Profiles and Specifications
Door Handles and Locks
Our standard locking mechanism engages by lifting the handle and turning the key to lock. An alternative can be what we call the split spindle” system. With our door constructions we can use a split spindle arrangement for the handle/locking system. This means that the door will appear as a lever/lever handle arrangement but if you pull the door shut after exiting the house then the door automatically engages on a centre latch and you will need a key to get back in (a bit like a standard Yale locking system). Pressing down on the handle will not open the door. This is the arrangement if you’re worried about unauthorised walk-ins and this option will therefore enhance your security
arrangements. Of course, to properly lock the door you pull the door to, then pull up the handle to engage all the other latches and shootbolts and turn the key as normal. Some people don’t like this split spindle system (like the Yale lock system) as they’d prefer not to be locked out having left their keys inside the house! Other than this our doors can be supplied with the standard handle/lock system (again as a lever/lever arrangement) which will need positive action by you to turn the key to then lock the door and prevent entry into the house. We will, as standard, install an anti pick/drill resistant locking cylinder.
So called “anti-bump” locks can also be installed by us if desired. This is a new modern locking system aimed at preventing locks being “bumped”. Our anti-bump cylinder is the “GeGe RAM” (Resistance Against Manipulation”) type and incorporates special pins and configurations which successfully resist the burglars in their bumping attempts. It meets the latest requirements of PAS24 and “Secured by Design”. This product is also the first to be awarded the Kitemark. Lock bumping is a new and rather simple lock picking technique for opening a lock using a specially-crafted bump key (or 999 key). Lock bumping is estimated to work on about 90% of locks presently installed in homes and offices, including deadbolts and padlocks. Bumping attacks leave no visible sign of attack.
How serious is the problem?
In the last two years, the bumping problem has become more widespread. Lock bumping “how-to” guides are to be found on the internet, and, more worryingly, people can actually buy the bump key sets online for around £30.
Handle types and Colours
With both doors and windows the handle colours available are brass (old gold), bright chrome, silver (and satin chrome), white, black, bronze (and satin bronze). We now have black wrought iron “monkey tail” (pig tail”) handles available and compatible with our espagnolette locking systems. Many people often expect to be able to choose from a vast selection of handle shapes and colours but the range unfortunately is rather narrow as the handle has to be compatible with several things such as the espagnolette locking system we use and our profile and dimensions used in the manufacture of our doors and windows. Because we want the highest of security available as well as the weather-tightness offered by modem handles and locking systems, traditional handles don’t offer this. For example we can fit cockspur type handles but they rely solely on one point of security engagement. These cockspur handles can include the “monkey tail” (“pig tail”) black iron designs and a whole array of other designs. They also will not pull the window completely tight against the weather seals so we then can’t claim these to offer a true storm proof window. Therefore you then have to accept, with these types of handles and fittings, much less security and less perfect weather tightness. In a nutshell, it’s a decision against your view of aesthetics versus best security practice with tight fitting, truly weatherproof window (and door) sashes. However the monkey tail design can be obtained in a version compatible with the espagnolette system mentioned earlier (see picture)
SPECIAL ORDER HANDLES:
There is a range of “other” handle designs available which are compatible with our manufacturing methods, profiles and locking systems. These will have various additional costs which can be highlighted to you in a quotation. The following images show swan neck type handles and others to give ideas of what’s possible.
Brass Coloured Swan neck Matt Black “Wing” Door handles
Entrance Door Design Selection
Door Profiles/Cross Sections
Profile/Cross Section for our Classic or Storm Proof Casement Windows
Ellwood is a fully registered FENSA company.
There is a myriad of design options for windows. Side hung or top hung sashes in various combinations are possible for example.
Floating Mullion (French casement) layout is possible where the window acts a bit like French doors. The vertical central bar (or mullion) is actually attached to one of the sashes that opens so that it “floats” out with the sash when it’s opened. If the other sash is then opened there is no central bar of course giving a total opened area. This method or design can overcome fire escape difficulties for bedrooms where, with a narrow overall original width to the window area, the opening space is not enough to comply with latest fire regulations. Fire egress hinges are fitted as standard by us for all upper floor habitable rooms.
Equal Sight Lines (dumy sashes) is another consideration. In a storm proof window design the sash (opening part of the window) is slightly proud of the frame and effectively overlaps the frame around all its edges. In most window layouts some parts of the overall design will open and some not (fixed). In the desire to create good aesthetics or overall good looks on a house elevation this standard arrangement can look a little unbalanced or unequal where the opening bits are proud of the frame. This can be quite pronounced in some layouts. To overcome this and generally improve on the overall look then dummy sashes are created to go in the non opening sections of the framing. The whole window then looks like every section opens (whereas some of course do not). The effect is that everything is even and balanced (equal sight lines) and aesthetically more pleasing.
