Glazing UK; Howells Patent Glazing’s focus is on employees

Undertaking workplace NVQ’s are an important part of addressing the UK skills shortage, and it’s something that our Midlands based manufacturing firm, Howells Patent Glazing, have introduced to the entire workforce this year. Glazing UK; It’s more than just windows…

According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, whilst employment levels have increased, there is mounting evidence of stalling productivity growth that could hinder the current economic recovery as employers are unable to optimise their performance. The need to address structural skills and employment challenges, particularly in youth employment, is also something that the UKCES flagged up.

Here at Howells Patent Glazing, a family run business, we are dedicating 2016 to improving the skills of our whole team, including management level employees, to help address the UK skills shortage. Ensuring that the team is fully qualified means a lot to us, and at Howells we believe that our continued success is down to our commitment to the welfare and constant improvement of our dedicated staff.

Image L-R: Debbie Willetts, Company Secretary Howells Patent Glazing, Kurt Jacobs (Midlands Business Insider) and Tracey Jackson, Marketing Manager Howells Patent Glazing

Debbie Willetts, company secretary at Howells Patent Glazing said, “As a member of the team who is undertaking our new training programme, as well as organising it, I can honestly say that I am extremely proud of everyone’s progress here. Our staff have welcomed the new training courses and I have had the pleasure of seeing them all flourish and their confidence grow as a result.  I understand, first hand, that it is a very big step to start a new learning journey, especially having left education many years ago. I have recently started a coaching and mentoring course in addition to my Leadership and management NVQ to help support our team”.

Currently focusing on staff on the production line, from operatives through to management level, here at Howells Patent Glazing we have taken our staff from Functional Skills Level 2 all the way through to Level 2 NVQ Diploma’s in Business Improvement Techniques. We believe that there is still a desire for people to gain valuable skills and join manufacturing firms like ours. Whether it be steel manufacturing, gates, or glazing UK, there’s an industry out there that needs to continue to train it’s employees. Glazing UK homes, businesses and providing outstanding solutions to architects and developers is our passion, and our team are a huge part of it.

For more information on us, visit our homepage here for glazing UK >

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Extending your living space, without compromising your existing home or garden?

You want to extend your living space, but do not want compromise the available space in your existing home or garden?


Sound familiar?  Add in the budget scenario and you have a potential recipe for disaster…


What if there was a solution that offered you the potential to do all these things but also offer a flexible approach to internal or external living space?

marketing photo 3 Greenways (5) Greenways (4) NATURAL STRUCTURES-PIC5

We have been making canopies for years and they have proved to be very successful not only in private homes, but also in commercial applications.  The exciting change comes from the ability to offer a stand alone self supported canopy that stretches out from the rear wall of your home, but then with an addition of bi folding doors to one or two of the sides weather proof them.


This makes the best of both worlds!  You can have alfresco dining OR an enclosed weather proof space in one installation.    2 for the price of 1.


Who doesn’t like a great deal

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Window Cleaning Tips

When I’m cleanin’ Windows….


So, what’s your favourite hobby? I’m a fan of extreme window cleaning myself…..


0000 window cleaning



Image from

Some people go to extreme lengths to make sure their windows are clean. If extreme window cleaning isn’t your thing, how about some old fashioned window cleaning tips? Am I the only one whose mum would clean the inside of the windows with vinegar and newspaper? They might have had a Mr Muscle sparkle but the house smelled like a chip shop. A more practical glass cleaning tip is to clean one side top-to-bottom and the other side side-to-side; that way if you have any smudges you’ll know which side it’s on.

Luckily with our roof glazing you can opt for self-cleaning glass. Sound like witchcraft? It’s not, and here’s the science bit…..


00000 glass picture for blog


The Pilkington Activ™ Range: A Two Step Cleaning Process

After years of development, Pilkington Activ™ is the world’s first self-cleaning glass to use a microscopic coating with a unique dual-action.

The first stage of the cleaning process is “photocatalytic“. In this stage the coating reacts with daylight to break down organic dirt.

The second stage is “hydrophilic“. Here, instead of forming droplets, rainwater hits the glass and spreads evenly, running off in a “sheet” and taking the loosened dirt with it, also drying quickly without leaving streaks.

If the thought of spending endless hours cleaning windows puts you off building a new conservatory or installing skylights then self-cleaning glass is precisely what you need. View this demonstration video to gain a better understanding of how self-cleaning glass works with the forces of nature to keep your glass cleaner.

Reference; Pilkington;


So don’t be put off having a rooflight, orangery or conservatory roof fitted. Speak to our estimators about the benefits of self-cleaning glass. And don’t balance on the side of a building to clean your windows. It probably won’t end well.


Contact us on:  01384 820060

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Bespoke rooflights off the shelf

Known for being a company who never stand still, the team at our family run Midlands based manufacturing firm, Howells Patent Glazing, are pushing for a record year for the 3rd year in a row. We hope that our latest product launch, a new stock roof sized roof light, will contribute to sales growth and the firm’s biggest year for turnover yet.


