Niche but flexible

How do you invest in high margin products without unnecessarily tying up money in stock. We talk to Ian Cocken, Director of Sales and Marketing at aluplast, to find out more.

As we moved from 2021 into 2022, we also ended an almost unprecedented period of high demand as restrictions were lifted following the pandemic. This new set of circumstances for the window and door industry required some agile footwork from fabricators and installers to supply homeowners with appropriate products.

“Most fabricators focus on high volume products, and add new lines if the demand requires them,” Ian Cocken, Director of Sales and Marketing at aluplast, says. “But buying in specialist items is standard practice, especially for firms with limited floorspace.”

As trends change, and fabricators find themselves being asked for the same specialist items, decisions need be made about opening new lines. Key to this decision-making process is control over quality, lead times and profit margins, but consideration also needs to be made for how new products fit in with other ranges, and what the impact it will have on stockholding.

Flush sash window system by aluplast

Flush Casement Windows

The focus on heritage projects in recent years, is a case in point, with options being developed that more closely replicate windows and doors that suit period properties, such as PVC-U flush casement windows and doors.

“Beginning life as a niche product, the flush sash is going on to define a generation of windows,” Cocken says.

aluplast’s flush sash is a well-established product, having been refined to meet the demands of the heritage sector, including – at 58mm – the narrowest sightlines on the market. Other design features include a choice of standard and heritage deep bottom rail, and options for mechanical jointing, which combine to create a strong match for a traditional, 19th century timber sash.

“Aesthetics are everything with flush, on the exterior but also the interior of the window,” Cocken says.

A key advantage of the aluplast flush sash is that it sits behind the rebate on the outerframe, in the same way you would expect on a standard casement.

“On some competitor systems, their design effectively ‘rolls over’, leaving a gap between the outerframe, the transom and the sash, creating the potential for the window to drop over time and leave an unequal gap.

“That’s not something that you would easily pick up on from outside of the house, but on the inside, it’s much more noticeable. That’s a problem area; flush products are a premium offer and consumers will naturally expect them to perform. Our design avoids this problem, and the potential for costly remedial work, altogether.”

But aluplast’s flush sash appeal extends to beyond the heritage sector

Since it can be used alongside both the Ideal 70 and Ideal 400 systems, it creates opportunities in contemporary properties without the need for extra stockholding.

“Many fabricators are making ultra-modern windows using the flush sash with the Ideal 4000 outerframe and foiled with aludec,” Cocken says.

“The modern aesthetics provided by a flush casements are winning significant new business. And this is with a product that was developed to satisfy the heritage market.”

To further strengthen this offer, and to capitalise on the demand for the flush aesthetic, aluplast is now supplying the Flush Door.

“It is key that we develop a suite of options for both fabricators and their installers, which meets the increase in demand without complicating supply and installation,” Cocken says.

The vast majority of flush casement orders include colour, and with a range of 40 different finishes, including the next generation woodec and aludec foils, aluplast has invested significantly in its foil offer. This has allowed it to maintain a strong supply of its most popular stock colours, with foiled product accounting for as much as 50% of total order volume.

“While the heritage market may be perceived as being niche, aluplast’s flush sash – together with the strength in colour, and a flush door – can create opportunities in this market while offering points of differentiation on contemporary projects,” Cocken says. “It’s definitely a win-win.”

For more information, call 01684 273401, email or visit