CE Marking – how will this affect you as a buyer of hardwood windows and doors?

From July 1st the windows and doors manufacturing industry will be legally obliged to put a CE mark of approval on all products that are made and sold after this date.

At first glance you may feel that this is an unnecessary burden on manufacturers which can only add to the cost of the production which will result in the customer paying for that in the end.

In many cases you may be right but it may not be all doom and gloom. Let us try and explain what the processes are and what benefits they may bring to you as a customer.

What is a CE label and why should it appear on handmade windows and doors?

The CE marking or formerly EC mark, is a mandatory conformity marking for products sold in the European Economic Area (EEA) since 1993. The CE marking is a manufacturer’s declaration that the product he sells meets the requirements of the applicable EC directives.

All in all it means that the manufacturer has to verify that the product complies with all relevant essential requirements such as safety, health and environmental protection requirements of the applicable directive.

It is also obligatory for all such products made in third countries (non-member states of the European Community) sold in the EEA. In this case, the importer has to make sure that the manufacturer outside the EU has taken the necessary steps that allow him to affix the CE marking.

What does a windows and doors manufacturer have to comply with to get a CE mark?

CE Marking on windows and doors covers a raft of performance characteristics via BS EN 14351  which can be distilled down to the three fundamentals that are required for regulatory compliance in the UK; the U value, the load bearing capacity of safety devices and confirmation that no dangerous substances are released under normal use.

To qualify for a CE Mark products must achieve the prescribed levels of performance as outlined but also be manufactured in line with a factory production control system (FPC). This clearly creates issues for those fabricators and installers who buy-in frames and glass separately.

However, requirements are not designed to be a difficult process – we as joinery manufacturers have to declare a few characteristics to show the products performance; most manufacturers do this already and this is just asking for some mandatory requirements to be declared.

So what are the benefits to you as a potential purchaser of timber doors and windows?

In short, you as a customer can satisfy yourself on a number of levels that your products are manufactured and fitted to recognised (and normally high) standards of quality. The wood will be from a sustainable source and the processes of manufacture will have been agreed with a factory production control procedure to measure it.

As an industry however the onus will be a burden and particularly on the smaller joiner and the smaller installer. Those that do not comply run the risk of legal action and punishment by fines or worse in more serious cases.

However, for those that do comply it means that there is a recognised level of quality about the product they sell which will be of particular reassurance to those purchasers that may be about to spend a small fortune on products that they previously had no idea of how they came to be.

Obviously there are cowboys In every industry and sadly there will still be some in this one. But this system of marking will begin to wheedle them out. So if you are faced with an installer who is just about to fit windows or doors that have no marking ask him to provide you with is declaration of conformity. He must provide it. It will be in your interests to do so as although we don’t know now, it may become important when the time comes to sell your house.


Hardwood timber doors, floors, staircases and mouldings create rich natural colors with handcrafted quality.

And thats why I wanted to tell you more about why should consider changing to hardwood wherever you can in your home. I know it can be costly but over time it will prove a far wiser choice than other cheaper alternatives.

hardwood is beautiful

Some quick reasons why you should choose hardwood:

  • Natural, warm, authentic color.
  • Simple, yet decorative for any room in the house.
  • Rugged, yet charming.
  • Durable and easy to care for.
  • Beauty that’s hard to tire of.
  • Lasts the lifetime of the home. No need to renew doors or other fittings.
  • Adds real value to a home. It can be a great investment.

Simply put hardwood introduces stature, quality and charm to any room and becomes more valuable as time goes by. Hardwood will enhance any environment in which it appears.

Hardwood transcends time and over the long run it’s probably the least expensive option. If you come to sell your home in a few years time a prospective purchaser will be guaranteed to be impressed with the quality and creaftsmanship of your fittings. He will also understand that no further investment on his part will be neccessary. And, thus, your asking price will very likely be met.

So to keep your investment in tip top condition you will be pleased to know that it is very simple to keep that sheen that so impresses one and all.

Generally, you have three options:

  1. You can use a refresher to enhance the shine
  2. You can lightly screen and re-coat with urethane polishes and varnishes to bring back the original luster
  3. You can completely sand and refinish the surface to make the wood look brand new.

Also, a urethane-protected hardwood surface provides so much durability you may never need to choose any of the above options.

And you are spoilt for choice too. If you have a favourite wood just tell us and we will tell you if we can produce what you are looking for from it.

There are many varieties of colours and species of hardwoods. From the lighter colours of natural oak to the rich reds of Cherry hardwoods will bring naturally diverse colours into any room. Other colours and species include Oak, White Ash, Mahogany, Walnut, Beech, Chestnut, Idigbo, Yew, Lime, Olive and so many more.

Generally, the harder the wood the more durable. However, grain and color must be considered because light colors with less grain may actually  show more wear than “softer” woods. The hardest woods include Idigbo, Maple and White Oak, while American Cherry and Walnut are softer hardwoods.

So there you have it a basic introduction as to why we think an investment in solid timber hardwoods will pay dividends for you. Good luck.

Croxfords Joiners and CarpentersPlease welcome me to the world of blogging. I am new at this but having said that I am certainly not new to the world of carpentry. And it is joinery and carpentry that I will be talking to you about.

My father who was a skilled craftsman taught me all I know and he also started the firm that I am now proud of running. We have existed as an organisation for 44 years having been established in 1968.

I will tell you more about the history of Croxfords over the coming weeks and months and you will hear a tale that will be typical of a small hard working family business that is true to the roots of traditional wood working. We are a Yorkshire family and I have been settled in and around  Holmfirth near Huddersfield all my life.

I will also be introducing you to members of our staff and  be giving you a tour of our modern workshop. I will show you some of the impressive machinery we use to prepare the highest quality handmade hardwood doors and windows which are our speciality. I will show you projects that we are working on so you can see, for example, how a traditional wood staircase is put together. Have you ever wondered how to put together a Georgian sash window?

I  will show you some of the tricks of the trade a specialist joinery manufacturer uses to achieve such exacting results.

Finally I will show you some of the work we have done over the years and tell you some of the landmark buildings we have worked on. You will be surprised at the number of well known establishments that have our seen our craftsmanship.

In all I hope to bring you an interesting insight into our world of specialist joinery.

Please follow me and click the like button. That way I will know if any one is listening to me.

Or will it be like home !!!



Sasy window restoration projectThe window above (photo on the left)  has had the sash box fully refurbished and new double glazed draft proofed sashes installed. It meets current 2011 building regulations, is registered with FENSA, was approved by the local conservation officer and comes with a 5 year insurance backed warranty.

To achieve this result has not been easy. Georgian bar Sash windows are notoriously difficult to double glaze sympathetically. Most conservation officers are well aware of this and often insist that windows remain single glazed. The main problem is the width of the glazing bar, this can be as narrow as 16mm but more typically it is in the 19-28mm range. It’s all the Georgians needed – as there was no spacer bar to conceal, then a circa 6mm glazing rebate would suffice.

Achieving the look of single glazing with double glazed sashes requires care. It is essential to match all the dimensions of the original sash exactly, including the glazing bar and as can be seen on the final picture, where our double glazed Georgian sashes are adjacent to a property with the original single glazed windows, it is exceptionally hard to tell which one has been double glazed.

So how do we achieve this result? Well if you’d like to find out our secrets learn how you can double glaze your Georgian sliding box sashes without compromising your period look, then give us a call and we can come out and do a free survey on your property.

Croxfords – Specialist  Joinery Manufacturers