When white is not right
Homeowner demand for coloured and foiled frames continues to grow, but it is especially pertinent for one group, explains Sandra Berg, marketing manager of Yorkshire-based fabricator Quickslide.
Google has made all but the most technophobic among us experts, and in absolutely everything too. The expression about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing has also never been more appropriate; stories abound of hilarious but also sometimes tragic consequences of misinterpretation or application of knowledge gleaned from Google, especially with medical self-diagnosis for example.
For homeowners, however, the internet and whatever search engine they might choose, has been an absolute boon, allowing even the most avid homebuilder to spend inexhaustible hours researching every nook and cranny of their homes and how they can fine-tune every detail.
One group of homeowners, who are especially known for their attention to detail and pursuit of authenticity, are owners of heritage-style homes.
As manufacturers with a reputation especially for heritage-style windows, we are particularly aware of just how keen the owners of such homes are. Obviously, the owners of listed buildings are compelled by regulation to adhere to the specific details relating to the history of their property. But most of the customers of our replacement repro box sash and flush sash frames are interested in simply getting the details of their new windows right, or perhaps they fear getting the styling wrong.
Which is why Quickslide spends an extraordinary amount of time and money researching the details of such window styles, together with investment to ensure we can produce them accurately and in reasonable volumes and to consistent high quality.
Heritage window buyers are very keen to ensure they have mechanical style joints, and lambs’ tails for example. Hardware is especially important: our customers are very keen to ensure that the details are right; they have notions either of the historical style their property or perhaps how they want them to appear, and they want the details right.
The detail most frequently and passionately researched and demanded, however, is for colour. Where the earliest replacement vertical sliding sash frames were clearly identifiable for being simply ‘too white’, these days homeowners know that by specifying subtly coloured frames, whatever the rest of the detailing might involve, ensures that replacements will blend in with the host property.
Although homeowners want their new improvements to stand out, they don’t want it to be like the proverbial sore thumb. Many take the route of painting frames, with colours often chosen with considerable detail, even using RAL charts or elements of a home that they specifically want to match, such as render for example.
At Quickslide, our paint lines are increasingly busy with such requests, something we are quite happy with as our operators are trained and, actually, quite passionate about getting the finish right. Technology within the paint shops also allows us to offer excellent, high quality finishes and also to change colours with minimal downtime. These are key to our commitment to manufacturing the most authentic heritage-style frames, which is still at the heart of what we do.
This substantial niche sector provides terrific opportunities for installers. Heritage-style windows are, by definition, better specced, and homeowners usually understand that they will be more expensive than standard white windows, which means far better margins for the installer.
Installers talking to homeowners looking for such windows can do so knowing that Quickslide specialises in making windows for this sector, that we can produce exactly what their customers want, every detail and especially colour.
We all benefit from the homeowner’s commitment to get the details right and thus, we hope, to avoid further faux pas of inappropriately specified and installed leaded lights and Georgian bars lining the streets of Britain. And also, of a manufacturer committed to ensuring their customers get precisely what they want.