54 C O N S E R VAT O R I E S & O R A N G E R I E S Believing in aluminium Craig Miller, managing director at AluFoldDirect, talks about the evolution of the conservatory and how aluminium glazing has helped it on its way. www.ggpmag.com March 2018 We all remember the ghosts of conservatories past – small, stuffy boxes bolted onto the back of homes, with polycarbonate roofs, French doors and dwarf walls. There were so many limitations with Building Regulations and Planning Permission, that most homeowners ended up with a bit of extra room that was not really useful at all. It was freezing cold in winter, greenhouse-like in the summer and it made the rest of the house really dark, because the conservatory was in front of the old sliding patio doors – a precious natural light source. Nowadays, homeowners want more. Small is no good to them. They do not want a room that has one purpose. Instead, they are looking for bright, open-plan living that bathes the entire house in light. This has driven forward the demand for wide-span glazing systems, helped even more by the popularity of home design and interiors programs. It’s great news for window, door and glazing installers – there are not many architects or contractors who get the brief ‘I would like to make the room much, much darker’ – unless, of course, they are building a cinema. It’s this push for bigger and better glazing that adds to the overall aesthetic of a room, as well as introducing more natural light, that has driven PVC-U window installation companies to morph into more rounded home improvement companies. Most now install bi-folding and wide-span sliding doors, skylights, rooflights and orangery-style extensions, working with aluminium for its slimmer sightlines, strength and design versatility. Installers needed these aluminium products to keep homeowners happy but whereas its PVC-U counterparts were delivered in a matter of days, wide-span, aluminium bi-fold doors could be taking up to two months to arrive. It made scheduling jobs nigh on impossible and when you factored in the number of let-downs, mis-fits and re-makes that were needed, it was hardly worth the hassle. That’s where AluFoldDirect stepped in. A better aluminium service We knew that there must be a better way to deliver aluminium glazing to installers, so that is what we did. By investing in a state-of-the-art production facility and in local people, we built a highly-skilled workforce that could fabricate aluminium bi-fold doors fast and to the very highest standards. Our motto is: ‘That’ll do, won’t do.’ That is how we guarantee that our products are delivered right first time, every time. The service is completed with delivery in an unmarked van direct to site. Glazed bi-fold doors delivered in two weeks, unglazed bifold doors delivered in just seven days. Because our lead times are so short, installers can order from survey, instead of off-plan, and that means doors are delivered ready-tofit, first time, every time. Once we had this process perfected and had taken away the pain of buying and fitting bi-fold and wide-span sliding doors from installers, we knew we could apply the same method to other products. Roof lights and lanterns should be painless It’s not just doors. Roofs have come a long way too. By far the most popular way to extend a home is with a modern orangery and for that, AluFoldDirect has two options. Technic-al roof lanterns were launched in 2017. Offering slim, square-cut sections the system offers homeowners the clean lines they need from glazing with maximum levels of light. We packed in benefits for installers too. Complete Technic-al roof lantern kits in the three most popular sizes and four colours are in stock, ready to deliver same or next day. Local Blackburn installers can even stop by the factory to pick one up on their way to site in a morning. Plus, the lantern can be installed in 40 minutes flat, thanks to our fitterfriendly design and colour-coded packaging. Fast and simple The latest addition to the Everything Aluminium range is the new flat rooflight. Offering impressive architectural looks, it’s a fully aluminium frame with bonded glass units for a flush finish. And the service is the same as our roof lantern range. Also delivered same or next day, kits are available in four stock sizes and three stock colours. By making aluminium bi-fold doors, sliding doors, roof lanterns and rooflights fast and simple for installers they can prep the site ready for product, and then have it delivered when they are ready to fit it. There’s another benefit to fast delivery too – the kit is on site for a shorter time, lowering the damage risk. Our way of manufacturing and supplying our Everything Aluminium range has proven so popular with installers, they return to us time and time again, knowing that they’ll get great product and AluFoldDirect’s fantastic service. It means that they have one last thing to worry about, and they can spend more time winning jobs and working on-site to carry on the conservatory revolution.
GGP March 2018
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