What does a window fitter do?
Window fitters install new or replacement windows and doors, conservatories and glazed curtain walls in all types of property from commercial premises to private households. They work with both traditional wooden- or metal-framed products and UPVC units. The windows and doors may be single or double glazed units or may be in the form of secondary glazing fitted inside existing windows. The work is usually carried out by a team, often consisting of two people - a fitter and a ‘mate’.
A typical window fitting job involves removing old windows and doors with hand and power tools, and measuring up the space(s) to be fitted. Although fittings can be made-to-measure, commonly, standard-sized glazing units are used, so it may be necessary to slightly enlarge or reduce the space around the fitment. Fitters fix the windows and doors in place, ensuring they are level and secure. They then make the fitting weathertight by using sealants. All leftover materials are disposed of and any damage to indoor plasterwork is made good. The work may also involve fitting weatherboarding.
Some fitters with extensive experience of complex work may be able to work on the repair and replacement of windows and glazing on historical buildings or monuments. Fitters may also work in the manufacture of glazing units.
What's the working environment like working as a window fitter?
Window fitters normally work a 39-hour week, Monday to Friday, although overtime may be available to meet deadlines. They work on the inside and outside of buildings. To reach upper storeys, fitters work off ladders or scaffold, and work in all weather conditions. The work can be strenuous with some heavy lifting. Travel to and from sites will be necessary, so a driving licence may be needed.
What does it take to become a window fitter?
To be a window fitter you should:
- Pay care and attention to safe working practices, especially when handling glass
- Have a pleasant and polite manner with customers
- Have good manual skills
- Be able to make measurements and calculate adjustments to fit frames
- Be able to work alone and as part of a small team
- Be physically fit
- Be comfortable working at heights
- Have ability to plan and organise work in order to meet completion deadlines.
Window fitter career opportunities
Window fitters work throughout the country. There are opportunities with large national firms and smaller companies employing a limited number of teams. It is possible to become self-employed; window fitting franchises may also be an option.
Experienced window fitters may be able to become window surveyors and/or estimators, visiting customers’ premises, measuring up and offering quotations for new windows.
There are also opportunities within sales and marketing for this field.