Neil Ginger, CEO at Origin, a leading UK manufacturer of bi-fold and residential doors, windows and blinds, talks to PHPD about consumer trends and the aspirational features that are influencing home buying decisions.
From Grand Designs to Location, Location, Location, the popularity of TV programs showing homeowners how to build their dream properties is on the rise. Hardly surprising, perhaps, as latest Origin research has found that over 60% of people see living in their dream home as an important life goal.
Over the years, Origin has conducted several pieces of research into what homeowners want from their properties. Using these insights, the company has focussed on customer-oriented innovation – from the introduction of colour-coded hardware, to the launch of the Origin Window for a fully integrated look, and the optional upgrade of Aerogel on the window for improved thermal efficiency.
For professional housebuilders, this research also provides useful insights on the touches that make a difference when showcasing a new home to a potential buyer.
Over 37% of homeowners say that they knew they wanted a particular property just a few minutes after seeing it for the first time. For this reason, the ‘front of house’ must introduce the property in the best possible light. While something like the front door might seem like a small detail, it will set the scene for the quality of the interior finishes and influence a homebuyer’s feelings about a property from the start.
With over 35 panel choices, ranging from traditional to ultra-modern, the Origin Residential Door offers a wide variety of styles. Matching decorative panels can also be added as sidelights. Alternatively, Origin Windows can be incorporated to the side or top as flags, ensuring it can fit into any aperture.
In late 2015, Origin hosted a Homes of the Future Roundtable. The collection of experts highlighted the growing importance of energy efficiency within UK building regulations. However, this is not yet recognised by mortgage valuations, which is essentially suppressing the housing market.
“Less money on energy bills means more money for mortgage repayments, which is a huge pull for potential house buyers – something that housebuilders should make clear when showcasing homes.”
Thankfully, buyers are becoming increasingly educated about the benefits of thermal efficiency – so much so that a third now want either double or triple glazing. In some cases, the efficiency of high performance double glazed doors and windows is almost as good as a triple glazed system. Simply asking for triple glazing is not the answer – U-values vary greatly depending on the manufacturer.
Origin’s double glazed bi-folding doors can achieve 1.6 W/m²K using 24mm units, while triple-glazed bi-folding doors have a certified U Value of 1.3W/m²K, surpassing the British Building Regulations by 27%.
Because of the importance of thermal efficiency, we introduced the option of insulating the Origin Window with Aerogel, a material used for its insulation properties. This delivers an A++ energy rating and certified 0.9 U-value.
On our residential door, both the frame and sash feature an advanced polyamide break to limit heat transfer from the interior to the exterior, whilst the panel is manufactured with a highly efficient Thermimax core and aluminium layers for optimum thermal performance.
Over 99% of people in the survey said it was important to have lots of natural light in the home, so it will pay off to choose windows with the slimmest of sightlines to let as much light into the property as possible. The strength of the aluminium frame in the Origin Window allows for these slim sightlines, and with the edge of the frame as little as 50mm from the glass, more light can be achieved.
The rising popularity of bi-folding doors is hardly surprising, given that an abundance of natural light is desirable for the majority of homeowners. That said, an increased amount of glazing brings its own concerns for home security.
Our research has revealed that over 40% of people see security as important, with doors and windows considered the weak points for intruders. Therefore, it is vital that these include the very best locking systems.
The traditionally weak areas for bi-folding doors are the cylinder/locking barrel and the handle. In fact, UK crime statistics illustrate that 27% of burglaries involve lock snapping. This is because many doors use insecure cylinders which burglars can bump, drill or snap to gain entry. We advise specifying bi-fold doors with a kitemarked Magnum lock security cylinder to stop any break-ins through the cylinder.
It is also important to ensure that there is a multi-point lock on the lead door, such as an 8-point multi-point locking system. The doors should comply with PAS23/24 standards. Our doors use solid cast Yale handles for a superior level of security. Laminated or toughened glass is also tougher for intruders to break, improving strength and security.
For windows, Yale’s Encloser Lock is a well renowned and highly dependable choice. Security is further improved with the highest-grade stainless steel hinges and hinge guards. As a result of these, the Origin Window is capable of carrying heavy loads above the standardised 50,000-cycle test required for residential windows. Hinge guards are installed as standard, serving the dual purpose of protecting the hinges and blocking intruders from jemmying the window open along the hinged side. Other features such as impenetrable crimped frames and locking handles make the Origin Window one of the most secure systems on the market.