Select Windows’ managing director Louise Day discusses how partnering with HWL Trade Frames has allowed the company to take full advantage of demand for heritage and flush products.
The market for heritage and flush windows has increased significantly, especially so in the last 12-18 months.
We’ve seen a big upturn, one that’s coincided with lockdown and the boom in demand from the retail sector. Many homeowners have been fortunate enough to emerge from lockdown with a surplus of cash, and when it comes to replacing windows and doors, they’re prepared to explore their options: they want something that’s special, that’s different to a standard white product.
We have over 20 years’ experience supplying to retail and commercial customers and have partnered with HWL Windows for the last five years.
Our focus is on premium residential projects and higher end commercial developments, and we use the full suite of Residence products. R2 is very popular with developers on new, more contemporary properties, and that’s typically specified with a grey or black foil to replicate an aluminium finish.
We find that the 75mm R7 system works well on slightly older housing stock, usually from the 1980s or 1990s where the owners are looking to replace old white PVC. And for more traditional or listed property, then R9 is fantastic solution.
Prior to our partnership with HWL, installations required multiple fitters to install R7,R9 and R2, purely because of the weight of the glass-bonded system, On smaller windows it was manageable but once you got to a certain size, it was impossible for a single fitter to handle due to the weight.
HWL’s non-glass bonded R9 was the primary reason for us to switch supply. It has allowed us to carry out R9 installations without us having to use additional fitters per job. It’s much less hassle, but it’s also a lot more cost effective.
HWL’s development of the R9 flush was built around the patented Timberweld system. This delivers a 90º mechanical joint on both the interior and exterior of the frame, but is also welded so that it provides enough strength to manufacture R9 without having to glass bond.
In doing so, it reduces the average handling weight of an R9 window by as much as 100kg. This makes it much easier for installers to fit but it also presents longer term benefits. Should the glass unit fail or if it is damaged for any reason, then it can be removed and replaced as easily as any other regular IGU.
We were also looking for a better quality of service when we moved to HWL. That is something we see in the quality of their products; we know that they will always be delivered to a very high standard. That’s especially important when you are operating at this end of the market, where the end user is paying a premium.
But we also know that Graham Howatson and the team at HWL will always go out of their way for us. That could be arranging an extra delivery at short notice or helping us out with a special order foil for the interior of an Residence Collection window. They understand our requirements and that makes a big difference.
We can also take advantage of HWL’s new cloud-based portal. This includes the ability to quote and order products remotely, at any time, as well as check on the status of orders and deliveries from a smart-enabled device.
We also have access to a suite of business management and marketing tools to assist with day-to-day operations.
We have never been as busy as we are currently, and the vast majority of enquiries are for premium products – for heritage and for flush. Thanks to HWL we are in a fantastic position to really make the most of that demand.