We are spoiled for choice when it comes to high quality products in the fenestration industry right now. The standard has never been so high. But that’s not to say that there’s some dross still being made and put out to market.

So whilst we’re going through our most advanced period, here are five products that should be retired from service right away.

1. Standard Europrofile door cylinders

What is the point of having a normal door cylinder any more? Every lock maker has a “high-security” option, although it’s debatable how secure these “high-security” options are. But lock snapping is a well recognised issue with home owners now. I cannot see any situation where a home owner who is buying a new door or having their locks changed will ask for a standard cylinder which can be snapped in a matter of seconds.

Even the cost of some of the best cylinders around make them accessible to every home owner and installer. Ultion for example, ranges from around £20-£30 each depending on the option, sizes, keys etc. That’s not a lot for peace of mind. Even the budget range of high security cylinders are cheaper than that.

So, time for lock makers to call time on standard cylinders. No need for them.

2. PVCu full panel doors

Why choose an old fashioned PVCu door panel door when you could have these:

On the left is what we call an engineered door at our place. It’s PVCu, but in a very 21st century way. On the right is a Solidor composite door. We sell these two types of doors only at our place because quite simply these are the only two we get asked for. I cannot remember a time where I sold an old fashioned, molded PVCu full panel door.

For clarity, what I’m talking about here is full size paneled doors. Flat panels, such as the one in the bottom of the engineered door pictured above are still relevant. But only if they are properly reinforced. Foam-only panels are pointless, they provide no build quality or security. Do it right or not at all.

The quality is nowhere near as good as they above. They look as old as they are. They represent an old fashioned industry. Sales of the product are sliding about as fast as composite door sales are rising. Time to send it to the fenestration retirement home.

3. Polycarbonate roofs

Some, especially those who make them, may not agree with me on this one, but I think the polycarbonate roof has had it’s day.

Glass roofs and solid roofs are solved many of the problems caused by the polycarbonate roof. No longer should glazed extensions be too hot, too cold, too bright, too dark. Glass and solid roofs solve those problems.

Even better, the cost for glass roofs have come down markedly in recent years. There was a bit of a difference between the cost of glass and poly, but as with all things, the cost gap narrowed and now glass roofs are monetarily accessible to all.

Plus, they’re just too damn ugly. You cannot put a polycarbonate roof next to a glass roof or a solid roof and think that they’re aesthetically equals.

I guess if there is a place for poly roofs it’s when insurers will only replace like for like damaged roofs, but that I think is the only place for them now. Again, like the others, probably time to call it a day.

These are my three suggestions for retiring some fenestration products. There are probably plenty more out there. So if you have any ideas of your own, please leave them in the comments section below and get this debate going.

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