Friday, 8 March 2013

A new conservatory in Cornwall, where do I begin?

If one wants a conservatory, an orangery, a sunroom, a garden room, a plant house (a posh, traditional greenhouse) a summerhouse, a porch, a pool house or whatever it might be called, how do I go about it?

Well these days many would do some initial research on the ‘net, gosh, that’s what you are doing right now!

Next, should you engage an architect? Well, you can guess what an architect would say, for some; a few, that may be the right decision. If you have a large budget, and find the right one, then yes. For the vast majority, a conservatory specialist, such as Philip Whear Windows & Conservatories, Poole, Redruth is the way to go.

An architect might design one or two a year, we produce over a hundred unique designs. We have completed over eight hundred in mid/West Cornwall in over twenty plus years. We know what works both aesthetically and technically, including the endless options giving value for money decisions, a functional ‘all year round’ room, and a beautiful addition which enhances your property in both value and lifestyle.

However, be aware, before inviting a designer/sales person to your home to design your dream, ask them what their background and experience is! You could end up talking to someone who was selling double glazing last month & washing machines for ten years before that!
Good luck.

Philip Whear Windows & Conservatories
01209 215759

Wilson Way, Pool, Redruth,
Cornwall TR15 3RT

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Philip Whear & Trevelyan Kernow - Green Deal Blog

Hi there blog readers Philip Whear here.. I had an interesting conversation with Mr Kernow our lottery winning customer with regards to the new government Green Deal and the call went something like this
P. Whear Good morning how is the purchase of the flats going?
T. Kernow Well, solicitors, don’t we all love them? They make it as complicated as possible, take as long as possible & then charge as much as possible! From your point, I want pretty well want what we last discussed. However I’m calling about this Green Deal thing, I’ve heard bits and pieces and it sounds too good to be true, can you explain what it’s all about?
P. Whear I’ll try, but there’s a lot that is still unclear. The gist of it is, if a property is thermally inefficient, & money is being wasted on lost heat, improvements can be made to reduce heat loss and the savings can pay off a loan which has been made to pay for the work!
T. Kernow Oh, free home improvements then! So it is too good to be true! What sort of things are included then?
P. Whear Well it’s a long list, including: glazing, boilers, heating controls, wall insulation, loft insulation, floor insulation, cylinder & pipe insulation, heat recovery installation, solar & PV panels
T. Kernow Ok, I get the picture, so how on Earth does the money saved cover the finance company’s profit & pay back the capital?
P. Whear An extremely good question, personally I reckon it would on loft insulation if you didn’t have any, but the rest I have many doubts about.
T. Kernow How long & how much are these loans for?
P. Whear £10,000 is the figure generally bandied about, and twenty five years maximum.
T. Kernow A boiler and most windows won’t last that long and how is it paid back?
P. Whear I agree. It is paid back via your electricity bills.
T. Kernow So your new free gas boiler is paid back on your electricity bills, which are inflated to cover the finance, so you use less gas & the same amount of electricity, which cost more per unit to pay off the boiler, offset by the lower gas bills? Well that all makes sense!
P. Whear I think you’ve got the idea, if I’ve understood it correctly myself.
T. Kernow What happens when you sell the property then?
P. Whear The debt remains with the house, so the new owners pay the higher than normal electricity bills for say the next twenty years to pay off the boiler that’s due for replacement again in say half  that time? However it’s possible that I’ve misunderstood some of this.
T. Kernow Who’s going to buy a house with that sort of arrangement then?
P. Whear Well, I understand there are concerns over that.
T. Kernow Well Philip, I think it’s ‘Watch this space’ & see if the government develop this lot into a workable scheme. At the moment it all seems a bit half baked!
P. Whear Well, here’s a quote from Greg Barker UK Minister of State for Energy & Climate Change:
“The Green Deal will be quite simply Britain’s most ambitious home improvement programme ever”
T. Kernow On that note I’ll say thanks for the information, its all clear as mud, I’ll talk to you again soon, bye.
Click here to read what the Guardian Newspaper published this morning 26th Jan 2013 about the Green Deal, once you read make sure you click the comments link as I thought they were very interesting!!!!
Now check out what the Telegraph said on the 25th Jan.
Even the Green websites themselves have this to say Business Green
Humm well all I can say is "watch this space"
The End (for the moment)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Mr Trevelyan Kernow - Second Blog

