February is a mixed month in some ways and, depending on the weather Mother Nature sends us, we can have spring bulbs and verdant blades of grass shooting forth, or a large dump of snow to contend with! Keep your winter gear handy, just in case…

If we are fortunate enough to enjoy more of the former it’s a great time to get outside and take stock of your home. How are your windows and doors looking? Has your fascia and guttering withstood the worst of the winter weather?

If things could do with freshening up, give us a call or visit our showroom to see some of the latest, most energy-efficient products which can improve your home’s appearance and heat performance. We are here six days a week, and we also have an Open Day on 27 April, so stick it on your calendar and make a date to visit, if not before.

One thing which always surprises people is the range of products that are available to suit all types of property and price points. PVCu is undoubtedly an economical and effective material for double glazing which works well for many homeowners. Last year there was a major movement against singe-use plastics, and several customers have asked me about the use of PVCu in the double glazing industry.

In actual fact, PVCu can be recycled up to ten times which is an incredible feat. Given that our installations are guaranteed for a minimum of ten years, it means the PVCu used in a home’s windows and doors has a potential 100 years’ use, making it a highly sustainable material.

Of course the key to maximising this longevity is to select a high quality product in the first instance. I recently visited a home where a PVCu door had been colour-coated and after just a few years the paint was flaking off, the door was leaking in wet weather and the letterbox was letting in a gale! Despite guarantees, the previous installer had not addressed the issues leaving the homeowner with no choice but to ask us to come in to replace the door.

As a second-generation family firm that has been helping homeowners with glazing solutions for more than 50 years, we use products that are built to last to reduce these types of problems. However, it’s worth asking what guarantee comes with any new double glazing, whoever you choose to work with. A quality product from a quality firm will undoubtedly pay dividends over the long-term.

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.”