A new market sector, created by the popularity for bespoke designer homes, is driving up demand for high-end aluminium windows and doors, Deceuninck Aluminium’s director has identified.
“There is now a significant amount of work coming from this sector,” said Nigel Headford. “These projects can’t be classed as new build because they are usually single, or very limited, developments, and their value comes in way higher than what we would expect in typical higher refurbs in the retail sector.
“These projects have always existed, but their prevalence today warrants their own special focus.
“Many of our customers are supplying to this market, either as manufacturers, installers or both. And they are treating it as separate to other commercial or residential work, including sourcing the right products – which is paying dividends.”
According to Nigel, Deceuninck Aluminium is working closely with one customer who regularly manages individual fenestration packages of £250,000.
“We are seeing lots of these projects cross our desks,” Nigel explained. “They are often in exposed locations with excellent views, so they require a suited appearance across doors, casement windows and fixed lights, and they need to be class-leading for weather and thermal performance.”
Decalu products comfortably meet the new Part L requirements of the building regulations, as well as the expected stricter Future Homes Standard, which is due to come into force in 2025. Decalu is also modular, requiring just three components rather than up to eight or more. This is achieved by a single outer frame and sash with identical middle section and slim sightline profiles, fully integrated thermal insulation and the use of co-extruded, pre-inserted gasket. Another key feature of the Decalu system which suits this market, is the marine-grade finish, with dual colours, as standard.
“We help installers build and keep margin in their jobs,” Nigel added. “A perfect example is the pre-inserted gasket, which allows them to glaze a sash in just a matter of minutes. Combined with two, 7mm fully adjustable jambs that allow for 14mm of tolerance for out-of-square openings, it makes a huge difference in the amount of time it takes to complete an installation.”
Company owners are altering their businesses models significantly to accommodate this stream of work, Nigel said. In one case, a manufacturer and installer of high-end aluminium products has taken on three apprentices to work in different roles, all supporting this market.
“There is also a different pace to this work,” Nigel said. “Lead times are longer, stock holding is reduced and the performance expectations on products is much greater. We have identified this as a clear market sector, and we are developing the right level of support to help our customers win work and maximise profitability.”