“A recent visit to one of England’s castles got me thinking about how doors and windows have evolved over the years,” says Neil Jones, marketing manager of Coastal Group, “a lot of which has come about from shifts in consumer demand, lifestyle, and perception of quality, further enforced through the ongoing pandemic.
“There are three main areas that have evolved in doors and windows: the ‘inside-out’ lifestyle, leading to increased demand for oversized glazing with larger, heavier sliding doors; home improvement programmes influencing homeowners to have an increased perception of the aesthetics of their doors and windows; and homeowners spending more time at home, meaning they’re looking for higher-quality products which look and perform better for longer.
“This had led to a need for door and window manufacturers and hardware manufacturers to evolve to meet this change in taste and demand, or get left behind. But not all companies have evolved with it.”
“Don’t be the ‘Kodak’ of the door and window industry”
As Loren Jenner, Coastal Group MD, says: “Whilst it’s difficult when you’re busy to take a step back and assess if your current hardware offering really does meet the current demand, it’s most definitely worth it.
“Nobody wants to become the ‘Kodak’ of the door and window industry – but there’s a danger of that happening once demand starts to settle and homeowners spend more time shopping around for their chosen supplier of their new doors and windows, unless you evolve with the times.
“And it’s through this that we’re seeing our BLU range of 316 marine-grade stainless steel hardware becoming increasingly popular,” says Loren.
“We’re constantly innovating and developing our hardware product offering based on customer feedback and requirements. Our BLU hardware range now includes product to suit contemporary and classic style tastes, and is available as a suited range in a variety of finishes. So, if a homeowner wants a classic-style front door, with hardware to suit that style of door, but then wants large sliding doors or a set of bifold doors on the back of the house, we have hardware to suit that also.
Ensuring the best possible performance for doors and windows
“Throughout this ongoing development of the range we’ve continued to manufacture the BLU range using 316 marine-grade stainless steel, to give the best possible product performance.
“Compared to the overall cost of the door or window, the cost of the handle is a relatively low percentage,” Loren continues, “yet it is what gives the highest impression to the end-user client. The homeowner will often base his rating of how good the door or window is based on what they can see, touch and feel – the hardware.
Helping those that want to progress
“We’re seeing the door and window companies that want to progress increasingly coming to us and standardise on offering our BLU door and window hardware for their front entrance doors, patio sliding doors, bifold doors and windows.”
According to Lore, feedback from customers has been excellent, and is proving the benefits of using BLU hardware, as one composite door manufacturer testified:
“We were introduced to the BLU range of hardware after being let down by our supplier,” they said. “Coastal were able to step in and deliver a great service and great product. We were impressed from the start, as they not only got us out of a potential hole, but were happy to go the extra mile for us.
“From a product perspective, you are looking at high quality from the BLU range – the marine-grade stainless steel is second to none, both in terms of styling and performance.”