The best PVC patio we’ve ever fitted

Posted On 21-06-28

“We’ve been in business for over 40 years, and I can honestly say that Smart-Slide is the best PVC-U patio we have ever fitted,” says Barclay Costello, Managing Director of Costello Windows.

“We have a 2.5m tall Smart-Slide installed in our showroom, and we don’t have to work very hard in order to sell it. The quality of the system speaks for itself – we can spend as little as five minutes with a customer and that’s it, they’ve bought it!”

Barclay Costello, MD, Costello Windows

Established in 1979 by Barclay’s parents, Costello Windows has grown over the years from a small firm operating out of a modest workshop to one that now produces a comprehensive range of PVC, aluminium and timber products from a 13-acre site near Limerick on the West Coast of Ireland.

Supplying predominantly to retail customers but also to the trade, Costello Windows’ investment in manufacturing includes a glass processing facility as well as the capacity to foil products in-house.

“We have been an aluplast customer for three years, and we offer a wide range of its products,” continues Barclay. “We brought in Smart-Slide a little over 12 months ago, not long before lockdown. The response we’ve had has been outstanding.

“It looks and feels like a high-end contemporary product, homeowners love the aesthetics, and the price point is also very attractive – especially when compared to the equivalent aluminium offering which would be prohibitively expensive to some of our customers.

“They also like the way that it can be locked on all four sides of the sash. Being able to leave the door part open, for ventilation, while knowing that’s also completely secure is really appealing.

“But from a fitter’s point of view, it’s also very easy to install,” he adds. “With a standard, sliding PVC patio door, the biggest issue is ensuring that it’s airtight. That can be exaggerated with bigger sashes and especially if you’re installing in an area that’s prone to extreme weather – where we are for instance, on the West Coast, it can be a real problem!

“In the past, the solution was to compress the door as tight as it would go, but then you might struggle to operate it. But Smart Slide is so much more secure, it just works. We’ve not had a single call from homeowners asking us to come back and fix an issue, and that speaks volumes about the standard of the fit and finish.”

Smart-Slide is the next generation 70mm PVC-U sliding patio door system from aluplast. It has been designed from a blank piece of paper to be technically superior to any other PVC patio on the market, the majority of which are still based on older designs and are compromised on aesthetics and performance as a result.

Available in aluplast’s full range of 40 finishes, including the new aludec and woodec foils that accurately replicate the look and feel of aluminium, one of the key advantages Smart Slide has over its competition is the size at which it can be manufactured. Whereas a traditional PVC patio would be limited to a maximum pane size of 1,800mm and 2,100mm, Smart-Slide is capable of spanning 4.5m at 2.5m with just a sliding sash and a fixed panel.

Thanks to the use of advanced hardware, it can accommodate individual sash weights of up to 200kg and by eliminating the requirement for brush seals, the doors operate with just the lightest of touches.

Tested to PAS24 – which extends its reach beyond retail and into new build specification – it also meets BS6375 for weather tightness and a DER of A+ depending on glass specification.

Smart Slide patio door

Smart Slide locks on all four sides of the sash, so the door can be opened for ventilation and still be fully secure

“We are incredibly busy at the moment, it feels like everyone has been putting off buying new windows and doors for the last 10-years, lockdown has come along and they’ve all decided to get things done,” says Barclay. “Demand has been very high and I can see it staying high for the next 18-months, and while that’s causing some problems with material supply for others in the industry, we’ve not experienced any real issues, at least not with our PVC profile, thanks to the service we have from aluplast.

“Smart-Slide has given us a great opportunity to tap into that demand, including the ability to sell into projects that might normally have been reserved for aluminium,” concludes Barclay. “15% of our Smart-Slide installs are over 3m wide and they average 2,150mm in height. 90% of orders include a foiled finish, the majority of those are for a grey.

“In contrast to traditional PVC patios, Smart-Slide is head and shoulders above the rest. There’s just no comparison.”

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