It is reported that 47% of Brits have renovated their homes at some point, and replacing existing windows and doors to improve aesthetics, thermal efficiency and / or security often forms part of these home improvement projects. 

  • But how do you choose your replacement units? 
  • How do you know if you have chosen a reliable supplier and installer? 
  • And what is it like to have the work undertaken whilst you are living in the house? 

Our client, Mr R, has kindly documented and shared his own experience of what it is like to replace your doors and windows as part of a larger renovation project.


Our 1980’s house was beginning to look very tired and had decay problems with the old wooden windows and external rendering. At the end of 2019 we started a renovation project with a view to renewing and refreshing the exterior. 

At the onset we didn’t know what we wanted and spent considerable time talking to window suppliers, visiting exhibitions and observing other houses. It was only when we saw aluminium-clad wooden frames at a friend’s house that this solution become our focus. 


Our friends put us in contact with the company they had used but it rapidly became clear that they couldn’t meet our needs – specifically, a single supplier and contract for the whole job, at a fixed cost. 

Further research revealed a number of other potential suppliers with many of them having stands at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre (NSBRC) in Swindon.

Here we discovered Norrsken. In our minds their product looked the best, seemed to meet our needs and they were accommodating and open to discussion. We decided to focus on them as our potential window supplier and fitter. 
NSBRC: It was here that we visited the Norrsken stand and got acquainted with their products. 


By this stage I had drawn up a fully refined requirements document for the 16 windows, patio door and back door, and Norrsken were happy to engage and provide a full quotation. Various clarification emails were exchanged and ultimately, we decided to make a trip to their showroom / offices in Poole where the final details could be discussed. 

At the end of the day, and after concessions on both sides, we agreed a package deal for both the windows and the installation, with the installation to be done by Norrsken’s own fitters

Interestingly, the price was roughly the same as the indicative pricing for uPVC windows from the leading uPVC window supplier, yet we were getting something we felt was significantly better in both appearance and performance.

We were more than happy to move to a triple glazed window and have a standardised design across the whole house, and to have an engineered wood frame rather than a solid hardwood.

One advantage of visiting the office in Poole was that we got to meet the back-office staff who would be supporting our project, and this made the subsequent communication easier. 

Straight away a Project Manager and Operations Manager were assigned, and they supported us brilliantly throughout the whole process, keeping us informed and responding, in most cases, by return. 

This was quickly followed by a visit from the Surveyor to make the detailed, accurate measurements required.


The first step of the job was the development of a set of drawings that encompassed everything that had been agreed and which could be sent off to their factory for manufacture.

This included design details, like the colour of the internal gaskets, the exact sizes of the different frames in a window and obscure glass choice. It was worth my detailed study as one of the windows had the opening frame on the wrong side because of a different view being used and some extra materials had been included that we didn’t need. 

Finally, the formal contract was signed, and a target installation date was agreed. 

Design details: finalising the colour choice, glass type and frame size during the order processing period


On the morning of the rescheduled installation date, the team of 4 fitters arrived together with a large lorry carrying all the windows and doors. The first task was to unload, and it was immediately clear that these were substantial, heavy frames. Thankfully, the lorry had an onboard crane and was able to lift the heaviest frames over the hedge from the grounds next door. All the frames were well protected and undamaged – indeed, I saw no frame damage throughout the whole installation. 

We were very happy with the quality of the installation.

The damage to the render surrounds was minimal, although we hadn’t appreciated that the new external aluminium window sills wouldn’t extend wider than the window frames, unlike the old windows. This left holes either side of the window sills that would need to be filled at a later date. 

The windows fitted the holes tightly and the use of expanding foam was relatively limited compared to some installations I have seen. Great care was made to cut the tiles back in the bathrooms and kitchen (because the new frames are thicker than the old ones) and only 2 tiles were damaged. 

Several subsequent observers commented that the installers had done a great job, which reinforced our supplier decision. 


Norrsken is a registered FENSA installer which provides a guarantee of compliance with Building Regulations. An inspector visited our property and a certificate of compliance has been issued. 


While the project took considerably longer than expected this was primarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From first supplier discussions to completion took almost 1 year. 

The change has been transformational. 

The finished project: We had the entire house repainted and re-rendered, giving it a beautiful clean look and a new lease of life.

Gone are the tired windows and green stained walls. In their place we have a fresh, clean, modern looking house that we hope will be relatively maintenance free for many years. It wasn’t cheap, but came in close to my initial uneducated back of the envelope estimates. Overall, I think we got a very good deal, and could have paid considerably more. It was definitely worth taking the time to understand the market and options, and negotiating the best deal we could. 

I would have no hesitation recommending Norrsken.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 put the project on hold for approx. 3 months. While I understood the situation, I was uncomfortable about Norrsken holding my deposit and potentially losing it if the company experienced trading difficulties. Thankfully, Norrsken was happy to purchase an Insurance Backed Guarantee to cover the contract and allay my fears. 

Before and after: tired and decaying vs. beautiful, high-performance, low maintenance windows


As the old window boards didn’t match the new windows (and a large number had been cut out as part of the replacement process) we took the opportunity to fit new window boards throughout. I had expected to be able to buy off the shelf boards but after being unable to source ones to match the detail required, I turned to a friend who runs a small workshop for advice. He offered to source, cut and lacquer the boards – an offer we quickly and gratefully accepted. 

We lacquered the boards after using a wood stain purchased from Norrsken, the same stain that had been used on the window frames, and the final result is excellent. It does mean, though, that each room now needs to be redecorated to hide the resulting plastering around the window board holes/gaps. 

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