Windows of opportunity

When it comes to doors and windows, Tim Palmer finds that kerb appeal, energy efficiency and technology are key

Kerb appeal – according to window and door company Lomax +Wood – is a marriage of product and design with fenestration a key element in creating the attraction. “Correctly proportioned windows and doors do not need to be excessively expensive, it is a question of applying the correct designs for the style and period required,” explains md Chris Wood.

(Pictured) Housebuilders should apply the correct designs for the style and period required, advises Lomax + Wood

Mass produced
“Money saved by using off the shelf mass produced casement styles, with non-opening light direct glazed or glazing bars set within the glass may look good on an accountant’s spreadsheet but in reality can destroy the soul of the building,” he warns. “There is no point in installing expensive kitchens or employing interior designers if you cannot get a client inside the property.”

Gary Hutton, general manager of Black Millwork, counsels: “There are two key elements to consider when looking to boost kerb appeal: design and material. Of course, it’s vitally important to get the aesthetic right but it’s also essential windows and doors don’t start to look dilapidated once exposed to the elements. Increasingly, it’s through innovation that windows and doors manufacturers manage to attain both, and create beautiful units with long-lasting kerb appeal.”

Hutton points to Fibrex by Andersen Windows as a “great example”. Fibrex is “incredibly strong,” performs better when exposed to extreme temperatures and delivers exteriors that will not fade, flake, blister or peel. “It’s comprised of a blend of reclaimed wood fibre and polymer guaranteeing long-term beauty resisting rot, decay and fungal growth,” Hutton adds. “Fibrex also blocks thermal transfer nearly 700 times better than aluminium to help reduce heating and cooling bills which helps housebuilders limit heat gain and losses, thus enabling them to comply with Part L.

It’s also extremely strong meaning very slim frames allowing designers to create huge arching shapes and dramatic expanses of glazing not possible before and massively enhancing a property’s kerb appeal.”

The character of the surrounding area largely guides housebuilders on the styles of windows and doors that will add to kerb appeal, observes Alan Shearer, general manager at Howarth Doors and Windows. “Flush casement windows are increasing in popularity versus storm-proof casement windows as these provide cleaner lines generally but must be in keeping with the surrounding area. Guidance on this is generally provided by the local planning office and certainly where the area is deemed to be in a conservation region, timber windows are normally the preferred choice regardless of the window style.”

Modern options

(Pictured) Door -Stop has extended its portfolio to include more ultra-modern hardware suites and new door style

Meanwhile, Door-Stop has widened its portfolio to offer more modern options. Patrick Dean, head of sales and marketing, says: “Following the success of our contemporary range we extended our portfolio to include more ultra-modern hardware suites and a brand new door style. We added a new handle-less option, which is ideal for housebuilders preferring a minimalist look; a geometric square bar handle for those that want to stand out from the crowd and our popular four-square door can now be specified with the glass set to the left or the right, as well as centrally. Throughout 2017 we will be launching a security slab, new glass designs, a colour on both sides option and a completely new door offering.”

Developers wishing to use large panes as a major design feature no longer need to commission and fit specialist, structural glass, adds Neil Puttock, md at Boavista Windows UK. “Fibreglass’s strength and stability enables it to hold large surface areas of glass.

Aesthetically, fibreglass also expands in line with window glass, removing the need for unsightly gaskets to hold the pane in place. This adds visual appeal to a building by creating a clean and minimalist finish that isn’t achievable with traditional window frames.”

Away from pure design, openings can contribute to the overall energy efficiency of a home’s envelope. Chris Hall, GAP’s marketing manager, says: “Rockdoor is the only composite door manufacturer who offers an entire series of front and back doors with A++ ratings for thermal efficiency. Just as effective insulation and electronics will cut living costs, a door from our Ultimate series is an investment in the energy efficiency of people’s homes. We made key efforts in campaigning for Door Set Energy Ratings many years ago, and we’re still at the forefront of industry standards.”

