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Local Businesses - Carter Glass
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.  
Carter Glass
38 Ashingdon Road, Rochford, Essex, SS4 1RD

01702 546914
RL: Are there different qualities of material and how do we know what to go for?
Guy: Oh yes, absolutely. Basically you’ve got to use a local reputable company. Many companies will use a recycled plastic and they’ll tell you that they are eco friendly because of that and six months down the line it goes yellow. You’ve got to do your homework on the Internet and find who has had trouble, what material they use, where they make them, whether they make their own; you need to check all these things when having double glazing fitted to have it done right.  

RL: Realistically, what sort of life does a good modern window have? Are the windows you are putting in today going to fade?
Guy: I don’t think they’ll fade because we’ve been doing them too long. The only thing that could possibly go wrong is if the sealed units mist up, and obviously we’d just replace the sealed unit which is a ten minute job, assuming the company is still going that you used in the first place. That’s about it really, apart from the odd floppy handle which is just two screws that can be changed in a minute.    

RL: Should people be cleaning or polishing their new white doors or windows in any special way?
Guy: No, just warm soapy water and that is all it needs.

RL: You have recently been involved in DGCOS (Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme). Tell us something about that. I know you have stuff on your own excellent web-site, but tell us something about that,
Guy: It’s an organisation and it’s been set up to kick the cowboys out of the industry. It’s headed by Nick Ross from Watchdog. I’m sure he wouldn’t put his name to something that isn’t more than a 100% above board.  It’s not an organisation that you just pay and you’re in. You are vetted and you become a member. We’re one of the only companies that have managed to get in, in this area. They refuse, I think, about 80% of people that try to get in, either because they have gone bust before or because they have fitters from outside that don’t meet criteria, and customers can’t be checked. I think they checked between twenty and forty of our customers. Basically what it is, is a scheme called ‘Piece of Mind’ and if there is ever any trouble you get an arbitrator, and an insurance backed guarantee. If you give a deposit, it is insured as well. I personally give a ten year guarantee anyway and being just round the corner from most of our customers, it doesn’t really matter anyway but this is a new legally binding thing where there are solicitors that work for you and, if it ever came to that, an ombudsman. So it’s a ‘Piece of Mind’ pack that comes with every job that I do, from start to finish. Within two days of signing the contract you get the paperwork come through from them to say that everything will be insured from the minute I popped in, to the work being carried out and when we finish. It’s a great organisation.  

RL: So, basically, today you’re giving a double guarantee then?
Guy: Yes, that’s right, from myself first of all – and the company has already outlived four guarantee periods already – but if anything did happen to me or Carter Glass, you’re insured and guaranteed by DGCOS and it’s transferable, so if you sell your house to anyone, the guarantee goes with them, and that is all within the price I give you for the work.  

RL: If I wanted double glazing put in tomorrow, how fast can you get windows in?
Guy: We normally work between six to eight weeks. If it was just a door or one window we could probably pop it in, in an afternoon, in a few weeks. But if it’s a house or three days work, say, it’s normally six to eight weeks. At the moment it’s eight weeks.

RL: That’s largely because they are purpose made?
Guy: No, normally it’s because we are so busy.  I can go to our factory and have them made in a week and a half, but it’s sheer volume of work so we can’t fit them in under six to eight weeks.

RL: Guy, thank you so much. I hope that will help people who are thinking of replacing their doors or windows.

To see more on Carter Glass and what they do, go to
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.
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