Monthly Archives

June 2016

A global family

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We report on how a scheme part-funded by the UK window industry is helping to bring rugby and opportunity to some of Delhi’s most deprived schools.

“You officially fall below the poverty line in India when you’re living off less than 52p a day. That’s the kind of poverty we’re talking about. It’s incredibly humbling”, says Alex Murphy, Sliders UK’s Head of Operations.

As Business Head of Fenesta Building Systems, India’s largest PVC-U window manufacturer, from 2013 to 2014 and member of the Corporate Management Board of Fenesta’s parent group, the chemicals giant, DCM Shriram, the former London Irish loose-head prop’s time India left a lasting impression on him.

Alex returns this summer as part of a pioneering programme funded by the Atlas Foundation to bring rugby – but also to drive academic achievement – in some of Delhi’s most deprived schools.

Founded by Jason Leonard, the Atlas Foundation provides a link between businesses looking to make a contribution as part of their CSR strategies and grassroots rugby worldwide as a funding organization.

It’s also developed a network of ‘Champions’ who work with projects around the world, providing leadership and support to development programmes.

“Atlas funds grassroots projects around the world that use rugby and education to raise children out of poverty and illiteracy”, explains Jason who made 114 appearances as prop for England.

He continues: “Rugby is a great game to bring people together and helps them believe they can achieve anything, especially as part of a team.”

Sliders UK has stepped up through Atlas, to fill a funding gap in the Delhi Hurricanes School Rugby Development Programme. Previously coached by Murphy during his time working in India, the club has claimed top spot in its national league, with 18 players progressing to the national team since 2004.

The club’s Schools Programme is currently working with 11 institutions, including an all-girls school, drawn from across some of the most impoverished parts of the city.

The scheme is built around the All Schools model set up in the UK by Jason Leonard and CEO of the Atlas Foundation, Sally Pettipher. “The results that we saw in the UK show that playing rugby increases academic achievement by around 12 per cent, through increased discipline and by being a part of a team, addressing lots of behavioral issues”, she explains.

the Atlas Foundation provides a link between businesses looking to make a contribution as part of their CSR strategies and grassroots rugby worldwide as a funding organization.

The Atlas Foundation provides a link between businesses looking to make a contribution as part of their CSR strategies and grassroots rugby worldwide as a funding organization.

Sally continues: “We first worked with Alex in 2013. He was interested in developing rugby in India as a sport and we had a shared interest in the social contribution that it could make, particularly in areas of poverty.

“What’s been created through the Delhi Hurricanes Schools Programme is a real achievement. We have 800 regular players, a 50/50 mix of boys and girls under the age of 16 including an all-girls school.”

As part of his visit this summer, Alex will work alongside three permanent schools’ coaches funded by Sliders UK and donations from Duraflex, through Atlas as part of it and the Delhi Hurricane’s outreach programme.

“We have got the funding in place now which is a real achievement but what we’re looking for is kit and equipment, because you can’t get it in India.  So boots, gum-shields particularly mini and junior kit”, says Alex.

“We had a fantastic image of two of our junior teams in Delhi playing in donated end of season kits from Chesterfield and Notts, Lincs and Derby!” he adds.

Alex said: “What is so incredible is how far a relatively small amount of money can go through this scheme and the contribution that it can make to so many people. For £3,000 we’re able to fund three full time coaches who are working with schools and children throughout Delhi.”

“On behalf of the Delhi Hurricanes, Atlas and those children who are benefitting, I would like to say a big thank you to the industry for its support.”

Chairman of Sliders-UK, Ian Longbottom concludes: “This is a fantastic project making a real difference which is hugely appreciated. Sliders are delighted to participate and through Alex Murphy to be closely involved.”

*If you are able to support the Delhi Hurricanes Schools Development Programme through the donation of kit or know someone who can, please get in touch with Alex Murphy who can be contacted on 01772 698222 or email alex@sliders-uk.com.

 

For more information on the Atlas Foundation please visit www.theatlasfoundation.org.uk.

For more information on Sliders UK please email sales@sliders-uk.com

Sliders UK launches ‘assisted-fit’ as part of its technical support servic

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Sliders UK has expanded its technical support offer with the launch of its ‘assisted fit’ service.

With four Regional Technical Managers operating from strategic locations throughout the UK, Sliders UK launched its technical support service as part of its wider customer support offer last year.

This has now been expanded to include an assisted fit training service, developed by Sliders UK to support installers the first time they fit products from its market leading bi-fold, inline sliding and composite door range.

Steve Mines, Sales Director, Sliders UK, said: “Get it right and installation is actually very straightforward. All of our doors are rig-tested prior to dispatch a as part of our rigorous quality control programme, so there shouldn’t be any problems in installation.

