I have always wondered what the best all round company would actually look like in our industry. I know, it’s a tad sad! But honestly, if there was to be a perfect company, the perfect embodiment of the ideal fenestration business, what should it consist of?

To be clear, I am looking at all aspects of the window industry, across all areas, including installation, fabrication and system companies. I am simply cherry picking the very best bits of each company to create an all round mega business. This is purely hypothetical and something just for fun! So, lets dive in…

Door-Stop International: I.T. & marketing

I have chosen Door-Stop, the composite door makers, for their skills in IT and marketing. When the company was launched, they arrived in the market place with some of the best marketing I had seen. Brochures were more like books, in fact they went ahead and called them books, dropping the “brochure” tag which was a nifty move. The photography was excellent, and the CGI and graphics on everything they did was by far the best.

On the IT front they also dominated, and continue to do so. They have one of the best websites when it comes to UK fenestration companies. And the ability to price, design and order doors via their website, which is tablet and smartphone ready, makes their product very easy for installers to sell. Admittedly some are catching up quickly, but I don’t think many in our industry could argue with the quality of the marketing and IT from Door-Stop.

Solidor: Timber Core Composite Doors

Staying on the composite door front, I would pick Solidor for their solid timber core composite door slab – the only hardwood core on the market.

They will be the first to admit they weren’t perfect last year, but on the product quality front, it’s hard to beat a solid timber core when you’re looking at the single rebate composite door market. Their green initiatives, including sourcing the timber they use from English sustainable forests, is what led me to choose them.

Synseal: Finance and spending power

In a market that is going to continue consolidating itself, I would pick the finance power of Synseal. They have been on a steady run of acquisitions over the last few years, cherry picking businesses that are ideal to fit their profile, plugging that gaps in their overall business group. Synseal are on the move I think, and I wouldn’t mind being a pound behind them!

Ultraframe/Prefix: Product/Solid Roof Guidance

A sysco/fabricator combo this one, but both companies are connected. I would pick Ultraframe for their LivinRoom and Cornice products that are used in modern-day glazed extensions. We have them installed on a couple of our own outdoor glazed extensions at our place and since putting them in, we have only sold one without them, that’s how popular they have been. The perfect window and door company needs that.

However I have included Prefix too as their guidance and help on the legalities and procedures when replacing old roofs with solid roofs is the best I have seen by a long way. We now use them, and after having a meeting with them, I know that future guidance and logistical information is going to get even better. The solid roof market is going to grow and grow, I want a company to help me do it right.

VEKA/Halo: product quality

The perfect window and door company needs the best PVC product range, for me, that lies in the hands of the VEKA UK Group, which also owns WHS Halo. Now there will be differing opinion on this, but the Halo product is known as one of the best, and the VEKA stuff isn’t far behind. After using Halo at our place we know it to be one of the best, and the new stuff VEKA is bringing out like the Imagine range of flush French doors and bi-folds is pretty good too.

Of course you’d need a fabricator to go with these. If we’re going to go with company history and reputation, John Fredericks might be a good call!

Origin: Bi-Folds and all things aluminium

On the aluminium front, I’ve decided to go for Origin. Not only is their bi-fold product one of the industry’s most recognised, at least on the aluminium side, but they have just announced a new aluminium window system. If it’s as good as the bi-fold then they’re on to a winner.

Not only that, they were one of the first to bring in flexible lead times, which means if you ordered something from them on Monday, you could have it on Wednesday. That’s immense for any type of product in our industry, never mind high-end aluminium. It is worth saying there are plenty of other great aluminium systems and products out there, but Origin edged it for me.

Evolution: Timber Alternative Product & Customer Service

We can’t ignore the timber alternative market! It’s grown very much from niche to sector, and there are two companies at the heart of this, Evolution and Residence 9. So why did I go for Evolution? Well, for a start the product is 82mm deep, unlike the 100mm Residence 9 is. It makes it easier to retrofit on most properties, as something 100mm deep would often need plaster and tile cutting back in order to fit.

Second, the Evolution product is glazed traditionally, which means should units need to be replaced they can be done so like any other window. Residence 9 bonds their glass, which makes replacements impossible. If glass breaks, it’s a new sash. It’s not economical.

Third, the customer service I have experienced after using them ourselves has been great. Customer service was an issue last year, I’m happy to say that their’s was never in doubt.

Lastly, I like the fact Evolution limits their number of installers. The prestige of their brand is kept safe that way.

Now I know there are many fans of Residence 9 out there, and for good reason, they have an excellent product. They even won the Timber Alternative company of 2014 category in the NFAs last year. But this is my own personal opinion and I’m cherry picking the best features of a lot of sectors to put together my perfect company. All comments telling me I’m wrong welcome below ;-)

These are some of my main characteristics I would pick if I were to put together my all-star window and door company. Above are some of the best at what they do. But of course this is based on my own thoughts and opinions and I welcome your own input. Whether you agree or disagree, I want to hear from you. If you think another company should be up there then let me know via the comments section below. Remember, this is just for fun!

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