Our new slim line roof light bar, which offers thermal efficiency, is a great way to harness the liberating power of glass, bringing light and space into any environment without compromising on style and design. The bar was developed by the Director of Howells Patent Glazing, Gary Howells, and the process involved using innovative design technologies, structural engineers and several trial makes.

Tracey Jackson, Marketing Manager here at Howells Patent Glazing said, “We seemed to be having a lot of requests for bespoke roof lights, in similar sizes, where the builder had flexibility in the actual finished size.  These all seemed to be unvented and in standard colours of white /grey, single or dual colours.  We developed the slim line roof light bar to cater for this demand from builders and have recently launched our new roof lights to market with great success.  Our new slim line roof light has all the aesthetics of our original standard design, but is lighter as it uses a slimmer bar, which in itself gives improved light”.

The sales team here at Howells Patent Glazing believe that our latest product has proved to be a great option to those with tight turnarounds, but still requiring a ‘made to order’ product.  Aesthetically, it is similar to our firms bespoke range, but as it is ready built in more popular sizes and thus cuts down on the manufacturing time, but still makes a bespoke rooflight.

Dave Bennett, Sales Director at Howells Patent Glazing said, “Our customers are loving our new product and have been placing a lot of repeat orders since we launched it to market. We carry the stock, so that our customers do not have to”.

Want to know more about our services, glazing options and our new ‘stock-sized’ rooflights? Take a look around our website



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Awards for Staff training in the West Midlands

We  thought it would be nice to publicize the benefits of nurturing people/staff even after formal education has ended.
At Howells Patent Glazing , the family business, we believe in educating our employees and with 22 currently having inhouse NVQ training on different courses ranging from IT level 2 and 3, Improving Operational Performance Apprenticeship Level 2 and 3, Engineering level 3, leadership and management level 2 and 3 and BIT (Business Improvement Technique) NVQ. These are not the only courses we offer to the staff as there are other more specialist bespoke courses too. It just shows that you must never sit still as an organisation
We are so excited that this has been noticed and we have been nominated with 3 others for an award for staff training in the West Midlands, by Made in the Midlands via Insider magazine:
Apprenticeship and Training Award
The Apprenticeship & Training Award recognises the manufacturing business that has done most to further the cause of apprenticeships in the Midlands.
For achievements between March 2015 – April 2016.
This follows our change in direction 3 years ago with our rebranding and development of our core values in Fairness, Making a Difference, Personal Growth, Recognition and Enthusiasm
We restructured and developed a new management team to drive through the changes to each department. and have never looked back.  With the help of the Growth Accellerator (government business development program) and Black Country Growth Hub we have managed to put 50% onto our turnover in the last 3 years.
This success could only be achieved through our commitment to change and the value that we place in our workforce.
made in the midlands
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How to prevent heat loss in the home

A very big problem is faced currently in the home with ever  rising heating costs, which only seem to get worse with each year.  The best option is for the homeowner to tackle the root of the problem and that is HEAT LOSS.  Where is the heat escaping and how to minimize it.

It is safe to say that this is an ongoing problem for many people and there are no quick fixes that will provide lasting solutions.  How to prevent heat loss in the home continues to perplex us.

A big contender for heat loss are old inefficient windows, single glazing or really any kind of non thermally broken window frames.  Ask the question of do the windows need replacing or can you patch the problem?

This is a ‘How to’ guide on the benefits of double glazing

What you need to know and how to prevent the costly pitfalls of replacing whole windows when not necessary.

What are the benefits and how to use double glazing for preventing heat loss.


Firstly, just what are the benefits of double glazing?

:         Up to 18% of heat lost on not having double glazing, resulting in increased bills, higher Co2 emissions, more condensation, and higher noise levels so there are many advantages to double glazing.

:         Double glazing consists of two panes of glass sandwiched with argon gas which acts as insulator of heat and noise. Condensation occurs with single glass windows because internal air reaches its dew point and deposits water on the coldest object which will be the windows.

:         Double glazing is a longer term investment which will create a warm and quiet environment as well as been aesthetically pleasing.

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Heat loss in the home

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It is one thing to have the vision to ‘see’ how changes to a building could enhance the construction, but another thing altogether to be the one who project manages this conversion.


This can be quite a stressful experience to the first time renovator or a private home owner who could be overwhelmed and daunted with the undertaking whilst still living there


home builder guide

Home builder guid


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Adding Value with Home Improvements

We all ask ourselves this question every now and again: “Is it worth adding value with home improvements?”

With the eye-watering cost to move house, not to mention the stress involved, it is no surprise that so many of us choose to extend or modify our homes rather than sell, but what actually adds the most value to your home? The National Association of Estate Agents revealed the answer; adding a bedroom (usually by converting loft space) and enlarging a kitchen. Did you know a loft conversion could add around 10% to the value of your home? Letting in daylight could be a problem unless you opt for a rooflight. Imagine being able to sleep under the stars without the use of blinds (if your locations allows!).

