PHPD chats to Scott Martin, National Sales Manager at timber window and door specialist Mumford & Wood, about the opportunities in the market and the benefits of using timber solutions.
What is your assessment of the current windows and doors market? Have you witnessed a surge in interest as the rate of housebuilding increases?
We are pleased to say that we have seen an increase in the number of enquiries over the last few months. Mumford and Wood often specialise in larger-scale renovation, new builds and bespoke projects involving architects and aspirational homeowners. Therefore, we often find that our sector is relatively unaffected despite small fluctuations in the market. It has recently come to light that we have had the best quarter, for orders taken, in four years which is fantastic news.
With other materials available, what do you see as the main benefits of using timber windows in a new home?
We recently carried out a study which found that today’s wood window frames can last a lifetime – with 60 years’ average life span. In terms of value for money, opting for timber fenestration products are considered an investment which will continue to provide benefits for many years to come. A similar assessment was also carried out by the Wood Window Alliance and concluded similar results (see page xx).
It’s important now more than ever to be environmentally conscious and consider ways to implement sustainable living methods into renovation and new build projects. Timber is both sustainable and renewable. It’s bio-degradable and can be recycled or burned for energy.
Timber also adds aesthetic value to a property. A survey carried out in 2008 revealed that the most important feature affecting the value of a building was the quality of the windows and doors. With this in mind, it is critical to choose an appropriate material, style and colour which complements the property.
Which of your ranges remains most popular in the new-build sector?
Our Conservation range remains incredibly popular amongst the new-build sector due to its high-performance and compliance with building regulations. These products, including our timber sash windows, use the best of traditional features with a choice of deep moulded profiles, advanced timber section design and timber material – appealing to the requirements of architects, planning authorities, preservation authorities and end users alike.
Developments in town centres often come with specific planning or conservation requirements. How can Mumford & Wood assist housebuilders delivering new properties in these locations?
Our dedication to product development and excellence over the past 65 years, has meant our range is now well honed for preservation purposes and planning authorities. From concept to completion, our dedicated and professional team will walk side-by-side with you throughout the project, offering support and guidance at every step. With expert advice from the outset, to surveying, provision of drawings and project management, we become an integral part of your working panel.
Building new homes requires a lot of resources. What steps are you taking to ensure the timber you use is sustainable and waste is kept to a minimum?
At Mumford & Wood we’re extremely environmentally conscious and therefore take steps to ensure that our practices are sustainable. All our timber is compliant with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) standards. We also do not stock timber as all of our projects are bespoke and made to measure. For this reason, we only source timber in suitable lengths and section sizes to suit the current requirement and minimise waste.
Longevity is a key issue for many builders. How do you ensure your windows remain stable and aesthetically pleasing over the long term?
To achieve high performance windows that will look good for years to come requires the use of premium grade materials. We use Engineered Siberian Larch, a European softwood. It has a density of more than 600kg/m³ and needs no further treatment to resist fungal or insect decay. The use of multi-layered timber for windows and doors makes it particularly effective at resisting twisting and warping. Independent tests have proven that an engineered component is 60% stronger than a piece of solid wood of the same size which ensures stability and overcomes the risk of misshaping.
All of our fenestration products are factory painted prior to assembly, providing complete protection from moisture absorption thus maximising longevity. Our coatings last around eight years without the need for re-treatment. Should a change of colour be desired, then redecoration is a very simple task and there is no sanding down required.
Do you offer a range of doors to complement your timber windows?
Our offering includes a broad selection of grand timber entrance doors which are classically styled with wide timber sections. Our Conservation range is available in a wide range of styles with numerous glazing and panel options so you can tailor it to suit the aesthetics of your project.
We also offer a range of timber bi-fold, sliding patio and French doors which provide the connection to the outdoors. They are suited to match all other timber double glazed doors within our Conservation range and can be tailored to suit any design requirements.
All our doors are fully equipped with integrated high security locking systems and are manufactured to comply with PAS 24 and Part Q Building Regulations.