Want to install yourself? Read this first..

Domestic and Commercial Glazing Manufacturer, Supplier and Installer

Ovo Fargate lantern rooflight

Want to install yourself? Read this first..

When you decide that an aluminium rooflight is the perfect addition to your project, surely finding the best supplier is all that needs to be done?

Sadly not, that is just the beginning of your journey. We are finding recently that more and more customers both businesses and end users are asking for materials only and hoping to find an installer to fit later, but we think finding a competent installer is THE most important part of the process, after all great products installed incorrectly can lead to additional costs and big headaches.  So what are the benefits and pitfalls you must look out for?

Self install

This is the most cost effective option, saving over 50% in some cases, with customers thinking “I can fit that” or “my builder says he can do that”, but does this really save you money in the long run?  It’s worth noting that as you are buying a great product, you need a great team behind you to ensure that what you have ordered looks and performs exactly as it should do.   It starts from ensuring that the order you place is for the correct size and you have given written instructions to proceed.  The delivery date will be projected lead time and this needs to be incorporated into the programme of works, bear in mind that this date will not be confirmed until closer to the delivery date.  Once the order has gone to manufacture any alterations will incur additional costs, so check twice order once.  This is the stage that the kerb or eaves beams need to be prepared on site and dimensions checked, this is where understanding a working drawing is a benefit.  As a rule, self installs fall into 2 categories, those with experience in fitting roof glazing and those with little or no experience. The first may just need to read our fully comprehensive install guides or maybe even have one our fully trained fitters with them for a day with our site assist day. These assist days help a new B2B business partners to build on their knowledgebase and troubleshoot installation queries with hands on experts. The second may have fitted windows or doors and feel this is a natural step up, we offer our fitting guides, tutorials and site assist days to these too, but be wary, if you have no hands on experience, this will not be an option for you. Although we pre drill and factory assemble our rooflights to speed up your installation time that does not make it a DIY product and it may offer a false economy to avoid a full install.  You will need to take into account the weight of the materials (some of our glass panels are in excess of 100kg), how these are going to be brought to your working height (manual handled/crane/hoisting), where and how they will stored, safe working practices and attendances (internal crash deck and scaffolding). 

Installation issues

Once you source your installer, you may be surprised to find that they require a day rate for the work. This could spiral your costs and if they are inexperienced, days could turn into weeks OR it result in a one day install where your breath is held until the English weather has produced its usual deluge of rain and the roof has withheld its end. If you are one of the unlucky ones and now have a leaky roof, you may be blaming the product, whereas the problem is more likely to be an issue with workmanship. The project manager of your install should manage your expectations and ensure your sizes are ordered correctly. They would oversee the manufacture and install of the eaves beams and kerbs which are essential to the rooflight build and need to be made ahead of the roof glazing installation.  If things go wrong you will need to ask yourself, did you follow the install guide to the letter, miss no steps or order of works? We have seen silicone used as a fix-all, caked up and over rooflights, parts not installed and materials ordered incorrect sizes or damaged to make them fit.


Howells Install

We will be honest, this is our preferred option, we have 50 years in this trade and our fitters are the best out there, with years of experience and qualifications in all aspects of the job, they are even enhanced DBS verified to give you piece of mind! By choosing a Howells install, you are not only getting a quality product,  but we provide a site visit to take sizes, contract liaison between your builder and architect, interfaceable product drawings for approval, professional indemnity, product and contractors all risk insurance, delivery unloading checking materials for missing items or damage and setting out of the work, and that’s all before we fit your rooflight. Just before installation we will provide full risk assessments and method statement, this will show you what we need from you and more importantly what we are planning to do, fitting in with any other trades that you have working on your project to ensure continuity of your contract. The team will know how to resolve issues that are not contained within the fitting guide, have the right tools and will finish the job to a high standard first time.  Our installation work will be guaranteed and should the unlikely event of any later issue, we will return to site to troubleshoot any problems.


So, we are sure you will agree, choosing a rooflight supplier was not the most challenging decision after all. A perfect installation is what makes outstanding products fit for purpose and stand the test of time. Saving money on the installation is not about finding short cuts but getting it right first time.


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