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Conservatory Roofs
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Liniar roof continues to evolve

Embedded in Liniar’s culture is an ethos of constant innovation and development, meaning Liniar customers always have access to the most forward-thinking products in the industry – and the conservatory roof range is a perfect example of this.

Liniar roof kits have been designed to be energy efficient, weatherproof, secure and exceptionally easy to fit, with clever features such as Glazing Stop, its patented glazing retainer, helping to keep the glass in place while fixing and preventing glazing slip throughout the life of the conservatory.

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As temperatures have soared in early June, the lucky first few consumers with the test installations of SMARTGLASS® Dynamic have been somewhat overjoyed and genuinely astounded with the performance of their glass, which offers unsurpassed G-values in the roofing plane with self-tinting technology.

With temperatures touching 30 degree Celsius in many parts of the UK, Mr Haydon Edwards was one of a lucky few that have adopted the recently launched SMARTGLASS® Dynamic, which is a self-tinting glass technology. His lantern roof now provides an acceptable temperature in which to sit during the early afternoon sun, with current temperatures dictating that only the most shaded or technically advanced glazed rooms are habitable. By evening time, the glass is reverting back to a clear state as the surface temperature falls.

It’s also a future technology that’s hugely exciting for Mr Edwards, who is providing considerable feedback on a near daily basis, as to the ground breaking nature of this self-tinting glass technology.

Featured Guest Blog
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How Will The Glazing Industry Look In Ten Years Time?

I’ve been selling full time to home owners at our family run business for nearly 12 years. Whilst comparatively not all that long compared to some of you reading this, it’s long enough to have seen what I would have considered a very stale industry turn into something very different.

When I first joined, composite doors were really only just taking root. White, Rosewood and Light Oak were the only colours for windows and doors. PVCu full panel doors were still selling in big numbers. Bi-fold doors weren’t even on the radar for most home owners. That was in 2006. Fast forward to 2017 and our industry looks massively different. Mostly for the better.

Right now, we have glimpses of what the future holds for the industry, at least on the product front. This is my prediction as to how the industry will look in ten...

Keyless Entry
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Endurance® Doors have become one of the first door manufacturers in the UK to introduce the new Yale Conexis™ L1. This brings to market a Bluetooth enabled keyless smart door lock, that can be operated by mobile device and that meets PAS 24.

This revolutionary development by Yale and adopted by Endurance® Doors, represents a new era in smart home technology in terms of security and is backed by one of the most trusted and recognisable consumer brands. As well as achieving PAS 24, the lock is also fully compatible with the existing and highly regarded Winkhaus Trulock, multi-point locking system...

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Yorkshire-based trade fabricator and VS specialist Quickslide has announced the continuation of its partnership with Huddersfield Town into a fourth year, as the club joins the Premiership for the first time in its history.

Quickslide works with the club, nicknamed The Terriers, on a number of community projects including sponsorship and support for local football teams and using the club as a forum to communicate with other local businesses, suppliers and community leaders.

Quickslide Chairman Adrian Barraclough, who has developed the partnership, says that Dean Hoyle, Chairman of Huddersfield Town and a lifelong supporter of the club, has an outstanding record of commitment to the local community: “As a local business many of our staff live in the area and are supporters of the club too. Our partnership with Huddersfield Town therefore benefits both our business and our people and there are tremendous benefits for the whole community through this association.

Hybrid Windows
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KÖMMERLING have launched a new range of PVCu/aluminium hybrids based on their high performance System 76 platform, that was recently unveiled at the FIT Show, with enhanced technical credentials, new product technologies and boasting Passivhaus levels of performance.

The market for hybrid window and door systems is clearly emerging in the UK with demand from specifiers, house builders and discerning consumers, for products that embrace the best features of each material. Enhanced energy efficiency, acoustic properties and product design are the main

FlushSash Windows
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Modplan reveals popularity of VEKA/Halo’s FlushSash window

Leading VEKA fabricator Modplan added VEKA/Halo’s FlushSash window to its range earlier this year and Heidi Sachs, Modplan’s Managing Director, says the window is proving a hit with customers. “The heritage market is buoyant at the moment and the VEKA/Halo FlushSash has the credentials the sector demands. But as well as being the perfect heritage product the flush aesthetics mean it’s also proving to be a popular alternative to aluminium on contemporary projects.”

