Published On: Fri, Apr 17th, 2020

Reynaers Aluminium Ltd

Address: 111 Hollymoor Way, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 5HE

Tel: 0121 4211999 – Email: reynaersltd@reynaers.comWebsite:

The best choice for modern homes

Amy Blount of Reynaers at Home discusses why aluminium doors and windows are the best choice for modern homes

The modern home has moved well beyond its principal role of offering shelter to people. Nowadays, our homes are an extension of ourselves, expressed through the design choices we make. From the basics of paint colour and window glazing to the smart technology we can now employ, the options available seem endless and every choice is charged with an intent to show who we are as individuals, and what we stand for. Concepts such as sustainability and bringing the outside in have driven home design in the last decade and aluminium windows and doors have played an important role in making these ideas come to life for homeowners.

Despite the many modern aspects of our houses, it has been widely accepted that the homes we are building still maintain a strong connection with Victorian and Edwardian times. During that period, public health was a major priority and private renting was the norm, to the detriment of home ownership. The period between the two world wars saw people moving away from terraced houses and into cottage-style homes, whilst also starting to address the issue of housing for people on lower incomes, as the provision of a home was seen as crucial to the stability of the nation. This pursuit remains visible in the period after the Second World War, when ingenious solutions such as prefabricated houses were developed, alongside less liked ideas such as residential tower blocks.

The economic boom between the 1980s and 1990s saw a norm shift between renting and owning. This was underpinned by the introduction of the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme as part of the 1980 Housing Act, which saw 1.9 million homes go from public to private ownership in the following decade. From the early 2000s, the issue of sustainability started to become prominent, increasingly influencing the way in which we think about and build houses. This has pushed engineering to new creative heights, with smart technological solutions being brought in to reduce the carbon emissions levels of house building, and drastically improve thermal performance.

With studies from the European Aluminium Association showing that 40% of household heating is lost through windows or space around windows, there has been an increased focus on development in this area. Aluminium doors and windows have helped fill this gap as the inherent properties of aluminium support sustainability. Firstly, aluminium is both durable and recyclable, which lessens its footprint on the environment. Secondly, developments such as thermal breaks – strips of rigid insulation with aluminium profiles sandwiched around them – improve thermal performance by embedding insulation in the core of modern doors and windows. Additionally, aluminium is a strong material which allows for narrow window frames to support a large glass area, enabling more sunlight to come into the house and decreasing the amount of energy required for heating and lighting. Products such our Hi-Finity range can reduce the frame width by utilising a PVC-U carrier profile which is bonded to the perimeter of the glass unit. The aluminium framing is then fixed to the carrier profile, which results in an even slimmer frame.

Wider glass areas offer an additional benefit to modern homes. Architectural designs now focus on bringing the outside in, as homeowners take advantage of the development of slimmer window and door frames to gain access to uninterrupted views of the outdoors. In fact, having access to bright, large spaces in general in and around the house is a desirable trait in today’s homes. We are seeing a move away from the compartmentalising of houses into individual rooms with specific purposes to open plan spaces, which ease the expectations and restrictions previously imposed on homes. In turn, this has had an impact on the way in which homeowners make use of their space; whereas 20 years ago the centre of the household would have likely been the living room, kitchens have now become the hub of the home where its inhabitants can spend time together.

The development of homes, both from a practical and a conceptual perspective, will always be subject to change. If the past tells us anything, it’s that home styles are reflective of the time and people who designed them, encapsulating both their desires and their concerns. What is clear is that glass and glazing will always have a key part to play in how homes evolve. As one of the strongest materials available, aluminium is well placed to endure the test of time and it is crucial that we as an industry continue to invest in finding new, ingenious solutions to meet homeowners’ needs.