When style is substance
Flush casement windows have taken the industry by storm, but you could be losing out on sales if you don’t have a flush door to match, according to Aluplast’s director of sales and marketing, Ian Cocken.
The flush casement window market has been a decade and a half in the making. With its dual appeal to both heritage and contemporary properties, flush windows have increasingly been seen as a vital product in most window companies’ ranges.
Following the pandemic, more homeowners chose flush windows over their storm casement counterparts as they improved the look and feel of their properties after spending so much time in them during lockdown.
And as the cost-of-living crisis squeezed the budgets of the volume market, demand for flush windows – often foiled – has driven the market.
“The ability to supply a flush casement is becoming central to the conversations many fabricators are having with their trade customers,” says Aluplast’s director of sales and marketing, Ian Cocken.
“Demand may be slowing in some quarters, but the high value of those products in demand is more than making up for that shortfall.”
Despite this positive uplift, Cocken explains that not every company will benefit because they don’t have complementary products within their range.
“If window companies view the flush casement as a standalone hero product in their range, they are very much mistaken about how the demand for windows and doors is evolving in the UK,” Cocken says.
“Yes, flush windows are popular – our flush casement window suites with our Ideal 70 and Ideal 4000 systems, creating opportunities in heritage and contemporary markets – but many homeowners will be upgrading the whole property. Not just the windows.
“Since we launched our flush door about 18 months ago, we’ve seen demand increase from those companies that want to offer a suited finish across both windows and doors. Significantly, we are seeing demand from fabricators whose systems partners are limiting the supply of their flush door offering to only a select number of their fabricators.”
Like Aluplast’s flush casement, the new dedicated flush door suites perfectly with the systems company’s Ideal 70 and Ideal 4000 profiles. This opens-up opportunities in both the heritage and contemporary sectors by providing a uniform flush appearance across both windows and doors, while minimising stockholding for fabricators.
Aluplast’s flush door has a five-chamber design that can achieve U-values as low as 1.2W/m2K, and is manufactured using Ecotech, which uses recycled content in a profile’s design, enhancing performance.
“Our flush door not only fits the overall desired aesthetic, but it ticks all the right boxes for security and weathertightness, having successfully passed the rigorous PAS24:2016 and BS6375-2:2009 testing procedures,” Cocken says.
“Sourcing products that not only provide a suited flush appearance, but can also demonstrate high performance credentials is key to winning and maintaining business.
“Since the doors are a focal point for would-be intruders, it is vital that you can prove that your products meet the strictest security requirements in the industry, especially since there is increased demand from higher value properties.
“Having the credentials to prove the high performance of your products could be a key point of differentiation when you are in front of the customer.”
Aluplast’s flush casement window also meets PAS24:2016 requirements, and was tested using a dummy sash to demonstrate the security credentials of the systems company’s purpose-designed dummy sash retention clips.
The vast majority of Aluplast’s flush orders include colour, and with a range of 40 different finishes, including the next generation Woodec and Aludec foils, Aluplast has invested significantly in its foil offer. This has allowed it to maintain a strong supply of its most popular stock colours, with foiled product accounting for as much as 50% of total order volume.
“When people talk about the popularity of flush products, you’ve got to look beyond just the window,” Cocken concludes. “Those companies that can demonstrate a secure supply of complementary product, like flush doors, and a wide colour choice, are going to make the most of this opportunity.”