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Why you could be fitting bi-fold doors in as little as 45-minutes

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Steve Mines, Sales Director, Sliders UK, explains how the Ultimate Evolution, could save installers time and money.

 Sometimes theory and practice don’t quite always align. For example, bi-fold doors are, in theory straight forward to fit. In reality –  they’re often anything but.

Get things slightly out of line or out of square, pack them incorrectly or fail to toe and heel in glass properly and you can be staring down twin barrels of lost time in installation or call backs.

We’re committed to supporting our customers in avoiding both through our rigorous in-house testing procedures, assisted-fit programme and in the products that we supply.

Each-and-every door that we manufacture goes through a series of recorded operational tests as part of our quality control process.  This includes filming of operation in our test rig. If it doesn’t run, it doesn’t leave, it’s as simple as that.

The testing in the rig shows that the door does what it’s meant to do –  as long as it goes in square, it’s packed correctly, toed and heeled correctly, there shouldn’t be a problem

It then goes onto packaging and dispatch, where it’s expertly wrapped and protected, components are checked and double checked, before being loaded onto our own dedicated fleet.

We underpin this with on the road national technical support. Our team are on-hand to trouble shoot problems – but we’d much rather avoid them. That’s why we offer an assisted fit programme.

Steve Mines, Sales Director, Sliders UK

If you’re ordering a door from us for the first time, we’ll send out one of our field service engineers to support the installation. Every system has slightly different characteristics – we manufacture bi-folding doors from ALUK, and Eurocell’s Aspect bi-fold, plus the new  Duraflex bi-fold – and there are tricks of the trade that apply to each that make installation got that little bit more smoothly.

Regardless of system, getting the door square is key to a successful installation. ALUK, Duraflex, and the Eurocell Aspect are great doors but they all need to be set square. Our fourth bi-fold door – the Ultimate Evolution– massively simplifies this process.

With ultra-slim sightlines plus smooth bottom running system and concealed shoot bolt lock with single point handle, the Ultimate Evolution has been developed to build in increased margin at the retail point of sale.

It’s available in multiple panel configurations including open-in or open-out, with a maximum sash height and width of 3000mm x 1200mm.

With colour-matched handles and magnetic door holders, a low threshold option and 30mm polyamide thermal break for increased thermal values, it is also fully tested to PAS 24 and BS6375 Part 1 Weather Testing.

But what sets it apart from other doors is the way in which it simplifies installation, saving time money and call backs, through a really innovative adjustable jamb option.

Bi-fold installation is all about getting the door square – the Ultimate Evolution is a very forgiving and reliable system

The fully adjustable jamb, is fitted to both sides of the door, making squaring and setting faster, easily accommodating imperfections in brick work and significantly reducing installation time.

This means that doors can be fitted in as little as 45-minutes – a fraction of the time that it would normally take to install a large aluminium bi-fold.

We offer the Ultimate Evolution on lead times of two-weeks or less. As a specialist, door manufacture we’re geared up for bi-folds. That means that our quality is high, our lead times are short and because we’re doing the volume, we’re able to offer some of the industry’s most competitive prices.

This includes a highly competitive offer on the Ultimate Evolution, which allows installers to build in more margin.

It’s a product which has an impressive specification but remains affordable. This gives us greater flexibility as a supplier and allows us to offer our customers additional choice. This flexibility is something which we believe we believe will win them business.

The reasons for adding an aluminium bi-fold to your offer are clear. Forecasts for the industry as a whole are mixed but aluminium and bi-fold doors, in particular, are on course for growth.

The Window, Door and Conservatory Markets in Housing in Great Britain report by Palmer Market Research, suggest that aluminium is on course to reach a 17-year high by 2020. This includes notable areas of growth in the aluminium bi-fold door sector.

This is forecast to continue through to 2020, achieving total growth of around 50% to 35,000 door sets per year.

The Ultimate Evolution allows you to access this growth but makes doing so simpler by making installation simpler, easier and faster.

For more information contact the sales team sales@sliders-uk.com  or call 01772 698222. Alternatively please contact me direct on 07776 230 481 or steve@sliders-uk.com

 

Watch the video here

See how the Ultimate Evolution adjustable jamb could save you time and money

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it’s not so nice to be beside the seaside

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Coastal population centres are growing but that represents challenges as well as opportunity for installers. Steve Mines, Sales Director, Sliders UK discusses.

Inline sliding patio and bi-folding doors go with the seaside almost as much as fish and chips, promenades and rock. Providing the ideal connection between inside and outside spaces, they have been supplied into tens of thousands of UK coastal properties from Brighton to Blackpool and beyond.

The problem is, hardware unlike the rest of us, doesn’t ‘love to be beside the sea’. Salt water and metals don’t mix. Salt water corrodes metals five times faster than fresh water, while salt filled moisture carried in sea air combined with drying and then re-wetting with sun and rain, can erode metal 10 times faster than inland.

