In a material world

Chris Baron of Prefix Systems discusses the range of materials that now feature on conservatory, Warmroof and full kit extension installations, who believes we’re no longer confined to white PVCU.

As a business we’ve changed considerably over the last 21 years as market dynamics have influenced us and our valued customers, along with our thirst for product evolution and innovation. As Tom Peters once put it: “The only constant thing today is change.”

This has certainly been prevalent in the glazing industry over the last few years, as we seek out new and interesting methods of construction and use the adoption of a wider variety of materials for our customers to engage homeowners with.

Prefix is a highly adaptive and flexible business with four regional branches, which means we have dedicated manufacturing units for certain materials and processes.

Colour really has captured the imagination of the industry, particularly for window foils with around a third of the market now represented in non-whites, not far behind the share of that in central Europe.

For conservatory roofing we have to look at product components in more detail, given that we are not just looking at a number of PVCU extrusions, but also vac formed and injection moulded components. To move forward in colour we have invested in a dedicated colouring facility that provides complete control in terms of quality and lead times. It’s now easy for us to produce a conservatory in a heritage colour or indeed one in a more urban finish with relative ease and product consistency.

But beyond PVCU we have experienced a huge surge in demand over the last few years for aluminium, which has resulted in the significant growth of our dedicated manufacturing facility in Swansea. Customers are beginning to take advantage of full kit extensions which often involve bifolding or French doors, full height glazing, and either a conservatory or Warmroof.

We offer a single source for order processing, delivery, along with the added benefit of technical support for the entire construction of a full kit extension. This also includes the latest Urbanroom development, which is our contemporary twist on the conservatory, offering a deep section gutter shroud in aluminium, along with aluminium vertical glazed elements and an aluminium Ultrasky roof. The same Ultrasky roof is also part of our lantern roof offering in aluminium.

While we can offer a full suite of cappings to our classic conservatory roof system, we can also offer a fully manufactured Quantal roof for both domestic and commercial applications. With very few true proven aluminium roof systems, this is an additional product offering to our customers, who can experience the full Prefix range online and through our printed 56-page product directory.

Timber is now very much part of the product portfolio for Prefix through our Opus brand, which is a complete composite window, door and roof system. Opus benefits from the performance, longevity and looks of aluminium to the exterior with the luxury of hardwood to the inside. Bifolding doors and roof lanterns look particularly stunning and we can use the Opus timber for the undercladding in our hybrid Warmroof, which integrates large triple glazed units within the roof structure.

There are few companies that can offer such a breadth of products in different materials with expertise. We also have the marketing support materials for all products that we have developed in-house so there’s no need to rely on third party generic brochures, just the beautiful branding and content to help our customers sell more.