Windows saga leaves residents in the cold

Ian and wife Sylvia Gillies of Upper Burnmouth near Eyemouth.
Ian and wife Sylvia Gillies of Upper Burnmouth near Eyemouth.
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Berwickshire Housing Association has come under fire from disgruntled Burnmouth residents who claim their newly fitted windows are not up to scratch.

Tennants have been left unable to open or close their new windows for almost an entire month while others have resorted to taping around them to keep out the draught.

Resident Ian Gillies, 54, who lives with his wife Sylvia in a two-bedroom upstairs maisonette on Upper Burnmouth, claims that a three-year-old could have done a better job of the window works. He says the windows were fitted swiftly in one day by Hawick-based construction company James Swinton and Co almost four weeks ago, but have caused nothing but problems since.

He explained: “They broke the plaster off when they were installing them, then the painters made a right mess afterwards. Only two of our windows have working vents on them, when you pull the final catch in you have to lift the wuindow to get it close and we can see the expanding foam from the inside. The cold air is blowing in all the time so we have the hearing turned up and it’s costing us a fortune.”

Mr Gillies, a BHA tenant for 12 years, also claims his neighbours have similar, if not worse, problems with their new windows resorting to taping around them to keep out the draught.

“Everybody is complaining about it,” he added. “We let them store the windows in our spare room ahead of them being fitted as it was postponed due to heavy rain. We haven’t been able to unpack our spare room since, because they will probably need back in to fix them. They did come back and did a bit of rendering work, but they never came and looked at the inside.”

However, BHA’s operations director Jean Gray claims those affected have been contacted directly. She explained: “Unfortunately, due to the size of certain windows within the Burnmouth properties, the factory fitted draught strips were not as effective as they should have been. We identified this early on in the contract and stopped the contractor from installing any further windows to properties until the manufacturer had come up with a solution.”

She says the contractor and manufacturer reached a solution following a site visit last month, with BHA approving this solution and giving the go ahead for works to start again from December 5.

She added: “The manufacturer will arrange to visit the properties with the underperforming draught strips to replace them and adjust the windows to compensate for this.”