New look at timber

Founder director of The Joinery Network Owen Dare talks about why marketing is at the centre of the support package for installation companies looking to add timber windows and doors.

Homeowners love timber windows and doors, but over the years they have fallen out of favour with many installation companies. That’s because they became a niche product with a limited supply chain, expensive products and designs.

Often supply was designed and made in Europe with chunky frames not suited to UK homes.

PVCU and aluminium windows and doors kept ahead of the accreditations needed for Building Regulations; it wasn’t so easy for timber as manufacture was by individual joinery companies, often for individual projects. There was little opportunity to systemise, so no standard products to test.

The further timber moved away from a standardised system, it became complicated for installers to offer it to customers. At the opposite end, the timber systems that were developed required high levels of investment to set up, and high-volume levels to make it financially worthwhile. The high prices meant other products filled the gap.

But the UK’s love of timber hasn’t gone away. The Wood Window Alliance said 52% of householders believe timber windows provide the most character in a home. There’s also an increasing awareness about the environment, and timber ticks all the boxes for the eco-conscious customer.

With this in mind, The Joinery Network saw an opportunity to promote the manufacture of high-quality windows and doors with designs suited to UK housing stock.

Our group of founder members includes everything from my background in manufacture, to hardware, tooling and marketing. We also have R&D tax credits, design software and finance services. Collectively we have invested £150,000 in developing a superior window and door system to supply joinery manufacturers with a low cost set up and a mass of marketing support to get installations companies started quickly.

Enter Lignum, the UK’s first independent timber window and door system with Secured by Design accreditation, as well as PAS 24:2016, Document Q, BS5375-1, Document LB1 and Document M.

Quality is pertinent to Lignum and we’ve partnered with some of the leading companies in the industry – such as Leitz Tooling for the most efficient way to manufacture Lignum, and Teknos whose specialist wood paint and coatings are designed to look great for many years.

Lignum can offer offers sensible turnaround times as the range is manufactured in the UK by a network of licenced manufacturers.

Colour is a really important factor for homeowners when selecting new windows and doors, which we’ve seen in the rise in popularity of coloured frames throughout the industry. With a life expectancy of 50-60 years, Lignum windows can be marketed as an investment for homeowners. As trends change, timber is easily repainted with the latest colours, should homeowners want to change the look of their homes.

Homeowners are hungry for inspiration, that’s why we’ve invested in stunning lifestyle images when we created a suite of marketing support. This includes a retail brochure, data sheets, videos, and a homeowner-friendly website.

The retail brochure displays all the products in the Lignum range: flush sash windows, sliding sash windows, entrance doors, external doors, French doors, bifold doors and sliding doors, complete with stunning close ups to show the design off to homeowners. It includes some technical information, as we know how many customers like the extra details.

For installers working with architects and specifiers, there are also detailed data sheets for each product in the range, showing the technical specifications, drawings and testing information.

All marketing literature can be branded up for members with their logos and contact details, and we also have a ‘find your local manufacturer’ on our website for homeowners to use.

Lignum is the only UK timber and door system that’s available to installers at a low entry cost, backed up with technical and marketing support to allow them to reach more homeowners than ever before.