The FlushSash window replicates 19th century windows, helping to keep

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Exlabesa showcases commercial credentials

One of the UK’s most experienced aluminium systems houses, Exlabesa, has been showcasing why its products are so readily accepted on commercial projects. Paul Benn, the company’s National Sales Manager, commented: “If you want to take advantage of commercial aluminium opportunities, there really is no better choice than Exlabesa.”

The reasons behind Exlabesa’s success in the commercial sector are simple. Paul explains: “Our products have all been tried and tested in a European environment so offer proven success. They have also all been designed to be easy to manufacture and install so they add tangible value to a business.”

Exlabesa UK extrudes windows, doors and facades and all products are fully integrated to provide a complete glazing solution. The product range includes the KWS51 casement window, the KWS75 casement window, rebated thermal doors, tilt turn windows, bi-folding doors, patio doors, thermal and non thermal shop fronts and curtain walling. Also available is the newly launched steel replacement window

Lumi Doors & Windows
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A new bespoke display Pod for the radical Lumi window and door range is being trialled by approved dealer Crystal Clear Bristol with a view to rolling it out across the system’s retailer network.

The Pod, which is already proving the centre of attention in the retailer’s showroom, is styled directly after manufacturer Apeer’s striking exhibition stand with the specific aim of targeting leads generated by the company’s busy schedule of lifestyle exhibitions.

“So many homeowners are knocked out by Lumi at consumer shows wherever we go,” said Apeer Marketing Manager Linda Tomb

British Safety Council
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Lawrence Waterman joins the British Safety Council as new Chairman

Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, has announced the appointment of Lawrence Waterman, a passionate health and safety campaigner, as the new Chairman of the British Safety Council.

Lynda Armstrong OBE, Chair of the British Safety Council since October 2010, will retire after seven years in the post, on 24 November 2017.

Lawrence Waterman OBE CFIOSH is a founding partner at the Park Health and Safety Partnership, and was formerly head of health and safety for the London Olympic Delivery Authority. He is past president of IOSH. Lawrence is also a visiting professor at Loughborough University where he both...

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When the creators of the industry’s most radical new window and door system heard that a substantial ultra-contemporary house was being planned not far from its head office, the opportunity seemed too good to miss. Fortunately, the owner of the property agreed, plans were drawn up and the result is not only a stunning private residence but also one of the best showpiece installations any manufacturer could wish for.

That system was Lumi, the innovation that had recently proved a show-stopper when Co Antrim based Apeer launched it at Grand Designs Live in 2015, and the finished house has surpassed all expectations, not only for the owner and architect but also for Apeer as a model showpiece for its new innovation.

“When we began creating the Lumi concept, our mind’s eye put it in a high-value, bespoke contemporary setting,” said Apeer MD Asa McGillian.

“Then, when we saw that the architect’s drawings were so much like that mental picture, we could not let the opportunity pass. The result is not only a superb piece of architecture in its own right but also an absolutely ideal setting to bring out the best in the Lumi system.”

He added: “Many have been surprised since that Lumi has been chosen as a feature in classical and traditional settings as well as contemporary because it has a simplicity that makes it at home anywhere. But that same simplicity is brought to the fore in such a setting as this.”

The installation makes extensive use of

Skills Shortage
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Wising up to the skills shortage

The skills shortage in the construction sector is well documented, with research conducted by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) that suggests that access to skilled workers is spreading through building trade, from bricklayers and carpenters to other key trades.

