Security/ Supply and Fit – Feature Case Study

Published: 6th April 2008

CASE STUDY: Clackmannan Council, Scotland

Permadoor Case StudyPermadoor was appointed by Clackmannans hire Council to supply and fit new low maintenance GRP doors to more than 350 authority-owned properties as part of a rolling refurbishment scheme. The programme, which involved the replacement of almost 500 timber doors, was delivered as part of a drive to improve the security and the weather proofing of housing stock.
Sandy Dawson, acting design manager, Clackmannan Council, explained: “Following consultation with our tenant federation it became clear that crime or more accurately ‘fear of crime’ was of concern to a majority of households.  The installation of new doors was as a consequence cited as a major priority, in particular because many of our properties still featured original and comparatively dated timber and a small number of steel products.”

Prior to replacement Clackmannanshire Council had carried out a rigorous timber door maintenance programme, sanding down and repainting them every two years. By contrast as a low maintenance product GRP doors from Permadoor won’t rot, warp or twist, eliminating many of the ‘headaches’ associated with timber products. “While security remained a priority for tenants, we recognised that the installation of GRP doors would deliver a number of maintenance benefits”, said Sandy. “Many on the doors replaced as part of the security door replacement programme were original and in some cases were first installed more than half a century ago. However, while they remained serviceable they did so because of our rolling maintenance programme, involving repainting every two years in addition to ad hoc repair, something that amounted to significant cost to the council.

“We expect the installation of GRP doors as a consequence to deliver considerable savings in the longer term.” More thermally efficient than timber, the new doors have also made properties warmer, insulating Clackmannan’s tenants from the force of Scottish winter. “There are essentially three main benefits: properties are more secure; tenants are warmer and more comfortable and we expect to make savings on maintenance costs”, said Sandy. Rather than adopting a partnering approach or buying its new doors through a consortium, Clackmannan Council appointed Permadoor on a contract basis. Sandy explained: “Partnering has been a ‘buzz’ word for some time, we haven’t pursued it because we have been able to extract what we believe to be good value by awarding projects on a contract basis. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t put a premium on the relationship that we have with our suppliers. In my experience the way a product is supplied and fitted is equally as critical as the quality of the product itself. The wrong supplier, delays on delivery or installation teams who don’t deliver a good fit or who upset tenants have the capacity to undermine entire projects.”

With extensive experience within the social housing sector and an established network of fitting teams nationwide Permadoor is committed to not only product but also service excellence. As part of this commitment the door company guarantees its products but also its installations in full for 10 years. Permadoor contracts manager Richard Wilson explained: “Our priority is to make sure that the phone doesn’t ring. It’s all too easy to damage the reputation of a housing authority by not fitting something when you say you will, not delivering a good fit or simply cleaning up a property properly. We’re committed to delivering service excellence, to making sure that tenants are happy so that we don’t create problems for our customers.”

Sandy concluded: “From our perspective we have achieved what we set out to achieve and that was to make homes more secure and more comfortable for our tenants. “We haven’t had complaints from tenants and on more than 350 properties that’s an achievement.”

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