A little while ago, I wrote a post called Three Reasons Why Flush Is The Future. I explored three reasons as to why I thought that flush sash windows would be the future for the window industry. Those reasons were a thirst for the look of timber, less impacting frame profile and a rising popularity from home owners to keep things sleek.
After looking at the products on show at the FIT Show, it seems my reasoning was sound. There was a lot of flush sash window products being displayed or being demonstrated as brand new. Profile 22 launched Optima with a flush option, Residence 9 became the Residence Collection, Deceuninck launched their own flush system. Add to that a revamped Modus S from Eurocell, Origin’s dual-flush aluminium product, VEKA/Halo’s own flush offering. Then there’s Evolution’s flush sash offering too.
You get the picture, I could continue. Just about every systems company and fabricator does flush. So with the amount of new products being launched weighing heavily on the side of flush, it begs the question: have casement windows reached their limit?
Perhaps that’s a bold statement. But you have to look at the trends forming in the industry at the moment and the types of products companies are introducing. More flush windows are being developed than anything else, mostly in response to an increase in demand from home owners.
It’s their tastes that have changed. Buyers want the best of timber aesthetics combined with the conveniences of PVCu. Casements don’t strictly follow timber design, but flush windows do, hence their rise in popularity.
So if a systems house is going to spend money in their R&D departments, it’s going to be on products like flush sash windows which they know will generate interest and probable sales.
But have we really reached a limit with what can be done with casement windows? Of course we can tweak the design here and there. Make it a little flatter, a little smoother, add some extra colours and foil finishes to the range. Fundamentally however, they all look similar. When you compare it to a flush window, there is a distinct and significant difference.
I think there is a wider question at play though here, and that is: has PVCu come as far as it can go? Perhaps the stagnation in casements and the rise in popularity of flush is a symptom of that. But I’m going to leave that as the subject for a future post.
Focus on quality
If we’re going down the flush route however, it has to be done right and has to be of high quality. This is a product that if done on the cheap, will look and perform very badly.
For example, the Modus S by Eurocell on display at the FIT Show was a very good example of how close a flush sash window can look to timber. However, when the product was originally launched it had a few teething problems, and they made all the difference. Time and progress ensured that the Modus is now one of the premier flush products on the market.
We have to get this right. No cutting corners, nothing cheap and cheerful. Flush could be the generation of window that takes the PVCu sector even further forward. Lets get it right.
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