The FMB’s latest State of Trade Survey for 2017 shows that 60% of construction SMEs are struggling to hire bricklayers; 58% are struggling to hire carpenters and joiners; and 45% are struggling to hire plumbers. And while the industry is growing, this is creating a bottleneck of jobs to workers.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “We’ve been experiencing a severe shortage of bricklayers and carpenters for quite some time – these latest statistics show that skills shortages are now seeping into other key trades such as roofers and plumbers. Indeed, of the 15 key trades and occupations we monitor, 40% show skills shortages

Price Increases
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Material prices are soaring, says FMB

A third of small building firms say that soaring material prices are squeezing their margins and almost a quarter have had to pass these price increases onto consumers, according to the latest research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Construction SMEs have reported a range of material price increases since the depreciation of sterling following the EU referendum in June 2016. Small building firms were asked which materials have increased the most and the results were as follows:

  1. Timber
  2. Insulation
  3. Bricks
  4. Blocks
  5. Windows
  6. Plasterboard / slate (joint sixth)
  7. Boilers and radiators
  8. Porcelain products

The impact of these material price increases have been wide-ranging and include:

  • 85% of builders think material price rises could drive consumers to hire rogue traders in an effort to save money on their building projects;
  • One third of construction SMEs (32%) have had their margins squeezed;
  • Almost one quarter (22%) have been forced to pass material price increases onto their clients, making projects more expensive for consumers;
  • More than one-in-ten builders report making losses on their building
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64% of people do not know the correct name for bi-fold doors

Almost two-thirds of people searching for what is known in the trade as a ‘bi-fold’ door are unaware of its true name, leading to over 34,000 fruitless searches for the product every month.

Research from Origin, the leading UK manufacturer of premium quality aluminium doors, windows and blinds, asked 500 members of the public to look at the attached infographic and name the doors illustrated within. The results showed that just 36% of people described the doors in question as bi-folds.

Other terms used by the public to describe the doors included: concertina, sliding, folding track, accordion and zig zag. There are over 34,000 monthly searches in Google for the other terms for bi-fold doors, meaning that companies may be failing to attract people to their site who are searching for this door but using different names to describe it.

Neil Ginger, CEO and founder of Origin, said: “Looking at the amount of monthly Google searches for terms other than bi-fold and seeing that just 36% of the people surveyed refer to the doors by this term, it’s clear that there is a lot of scope for companies selling the doors direct to the public to include these other words in their online marketing collateral.”

Understanding that the general public may use different terms to describe the same product can mean that companies can attract more people to their website by using these terms on the site.

Jon Colegate, Director of Search at Ignition Search, an internet marketing company and Google Partner, said: “This is really a matter of choosing the correct keywords to describe your product. The keywords and phrases that are present on your site allow people using a search engine like Google to find your company’s website and products.

Despite Google’s recent progress in ‘semantic’ searches — it is still crucial for companies to ‘speak the same language’ as those trawling the internet so potential customers can find you as quickly and easily as possible.”

Composite Doors
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Distinction Doors’ Retail Cottage Door and Rustic Renown collection deliver heritage looks and Secured By Design-compliant security

Distinction Doors launched its Retail Cottage Door and the four glazed door designs of the Rustic Renown Collection last year and has been accepting plaudits for them ever since. Bethaney Larkman, Distinction Doors’ Marketing Manager, says: “Our Retail Cottage Door slab and the four doors in our Rustic Renown collection deliver beautiful heritage looks with the added reassurance of 21st century security because they are Secured By Design-compliant, which also means they meet the requirements of Document Q.”

Another standout feature of the doors lies in the colour. All five doors are available in six standard pre-pigmented colours, including popular favourites Distinction Anthracite Grey

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Door Designer
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Distinction Doors’ door-designer demonstrates the company’s marketing proactivity

Door-designer, which can be accessed on the Distinction Doors’ website or at is a perfect demonstration of how to draw homeowners into a brand and its products. Bethaney Larkman, Distinction’s Marketing Manager, said: “A new entrance door is a big decision for any homeowner. With door-designer they can choose every element of their new door before submitting a request for a quote. We also offer a bespoke version of the platform with even more functionality that our customers can use on their own websites and in their own sales processes.”

Door-designer is a clever

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Bottom 40% of PCL property sees double digit price growth recovery. Top 20% continues to see falls

New research looking at price growth by decile has been carried out by London Central Portfolio (LCP) in conjunction with analysts and Land Registry specialists Acadata. This shows that despite volatility in the Prime Central London (PCL) market since the 2014 high, resulting in a static growth picture overall, price rises are being seen in all sectors outside the top 20% of the market.