We have worked with installers who have budgeted on replacing handles on a yearly basis in exposed coastal locations. Rust stains running down any door look terrible but on white PVC-U there’s nowhere to hide. You get the cost of the replacement, the cost of the call backs. Corrosion eats into margins as much as it does into metals.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics there are 6.2million of us living in 274 coastal communities – 11% of the UK population as a whole. This is even higher in Wales where large urban centres in and around Cardiff and Swansea, mean that 21% of the population are classed as living in coastal areas. There are also concentrations of population in England in the South West, South East and North East, ranging from 23-26% of regional populations.

At the same time as a generation of post-war ‘baby boomers’ retire to the coast, swelling population centres, coastal areas are potentially rich mining grounds for installers. People love the coast and coastal populations are growing as people retire to them. This is also a social demographic with a little more money in their back pockets alongside a higher expectation of quality. They’re also an economic grouping who are more-or-less immune from Brexit, which makes coastal areas a good hunting ground.

This is supported by government figures. While those aged 65 and over made up 16% of the population of England and Wales at the last census, they made up 25% of the population of smaller coastal communities and an average of 17% of larger ones.

We supply doors into all these areas and hardware has sometimes been a problem for us, not because of quality issues but simply because of the environment that some of these doors are going into, particularly patio doors.

This is because people want to maximize the open aspect, they don’t want doors to catch in the wind or have to fight the wind to open and close it. The problem is views tend to come with wind and greater exposure to salt-spray.

Responding to this challenge, Sliders UK is rolling out a 10-year surface finish guarantee across its Fab & Fix hardware inline sliding patio and composite door ranges – as standard. We’re also extending the guarantee, to cutting edge bi-fold systems the Veka Imagine and Duraflex bi-folding door.

This follows Sliders UK’s launch of HardexPLUS. Developed in partnership with Fab&Fix parent company ERA, this draws on the Hardex surface coating technology, to form the foundation of a 10-year industry leading guarantee.

HardexPlus is available across Sliders UK’s Fab&Fix hardware range

It’s a benefit for all of our customers, not just those working in coastal areas because pot-marking and corrosion caused by traffic and air pollution can be just as much of a problem inland. HardexPLUS is, however, a real advantage for our customers who do because we can guarantee surface stability. That’s an obvious advantage for anyone working in a coastal area because it should go a long way to eliminating call backs for hardware failure.

HardexPLUS has been proven to retain surface stability during rigorous prohesion tests. These go far beyond traditional neutral salt-spray accelerated corrosion testing to replicate ‘real world’ conditions in a series of cycled tests. This includes exposure to a dilute salt solution followed by a period of drying. This allows residual salt deposits to accumulate and concentrate on surface coatings, replicating rain and sun.

Withstanding this cycle for more than 1,000 hours – double the industry standard – Mines argues HardexPLUS also gives installers a strong retail message. It’s a great USP because everyone living in a coastal area is aware of the problems that sea air can cause.

We believe a 10-year hardware surface guarantee across our patio door and composite door ranges plus two leading PVC-U bi-fold doors puts them and us on a completely different playing field. In addition to prohesion testing, Fab&Fix HardexPLUS protected products have also been proven to outperform other handles and hardware against all key performance indicators.

This includes 500 hours UV light resistance testing compared to an industry standard 120 hours; abrasion testing to 18 litres of sand, compared to an industry standard 5 litres and pencil hardness of 4N-5N compared to 2N-3N.

The Sliders UK HardexPLUS guarantee also extends to all of its other Fab&Fix decorative hardware. As well as patio and composite door handles, letter plates, knockers and numerals in a choice of chrome, satin, bronze, gold, graphite, antique black, which are also covered for 10 years.

Corrosion and call backs murder margin – as simple as. HardexPLUS hardware delivers such exceptional performance both in terms of surface stability and mechanical operation that we’re underwriting what is an industry leading guarantee and a great platform for our customers.

HardexPlus

Can PVC-U bi-fold doors take market share from aluminium?

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Steve Mines, Sales Director, Sliders UK, explores the impact a new wave of PVC-U bi-fold doors are having on the bi-fold door market as a whole.

PVC-U bi-fold and inline sliding doors have been the ever so slightly ‘poor relation’ to aluminium for some time. When was the last time, for example, that you saw Kevin McCloud on Grand Designs ‘eulogizing’ about the architectural merits of plastic?

Even historically speaking, the press received by PVC-U building products has edged towards the unfair but now – and with a new generation of PVC-U bifolds coming to market – it’s completely unfounded.

I’d like to take the opportunity to flag two products as prime examples of this shift, the Aspect bi-fold from Eurocell and the Imagine from Veka.

We manufacture both as the Ultimate Aspect and Ultimate Imagine bi-folding doors and we do so alongside aluminium systems from ALUK .