(Pictured) When boosting kerb appeal, the design and material of doors and windows is particularly important, says Black Millwork

Malcolm Taylor, product manager at REHAU adds: “Properly designed and fitted windows and doors play an essential role in maximising energy efficiency, ensuring that heating is not required to balance out heat loss caused by poor insulation, and that artificial cooling is not needed to compensate for southward facing rooms overheating due to solar gains. By taking a holistic view of the whole property and its structure, it’s possible to make a development very environmentally friendly and economic to run, not only helping housebuilders to meet their energy efficiency targets, but also totting up major selling points for buyers. Certified by the Passivhaus Institute, AGILA Passivhaus doors have been awarded the highest thermal performance standard in the world, with overall values of 0.7 achievable."

Patrick Dean says all that all Door-Stop doors meet the Building Regulations for energy efficiency, which state that new doors sold and fitted in England and Wales must have a U-value of 1.8 or less. “However if thermal glass is fitted within a Door-Stop door, a U-value of just 1 can be achieved, which exceeds the regulations.”

(Pictured) JELD-WEN says that it offers timber windows that can withstand the most extreme conditions

Timber fenestration continues to see a rise in popularity, according to Black Millwork’s Gary Hutton. “However, for those wanting to achieve more contemporary aesthetics aluminium products provide a handy alternative. But it’s essential to look for high specification options,” he advises.

At their best, aluminium-clad windows can achieve exceptional performance ratings – Black Millwork’s timber-aluminium clad range delivers U-values as low as 0.7 “which is lower than the Passivhaus standard of 0.8".

All Howarth’s doors comply with Part L, claims Alan Shearer. “But as a general rule doors which maximise the amount of glass within them have the greatest benefit to a home’s overall energy efficiency. Doors containing a significant amount of glass can be configured to comprise the latest in glazing technology to reduce energy loss and increase the solar gain that a glazed door offers.”

JELD-WEN’s INSULUX timber composite doorset looks like a traditional timber door, but benefits from internal aluminium interlayers beneath for added stability and security, states Tony Pell, the company’s senior product manager. “This, combined with an insulating foam core, helps to delivers U-values as low as 1.2 for the whole doorset.

“Likewise, we offer timber windows that can withstand the most extreme conditions. This is especially true of the triple glazed Stormsure Energy+ timber windows ranges, with energy ratings of A+ and exceptional U-values of 0.8 to 1.0. By working with a quality manufacturer housebuilders can be advised on how to optimise thermal performance.”

Optional upgrade

(Pictured) When insulated with Aerogel, the Origin Window can achieve an A++ Energy Rating

Origin sales and marketing director Ben Brocklesby explains how the company offers an optional upgrade to improve the thermal efficiency of its Origin Window. “When insulated with Aerogel, a ground-breaking material that has been used in spacesuits for its superior insulation properties, the Origin Window can achieve an A++ Energy Rating. Pioneered by Origin, Aerogel provides major energy savings. In fact, a single 10mm thickness of Aerogel increases the insulation factor by up to 67%.” As a result, the system has the highest thermal efficiency of any aluminium window on the market and can achieve a certified 0.9 U-value, he says.

(Pictured) Keylite says its built-in expanding thermal collar seals the gap during roof window installation for an efficient fabric first solution

Studies have shown that on average, homes emit 2.6 times more carbon than that estimated during design, states John Duffin, md of roof window manufacturer Keylite. “One of the contributing issues identified in this performance gap is heat loss around windows and doors. Roof window manufacturers have tried to minimise this by producing a separate thermal collar, designed to insulate this gap. The main benefits of this are to improve thermal and energy efficiency, reducing the thermal bridging around the roof window and reducing the risk of internal surface condensation.”

Keylite, Duffin claims, is the only roof window inherently equipped to combat thermal bridging at the junctions between roof and frame. “The built-in expanding thermal collar seals the gap during installation for an efficient fabric first solution, improving build quality and boosting energy efficiency.”

oof windows

(Pictured) Dakea's new Ultima roof window incorporates two methods of noise reduction technology

VELUX product manager Grant Sneddon says that VELUX is working with Netatmo to develop a new range of smart windows with integrated indoor climate solutions to meet a growing consumer demand for connected devices in the home. “The new range of windows, called VELUX Active, will comprise Wifi gateway and smart controls for VELUX Integra roof windows and sunscreening products, along with a control app for iOS and Android. Based on a range of indoor climate parameters, such as temperature, sunlight levels, humidity, and carbon levels, users will be able to automate roof window and sunscreen operation, by ensuring the optimum indoor climate in a home at all times.”

