Aluminium windows and doors are continuing to grow in popularity with homeowners looking to add real value and visual appeal to their properties. Here Sarah Knight, Product Manager at ERA, explores the latest hardware options available to manufacturers to help enhance the appearance, functionality and security of their products.
As the frame material of choice for a wide variety of commercial applications, aluminium is continuing to grow in popularity throughout the residential market as homeowners upgrade their windows and doors to achieve a sleek, contemporary aesthetic, combined with the highest standards of longevity.
Aluminium’s transition into the domestic sector over the last decade can largely be attributed to the increasing popularity of bi-folds. However, the material’s superior strength is continuing to facilitate its suitability across a variety of windows and door types that feature reduced frame dimensions and increased glazing proportions.
As homeowners look to bring the outdoors in and maximise all available natural light, aluminium window and door manufacturers can maximise sales opportunities by partnering with hardware suppliers that offer a comprehensive portfolio of suited hardware that enables homeowners to achieve a complementary aesthetic across their entire property.
Making windows work harder
Machining a 16mm euro groove into the frame at the point of fabrication, aluminium casement window manufacturers can access a complete range of locking systems that deliver superior levels of protection. Not only providing the highest standards of security but subsequently enabling homeowners to access a wide variety of handle types and finishes to suit their particular tastes.
For window locks, the ERA Double Cam exceeds PAS 24 requirements by featuring up to three sets of unidirectional double locking cams that secure the sash tightly to the frame, delivering protection and strength across the entire window.
The addition of a ‘super keep’ combined with a central anti-lift fixed pin also prevents jemmying attacks, whilst eliminating the requirement for shootbolts. By featuring a wrap around reinforced steel top plate and composite underbelly that delivers four-point fixing, the keep uses minimal components to provide additional security, whilst maintaining clean window aesthetics.
The lock’s ability to be fitted in conjunction with espagnolette handles enables manufacturers to meet the tastes of every customer as they can offer a wide variety of contemporary designs including Architectural and Connoisseur styles in modern finishes such as Hardex Graphite, Hardex Chrome and Anthracite Grey.
If a window is fabricated with a 16mm euro groove, manufacturers can also access a range of high performance friction stays to ensure the highest standards of functionality and safety. Including the ERA Horizon Friction Stay that feature a pointed sash arm and nylon end cap available in anthracite grey, which together provide excellent gasket compression and smooth engagement to hold the window open and ensure it stays in position.
Opening the door to opportunity
By choosing a hardware provider that also offers matching door hardware and furniture in the same styles and finishes, manufacturers can capitalise on additional sales opportunities by assisting homeowners in creating a cohesive visual appeal across their entire property, whilst delivering the highest possible standards of security.
Aluminium profiles featuring a 16mm eurogroove or machined into the door at the point of fabrication, allows manufacturers to have access to a complete range of multi-point locks and cylinders, featuring a 30mm backset. This includes ERA’s new high security 3* euro profile cylinder, which is supplied with a £2,000 anti-snap guarantee, providing homeowners with that all important peace of mind.
Available in four finishes, satin chrome, polished chrome, satin brass and dual coloured, the cylinder has been designed to complement a diverse range of handle types to provide customers with increased design freedom. This includes on trend door handle styles such as Architectural and Sculptured, which not only provide an eye-catching addition but deliver the highest standards of functionality and security.
To help homeowners achieve a more streamlined aesthetic, manufacturers can offer contemporary bar handles in offset, inline, ‘V’, ‘D’, and bow-shaped designs, which are available in ultra-modern finishes such as Matte Black and Stainless Steel. The hardware can be bolstered by square or oval escutcheons and rounded door knobs to provide homeowners with security and functionality to suit the contemporary style of their property.
By offering a diverse range of suited window and door hardware in coordinating designs and finishes from a single supplier, manufacturers can provide homeowners with an effective mix and match service that allows them to create a complementary, yet bespoke finish throughout all aspects of their home.
With aluminium windows and doors positioned at the premium end of the market, every piece of hardware must deliver the highest standards of finish and functionality. The Fab&Fix Hardex range is a great example of how to deliver on both fronts, with its unique Hardex finish undergoing 480 hours of prohesion testing. As a result, over 200 products within the Fab&Fix portfolio are supplied with a 10-year function and finish guarantee.
By offering a broader range of perfectly matching hardware products and finishes, aluminium window and door manufacturers can establish a point of differentiation and enable every homeowner to personalise their doors and windows in line with the latest industry trends - all without compromising on quality and performance.