Sarah McCartney, Marketing Manager at SIG Windows, looks into some of the options that can help bring the outside into a new home.
Whatever the type of new build project specifying the right windows, doors and conservatories will pay dividends. Not only can these products impact significantly on the look and character of the property, they also contribute to energy efficiency, noise reduction, internal comfort and light. Equally, they can account for a large proportion of the budget and future maintenance costs.
With so much choice and considerations, it’s paramount that time is spent exploring the wide range of possibilities to find out what’s best for each project. Here are some of the rising stars and trends that are tipped to shape this sector for the next few years.
Aluminium bi-fold doors
The rebirth of aluminium and specifically bi-fold doors is astounding. Already accounting for 59% share of the patio door market in 2015, they are expected to have increased by an incredible 44% by 2020. Despite aluminium being at the high end of the market in terms of monetary spend it is a strong option for builders and developers who wish to use high quality products.
Bi-folds meet the trend for open living spaces and can transform a property into a functional and open space for living, working and entertaining. They also bring the outside in, and when fully open, they provide a seamless transition to the garden and surrounding area.
They come in all shapes and sizes too and include: traffic doors – a quick access door that allows for inside and outside access, without having to fold or slide any other panels – and flush floor levels which allow for the smallest of thresholds and reduce trip hazards. In terms of energy efficiency and security, these doors also score highly.
Aluminium is also gaining ground in the windows sector. Whilst PVC-U still accounts for 82% of the market in volume, both aluminium and wood shot up from 6% to 10% and from 10% to 19% respectively in 2015. The arrival of new colour aluminium frames means this growth looks set to continue.
As the trend towards traditional materials gathers pace, engineered timber products are steadily growing in popularity for windows, doors and conservatories as they help add architectural integrity and value to any property.
These products offer trouble-free, all year round performance, along with high levels of insulation and security. From casement windows to bi-fold doors, sliding sash windows, and even the ali-clad style timber window, there’s an engineered timber product to suit every project. There’s even finished timber products such as architraves and decorative moldings to match.
Although this market fell by 5.7% volume and by 2.1% in installed value terms in 2015, and the decline is expected to continue thanks to the rising popularity of brick built extensions with ‘glazed walls’ and bi-fold doors, there are two products that are successfully bucking the trend: solid roof conservatories and orangery style products.
The majority of solid roof installations are home improvement projects, and indeed research confirms that over one third of respondents are looking to replace the existing structure, an incredible 64% just want to replace the roof, and a third of these expressed an interest in a solid roof option. A solid roof conservatory offers a comfortable, all year round living space and is ideal for replacement or first time installation. Solid warm roof systems are designed to replace the existing glass or polycarbonate roof, whilst retaining the original windows, doors, frames and walls. With minimal disruption to the property, this design helps regulate climate, reduces wasted living space and glare, and can even help save on energy bills.
Meanwhile, orangeries offer a slightly different take on conservatories. With an atrium style, they use enhanced technology to create an environment flooded with light, and the height of the interior also lends a state of grandeur to the structure. The classic range features both traditional and contemporary designs; falling somewhere between conservatories and traditional extension styles. With brick pillars, the classic orangery offers more privacy than conservatory styles and the interior height provides a breathtaking focal point.
Peace of mind
A reputable supplier will provide peace of mind from products that have passed rigid quality assurance checks, and offer assurance that the same windows and doors will be available at a later date should the homeowner wish to extend the property or make changes. It is also likely that their products will be traceable should something go wrong, and that spare parts or replacements will always be readily available.
Make the right decisions, and the windows, doors and conservatories you choose will make all the difference between the ordinary and the spectacular.