  • Average prices for PCL overall, are just 1% higher than in Q3 2014, the high point before changes to Stamp Duty legislation
  • However, the bottom 80% of the market has seen positive price growth
  • Over the period to Q1 2017, double digit growth has been recorded for the bottom 40% of the market where prices are under £936,000
  • The bottom 10% of the market, where prices average £388,688, has seen the strongest performance, recording a 16% increase
  • In contrast, a discernible price correction has been recorded for the top 20% of the market
  • Properties in the 80% – 90% bracket, where prices average £2.8m, recorded no price growth over the period
Smart Glass
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Clayton Glass have just produced a time lapsed video to showcase the revolutionary, self-tinting SMARTGLASS® Dynamic in action, showing in just a matter of a few minutes the transformation of each individual glass pane throughout a hot summer’s day, in one of their first conservatory roof installations.

This new video is posted on the SMARTGLASS® website at /products/ smartglass-dynamic and at 2:39 minutes long, visually show the change in state of the conservatory roof glass from clear at either ends of the day to a dynamically darkened tint during the middle of the day, where outside temperatures touched 30 degrees in June. It can also be seen on YouTube

Fabricator Focus
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TruFrame have launched a modern, tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign inspired by the controversial ‘Are You Beach Body Ready’ advertising that’s graced outdoor advertising sites across the UK. This campaign has been designed to encourage small to medium sized fabricators to partner with them, so they can focus on sales and avoid the pressure of juggling business issues.

A set of two postcards have been sent out to carefully selected manufacturing companies, highlighting the benefits of switching off their machinery and partnering up with TruFrame, who have an impressive history in highly successful changeover programmes for fabricators.

There is also a dedicated...

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Hurst Plastics has stolen another march in the industry with a major investment into a fleet of new delivery vehicles.

The leading door panel and composite door manufacturer has purchased 15 brand new eco-friendly Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans as part of an ambitious £500,000 investment programme into company vehicles. The move, which swiftly follows the company’s investment into new vehicles for its national sales team, will help Hurst Plastics to further improve operational efficiency and enhance customer service.

Mark Atkinson, Hurst Plastics’ Sales Director, explains: “As part of our continuous development programme, we have made a number of investments across the board to help us achieve growth and maintain our industry-leading standards of customer service. This is a significant venture for Hurst Plastics and one which is fundamental to the service we offer our customers.

“We are incredibly proud to deliver more than 99% of our doors on our own fleet. This record surpasses the industry norm and gives us far greater control over our lead times. By being transparent in all aspects of our supply chain, we are able to maximise efficiency, whilst minimising delays and this makes a valuable contribution to

Fabricator Focus
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Advance 70 & Selecta Systems – Bucking the trend?

30+ fabricators join the Selecta ‘family’

At a time where there seems to be a grey mist of uncertainty and the rumour mills are reporting that businesses within the industry are down by as much as anything in-between 5%-15%, Birmingham based PVCu window and door system extruder and distributor, Selecta Systems, are without doubt a business on the up. With 30+ fabricators already joining the Selecta ‘family’ in the first six months of this year, Sales Director Andy Green, opens up as to why he feels the Advance 70 is proving to be the astute businessman’s choice and why Selecta are ‘bucking the trend’.

A Crazy Twelve Months!

“With Brexit, the triggering of article 50 and the decision to hold

Glass News
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Multi-layered offer

Cornwall Architectural Glass - London

Cornwall Glass completed its acquisition of LW Architectural Glass in March. We find out how three months of intense investment has given it one of the UK’s most technically advanced multi-laminate facilities.

“I remember the first trip up in March. We were aware that it [LW Architectural] was for sale on in late February. On the 8th March and we’d all jumped in the car and drove up almost immediately, stopping on the way up in Starbucks to sing happy birthday to one of our Directors, Mark Norcliffe”, says Mark Herbert, Director, Cornwall Glass.

“The minute we walked onto the site we were just ‘wow’ –, the infrastructure and capability that was there was incredible. We all saw the potential in what was there in machinery and infrastructure and...

