Tapping into timber – what merchants should consider

on 08 July, 2014

Timber windows and doors continue to enjoy a major resurgence in the UK building market, driven by consumer demand.

Consumer demand feeds builder demand and, in turn, builder demand lands at the merchant’s door. So if demand is growing, it’s worth looking more closely at what’s what when it comes to wood, in order to give builders products that will stand the test of time.

When choosing which timber products to stock, it’s worth considering these key areas:

  • Longevity. Use a company that will create made-to-measure products, delivered to site fully finished, ready to fit and forget, and manufactured from engineered timber that’s resistant to warping and twisting by layering sections of European Redwood in a specific way.
    Multi-layered timber has each section of wood with the grain running in the opposite direction of its neighbour, preventing any movement and countering any warping or twisting. The fit in the frame stays just the same as the day they are installed
  • Sustainability. Look for windows and doors that are manufactured using timber from fully managed forests – ideally made from sustainable European Redwood for quality – and supplied in association with the Forestry Stewardship Council
  • Minimising maintenance. Opt for windows and doors that are factory-finished with technical paints and stains which are fully guaranteed for anywhere between five and eight years
  • Performance. Look for energy-efficient double-glazed units with high u-value for retaining warmth and saving money on energy bills. To avoid the common problem of misting, ensure windows have drainage and ventilation channels, allowing moisture to drain away from the windows
  • Manufacturing Guarantees. Look for products with a range of guarantees including:
    - 30 Years - Rot & fungal infection
    - 10 Years - Double glazed units
    - 10 Years - Hardware : handles, hinges, knobs and knockers
    - 8 Years - Paint finishes: solvent-free, water-based, micro-porous paint
    - 5 Years - Stain finishes: solvent-free, water-based, micro-porous stain.

The timber market is not only here to stay, but is set to grow across the UK as the building market picks up. Understanding that not all timber is the same and knowing what to look for will help ensure you supply the best products for your clients.

Richard Chapman is national sales manager at Dale Windows.

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