Why? Well as a specialist door manufacturer, by default we need to offer our customers access to a range that they can’t get elsewhere but also because we recognise that the market demands it.

There is a definite place for PVC-U in bifolds and the Ultimate Imagine and Ultimate Aspect have huge commercial potential.

The first thing that both do is put a tick in the box against Part Q and Secured by Design and Part M under disability legislation – they’re good to go in new build and commercial sectors and retail.

But it’s innovation in aesthetics, which is prompting industry analysts to forecast that PVC-U systems could take market share from timber and aluminium.

The Ultimate Aspect and Ultimate Imagine, deliver a real step change in the appearance of PVC-U bifold doors with slim sightlines, elegant hardware and wide choice of foiled options.

The Ultimate Aspect delivers a real step change in the appearance of PVC-U bifold doors with slim sightlines, elegant hardware and wide choice of foiled options.

The Ultimate Aspect delivers a real step change in the appearance of PVC-U bifold doors with slim sightlines, elegant hardware and wide choice of foiled options.

Ultimate Aspect Bi-fold Door at a glance:

  • Slim line energy efficient and low maintenance PVC system
  • Available in a 2 to 7 panel configuration, allowing up to 90% of glazed screen to be opened.
  • White, through-colour cream, Golden Oak, Rosewood, Irish Oak, White Ash, Golden Oak on white, Black ash on white and Grey Ash on White available as standard
  • All folding and sliding doors include heavy duty rollers and stainless steel anti-jemmy pins
  • Fold in/out and left or right slide options
  • Optional traffic door only
  • Low aluminium 32mm threshold option with ramps for wheelchair option (Part M compliant)
  • Tested to PAS24:2012, PAS 23 and BS6375
  • U-values as low as 0.94Wm2/K* indicative testing by Veka

 

PVC-U systems still have a slightly ‘fuller figure’ when compared to the ultra slim sightlines of aluminium but they come in at a price point which is far more affordable and are, therefore, more accessible to homeowners.

Again as illustrative examples, the Ultimate Aspect and Ultimate Imagine PVC-U bi-folding doors, demonstrate what is being delivered. The slim contemporary sightlines of Ultimate Aspect door echo those of an aluminium systems.

The Ultimate Imagine offers classic sculptured and beveled profile options but again maximizes glass area – a key innovation and answering traditional criticism of PVC-U systems.

Featuring custom designed hardware from ERA, the PAS24:2012 accredited Veka Imagine from Sliders UK also delivers top U-values of up to 0.94W/m2k and an indicative DSER rating of A+13 .

Featuring custom designed hardware from ERA, the PAS24:2012 accredited Veka Imagine from Sliders UK also delivers top U-values of up to 0.94W/m2k and an indicative DSER rating of A+13 .

Veka Imagine/Ultimate Imagine at a glance:

  • Slimline 70mm energy efficient PVC-U system
  • 19 different panel configurations to a maximum of seven sashes
  • Can span up to 6000mm wide and up to 2400mm height. The maximum sash width is 1000mm
  • Available in 18 foiled finishes
  • Choice of beveled or sculptured sashes and beads.
  • Doors can be set to open inward or outward
  • Custom designed hardware from ERA
  • PAS24:2012 accredited with SBD option
  • U-values as low as 0.94W/m2k and an indicative DSER rating of A+13 .

 

Going back to our original question, ‘can PVC-U products take market share from aluminium’, the answer is that they have potential to – and then in some areas.

Aluminium bifold systems clearly have a structural integrity that even the best PVC-U systems can’t match.

Take our ALUK offer, the Ultimate Aluminium bi-fold door – the UK’s first Secured by Design accredited aluminium bifold door – for example. It’s available in two to seven panel configurations, with inward or outward opening and traffic door options.

Featuring multi-point locking, heavy-duty rollers and stainless steel tracks, all running gear is fully concealed to deliver a strong aesthetic while it also features the option of a 34mm low threshold or 22mm room divider threshold.

Achieving U-values as low as 1.4w/m2K, Standard colours include white gloss, anthracite grey matt, and semi-gloss graphite black as standard, dual colour with bespoke finishes are also available on competitive lead times.

But capable of spanning distances of up to 6000mm by 3000mm in height, it delivers critical extra distance and importantly greater structural integrity and flexibility, where larger weights and spans are part of the requirement.

This is a product for higher end and Grand Design-type installations. The point is that it’s not affordable on every budget or a requirement on every project.

If the industry is effective in selling the benefits of a new generation of PVC-U products to homeowners, the opportunities for PVC-U are, I believe, very real.

Our strategy as a specialist, has always focused on offering our customers choice. We offer both from a single point of supply, where you know in advance what discounts will be applied, where you get a single delivery whether you want PVC-U or aluminium products and a single invoice.

It means that whatever the market trend, you’re covered. To find out more please email sales@sliders-uk.com  or call 01772 698222.