Fabricators’ perspectives

Rehau shares some of the UK’s leading fabricators’ views on the Rio flush fit window.

With PVCU soaring in popularity, for many fabricators the choice to manufacture Rio was an obvious one. As the customer demand grew, it was only natural for fabricators such as Astraseal and GRM Windows to get it up and running in their facilities as quickly as possible.

Colin Stanley, director at Astraseal, said: “The market dictated that we needed to offer a flush casement window, so as soon as Rio flush fit was launched, we were quick to add this to our portfolio.”

Since the 1980s, PVCU windows have come a long way from only being available in white or a small range of foils. Manufacturers, such as Rehau, have continued to innovate and developed an alternative window range that looks just as good as timber, but has the added practicality and sustainability that PVCU technology has to offer.

The Rio flush fit range, however, has gone one better: a versatile design that can suit any style of building, including period properties, and demonstrate energy and cost efficiency. The window profile contains a unique compound that guarantees a smooth, high gloss finish, meaning that these new timber alternatives retain their immaculate appearance for years to come.

Climatec Windows has been manufacturing Rehau products since 1993.

“When we were approached about Rio we couldn’t wait to add it to our offering,” John Banks, Climatec’s product manager, said. “There was absolutely no doubt that it would complement and complete our already existing collection of windows.”

The new Rio flush fit has been designed to be simple to manufacture and fit, as it uses Rehau’s existing Total70 system profiles. By using the same outer frames, it has meant that production requires minimal extra hardware and stockholding investment. Fabricators have responded positively.

“By using the same eurogroove position as the Total70 sashes, this means there is no need for us to purchase new hardware, allowing us to use the full range of locks and handles our customers are used to,” John said.

Rehau has replicated the details of a traditional timber flush fit window, achieved thanks the three jointing solutions that provide aesthetics to any style of property: fully welded joint, full mechanical joint, and the mechanical weld joint.

Lee Delapperall from Iceni Windows said: “It’s been an easy process for us. We were already making mechanically jointed products, so we have experience in this field.”

Alternatively, Tim Rich from GRM Windows said: “We have now started fabrication of the standard weld joint and, as sales continue to increase, we look forward to investing in the machinery to launch our mechanically welded joint options too.”

Rehau products are also installer-friendly.

Lee from Iceni Windows said: “Our installers really like the product. They already understand how to use the outer frames, so it’s been an easy transition between standard casement and flush. Not having to glass bond makes it really easy to handle on site as well.”

Rio flush fit window installations are time and cost efficient, and it also operates on a fit and forget concept, whereby all parties can rest assured that their window is durable, and requires very little maintenance.

Norfolk couple Mr and Mrs Farrell were the first to have Rio flush fit installed in their home. Originally looking to replace their old externally beaded PVCU windows with a like-for-like replacement, Tim Whipps Windows – a Climatec customer – won them over with the modern and premium Rio flush fit windows.

Tim Rich from GRM Windows said: “We’ve had a fantastic response; our trade customers seem delighted that they can now source a high-quality, yet competitively priced alternative flush fit product that adds value to their portfolio in so many ways.

“Orders for Rio flush fit have been on the increase, so much so we are already forecasting incremental business growth from introducing this style of window.”

Colin from Astraseal said: “We have been very grateful for the help Rehau has given us, in particular, the support for the machinery required. We’ve received product training, and product set-up help.”

As soon as Climatec was given a date for the Rio flush fit launch, it was ready with its own marketing campaign for their customers.

“We were grateful to be informed on this product early in their planning process,” John said. “We were shown a prototype and encouraged to express our opinions and recommendations for improvements, which were welcomed and actioned. We also received the required training from Rehau technicians so we could start the manufacturing of Rio flush fit immediately.”