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Idyllic introduction for Penrith’s new Independent Network member

North Lakes NLG Window Systems has been quick to take full advantage of its Independent Network membership, having joined the pioneering installer support organisation just six months ago.

Recently rebranded from Network VEKA, Independent Network recognised North Lakes with one of two ‘Best New Member’ awards at its annual Members’ Weekend. The Penrith-based company has been full of praise for the benefits that membership has brought, such as training; marketing support and heightened customer confidence.

Martin Smith, who owns and operates the company alongside his wife Lindsey, commented: “Independent Network really helps to make the most of being a VEKA installer. Not only are customers reassured that they’re buying the industry’s leading doors and windows, but they’ll also be fitted to the highest standards – guaranteed.

“Since joining, we’ve attended various Independent Network training days, and feel more than ever that we’re fully ‘up to speed’ with industry advances as a result. The courses also provide a great opportunity to meet other member companies and get a sense of the culture of Independent Network. There’s a great camaraderie among everyone involved, and we’ve been made to feel welcome throughout.

Glass News
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A recent investment in equipment from Bystronic Glass UK is set to further raise the corporate profile of Custom Glass. After substantial investment by the Liverpool based company, the installation of a Comfort Line is expected to set a benchmark for the industry that will also further improve the company’s market position as one of the UK’s leading glass processors.

Custom Glass has achieved substantial growth since it was established in 1982 as one of the country’s main manufacturers of domestic glass and toughened safety glass in the North West. Since Jeff Hooson took over as Managing Director, with more than...

Composite Flood Door
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PAS1188 certificate is twice as nice for Watergate Flood Solutions Ltd

Halo customer Watergate Flood Solutions Ltd has been certified with the recently-revised PAS1188 BSI Kitemark for Flood Protection Products for its composite flood door.

Watergate – based in Hebburn, Tyne & Wear – spent 18 months honing its design and subjecting products to rigorous testing in order to achieve the accreditation, with support from VEKA Group. The anti-flood specialist – which fabricates up to 50 doors every week – made the switch to Halo profile in 2015, and has been using its outer frames exclusively ever since. The most recent PAS1188 certificate will be the company's second, having already received...

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Winds of Change

With the impact of Brexit now starting to bite, understanding long-term industry drivers is now more important than ever, according to Palmer.

The window and door industry is ‘not immune from the impact of Brexit and faces strong economic headwinds’ – that’s the warning from Robert Palmer. According to the head of the research specialist, the UK window industry faces dual challenges of a tougher second-time replacement market and wider economic uncertainty as the UK exits from Brussels.

“The post-Brexit phoney war is coming to an end and the realities of what will result in the case of a hard Brexit are now beginning to dawn”, he says.

This, he argues, is already exerting an impact on consumer confidence and with it economic growth. This slowed in the first quarter of 2017 to just 0.2% – the weakest in 12 months. “The Office for National Statistics attribute this slowing to the decline in growth to consumer facing industries and a slowdown in household spending”, Palmer says.

He adds that this has also evidenced in figures from payments provider Visa, which reported the steepest fall in consumer spending for four years this summer. Visa also highlights a cut back in spending on big ticket items.

“This is also noted by researchers GfK which recorded a major dip in the number of consumers considering now to be the right time to make big-ticket purchases”, says Palmer.

He continues: “Consumer credit is not inexhaustible. According to the Bank of England consumer credit grew by 10.3% in the 12 months to May, higher than expected. Some economists say that consumers are confident enough to increase their borrowing.

“But the financial regulatory bodies

New Qualification
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The GGF is supporting the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) new qualification, “The Foundation Certificate in Marketing for the Construction Industry”.

This is the CIM’s first sector specific marketing programme for the construction industry. It was developed in conjunction with CIM’s Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG) to provide a solid foundation for junior marketers and others with a marketing support role. CIMCIG’s input ensures that the programme meets the specific needs of the industry.

James Lee, GGF Director of Marketing and Communications, Chartered Marketer and CIMCIG member commented, “Marketing has become a central and essential function in most aspiring construction companies. It’s very positive that the Chartered Institute of Marketing has recognized the need for this qualification and can now deliver a course to

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