Published On: Fri, Jul 15th, 2016

Completing the coloured look

Swisspacer’s John Cooper says coloured windows are gaining market share. And coloured warm edge spacer bars complete the look

John CooperThe FIT Show was a showcase for the industry’s latest product innovations. Bi-fold doors, conservatories or Flush Sash windows, performance and design went hand in hand. It was a showcase for colour too – in frames and hardware. After years of endless white and a few woodgrains, colour is back, in a big way. Traditional British architecture used plenty of colour, and Britain was a colourful place, from the soft warm pinks of Suffolk, bright shades of the South West to the subtle greens in the Cotswolds. But two World Wars and a depression in between took its toll, and by the end of the 1970s Britain’s housing, and particularly its doors and windows needed a facelift.

The first generation replacement windows had a big impact but their colour choice was limited. Milled finish, white or brown for domestic aluminium; white, brown and a couple of woodgrains for PVC-U. Although aluminium quickly conquered commercial markets with ‘any colour you want’ choice for specifiers, white dominated the PVC-U market until relatively recently. But homeowners love colour, and installers who offer a wide choice of colour have a powerful competitive edge. Whether it’s to increase kerb appeal or restore a home to its former glory, homeowners want to add their own stamp to their properties and colour is an increasingly popular way to do that. Currently around 25% of homeowners buy colour in England and Wales. In Scotland it’s closer to 45% and colour is 55% in Ireland. In mainland Europe, colour outsells white by a big margin.

Setting yourself apart with colourS – Just a few years ago systems companies (Syscos) were reluctant to promote colour and manufacturers offered only a handful of colours and woodgrains, but this is quickly changing. Syscos like Veka, Profile 22 and Kommerling shout about their colour offer, and some, Deceuninck for example, offer 26 colourways from stock including matching trims, cills and ancillaries. Most of what Residence 9 sells is colour from a range of 42 in-stock colourways with 13 basic colours. Colour is a way of standing out in a competitive market. Offer a better colour range than your rivals and you’ll sell more, at better margins.

But small details count and coloured windows need appropriately matched trims, cills, ancillaries, hardware and spacer bars so they look right. Delicate colours like Chartwell Green or Classic Cream look better with a subtle coloured spacer bar – a black spacer may ruin the effect. A spacer bar that matches or complements the window looks much better. As you’d expect from the warm edge spacer bar market leader, Swisspacer bars come in a choice of 17 colours, the widest range on the market by far. Swisspacer can either match the profile or provide an appropriate contrast if that’s what the customer prefers. Swisspacer bars are designed to be aesthetically pleasing with a low-sheen, non-reflective quality finish, and installers can offer their customers the widest choice of colours in the widest range of spacer bar widths to suit every situation.

Looks and performance go hand-in-hand – Of course, homeowners want more than good looks from their new windows – they expect the best performance too. A large scale survey of homeowners conducted for Kingfisher, the owners of B&Q, found that 65% worry about rising energy bills and want to improve their homes with energy efficient products. Warm edge spacer bars are at the heart of the energy saving window and can make a big difference to performance. Swisspacer warm edge spacer bars give excellent thermal performance for the best energy rated windows and lowest U-Values. Swisspacer Ultimate was the first warm edge spacer bar to be Passivhaus certified and the only one with an ‘A’ certification. Around 80% of all triple glazed Passivhaus windows worldwide have Swisspacer inside. Thanks to its High Tech Gas Barrier which prevents gas leakage and moisture penetration, all Swisspacer spacers give long-lasting results. In today’s crowded market, window companies need the right products to differentiate themselves and stay ahead of competitors. Insist on Swisspacer, the UK and Ireland’s No.1 warm edge spacer bar, so your coloured windows stand out and make your customers smile.