John Whalley, Managing Director of Nationwide Windows & Doors recently spoke to House Builder & Developer Magazine about the latest fenestration trends in new build
With calls in the headlines to ‘fix the broken housing market’ and senior ministers urging Government to take advantage of record low interest rates and borrow to invest in new homes – up to 300,000 every year – new build is firmly under the spotlight. Record profits for major housebuilders and Theresa May’s £2billion affordable home pledge are no doubt injecting a sense of urgency and requirement for innovation within the new build supply chain. Fast moving markets require investment to meet demand for volume while keeping the focus on consistent quality and seamless service. As one of the UK’s leading door and window partners to both public and private sector new build, we are finding that being a single supply partner able to offer multiple solutions is proving key to achieving a lean and efficient supply chain.
One Stop Shop One of the most significant trends we’ve seen over the last few years is the demand from housebuilders and developers for a one stop shop. The variety of housing now being constructed on many sites demands a mix of door and window solutions. Larger developments generally have a combination of single dwelling homes and multiple occupancy dwellings which in turn require not only different product styles but also different materials.
For example, aluminium entrance systems are best for high traffic areas while PVC-U can be more cost effective and versatile to match the build style of the rest of the homes. Naturally the different door and window specifications for high end multi-million homes are different to affordable housing. Add to this cavity closers, curtain walling, the legal requirements for fire doors and security considerations through next generation hardware and composite doors, and the complexity of the door and window solutions required for even one new build site are evident. Traditionally a housebuilder would have to use multiple suppliers to fulfil all these requirements, but through the investment in manufacturing, product development and range expansion by suppliers like Nationwide Windows Ltd all these demands can now be met by one fenestration partner.
Colour Although the 1980s saw the introduction of first generation PVC-U literally white wash our buildings and homes, colour is now a major driver. In fact, one in four windows in the UK is now coloured and particularly popular is RAL7016 Anthracite Grey for the on-trend contemporary feel. That said, through product development and investment in coating, painting and drying technologies made by our industry, almost any colour and finish is now available. We’re even seeing a blurring of lines between aesthetics and materials – for example, we now offer smooth grained anthracite grey PVC-U windows that look exactly like aluminium. When it comes to desire for urban design, we’re also seeing growth in demand for long, slimline glass cassettes within full height doors which have a European feel to them.
Security Secured By Design is a passport for any door and window supplying working in new build and this along with many accreditations is hugely important. Not only does it offer peace of mind to homeowners who will eventually move into the property, as this recent case study shows, SBD products can help keep live build sites safe too.
Supplying into new build is hard, and margins tight, so it’s critical that suppliers like Nationwide Windows & Doors have a deep understanding of the sector, develop close, collaborative relationships and invest in product ranges, infrastructure and IT that allows us to provide the right products at the right time every time. Housebuilders and developers across the UK have relied on us for over 3 decades to identify trends in doors and windows, invest to meet this emerging demands and then deliver.