Philip Whear here... Happy New Year to everyone,
Well, I’m a little late in getting this out, but it’s that time of year!
Since my last blog, I have visited several of the properties that Trevelyan Kernow is considering   purchasing in Falmouth, Penzance, Helston, and Newquay.  All of which, he feels, need an amount of renovation or upgrading. 
His funds are now available and he is looking forward to his future business in property. Thankfully he is talking about quality improvements not just making ‘a quick buck’; he has also realized he needs to manage the works rather than ‘get stuck in’ himself.
We met at our showroom and factory facility on Wilson Way,Pool Industrial Estate TR15 3RT (if you would like to visit,) and the conversation went something like this:
T Kernow:  ‘Good Morning……………we’ve put in an offer on the flats in Falmouth which I think will be accepted. So we’ll be needing vertical sliding sash windows on the road side, casement windows on the rest, with one tilt and turn for a Fire Escape - and I think we’ll push the boat out and open up the lounge with a much wider hole for a set of those zig- zag doors. That will really make that top flat something special!’
P. Whear:  ‘Yes, they are usually referred to as Bi Folding Doors, like those over there at the end of the showroom. You will probably  need planning permission and Building Regulations approval, which in turn will require structural engineer’s  calculations, all of which we can arrange. We can supply doors up to a metre wide - so a four door, four metre wide opening would seem about right.’
T. Kernow: ‘A ‘one stop shop’ then; that makes life easier than getting too many people involved. Whilst we’re at it, I think we’ll replace the old railings outside on the Balcony with one or another of your Glass Balustrading range.’
P. Whear: ‘That would really make the most of the views. For the best effect we’ve got the completely frameless system, which looks very high tech with little visible structure. The more you spend, the less you see! Or there is 316 Marine grade stainless steel, or alloy, in any colour, with posts. These are available with or without handrails.’
T. Kernow: ‘Oh, and the front door, I’m wondering whether a hardwood one would be better than uPVC   The door is a rather wide Georgian style with one of those  massive  semi-circular fanlights over it.’
P. Whear: ‘Personally I would go for Hardwood, as we can make a replica of the door and fanlight while incorporating modern door security and weathering performance technology.  This would help retain the character of what is a nice looking front elevation but give you a better performing entrance doorway. ‘
T. Kernow: ‘Right then, as this is an up- market project, we’ll go with that as well.’
P. Whear: ‘I’d be grateful for some photos of what will be a pretty impressive finished job – assuming you place the order with us, of course!’
T. Kernow: ‘If it all happens and you do a nice job, and I’ve every confidence you will, you can take as many photos as you like!’
P. Whear:  ‘Thanks, I’ll quote in the main for uPVC or PVCu, it’s the same thing really. So, you want vertical sliding sash windows with painted Sage green frames and white sashes; central surface or Astragal glazing bars; run through horns; ‘tilt to clean’ facility and opening restrictors. You also want casement windows, again in uPVC, all colour matched and painted Sage green, as discussed on site to comply with all the Building Regulations for energy ratings, fire escape windows and safety glass as required. The Bi- Folding doors are to be colour matched to the same Sage green as the windows, with doors opening - probably - one door to the left and three to the right. For your development, in an exposed location with fantastic views, these doors will be Commercial Aluminium as their weathering capability is far better, they are a slimmer profile and the opening sashes can be bigger than in uPVC.  A custom made hardwood front door, with a fanlight over, in a colour-matched Sage green frame with white opening sash. Oh, I nearly forgot, you also want two pairs of green uPVC French Doors in the other flats; one with a Juliet Balcony in glass. Which type do you want for the top floor balustrading?’
T. Kernow: ‘The self-supporting one, but with a stainless steel tubular handrail on it, I think.’
P. Whear:  ‘Great, I’ll put that quotation together for you in the next couple of days.



Friday, 7 December 2012

Mr Trevelyan Kernow - New customer case study. He is a lovely chap!!

My name is Philip Whear.  I am the owner of Philip Whear Windows & Conservatories. We make high quality doors, windows and conservatories at our own premises in Redruth, and work throughout West Cornwall. .This week I met, and had an interesting discussion with, a potential customer - Mr Trevelyan Kernow. Mr Kernow was a lottery winner, and is now a Cornish property developer.  He has been looking at various properties to buy in Cornwall but most recently in Penzance, St Ives, Camborne and Redruth. He popped in to our showrooms on Wilson Way in Pool to get some detailed information on the range of products we could supply him if he purchases one or more of the properties he is interested in.  Our conversation went a bit like this:

T.Kernow: ‘Is there any advantage in buying second hand windows and doors, bearing in mind that they are standard sort of sizes and, since I am a practical and handy sort of chap who no longer has to work, I could fit them myself?’