Meanwhile, Dakea’s new Ultima roof window incorporates two methods of noise reduction technology: airborne sound insulation and impact sound insulation. Carl Lucid, key account manager GBI – Housebuilders, says: “The combination of a toughened 6mm thick external pane, two layers of sound absorbing foil and cladding with noise absorbing tape reduces the volume of both external noise and impact sound by half. The glazing construction, which shields against ultraviolet (UV) light, reflects 95% of harmful UV rays. With U-values as low as 1.2, the roof window keeps properties cool during the summer and warm during winter, reducing household energy bills.”

For the whole of the doors and windows industry, the FIT Show at the NEC in Birmingham on May 23-25 is where those involved in the production and distribution of products, components and services for the manufacture and installation of windows, doors and conservatories can meet the people and the companies that sell, fabricate and install them.

Event director Nickie West says: “We’ve got close to 200 exhibitors coming to this year’s show and with the quality of exhibitors and seminars higher than ever, and with more visitors anticipated than ever before, it’s sure to be the best FIT Show to date.”

Window surrounds
SYTEX UK manufactures lightweight FoamStone architectural profiles from its UK factory. Director Jayne Paterson says: “With the look and touch of stone it is currently used in both commercial and domestic applications. Due to its lightweight structure, it’s easy to handle and architects are finding a new freedom when it comes to design allowing them to design modern structures without the weight issues and concerns usually associated with conventional stone.”

Window surrounds are supplied in 2400mm lengths and can be cut and mitred on site. “There’s no heavy lifting and it’s is easy to install using basic carpentry tools and labour,” Paterson adds. “The aim is to change the construction industry by bringing affordable design back into architecture.”

Warm to the core
Last year CMS Window Systems partnered with Synseal to become Scotland’s exclusive commercial fabricator for the newly launched WarmCore window system. Building on the success of WarmCore bi-fold doors, which CMS added to its portfolio 16 months ago, the new WarmCore window system complements the range as it continues to increase its market share in the aluminium, PVCu and timber composite window, door and curtain walling markets.

CMS Window Systems Commercial Director Marie McGilly says: "Available for casement or tilt and turn windows with a flush sash option that brings the outer frame perfectly level with the opening part of the window, the WarmCore profile delivers the visual appeal of traditional aluminium windows with greater thermal performance thanks to an enhanced thermal break.”

The master of doors
Recent market research – according to Andy Jones, group sales and marketing director at Synseal Group – shows that one in five home owners are now buying timber doors, "a trend we are seeing replicated in sales of our precision-engineered Masterdor Craftsman range. We’ve designed out the inherent problems associated with timber, so the Craftsman offers the unparalleled solidity and security expected of timber yet won’t warp, twist, flake or rot – issues which have put people off buying timber in the past."

The comeback of timber with new, modern technology is appealing for new build homes as the doors will not wear and need replacing after ten to 15 years, Jones claims. "With a triple rebate and combination of sapele lipping and tricoya facings the Craftsman is 100% water resistant throughout," he adds.

“Most importantly, with the Craftsman door we haven’t compromised on style and kerb appeal. One of the most attractive selling points of the Craftsman is that every door is made to order and hand finished on-site."


Black Millwork 
CMS Window Systems 
FIT Show 
Howarth Doors & Windows 
Lomax +Wood 

Housebuilder Diamond Partners

  • United Turst Bank
  • Keystone Group
  • Paslode Cullen
  • Birtley Group
  • AEG
  • Newgate Communications
  • Tamdown
  • H + H
  • Marley Eternit
  • Indesit
  • TriConnex
  • Sig 360
  • Egger
  • Tobermore

Shopping cart

Your cart is empty

My Housebuilder

First time user?

Register | Login

Register | Login


FIT Show - February 2017


Superglass- March 2017


TriConnex - June  / December 2016


Weber - April 2017


HBF and Cookies