Find out how our new ultra-energy efficient aluminium window can become key to your future growth

By | Blog

Steve Mines, Sales Director, Sliders UK, explains how industry leading thermal efficiency combined with a flexible choice of finishes and exclusive sales areas, make the Ultimate Evolution XT a must-have product.


The end-user demand for aluminium windows has been there for some time. Thermal performance and reliability of supply hasn’t been.

We’ve been into countless customers and the story is the same – jobs delayed or incomplete because windows haven’t been delivered on time or jobs lost or switched to PVC-U, because the cost of energy efficient aluminum windows is prohibitive.

Customer demand has been in no small part, an influence on our decision to manufacture our own 66mm aluminium window, the Ultimate Evolution XT. The other driver has been our commitment to the strategic development of our product portfolio, where it makes sense to do so and where we can add-value to our offer to our customers.

Offering U-values as low as 0.85 W/m2K – a Passive Haus equivalent standard of performance – the Ultimate Evolution XT more than fits the bill.

It’s an incredibly exciting product, delivering thermal performance that you would be hard-pushed to achieve in a PVC-U window, let alone competitively in an aluminium one. That’s why we see it as being absolutely key to our own  and no less importantly – our customers’ growth.

Exclusively available in the UK, through Sliders UK, The Evolution XT houses insulated glazed units of up to 48mm, which means it comfortably accommodates triple-glazed units.

The patented and ultra thermally efficient Evolution XT thermal break

It’s exceptional thermal performance also draws on a highly innovative and patented thermal break. This features a multi-chamber composite core, filled with highly insulative foam, to create an ultra-energy efficient thermal barrier and with it one of the most energy efficient aluminium windows on the market.

We see this as being a real asset to our customers – an advanced aluminium window reliably supplied alongside their existing bi-fold, inline- sliding, composite door or lantern roof orders.

It’s also available off-list price. This was something which we know is really important to our customers who can pay wildly differing prices for the same window based on how busy their supplier is or isn’t. Our pricing structure is completely transparent and there for anyone to see.

We’re also committing to exclusive sales areas. The Ultimate Evolution XT is a high performance product. We’re not about to de-value that by flooding the market and setting-up our customer’s competitors just a few miles down the road. We want the Ultimate Evolution XT to be an aluminium window, which drives sales. It’s strictly first come first served.

And that’s because the Ultimate Evolution XT delivers stacks of USPs – not just exceptional thermal efficiency in an aluminum window. This includes finish options.

While the Ultimate Evolution XT is available in white or anthracite grey as standard, it also comes in dual colour options and any RAL colour as special order. This includes marine-grade Qualicoat polyester powder coating as standard. It means we’re able to offer a 10-year surface finish guarantee even where installed in coastal areas.

The Ultimate Evo XT is also available in Golden Oak, Rosewood, Worn Ash, Teak, Cherry and Dark Oak, Decoral woodgrain options. Far more hard-wearing and robust than PVC-U foils, these also come with a 10-year guarantee.


The Ultimate Evolution XT window by Sliders UK:

  • Thermally broken 66mm aluminium system
  • Patented thermal break technologies
  • U-values of as low as 0.85 Wm2K
  • Accommodates 28mm to 48mm (double and triple glazed) IGUs
  • Multiple sash options
  • Internally or externally beaded
  • Multiple coupler profiles to achieve widespan windows
  • Part Q and PAS24:2016 compliant
  • Weather tested to BS 6375 – 1:2009
    • Air classification – 4: 600pa
    • Water tightness – E900: 900pa
    • Wind resistance – EA2400
  • Operational performance tested to BS6375 – 2: 2009
    • Resistance to racking – Class 3
    • Static torsion – Class 3
    • Repeated opening and closing – Class 3 (20,000 cycles)
    • Operating forces – Class 1
  • 10-year finish guarantee

The Evolution XT is available in white and anthracite grey as standard plus premium and hard wearing Decoral finishes








If you look at where the market is going, it’s very easy to identify the growth opportunities that the Ultimate Evolution XT has the potential to deliver.

Although the market for glazing as a whole, took a dip south in 2015, falling by 0.7%, installed value actually increased to £4.20billion (Palmer), the decline in volume offset by a shift to higher value products aluminium key aongst them – up by 8% in 2015 to £370million.

Although PVC-U systems retain the lion’s share of the glazing market, Palmer also suggests aluminium continues to gain ground – up 6% in volume terms last year.  This means that it now accounts for 9% of the total housing market.

Manufacture of Ultimate Evolution XT energy efficient aluminium windows, means that we’re geared up to supporting our customers in accessing the opportunities that this growth delivers.

That’s why we continue to expand our product portfolio. It’s about identifying products which deliver more to our customers. This has included the launch of the Ultimate Evolution aluminium bi-folding door, alongside our other aluminium and PVC-U folding sliding doors and our aluminium lantern roof the Ultimate Rooflite.

The Ultimate Evolution aluminium bi-folding door offers ultra-slim sightlines plus smooth bottom running system and concealed shoot bolt lock with single point handle. It also features a highly innovative fully adjustable jamb option, which fitted to both sides of the door, makes squaring and setting faster – cutting installation time to as little as 45 minutes.