Underground Extensions:
Underground extensions are becoming more popular, particularly in London where the market value can support the high cost of excavating under your home. These underground rooms do not need to be dark and gloomy. It is possible to harness natural daylight by fitting a walk-on rooflight flush with the ground level, letting natural light flood in to the area underneath.

picture 1

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Boost in city developments; great news for Howells Patent Glazing

It’s no secret that the recession took its toll on the UK building and manufacturing industry. However, we have been doing a little research and found that a report conducted by Deloitte has revealed a nine-year high in development across the city of Birmingham, which is also mirrored in reports for Manchester and Leeds. This is great news for the UK’s manufacturing industry, and family run businesses like us at Howells Patent Glazing are reaping the benefits of a new wave of UK city development!

The Birmingham Crane Survey showcases the rise in investor desire, new construction and growth of visitors to the UK’s ‘Second City’ with some very positive results. Confidence in developers has returned, and investors are looking towards cities north of the capital to find higher yielding assets offering better value and continued rental growth.

Our Birmingham based specialist-manufacturing company, Howells Patent Glazing, has directly benefited from this, and we have seen an increased turnover year on year since 2014.

Dave Bennett, General Manager here at Howells Patent Glazing said, “We are really excited about what’s to come for Howells Patent Glazing this year. We have experienced growth on a phenomenal scale, and attribute that to the new wave in positivity from developers. The economic climate is on the up, and we’re certainly feeling it here.  As a business, we have become more and more aware of a significant growth in the volume of work within our specialist field, especially in cities like Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester. The next big ‘development surge’ we are predicting is in Hull – next year’s European city of culture”.

Leeds College

Howells Patent Glazing recently completed a glazed roof section on Leeds City College

Dave Bennett, General Manager at Howells Patent Glazing, is excited about the surge in UK city development!


According to Birmingham Crane Survey, Birmingham is seeing new office construction at its highest level in over 13 years; with over 32% already being let out to aspiring Midlands based businesses. In Manchester, 1.04 million square foot of Grade A office space is under construction, and in Leeds, 865,000 square foot of offices is under construction – the highest level since 2007.

Since 2014, Howells Patent Glazing, based in Birmingham, has experienced rapid growth with record sales and turnover increasing year on year. The increase in our customer demand is believed to be because of increased investment in some of the UK’s biggest cities, and our most recent contracts prove that to be true!


For more info on Howells Patent Glazing, and the services we offer, visit our homepage at

To view the Crane Survey, visit


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Howells Patent Glazing provide invaluable help and advice to their clients!

With the launch of a new glazing advice and ‘top-tips’ section on our website, our team are looking forward to a new wave of clients hitting our site!

Howells’s sales team, both new and long standing, have to complete a rigorous training schedule before being able to deal with customers.  The scheme involves the team spending time in the business’s manufacturing plant, physically constructing their products.  Once the sales team has an understanding of Howell’s manufacturing process, they then move on to working with the fixing teams to understand the parameters of the materials and job specifics of the contracts. This demanding training scheme allows the sales team to fully understand Howell’s offering and fulfill our customers’ needs, with an unrivaled approach.

Howells Patent Glazing - Alton Towers Orangery

Howells Patent Glazing – Installing Alton Towers Orangery

Tracey Jackson, Marketing Manager at Howells Patent Glazing said, “our Cradley Heath based manufacturing firm have technical departments in both the supply only and estimating/construction departments, and our staff often receive queries regarding how to achieve the best results using our product. The logical step for us was to offer our advice and knowledge openly those who may need a little help.  As a firm we are committed to excellence and this year, for the very first time, we have entered the Express and Star awards for Business of the Year and Family Business of the Year.  2016 has already been phenomenal for new business and we hope that the rest of the year will be equally as successful”.

Gary Howells, Director at the firm, has been with Howells since he left school and has travelled through all of the manufacturing departments to now head the sales division.  He has first-hand knowledge of the systems that Howells use, as he had a major influence on the design and application of the bars.  He has also installed the systems, so understands the full requirements of the bars, how they perform and has vision to understand where they need to evolve.

Dave Bennett, General Manager, has over 30 years’ experience in the firm.  Beginning his career as a draftsman, and then joining Howells as an estimator 20 years ago, he has proved his worth time and time again by project managing contracts from £2,000 through to £1,000,000.

Dave Bennett has been with Howells Patent Glazing for 20 years!

Dave Bennett has been with Howells Patent Glazing for 20 years!

Our specialist glazing firm specialises in aluminium roof glazing systems and make bespoke glazing solutions to cover a wide variety of problems. These range from covering swimming pools or unused quadrangles at schools to create extra classroom space, glazed extensions to living quarters, entrance canopies to schools/hospitals/shopping malls or roof glazing to shopping malls/factories/offices to create natural light. Howells also undertake heritage jobs, such as Windsor Royal Station and Stoneleigh Abbey, as well as high profile contracts such as Millennium Point in Digbeth and Alton towers Orangery. With our years of experience, we are confident that we can give you the free glazing advice and tips that can help you get the job done!

We are proud of our level of staff and we believe that we have a solution to almost every glazing issue or query – from the creation and design of bespoke pieces to installation and styling.

To find out more about our Advice and ‘top tips’ section, please visit


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