Flush Fit Windows or Heritage Style from Ellwood
We typically create these windows for listed building or conservation area applications or simply for customer choice. Some local authorities insist on single glazed windows being installed to keep the look and historical significance of the building but in certain cases an allowance for thin” double glazing is permitted. In this case we use a special 12.8mm ‘thin” double glazing profile ensuring argon gas fill and low “e” glazing is employed as well. Coupled with a warm edge spacer bar the optimum u value achievable with this is 2.3 (quite poor when compared to our 24mm glazing standard with argon which is 1.1) We can use krypton gas instead of argon and this then gives the glazing unit a u value of 1.7 but this approach will make the windows quite expensive – with a lot of windows to deal with perhaps prohibitively so.
The details shown in the profiles below indicate the design with a single 4mm glazed sheet. The profile is identical when using thin double glazing (12.8mm) where we minimise the beading further to accommodate this extra thickness. It is usual in these heritage windows to also incorporate traditional butt hinges, cockspur handles and casement stays. They are all still manufactured in hardwood Sapele and again still fully finished (painted or stained) prior to installation. The usual is white painted.
Legislation dictates a lot of the “minimum” specification for glazing and is covered in the building regulations document – part “L”. Ellwood conforms to all the requirements. These legal requirements cover things like heat retention and where special toughened, safety glass has to be used.
For example all our glass is low “e” – this stands for “low emissivity” where one side of the 4 faces of the double glazing set up is covered in an invisible metallic coating which helps reflect heat back into the room rather than allow it to freely escape to the outside.
We have chosen to use Planitherm Softcoat low “e” glass as we believe it offers significant benefits over the alternative “hardcoat” (or “K”) glass. There are two major reasons we favour the Saint Gobain product (Planitherm) over the “K”glass (Pilkington). The first is that Planitherm has the clearest low “e” glass option so will not give any tint to curtains, Georgian bars or affect the clarity of the view to the outside. Secondly it offers exceptionally good U values (a “u value” is the measure of thermal transmission – heat passing through the unit; the lower this u value, the better). Planitherm with argon (we use “Planithern Futur N”) for example achieves a u value of 1.2 compared to K glass at 1.5 (based on 4mm-20mm air gap and 4mm inner pane). That layout is in our uPVC windows. In fact, in our timber windows where we are using a 16mm air gap, the u value is even better at just 1.1
There are other ways to create even better glass units in terms of heat retention (but these are often prohibitively expensive) and include using triple glazed units with argon gas or krypton gas fills. U values in these cases can be as low as 0.7 or 0.5
For areas with excessive heat from the sun being a problem (particularly conservatory roofs) then a solar heat reflecting coating (“Cool-Lite”) is desirable.
Self cleaning glass (Bioclean glass) is also a useful option on glass surfaces and can be employed in not just conservatories but in house windows as well. This coating works in 2 ways.
Firstly the product is photocatalytic. In the presence of ultra violet rays – i.e. daylight, the surface coating interacts with the dirt particles (e.g. bird poo and general dirt) and acts a bit like a Teflon coated frying pan. The dirt is actually broken down or decomposed and the process helps prevent the dirt gluing itself to the glass surface.
Secondly, when it rains (or you put the hosepipe to it) the glass coating creates a sheeting effect to the water run off and the muck is carried easily off leaving a smear free and very clear finish. The surface of the glass becomes “hydrophilic”. In our opinion it is about 80%-100% effective in this “self-cleaning” process as several factors need to be taken into account. These include: a decent amount of rainfall is needed to effectively wash the glass down. Dry periods may therefore require you to provide a hose pipe to wash down the glass. If the glass aspect is sheltered and the rainfall can’t quite get to it then that also needs manual intervention. Wide, overhanging eaves for example can prevent the tops of bedroom windows from being “washed”. Another factor is pitch of the glass surface. Vertical surfaces (as in windows and doors) are excellent as rainfall can cascade down with some force. Conservatory roofs ideally need to be at 25 degrees pitch or more, again to ensure a decent flow for the water run off. Otherwise, it is inevitable that some bits of loosened dirt could be left behind. Overall, it is certainly worth having on conservatory roofs or non window cleaner friendly house windows where access is always going to be difficult or impossible.
Where there is a requirement for noise reduction then a good way of achieving this is to have the outer pane of any double glazing as 6mm laminated glass. We have employed this in many situations – usually for houses by busy roads – and the drop in noise intrusion is quite impressive. Bedrooms, dining and sitting rooms subject to exterior noise intrusion will all benefit from this.
Obscure or textured glass is often used in bathrooms, ensuites, w.c.s and as the backing sheet glass in glazed or partially glazed entrance doors. Whereas Saint Gobain has a rather limited selection of patterns available, Pilkington has quite a comprehensive range. The Pilkington web site has a link to a pdf file which shows the glass choices.