P.Whear: ‘Well, I'm afraid not. Windows and Doors have to comply with a number of regulations covering such things as energy ratings, fire escape provisions, safety glazing compliance and so on. They also have to be installed by a ‘competent person’ – that is, a FENSA or CERTASS registered installer. Alternatively, they could be a compliant product which could be fitted by yourself, but this would need to be approved and inspected by a Building Control body, and quite a substantial fee is payable if you go down that route, and that is an additional cost to you.’

T.Kernow: ‘Oh right, so, energy ratings for windows. What's that all about then? My new boiler's got an A rating, is that the same sort of thing?’

P.Whear: ‘Yes. A window, whether it is uPVC, aluminium or timber being fitted, must have either an A B or C energy rating. This is for energy conservation, so just as your ‘A’ rated  boiler will burn less gas (and burn it more efficiently, resulting in the same heating output) than a lower ‘B’ or ‘C’ rated product, so the better – or higher - your windows energy rating, the greater the savings, producing a 'payback'. This can be as little as just a few years.’

T.Kernow: ‘Well, that makes sense. Also, I am going to need windows which allow escape in case of fire at one of the properties I’m looking at in Falmouth. I suppose those bedroom windows with narrow little top openers wouldn't be allowed nowadays?’

P.Whear: ‘They are not always in keeping with the style of the property but they are still allowed – but not for means of escape. Essentially, a fire escape window needs to have a third of a square metre minimum area with a clear 450mm minimum width or height, the bottom of the aperture being between 800 and 1100mm from the floor. It is a good idea to install fire escape windows in the first and upper floors of properties, whether the Building Regulations require them or not, to ensure occupants can escape from a fire in the property.’  

T.Kernow: ‘So the best bet is to get a registered company to design, make and fit the uPVC, aluminium or timber windows and doors that tick all the boxes, and then enjoy the plummeting heating bills?’

P.Whear: ‘Mmmm. ‘Plummeting’ may be a bit strong but you will certainly make good savings on your heating bills! Your installation then goes onto a government database as being compliant, and this is routinely checked by the buyer's surveyor when the property is sold.  Your property will have a better overall energy rating on the survey, and that can make or break a sale.’

Click here to get a Voucher for a FREE Energy Rated Glass Upgrade on your New or Replacement Windows from Philip Whear Windows & Conservatories.

Mr Kernow wants to build a portfolio of properties in West Cornwall as far up as Bodmin,  and is looking at all sorts of different buildings, so he has many questions he wants answering along with general help and advice. We are ready to help in any way we can.

See how this story unfolds, as Mr Kernow really gets his teeth into developing his property portfolio, and his properties, in my next blog.

Friday, 30 November 2012

We do every product in any colour!

Hardwood, Aluminium and uPVC in absolutely any colour!
An orangery, a conservatory, windows (casement, sliding sash, tilt/turn) and doors (bi-folding, patio, French, stable, residential or commercial) are all available in any colour you can dream of! Our glass balustrading posts can also be powder coated in any colour (or indeed in 316 ‘Marine Grade’ stainless steel in either brushed or mirror polished finish).
Most of our uPVC supplying competitors either do not offer colours at all, or only a very limited range of ‘Foiled’ colours, normally onto a white base profile.
Our bespoke hardwood and uPVC products can all be offered in any shade, hue or tint of colour!
uPVC or PVCu  (it’s the same thing in case you were wondering) is prepared, spray painted and lacquered in our on-site specialist spray booth. During the painting process the air is filtered and heated, following which the products are subject to a ‘low bake’ process to hasten the curing of the Swiss made AVCO paint , produced by our in- house paint mixing system. This is the only installation of it’s kind in the county for the truly professional application of paint especially developed for uPVC products. Our painter is NVQ Level 3 (the highest level) ensuring we consistently produce the highest quality finish. Every batch is tested for adhesion, depth of paint and hardness. How long will it last? Well, a good analogy would be as long, or longer, than the painted plastic parts on a car! After twelve years, we have unequalled experience in Cornwall!
We make and paint a range of hardwood products. Our standard materials are Utile/Sapele Mahogany FSC Approved (Forestry Stewardship Council) or other timbers to order. European Oak is a favourite if funds allow, or others if you prefer. These can be stained to various shades, or painted (Oak cannot be painted) in a huge range of colours using Morells water based specialist coatings. These are applied with a very special ‘low air volume ‘spraying system. This is normally applied in the spray booth to ensure the best, dust free finish.
Aluminium products are normally ‘Powder Coated’; a different process which is carried out off site with, again, a massive range of colours available. The RAL Architectural range is the simplest and most cost effective, although special colours can be ordered.
So, when you want a first class painted orangery, conservatory, doors or windows, all made in Cornwall by local craftsmen, painted in ANY colour (and that includes a different colour inside to the outside) come to West Cornwall’s premier manufacturer and supplier
Showroom & Factory: Wilson Way, Pool Industrial Estate, REDRUTH, Cornwall TR15 3RT.  Telephone 01209 215759 or visit our website:

The Green Deal is coming...

The Green Deal is coming... And Philip Whear Windows & Conservatories Ltd are ready!

The long awaited Green Deal proposed by the Government is finally taking shape.  There have been a couple of false dawns before now,  but  it does seem that the industry is gearing itself up for an imminent start.  The way a company will qualify to be a Green Deal provider has also become clearer, and many of the big national companies are  preparing for this.  On a local level, and in West Cornwall, so is Philip Whear Windows & Conservatories Ltd.  As a forward-thinking Cornish company we have, over the past  four or five years, been making sure our fabricators and fitters achieve industry-standard National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) – which is one of the requirements for achieving new Green Deal provider status.  Because we wanted to invest in our staffsince 2007 we have  already exceeded the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) requirement of all staff to be qualified to NVQ 2 (Skilled) level.  All our fabricators, who make  your frames  in our Redruth, factory, are already qualified to NVQ 3 (Advanced Skilled) .  Our fitters/installers are all at least NVQ2  (Skilled) and three have  achieved NVQ 3(Advanced Skilled)level.  Our office staff are all either graduates or hold degree-level professional qualifications appropriate to their function.  Taking all this together we are probably the best qualified workforce in this industry in  Cornwall, making sure that we are ‘Green Deal’qualified – and more than capable.

In addition to beingvery well qualified we are  FENSA registered. FENSA, who operate a ‘competent person scheme’ (CPS) for the installation of doors, have just announced a requirement in companies registered with them that fitters/installers must hold a minimum of NVQ 2 and surveyors  must hold a minimum of NVQ3 by June 2014 in order for a company to become Certified Installers.We are already qualification compliant to become Certified Installers with FENSA. Philip Whear Windows & Conservatories Ltd is also a member of The Glazing Ombudsman (TGO). This body, unlike the ‘other’ - shareholder owned - body DGCOS, is a not-for-profit organisation and is set up jointly by FENSA and The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) to ensure that customers who suffer  a legitimate grievance by a member firm have an appropriate Ombudsman scheme to which they can refer in the event of a dispute.  TGO is an entirely independent body and is staffed by skilled, experienced and qualified arbitrators. In the event that a ruling is made against a company it is TGO who reimburses the customer, and then TGO recovers the cost from the company if they have been adjudged at fault. We hope never to give cause for a customer of ours to have to resort to TGO for dispute resolution, much preferring to work to our Mission Statement and resolve  issues before they become disputes, but feel that we should give our customers that additional level of consumer protection for their peace of mind.

When thinking of your Green Deal options for energy conservation, or simply updating your home and choosing between a timber or a uPVC orangery or  conservatory, new windows or new doors (-painted in any colour, don’t forget)  remember that there is a well established local Cornish company, employing highly qualified and skilled craftsmen who still make their own products by hand in their own factory in Pool, near Redruth. They offer more than their 10 year guarantee; they offer rock-solid  TGO consumer protection.They also offer innovative design and technical solutions, knowledgeable and helpful staff, a wide range of materials, top quality products  and years of satisfaction from choosing the right company.

Today, just as 27 years ago when they started out,  Philip Whear Windows & Conservatories Ltd are ready to help with your requirements - be they Green Deal or other home improvements – with advice, with planning and with realising your dreams through a personal service from a highly reputable , long established, local company  who can justifiably say, proudly, ‘Made  in Cornwall’.