A not ‘so average’ flush casement

Following the success of its non-glass bonded Timberweld R9 offering, HWL Trade Frames has now broadened its offer, with the introduction of the 75mm R7 stablemate in a non-glass bonded 90-degree butt welded format. Mark Haley, managing director of HWL Trade Frames, discusses.

Consumer demand for premium flush casements has been one of the success stories of the industry, and the popularity of high-end products such as these shows no sign of slowing down.

However, with the influx of flush systems, the importance of product differentiation becomes ever more paramount – not just to stand out from the crowd, but to ensure margins are not eroded in any potential race to the bottom.

Aesthetics and quality are the main drivers of the second time replacement market. Homeowners with the means to replace their old white PVC windows don’t want to simply exchange them for identical white PVC casements. They are looking for colour, foils and, increasingly, a finish that accurately replicates timber jointing.

Our non-glass bonded Timberweld R9 offering is arguably as good as it gets, combining two of the industry’s most influential innovations of recent times and refining them into a package that is both highly attractive to consumers and easy to fit for installers.

By applying all the same techniques to R7, a stablemate to R9 that shares the same flush design on both the interior and exterior but in a slimmer 75mm system, we have broadened our product offering to cater for homeowners who want the heritage look, but at a more accessible price point.

Our non-glass bonded Timberweld R9 window offering took a considerable amount of time and effort, including a lot of work to enable it to be recognised as an official manufacturing method with the Residence Collection, and also significant investment in machinery.

However, the results have been outstanding, with more than 7,000 R9 Timberweld frames supplied, complete with a 10-year guarantee, throughout the UK. In fact, we don’t have a single pre-existing customer who has continued to buy glass bonded options where they haven’t needed to – and why would they, when they can save the money that would otherwise be needed to hire additional staff to fit the heavier, glass bonded versions.

With the introduction of non-glass bonded Timberweld R7, we are anticipating an even more positive response, as it gifts installers with a product that can directly compete with alternative 75mm flush systems, but one that is head and shoulders above the competition in terms of performance, quality and – perhaps most importantly – visual appeal.

While a more affordable alternative to its bigger brother, HWL’s 75mm R7 offering is by no means lacking in its technical capability, with seven chambers for outstanding energy efficiency, options for 28mm double-glazed or 44mm triple glazed, an ‘A++’ Window Energy Rating, and ‘U’ values as low as 0.8W/m2K.

Meeting PAS24 and Part Q Building Regulations approval, and BS EN 6375 severe weather tests, it is available in a choice of 13 standard colours, any RAL colour on special order, and seven different substrate colours, an often overlooked but key selling point for coloured or grained windows.

Our Timberweld sash-welding technologies give us the almost unique capability to butt weld window sashes inside and out, replicating that all-important 90-degree mechanical joint aesthetic that homeowners love, while simultaneously increasing the sash corner strength which, in most configurations, eliminates the need to glass bond the IGUs.

Freeing up installers to buy glass from their usual supplier, and to be able to fit the window as they would any other window – without the glass in – is an enormous positive, because it means a two-man job is now a one-man job and the savings on employing extra fitters can go directly onto their bottom line. By replicating all this with the broader appeal of the R7 system, it becomes an extremely attractive proposition indeed.

Similarly, it is not just installers that can benefit from our Timberweld non-glass bonded R7 window. We have found that there is a lot of demand from other fabricators, for instance those who perhaps aren’t in a position to warrant the investment to manufacture R9 or R7 unglazed, or ones who are at capacity and have an over-spill requirement, and even those who don’t have a premium flush sash offering and want to add it to their portfolio.

If that is the case, then we are in a position where we can help other manufactures tap into this growing sector with both our non-glass bonded Timberweld R9 and R7 windows, at a good margin, and without the hassle or cost of machinery investment, and without disrupting core production.