Internal Timber Surfaces may be cleaned and polished using any good quality wax polish or can be refreshed with a new coating of microporous stain or paint. You may be able to obtain a supply of paint or stain from us and this will have an additive incorporated to allow you to brush the product on (we originally spray the coatings on in our paint shop of course). Being water based you may thin the product down using a little clean cold water.
General Note – The external perimeter frame sealant and surrounding brickwork should not allow weather ingress as this can affect the longevity and ultimate performance of the product. Therefore ensure that mortar joints (pointing) and any render is maintained in good condition.
Lead Flashing and Lead Work on Windows (Georgian Squares or Diamond Lead etc).
We will usually specify antique lead for the leadwork on glass which will avoid much of the problems of oxidisation of lead. New lead may oxidise for a short period of time after exposure to the elements and moisture. The white residue formed in this process may be cleaned off with a non abrasive glass cleaner. Care should be taken not to polish up the lead to a shiny finish or the process of oxidisation will merely start all over again!
Guttering should be kept clear and clean of dead leaves and debris to avoid blockages
Ventilation. The conservatory should be ventilated especially in hot weather. You should not allow the structure to overheat. We design the original structure to ensure you have enough windows and roof vents to facilitate this. It is also important to note that eventhough doors and windows and roofs are double glazed condensation can still appear on occasions. This is not a failure of the glass unit or a bad design. Excess moisture in the air and cool glass surfaces will cause condensation even on double glazed panels. Whereas double glazing makes a huge difference to preventing condensation (as opposed to single glazing) it cannot always give zero condensation situations.
Door and Window Care. Hinges and any moving mechanisms may require light lubrication (i.e. WD40 or similar). Even furniture polish (which often has silicone in it) can be sprayed as lubrication to offset squeaks and stiffness. Window friction hinges can be tightened by simply turning the slotted bush a little with a screwdriver. Compression can be varied by adjusting the cams on the espagnolette bolt with an allen key. French doors or entrance doors can be adjusted with an allen key too. To adjust doors vertically (after removing any hinge cover caps) turn the top socket on the bottom fitting and this will lift the inner pin and thus the door can go up or down (turn the key clockwise to raise the door and anticlockwise to lower the door). To achieve variable compression on the door, turn the bottom socket on the bottom fitting (clockwise to screw in and anticlockwise to screw out). Lateral movement can be achieved by turning on the socket on the top part of the hinge fitting.
Handles. Warm soapy water followed by a dry cloth can help retain the sheen particularly on the brass-gold coloured handles. Abrasives should NOT be used. Lubricate periodically with WD40 or similar.
Timber Maintenance and External Surfaces. All our finishes use microporous, water based/acrylic paint or stains (unless we have created special oak or Idigbo type constructions where a natural finish is required using oils such as Danish oil or similar).
External surfaces can occasionally be cleaned with warm soapy water to maintain their looks. If the finish dulls or fades slightly then you can apply another “cosmetic” coat of microporous paint or stain. To repaint or re-stain surfaces then you can use “Cif” on a J cloth (or similar) or use fine emery paper or fine grade sandpaper (we have heard of our customers also using the mildly abrasive side of the green, oblong, dishwashing sponges you can buy in supermarkets to clean up the surfaces prior to repainting!). After going over all the paintwork to clean off the surface grime then wash off surfaces with clean water and allow to thoroughly dry; use a dry cloth to speed this up if necessary.
Using a wet, fine, soft “Harris” paint brush or similar you can then “float” on a new, top layer, cosmetic coat of paint or stain.
Note that any paint or stain finishes will deteriorate more quickly on south or south west elevations as it’s sunlight (UV rays) that causes most damage to any paint or stain finishes.
Load the new paint or stain coating generously onto the paintbrush and cover the surface with diagonal cross strokes finishing with lighter strokes along the grain direction or longitudinal profile of the timbers. Don’t be alarmed at the initial appearance as the product will dry quite quickly and then to the appropriate colour.
Most suitable temperatures in which to apply the coatings are between 5 and 15 degrees C. Avoid applying in hot or warmish, sunny conditions as otherwise the paint/stain will dry very quickly and application will look messy or become too difficult to do correctly. Brushes can be simply washed in detergent with cold water. Re-coating at regular intervals is very quick and simple and is a lot less time consuming than if you leave the job for greater periods as you may then need to build up several layers and the finish may not be so perfect.
As a suggestion, re-coat about every 5 years for sunny sides of properties and about every 7 years for other elevations. Generally use your eyes to assess how the colour or stain is standing up to your particular location and elevations. We use a water based, acrylic, microporous product which allows the timber to breathe and is tolerant of the natural expansion and contraction of the timbers in varying climatic conditions. You can obtain a supply of the paint or stain from us or use other proprietary microporous type brands. Do not attempt to use or overcoat the paint finishes with oil based paints or similar. The results will normally be quite disappointing and you could end up with quite a mess!