A day in the life of a Collington’s service engineer
We catch up with Mark to find out what a typical day working as a service engineer for Collington & Company entails.
How does your day start?
I arrive at work early, if possible, make a quick coffee and turn on my iPad and work phone to see what jobs are booked in. I'll then put any specially ordered parts on my already fully stocked van and head out for the day. This could be anything from one to eight separate calls. Some will be assessment only, some will require work to be done on the spot, some from previously assessed work.
Could you list the benefits of regular servicing when it comes to doors and windows?
I very much believe that prevention is better than cure. Regular servicing is so important to keep the mechanical parts moving. Generally, if something is broken it's because it's not been serviced or allowed to be used whilst out of alignment, causing the gears to struggle.
Is there an ultimate ‘lifetime’ for windows and doors, or could modern materials feasibly live forever provided they receive proper care, maintenance and servicing?
I'm always very honest with customers. If there's over 60% of renewal cost involved in repairing glass or hinge mechanisms on a window. I'd recommend replacing them, but it's very much down to the customer’s own choice. I regularly measure a window so it gives the customer a comparison of service versus replacement. If they choose replacement then they benefit from our 10-year warranty. In the past, I have worked, and continue to work, on good quality frames that are 30-40 plus years old.
What are the most common issues you come across with clients’ doors?
I would say that it’s a lack of past service to the lock and hinges that cause the most problems. If they have never been adjusted, this ultimately means you have to put more pressure on the door handle to open and lock it. Replacement furniture is always an ongoing issue.
Does location affect the longevity of doors and windows?
Issues can worsen if you live in Cornwall due to our proximity to the coast. Salt is our biggest enemy; however, regular cleaning and servicing will avoid most issues.
Which materials stand the best chance of weathering the worst of the weather here in Cornwall and why?
Obviously pure stainless steel is best but it’s very rarely used within the window industry. I've seen hard-wearing plastic parts used with this in mind, but whatever the material, regular servicing is extremely important.
With so many Listed properties in Cornwall, are there special considerations needed when fitting new doors and windows?
Generally, if it’s a listed building we would have to work within the Council's guidelines for replacement windows. These tend to be vertical, sliding sash windows that require very little service, just general cleaning and lubrication of the springs on which these windows run.
Based on all of this, is there anything you would recommend people do/keep an eye out for when it comes to ensuring their doors and windows remain in good condition?
Regular servicing either by ourselves or the client on a yearly interval is recommended. It's a big investment so why not look after them? I can generally service a house within an hour or two so costs are kept to a minimum.
What happens at the end of your day?
I return to head office in Helston and hand over to Steve and Hollis for invoicing and ordering of any parts required for jobs I have assessed throughout the day.
Experienced, employed engineers from Collingtons can visit to assess the condition of windows and doors. They will then offer a free, no-obligation quote. Service engineers carry out all work at a time convenient to the customer.