“But each system does have its own characteristics and there are always those little tricks of the trade which can help make installation go that little bit smoother. That’s really what assisted fit is about – short-cutting that learning process through trial and error.”

Sliders UK’s Technical Support Service team members include Regional Technical Managers Ian Bartam, Cliff Thomas, Barry Pease and Lee Handley [pictured], who tot-up well over 100 years of collective experience in window and door installation and manufacture.

This includes extensive in-house training across Sliders UK’s range of ALUK, Distinction, Duraflex, Eurocell, Kommerling and Veka inline sliding, bifold and composite door ranges.

With four Regional Technical Managers on the road, Sliders UK offers an unparalleled technical support service

With four Regional Technical Managers on the road, Sliders UK offers an unparalleled technical support service

Lee said: “As a team we have got a lot of experience in manufacture and installation but before we went out on the road we still went through several weeks in the factory manufacturing all of the different systems that Sliders UK supplies so we know each product inside out.

“We do a lot of remedial work for Sliders customers but have the capacity to do anything up to full realignment and reversal of opening and closing systems” commented Lee, but added “Our more proactive and rewarding role is to help customers get it right, right from the start!”

 

Sliders UK ‘sinful six’ bifold installation errors:

  1. Not using enough or too many packers to level under the cill properly
  2. No hinge locking screws – make sure locking screws are in place before the glazing goes in!
  3. Lubrication – make sure anti-friction sprays are applied to rollers, hinges and gaskets after installation
  4. Not enough fixings/packers used in establishing fix to walls, leading to movement/out of square
  5. Toe & Heeling errors – always start at the bottom of the hinge side of the door, pack it square and then toe and heel to the opposite corner
  6. Cutting gaskets too short – allow additional length for expansion and contraction

 

“The assisted scheme is about giving fitters confidence and the knowledge to do the job and avoid the pitfalls, particularly on bi-folds”, explained Barry. He continued: “Tolerances in bi-folding doors are so minimal and a mm here or there can impact massively on operation.”

“But get it square, properly packed and it’s relatively straightforward. It’s about knowing the systems. We can give fitters the training and confidence to get it right, avoid mistakes and the time and money associated with call backs.”

 

For more information contact sales@sliders-uk.com

Equity

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Steve Mines, National Sales Director Sliders UK explains why sustained but slower growth in the housing market is good news for installers.

According to the latest data from the Finance & Leasing Association, so-called ‘second charge mortgage lending’ is galloping ahead and has leapt to its highest level since 2008. During the year to 29 February, £887m of second mortgages were taken out by homeowners.

That’s 36 per cent up on the year to February 2015, and more than three times the £293m of second mortgages in 2011-12. So why are homeowners borrowing more and what does it mean for the UK window industry?

“There are a number of factors that have come together”, says Steve Mines, Sales Director, Sliders UK. “House prices are going up, there isn’t a huge amount of movement in the market because we haven’t built enough new homes.

“At the same time and despite concerns about the ‘Brexit’ consumer confidence is high. Those people who either can’t find their next home or afford the ‘leap’ to it because of house price inflation are tapping in to the equity that that delivers to fund home improvements.

“In addition to this there are a generation of products that are coming to the end of their lifetime and collectively, this alongside the trends highlighted, are generating some real areas of opportunity.”

This view is consistent with the forecasts of market analysts. According to market research by D&G, more than 1.8 million PVC-U patio doors have been made and fitted in the UK since 1980. The authors of the Window Industry Market Research Report, add “additionally there are many produced in aluminium that could be ready for replacement as the economy recovers”.

The replacement of early generation PVC-U conservatories, which frequently used PVC-U patios as both entrance doors but also room dividers, extends the reach of the potential market for second time replacement inline sliding patio doors and bi-folding doors still further.

Mines continues: “Bi-folding doors clearly have masses of end user appeal. I don’t want to overplay the whole ‘Grand Designs-effect’ but if Channel 4 have done one thing for the window and door industry, its putting the bi-fold door on the homeowner’s radar.

“And that’s something, which we see reflected in our sales. We’ve seen a tremendous growth in our core aluminium bi-fold door offer but also new generation PVC-U systems, for example the Ultimate Aspect bifold door and the Veka Imagine.”

But while aluminium and PVC-U systems are seeing significant growth, Mines argues that this has not been to the exclusion of inline sliding systems.

Available in up to six panel combinations, Sliders UK’s three chamber Ultimate Aluminium Inline Sliding Door is manufactured in the ALUK system. Configurable to a multiple combination of fixed lights and sliding doors, on single, double or triple tracks, the door specialist also offers an easy to use straight slide or ‘lift and slide’ specification.

