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unobtrusively double-glazed Casement & Sash Windows

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I have seen further than others . . . it is because I have stood upon the shoulders of giants.

It is perhaps not until one gets a little longer in the tooth that we might begin to appreciate the genius inherited from our forefathers. Hands-on work experience born of a pedigree apprentiship under the exacting rule of an 'old school' joiner taught me over and again the first principle of the master craftsman: "Listen, son," he said, waving a platonic finger at my nose, "the most important tool in the carpenter's tool box . . . is a dustpan and brush."

Naturally, I took on board his paternal sermons - having spent all my childhood Sundays keeping dad company during what seemed to be a lifetime of DIY home improvement projects in which my principle tasks were to make tea and sweep up every crumb that trailed behind dad's trendy transformations.

Since those halcyon days of a sweet-toothed tea-boy, I attempted to teach a couple of generations of wanabe 'window fittahs' what's what in the hard graft world of carpentry craftsmanship. More of that story in a later chapter but, suffice it to say, I started my apprenticeship aged fifteen-years under the aegis of a Master Joiner and, following the foot-steps of the best traditions, I have spent my working life specializing in windows, windows and nothing but windows.

You might imagine, then, at around fourty-odd, I could often be heard practicing my French within earshot of my apprentices "I shouldn't have to ******* do this!" Working with me for more years than I cared to count, my threats of abandoning them to their own devices finally came to fruition. So I walked away from my tools and just let my "boys" get on with it.

Now, with a couple of hundred window jobs under their belt, I can honestly say that my main man, Robert - having worked under my wing and sometimes boot for sixteen-years - is more accomplished than me. I consider his younger brother Simon to be the best finisher in the business. Adam, my most recent addition over the last five years has proved a reliable multi-skilled craftsman who handles all my plastering, brickwork and more complicated building jobs. Ian - my on site 'Mess Management' technician - is worth his weight in gold, although, nowadays a dustpan and brush is suplemented by our company vacuum cleaner. And finaly, Timothy, who can be a cantankerous old so-and-so, but I have put up with him for twenty-five years because his pre-job preparation - hand sanding every arris (sharp edge) of every timber profile, then knotting, priming and undercoating prior to installation - is second to none.

Yes, that's quite a formidable team of craftsmen. However, bearing in mind that any unskilled labourer can rip out and chuck in a window, it's the fine adjustments and careful finishing that counts. And that uncom-promising quality demands hours, days and sometimes weeks of inten-sive hands-on finishing unrivalled by the time-is-money incentive of the typical "alright mate" sub-contractor.

No, it's not "alright mate" if it takes considerably longer to produce a superior finish. My customers pay serious money for their once-in-a-lifetime window work and, quite rightly, expect good value for their hard-earned money and a job they can look upon with pride and pleasure for years. With that satis-faction in mind, you are invited to compare the beauty and superior quality of my double-glazed TImber Casements, Sash Windows and French Doors.

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