These time savings have made the Ultimate Evolution aluminium bi-fold popular with installers, while also delivering bags of end-user appeal. Supplied alongside the Ultimate Evolution XT energy efficient aluminium window and you have a compelling offer.

The launch of the Ultimate Rooflite makes it even easier to get all of the products for your next job on a single delivery and against a single order.

It’s based on the tried and tested BBA approved Ultraframe Classic roofing system. Capable of spanning openings of up to 5.8m long by 4m wide, it’s suitable for installation as either part of a new build orangery or retro-fit to a flat-roof.

Sold individually or together, these highly innovative aluminium windows, aluminium bi-folding doors and lantern roofs, deliver added value to our customers in on-site efficiencies, in our service and support offer, including assisted first time fits and in the commercial opportunities that they deliver.

We continue to build and grow together.

For more information contact the sales team  or call 01772 698222. Alternatively please contact me direct on 07776 230 481 or

Why buying-in French, bi-fold and patio doors alongside rooflites from a single source of supply could save installers thousands

By | Blog

Steve Mines, Sales Director, Sliders UK, explains why rooflites go hand-in-hand with bi-folds, French and patio doors.

One order, one delivery, one invoice – buying in doors from a single source supplier makes a lot of sense. As a door specialist, we can offer our customers a complete door range giving them time back – that’s time processing orders, paying invoices and time away from site to accept deliveries.

We offer one of the UK’s most competitive bi-folding door, French door and inline sliding door ranges, plus a wide choice of composite doors.

Adding a lantern roof to this offer was for us, a logical step. It delivers additional flexibility to our customers, allowing them to order everything for an orangery-type installation from a single source supplier.

Capable of spanning openings of up to 5.8m long by 4m wide, the Ultimate Rooflite by Sliders UK, has been designed to offer installers a highly flexible but also competitive product.

It’s based on the tried and tested BBA approved Ultraframe Classic roofing system and is suitable for installation as either part of a new build orangery or retro-fit to a flat-roof. Thermally broken the Ultimate Rooflite achieves typical U-values of 1.4W/m2K which should also make it popular with homeowners.

Glazing options include self-cleaning, solar control glass in blue or neutral tints. Color and finish options include standard white PVC-U or powder coated aluminium options in white, anthracite grey or satin black.

It’s a strong proposition for new build installations but also importantly the retro-fit market because it can be installed to pre-existing flat roofs. The transformative potential that this has is difficult to overstate, making it a very strong retail proposition.

The Market for Domestic Conservatories, by Palmer, suggests that while the home market for traditional Victorian-type conservatories fell by 9% in 2015 to 57,000 units, the replacement market reported growth of 13%.

Home-owners, it says, are also moving away from Victorian-type conservatories and towards more flexible orangery, orangery/conservatory type installations. This Palmer also argues,this is driving significant growth in the market for replacement roofs, which grew to 11,200 – up 62% in 2015 and forecast for continuing growth through to 2020.

The markets we’re targeting with the Ultimate Rooflite mirror those growth areas. It’s a great new build orangery solution but also it can also be retro-fitted and has reach into the flat roof replacement market.

But where we can really engineer in value to our offer is that it can be delivered on the same order as our customer’s exiting bi-folding, patio and French door delivery.

We offer one of the UK’s most expansive bi-folding door, patio and French door ranges. This includes aluminium bi-folding doors from ALUK, and Eurocell’s Aspect bi-fold.

We added a second PVC-U bi-fold from Duraflex to our offer at the end of last year. PAS24:2012 and Part Q compliant, the new Duraflex bi-folding door is fully integrated with the systems company’s Diamond suite, featuring beveled and chamfered options it achieves a DER ‘A’ rating and u-values as low as 1.1Wm2/K.

In addition to our established ALUK aluminium offer, we also supply the Ultimate Evolution . 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 also features a highly innovative fully adjustable jamb option, which fitted to both sides of the door, makes squaring and setting faster – cutting installation time to as little as 45 minutes.

Time is money. With options to order inline sliding patio doors from Kömmerling and Duraflex, we offer our customers genuine commercial edge.

The Premiline Pro for example, features a high security locking mechanism operated through patented interlock shootbolt system, it’s PAS24 and Part Q approved.

It’s available in panel openings of to 2, 3 or 4 panel openings – again that’s a PAS24 and Part Q accredited door.

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.

These innovations are immediately tangible to the homeowner and that equates to opportunity.

Our product development strategy is focused on those innovations which deliver a distinct commercial advantage to our customers.

The Ultimate Rooflite is a very well-considered product, it delivers installation efficiencies to installers, has masses of end user appeal.

Where on this occasion we can add greatest value, is that we can supply it alongside bi-folds, French or inline sliding doors as part of a single order and on a single delivery, saving them time, money and with one of the industry’s best OTIFs, a whole lot of hassle.

For more information contact the sales team  or call 01772 698222. Alternatively please contact me direct on 07776 230 481 or

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

By | Blog

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  or call 01772 698222. Alternatively please contact me direct on 07776 230 481 or


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

By | Blog

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.


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

By | Blog

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  or call 01772 698222.