“Slimmer and sleeker sightlines, plus significant innovations in security, coupled with the highest levels of thermal efficiency and low maintenance, mean that a new generation of PVC-U patio doors is generating end user appeal”, argues Mines.

The Kömmerling PremiLine PRO, which was launched by Sliders UK in January this year, sits firmly within this camp.

It’s USP is a PAS24:2012 and Secured by Design accredited high security locking mechanism operated through patented interlock shootbolt system. This means that in addition to strong aesthetics it gives Sliders UK customers extended reach – as a Part Q but also Part M – accredited door.

The PremiLine PRO delivers enhanced security without the use of interlocking bolts or exterior security measures, leaving sightlines uninterrupted.

The PremiLine PRO delivers enhanced security without the use of interlocking bolts or exterior security measures, leaving sightlines uninterrupted.

 

The Kömmerling PremiLine PRO is offered by Sliders UK in 2, 3 or 4 panel openings. High quality stainless steel tracks guarantee the maximum possible service life and smooth running, while the clean sightlines of the 70mm outer frame are further enhanced through a wide choice of colours and low sightline black or grey gaskets.

According to D&G total patio door sales of patio doors as a whole grew by an estimated seven per cent to 55,000 in 2014, with further growth predicted last year.

Still enjoying sustained appeal in new build, as a space saving but also comparatively low-cost product, Mines suggest the deficit in the building of new homes should also provide an additional stream of growth through to 2018.

“Even before the new build housing sector fell off a cliff in 2008, the rate of construction of new homes was falling far behind the Government’s own target to build 240,000 new homes per year at an average of 100,000”, says Mines.

“Things are picking up but there’s still a long way to go before we catch up on demand as a nation for new homes. Until we do movement in the housing market is going to be more modest.

“At a time with low mortgage finance and high equity, plus the the majority of the 1.8million early PVC-U doors fitted since 1980 still in use, the second time replacement market that has potential to deliver exceptional growth.”

 

To find out more  email sales@sliders-uk.com  or call 01772 698222.

 

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.

Installer’s liability? – When PAS24:2012 isn’t PAS24:2012

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Sliders UK has warned that lack of clarity, continuous testing and third-party accreditation, could mean thousands of PAS24:2012 accredited doors fitted in the UK fall short of Part Q.

Introduced in October last year, Building Regulations Part Q, sets PAS24:2012 as the new minimum standard for security in new build.

But in failing to place a requirement on fabricators to independently assess quality management systems or to ensure that specifications are met consistently, it fails to safeguard product quality.

Ian Longbottom, Chairman, Sliders UK explained: “It’s all about the ‘golden sample’ –you only need to prove that you can manufacture to a set standard once to ‘achieve’ PAS24:2012.

“We remain concerned that over time we will find fabricators stating that a product is PAS24:2012 based on a single assessment or system house accreditation.

“This won’t reflect possible hardware changes and there will be no control on quality or independent testing to ensure that those specifications don’t impact on performance.

“We believe that this could create a legal minefield with installers battling it out with fabricators as to liability, where installations are tested and fall short of regulations.”

This is cited by Sliders UK as a key differential between PAS24:2012 and Secured by Design, the latter placing a requirement on fabricators to be able to evidence controls on quality and to undergo independent third-party assessment.

This includes the full remit of testing under PAS24:2012 – security, weather testing, operating forces and cycle testing. “It demonstrably shows that a product is fully ‘fit for purpose’, unlike Document Q, which only prescribes that a supplier underwrites his own assurance that a product has passed the security element of the testing only”, added Ian.

The Ultimate Patio Door from Sliders UK became the first patio door to achieve the SBD accreditation in 2008

The Ultimate Patio Door from Sliders UK became the first patio door to achieve the SBD accreditation in 2008

Sliders UK became the first PVC-U patio door manufacturer to be accredited with Secured by Design status in 2008, securing the first PVC-U bi-folding door SBD approval in 2009. Since then, the company has added its Ultimate Aluminium bi-fold door – another industry first – a second PVC-U bi-fold door system and an extensive range of composite doors.

Ian continued: “There is a perception that a PAS24:2012 door puts a tick in all of the boxes in the same way as SBD does but there are some really quite significant differences the most notable of which are requirements for independent testing and safeguards on quality.

“We don’t believe for a moment that anyone would deliberately mislead industry colleagues or end users but if products fall short of specifications over time, installers may find themselves fighting it out with their suppliers as to where liabilities sit.

“Secured by Design accredited products take away all of that risk.”

For more information contact sales@sliders-uk.com