspected. Any inaccessible areas will be duly noted in the survey.  However, include in the brief exactly which windows should be surveyed and highlight priorities.

2. Health & Safety Protocols:

  • Immediate Risks: Any imminent health and safety risks are immediately communicated to the site team.  Agree at pre-survey meetings if you give authorisation to make these windows safe or if your repairs teams will do this once notified.
  • Fall Risks: Surveyors will assess windows for fall hazards and ensure compliance with safety regulations, including the installation of safety glass and restrictors.  Again consider authorising the surveyor to install a restrictor to any windows they consider unsafe.

3. Detailed Inspections:

  • Window Health Check: Evaluate window compression, alignment, gasket placement, and check for any frame or sash damage.  These are the usual elements of a window survey but you can add additional checks such as the ones suggested below.
  • Water Ingress Inspection: Ensure there’s no sign of dampness or mould around windows.
  • Safety Features: Ensure all safety installations are intact and haven’t been tampered with.

4. Repair and Replacement Assessments:

  • Damage Evaluation: Identify any required repairs for windows to operate correctly, with photos taken for clarity.
  • Glass Unit Measurements: Measurements taken for replacing broken or misted glass units.

5. Advanced Survey Options:

  • Visibility Checks: Ground-level surveys for easily visible issues or scaffolding surveys for a detailed check-up to a maximum height of 10m.
  • Regulation Compliance: Ensure windows and doors align with UK building regulations.
  • Safety Enhancements: Identify areas where safety measures, such as alarms or bolts, can be implemented.
  • Rope Access Glazing Surveys: Ideal for high-rise buildings without scaffolding.

6. Specialised Surveys:

  • Fire-Resistant Doors: Inspection of doors to ensure they are fire-resistant.
  • Emergency Exits: Inspection of emergency exit doors for compliance and safety.
  • Timber Windows: Detailed surveys specifically for timber windows.

7. Flexible Timings:

  • After-Hours Surveys: Opt for surveys post regular working hours or on Saturdays.

8. Maintenance and Cleaning:

  • Adjustments and Lubrication: Minor tweaks in window hardware for better compression and application of specialist lubrication spray.
  • Cleaning: Vacuum out dust from hinges and rebates, and wipe down internal rebates using water-based wipes.

Choosing the right combination of the above options ensures a survey that is both comprehensive and tailored to the specific needs of your project, be it in Yorkshire, Humberside, East Midlands, or anywhere else in the UK. Whether your focus is on social housing, student living, the care sector, NHS, educational institutions, or commercial properties, a bespoke survey is the first step to efficient window and door maintenance and overhaul through the Mila SAFEKEEP Model.

Survey (S): Detailed Checks with Tailored Reporting

Our engineers conduct meticulous checks on your windows and doors.  Firstly for correct operation. Then for compliance with health and safety regulations.  Thirdly, signs of water and air ingress. We also consider any additional factors requested by our clients to furnish landlords with a detailed report. Not only does this report spotlight areas that need fixing. It also serves as a tangible audit trail, showcasing safety precautions undertaken. Finally, the report proposes potential enhancements for the windows.

Adjust (A): Preventing Small Issues from Becoming Major Ones

The emphasis here is on proactive care. Windows require continual small adjustments to windows and regular lubrication.  This prevents minor issues from spiraling into bigger, costlier problems. Guarding against more significant repairs and, worst case, complete window replacements.

Fix (F): Swift and Uncomplicated Solutions

Our approach to fixing is straightforward and effective. Once a problem is identified, our team ensures it’s repaired efficiently.  We prioritise the safety and functionality of the windows and doors to uphold the comfort and security of our residents.

Enhance (E): Advancing Beyond the Basic Functions

Enhancements go beyond mere fixes. It could involve elevating ventilation to combat issues like mould or damp. Or escalating the energy efficiency of windows. Or upgrading security features. In every enhancement action, the objective is to boost the existing functionality. Enhancements may also prolong the lifespan of your installations.

KEEP: Keep your Windows and Residents SAFE

By engaging in long-term contracts, landlords can spread repair costs over an extended period. They gain preferential access to Mila’s responsive repair services. The ‘KEEP’ phase protects your window and door investment.  It is the scheduled programme of future safety audits.  This provides a steadfast availability of a repairs service when it’s needed.  It’s how you KEEP your resident’s windows operational over the long-term with all safety measures functional.  It’s how you prevent small problems from becoming large expensive ones.

Partner with Mila and SAFEKEEP Your Residents

When you partner with Mila, you don’t just get a service provider; you get a team that truly cares about your property as much as you do. We ensure all your window and door care needs are managed effectively under one comprehensive, expertly executed model – SAFEKEEP.

Learn more about how SAFEKEEP can benefit your properties. Contact Mila today. Let’s work together to SAFEKEEP your property.  Ensuring optimal functionality, longevity, and resident satisfaction in your buildings.

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