Aluminium is still where it's at in 2024
30 January 2024
Rich Fraser, Window Ware’s Business Development Manager (commercial and aluminium) considers the progressive rise of aluminium in residential fenestration and why it looks set to continue into 2024.
Even though 2023 presented the fenestration industry with tougher trading conditions and slowly softening demand (particularly in the PVCu door and window market) driven by economic uncertainty and the higher cost of living, demand for aluminium products was stronger than ever.
This trend was evident in Insight Data’s 2023 State of the Industry Report which revealed that both the volume of PVCu frame production and the number of PVCu fabricators has decreased for the first time, while the number of aluminium fabricators has continued to increase year on year.
The rise of aluminium is something we’ve seen for some time, becoming apparent not least in the conversations we’ve been having with our fabricators and installers who are looking to grow and diversify their businesses, but also in our sales reports too which confirm aluminium hardware as a key area of growth and opportunity.
To give you just a flavour of some of those figures, last year our sales of bi-fold door locks and bi-fold door hardware grew by 28% and 44% respectively compared to 2022. Likewise, demand for aluminium vents in 2023 rose by 71% on the previous year. And while it’s early days yet, our new MACO Lift and Slide door hardware solution for Sheerline Prestige, which we only launched in November last year, has been in hot demand from the get-go.
The MACO Lift and Slide door hardware solution, along with high-performance slimline bi-fold door locks in 25mm and 28mm backset from Yale, are some of the most recent additions to a portfolio of aluminium hardware solutions which has been growing steadily over the last 5 years. Today we offer a range of leading-brand door and window locks, keeps, gearing, handles, hinges, Part F compliant vents, and accessories to work with all the most prominent aluminium profiles including Smarts, Sheerline, Cortizo, AluK and Exlabesa.
We’re confident this offering is going to be spot on for our fabricators in the coming year as they continue to meet the needs of those high-earning homeowners who still have the spending power to invest in their properties despite soaring living costs and a drop in ‘real’ disposable income for the average household. As has been the case over the last 12 months, these discerning customers want only the best energy efficient, sustainable, durable, and stylish products to enhance their living space and aluminium fits the bill perfectly.
Looking ahead, Window Ware will be monitoring the market and listening to our customers to make sure we’re keeping our aluminium range current and closely aligned with our fabricators needs. We continue to work closely with our brand partners to bring in new products and new finishes that respond to shifts in demand and help our customers unlock new areas of growth, and there are some exciting additions in the pipeline, so watch this space!