OK, hands up who’s checked that their guttering, fascia and soffits are up to the worst that the next two seasons are about to throw at us? Autumn feels like it has been with us for a while, and we all know about the wind chill factor that seems to blow in to Hunstanton from Siberia during winter (I’m joking, but as a keen wind surfer that coastal breeze can be biting!).

Now, do you know your roofline? We’re often asked what’s what, and I thought a quick guide might be useful. Fascia refers to the band which runs horizontally under the roof edge, caps the rafters around a house and holds the guttering in place. The surface below this is called the soffit or eaves.
Traditionally wooden, in most houses of a certain age the weather has done its worst and, left in poor repair, the damage to a property’s masonry can be extensive and lead to damp, displaced plaster, inside and out.

Guttering helps to direct rainwater away from the roof edge and prevent damage to brickwork, but again, old materials may not be up to the job and ignoring leaks is a potentially costly and hazardous affair.
Cost-effective and durable, PVCu roofline products are a sound investment which will help protect your home and although they might not be as entertaining as a Saturday night spent watching the latest crop of Strictly stars spin their stuff, they will outperform them in keeping things in good shape for years to come. There is a range of options available for all budgets, including cast iron effect products that maintain an authentic look for period properties.

For a company to trade for 50 consecutive years is a significant achievement, but West Norfolk Glass has also mirrored the evolution of the glazing industry.

Founded by John Parker in 1967, who had trained as a glazier in Norwich, the family business’ progress has been mapped over the years by local press. Now John’s son, Geoff, who manages the firm along with brother Philip, has opened up the archives to show how these articles capture some of the key moments for the company and industry.

One of the earliest articles from 1971 shows the moment that West Norfolk Glass moved to King’s Lynn’s Everard Street. Then, as now, the company’s services included glazing for domestic, commercial and industrial buildings, with handmade traditional diamond leaded panes still in demand, along with coloured, patterned and wired safety glass. Everard Street gave West Norfolk Glass its first showroom with ample parking – just like its Hereford Way showroom today.

In 1987, the firm marked 20 years of trading and – along with contract glazing, which the firm continues to offer – West Norfolk Glass had grown a good reputation as a provider of PVCu glazing which had started to replace aluminium frames. West Norfolk Glass was a pioneer in introducing the modern material and its installations, just like today, came with a 10-year guarantee.

The article also reported that a local family which had emigrated to Australia had taken a full set of leaded windows with them – perhaps testament to West Norfolk Glass’ excellent reputation. It mentions how personal recommendation was a regular source of enquiries, and in the ensuing 30 years this is still the case.

In 1990, West Norfolk Glass moved to its current showroom and an article from the year reports that in addition to its work on new housing developments in the area, it also provided specialist repair on stained glass windows in churches.

By 2007, PVCu windows, doors and conservatories were at the core of West Norfolk Glass’ business which had more than 24 employees, including its own in-house fitters. “We still prefer to employ our own fitters,” says Geoff Parker. “It’s important for our customers to know that all of our work is guaranteed, and ensuring they are happy with every aspect of our installation is as important to us now as it was to our dad, 50 years ago.”

‘It takes all sorts,’ is a phrase we often hear, but it really is true when you reflect on windows (no pun intended!). we say that because in 50 years of making and installing windows, we’ve had literally thousands of curious requests from customers, and it’s gratifying to see happy customers when you deliver precisely what they want.

Best value, best service, best knowledge are the three standards we run to at West Norfolk Glass, and each is equally important when it comes to double glazing. You’d think that value doesn’t need any explanation, and our pricing is as keen as possible, but the lowest price isn’t always the best product in our experience. We’ve removed and replaced other manufacturers’ poorly-fitted and low quality windows for homeowners, which have lasted for less time than our 10-year quibble-free guarantee, and invariably they have been supplied by a company that’s ‘gone out of business’ or ‘not interested’ when the customer has had a problem.

Which leads to our second standard – service. As a second-generation Norfolk family business that’s been trading continuously since 1967, I doubt we would be here today without looking after our customers. Good service is integral to everything we do – from our solutions-based approach to courteous and careful installation, and a post-installation call from our team to ensure customers are more than happy with their new glazing.

They say with age comes knowledge, and with 50 years’ glazing experience we obviously have an idea of what works. We install a wide range of products and, as members of the Glass and Glazing Federation we operate to the highest industry standards, but one thing we are not is assumptive. Whether a customer wants Georgian sashes, contemporary aluminium frames or a basic PVCu door, the customer wants what they want, and that’s what we deliver – just using our knowledge, at the best value and service.