There is no doubting that aluminium windows and doors in the residential sector has undergone an impressive resurgence over the past few years. In fact there are probably more new aluminium residential businesses starting up than any other type right now. And it’s at this point the industry as a whole should look at history to avoid making another mistake.

Don’t go the way of PVCu

I am personally not old enough to remember when PVCu windows and doors first came to the shores of the UK. I have however been told of it’s legendary arrival in the early 70’s. Many recall those times fondly. It was the beginning of a new era in UK window and door technology. Then those same stories take a turn when they get to the 80’s and onwards.

The industry seemed to go into overdrive as existing installers turned away from already established materials in favour of the new PVCu wonder material. There was also an influx of new installers hoping to cash in on this new industry energy.

But as is often the case when the bandwagon is full, the jostling of elbows for some sort of industry market share meant that the “stack em high, sell em cheap” took over. Ensuring that products were sold on price, with quality deemed less important than the price at which products were being sold for.

The reality was that many were undercutting each other. It was a rut that the PVCu side of the industry has struggled to get out of ever since. Still there are many companies who claim to beat any price. Advertise ridiculous discounts and sales which most home owners see for what they are.

Given the power of the resurgence of aluminium I would urge that area of the industry to avoid the temptations of the bandwagon.

Focus on quality and customer service

This is only the start of the resurgence for aluminium if you ask me. The appetite from the general public for something other than PVCu is growing. It’s the reason why timber is doing alright at the moment, and why the timber alternative market has grow quickly too.

But as the sector continues to grow, a focus on the quality of the products being produced, and the customer service being given from fabricator to installers has to be a priority.

The worst thing that could happen is hoards of new and unsuitable installers coming on board looking for a quick aluminium options to try and undercut the competition with. If that ever did happen, you can bet safe money that what happened to the PVCu market will happen to the aluminium one.

Perhaps the risk though is not as great. The general public seem to understand that aluminium windows and doors are at the more premium end of the market, and so expect to pay more for a better built product. I also think that the aluminium market is a responsible one and wouldn’t let their sector become bogged down in a race to the bottom.

But, if we start seeing aluminium front doors being advertised as part of a package deal for five windows, or being sold at composite door prices, then it’s time to jump ship!

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