Quickslide: prepare for heritage work

Quickslide: prepare for heritage work

Adrian Barraclough, Chairman of Quickslide, continues his Onsite with Ade series. This month he says: Builders should get ready for a heritage bonanza

Many homes built during the last century adopted historic styles from earlier periods and with many built in the art deco period of the twenties and thirties. Many of these properties, such as the mock Georgians of the ‘seventies and ‘eighties, and especially the copious ‘thirties‘ avenue semis, have had windows replaced at least once, often reverting to conventional casements due to the cost or unavailability of authentic styles.

Many of the Georgian-styled homes were built without box sashes due to the cost but owners may now consider installing modern VS frames to bring an authentic appearance to their homes whilst also bringing them right up to date with thermal and security performance. And whilst many will of course have had their windows replaced, those are now due for replacement which can bring just rewards for a bright-eyed, clued-up builder and a delighted homeowner customer.  

There are also huge opportunities brought by the availability of modern art deco replacement in aluminium, a style that of course now extends into the interior space with aluminium room dividers and internal doors. My factory has been churning these out for the past year or so and demand just keeps getting stronger. 

Sliding sashes

Sliding sashes are the most complex window style and until fifteen years or so ago, the only choice homeowners had to replace them was with costly timber versions. And in fact, so expensive were they that many mock Georgians were fitted with conventional casements with Georgian bar glass when new, rather than the authentic box sash style.  

Since then, however, affordable PVC-U replacements have become widely available (with my firm having the honour of pioneering these windows!) and these days, they are superbly efficient and authentically detailed, with subtly coloured frames to tone down the obvious PVC-U white of some of the early versions.  

So now, hundreds of thousands of forty- and fifty-year-old period style homes are ready to have their windows replaced – probably for the second time round – with the best PVC-U vertical sliders that have ever been made, perhaps even equipping some of the mock-Georgians with VS’s for the first time. 

Moving forward a few generations historically, art deco frames in aluminium are continuing to find favour amongst a wider potential target group than VS styles, as they are more at home – literally – in a wider range of properties, not just those that were built in the style originally. The art deco period extended through the twenties and had a particular impact on British housing built during the thirties and are very evident on many leafy avenues. With the advent of affordable double glazing, many homeowners decided to remove the stylish but otherwise cold and draughty steel frames that were often supplied by Crittall, but there are originals around, with some areas now potentially protected by local conservation rules.  

Art deco opportunities

The savvy builder can exploit this by offering art deco windows and doors to stylise an otherwise unremarkable home, or again, to restore a 1930s property to its original glory. Just as with replacement VS windows, modern art deco windows and doors are energy efficient, draught-free and secure and, whilst carrying a premium over standard casements, are highly affordable for homeowners determined to restore or add style to their home.  

As well as external windows and doors, the art deco style is very popular when installed as room dividers and internal doors, whether to complement the external fittings (French doors in the style look fantastic!) or as standalone fitments. Be ready to take advantage of demand that is now established but continuing to grow.  

The clue to all this is awareness, of the property type and style of course (which shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for any half-decent builder!) and also to learn about the windows and doors styles available and, of course, where you can buy them. As usual, any good window and door fabricator will be able to offer full advice to steer you through the heritage playbook. 

For further information on the Quickslide range visit Window & Door Suppliers West Yorkshire | Sliding Sash Manufacturers (quickslide.co.uk).

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