Talking with Guy Carter of Carter Glass (12th October 2010)
Guy is managing director of Carter Glass in Rochford
Rochford Life: Guy, how long have you been part of the family business?
Guy: I started here at fifteen, had a break, then came back, so probably ten years and I’m now managing director. I took over from my father, who has retired. It’s been in the family 43 years – 1969 was when it was started.
RL: And you work over the whole of the Rochford and Ashingdon Area?
Guy: Yes, we do, not a lot further usually, but sometimes we go further afield.
RL: What’s the main type of work you do?
Guy: Now it’s windows and doors, fascia and soffit, and conservatories.
RL: The main material being used today?
Guy: They are all UVPC and I’m actually replacing windows that I put in when I was about fifteen or sixteen and I’m now taking out the old aluminium and putting in new UVPC for the same people, mainly white UVPC, but obviously in the new showroom here there are different colours: light oak, rosewood, and white wood grain.
RL: We’re sitting in a conservatory here in the showroom that is, what 3 metres by 2 metres, what’s a rough figure likely to be for something like this?
Guy: Probably around the eight thousand pound mark. If we were putting in a standard front door, we’d probably be talking about seven hundred or seven hundred and fifty pounds for a nice white UVPC front door.
RL: Years ago I can remember coming in here to get panes of replacement glass. You don’t sell that now?
Guy: Not any more at all. It is now all double glazing. No glass cutting, no mirrors, no putty, nothing like that any more.
RL: Are windows standard sizes or do you have to have them manufactured?
Guy: There is no such thing anymore. Everything here is bespoke, absolutely everything. I go along and measure them up and price it and if they want to go ahead with it, I start all the paperwork and then it goes to our manufacturing plant where we start the manufacturing process.
RL: What sort of developments are there in this sort of world these days?
Guy: Quite a lot, especially just recently as the Government have changed the law again for energy ratings. All new windows have got to meet a certain rating for heat loss requirement now, so as from October 1st everything has to be filled with Argon gas. There are other bits and pieces, without getting too technical, and that’s to kick the cowboys out of the industry.