BDC

Search
BDC Magazine

euramax

Euramax helps ilke achieve “the best possible outcome”

Stylish, high-quality products matched with outstanding quality control and a seamless delivery process are just some of the reasons why leading uPVC window and door manufacturer Euramax Solutions has been chosen as a main supplier of modular home manufacturer ilke Homes. Based in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, ilke Homes manufactures up

Read More »

Windows and doors: trends for 2021

Whether you want to create a grand entrance or a bold first impression, windows and doors play an important role in enhancing a building’s kerb appeal. But with so many design options to choose from, how do you know which one to opt for, or what to recommend to your

Read More »

First impressions count

The impact of a front door on a home’s kerb appeal September 2020 was a month of records for the UK housing market. The stamp duty holiday triggered the highest number of residential property sales ever agreed in a month. When selling or looking to purchase a house, first impressions

Read More »

Five upgrades to keep your house warm this winter

Euramax explores energy-saving home improvements The average UK home spends around £550 a year on space heating alone. Surely there is a smarter way to invest this money and achieve long-term savings? Leading uPVC windows and doors manufacturer, Euramax, has released an infographic that examines five ways homeowners can improve their home

Read More »

Can modular construction rebuild the UK’s high streets?

Why town planners should use modular construction for Towns Fund projects In September 2020, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, announced the first part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund. Over 100 towns in England will be given up to £1 million to rejuvenate their

Read More »

Euramax welcomes calls for 75,000 modular homes per year

Modular construction needs to be at the heart of the Government’s housing strategy A report compiled by the Government’s modern methods of construction (MMC) champion Mark Farmer and Mike De’Ath from architectural group HTA Design suggests that the Government should build 75,000 modular homes every year until 2030. Fulfilling this

Read More »

Building homes for first-time buyers

How housebuilders can prepare for the First Homes scheme In February 2020, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, announced the Government’s First Homes scheme. The scheme will see thousands of new houses being built across the UK, aimed to help more first-time buyers onto the

Read More »

Supporting affordable housing with modular construction

~ Euramax releases infographic on benefits modular construction brings to housing market ~ Yorkshire based window and door manufacturer, Euramax, has released an infographic that outlines the UK’s current struggles to create enough affordable homes for first time buyers. Following the UK government’s recent creation of a First Homes scheme,

Read More »

UK window and door manufacturer celebrates 70 years

Yorkshire based window and door manufacturer Euramax is celebrating its 70-year anniversary. Incorporated in 1950 as a family run business, Euramax now employs 150 people, operates from a 205,000 square foot facility and manufactures over 3,000 products a week. Boasting an impressive number of firsts in its 70 years, the

Read More »

Offsite construction: overcoming the challenges of the building industry

Digitalisation and autonomous processes are propelling the manufacturing industry into a Fourth Industrial Revolution. With technology providing connectivity and data-driven insights  to the manufacturing sector, can it also solve challenges facing the construction industry? Here, Nick Cowley, managing director at window and door supplier to the offsite construction industry, Euramax,

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

euramax

Euramax helps ilke achieve “the best possible outcome”

Stylish, high-quality products matched with outstanding quality control and a seamless delivery process are just some of the reasons why leading uPVC window and door manufacturer Euramax Solutions has been chosen as a main supplier of modular home manufacturer ilke Homes. Based in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, ilke Homes manufactures up to 2,000 modular homes every year for local authorities, housing associations, developers and private investors, and can produce a home in just 15 days, with four modules coming off the production line each day.   “In order to increase our output, we needed to collaborate with like-minded suppliers, and for the past two years, Euramax has really understood our manufacturing processes,” comments ilke Homes Procurement Manager Rachel Kaye. “In addition to supplying us with high-quality products, Euramax provides an excellent, efficient delivery service, really allowing us to streamline and get the most out of our production processes.” Working from a state-of-the-art 205,000 square foot manufacturing facility, Euramax Solutions manufactures high-quality uPVC and aluminium windows and doors that are the perfect fit for modular buildings. The company delivers all its products in stillages, minimising product damage during transportation, while also eliminating unnecessary plastic waste. Module identification numbers (MINs) are also provided for each stillage – these are specific to the windows and doors for each house and module type, ensuring products can be installed without hassle. Rachel continues: “Communication between everyone in the modular supply chain is vital to success, and thanks to regular monthly meetings and consistent input from Euramax’s technical team, we’ve been able to continue successfully producing modular homes. “Apart from being a reliable, trustworthy supplier, Euramax has allowed us to achieve the best possible outcome for our products.” Euramax Solutions Managing Director Nick Cowley comments: “Removing the complexity from supply chains, reducing production costs and increasing productivity is what we do every day for our clients in the modular construction sector. “Since partnering with ilke Homes, we’ve been delighted to supply such a big name in this market with our products. “We’re delighted that the company is happy with both our products and our delivery service, something we are very proud of. “It’s a real testament to our hard work and commitment, and we look forward to working with ilke Homes for many years to come.” For more information, call 0330 1340 290 or visit www.euramaxuk.com/

Read More »

Windows and doors: trends for 2021

Whether you want to create a grand entrance or a bold first impression, windows and doors play an important role in enhancing a building’s kerb appeal. But with so many design options to choose from, how do you know which one to opt for, or what to recommend to your customers? As we head into a new year, Nick Cowley, managing director of manufacturer of uPVC windows Euramax, analyses some of the key trends for 2021. DIY sales soared in 2020, as homeowners spent their time indoors making home improvements. In fact, the Office for National Statistics reported a 1.5 per cent rise in DIY sales between August and September 2020, at a time when many industries stood still. This trend could well persist throughout 2021, with homeowners continuing to spruce up their spaces. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the window and door trends worth the investment. A splash of colour It’s a common assumption that poly vinyl chloride (uPVC) window frames come in standard white. While some may prefer to keep things simple, coloured window frames are becoming an increasingly popular choice. Dubbed “the new white,” grey frames work well across numerous house styles, from trendy modern spaces to more traditional, period properties. The neutral shade can create a sophisticated effect while offering a hint of colour, making it the perfect choice if you want a subtle break from conformity. Moving away from traditional woodgrain and white uPVC, doors could also receive a splash of colour in 2021. Composite doors are one of the most popular entrance door options, and are available in a range of colours. Inspired by perhaps the most famous front doors in the country, 10 Downing Street, black is an increasingly popular choice for those who prefer a sleek and simple statement. Taking inspiration from elsewhere in politics, Chartwell green is another shade that continues to gain traction. Named after Winston Churchill’s Kent home, the light and bright pastel shade provides a refreshing change from traditional colour options. Time to open up As well as revitalising homes, many homeowners paid extra attention to their gardens in 2020 — and what better way keep enjoying them than to bring a touch of the outdoors inside? Open plan has been a popular trend for many years as homeowners seek to create a large and airy space that transports them from feeling confined indoors. However, budget restrictions and the need for extensive remodelling can put the open plan dream on hold. Instead, additions such as bi-folding doors can make an effective replacement. In the warmer weather, bi-folds can completely fold away to create the illusion of more space and a fluid transition between the home and garden. In the winter months, their floor-to-ceiling glass panels bring in plenty of natural light. Opening just one panel at a time means they can still be used as an access point while keeping the heat in. Window shopping As we grow a year closer to the UK’s 2050 net zero emissions target, our homes need to do more than just look good. Among all building envelopes, the design of a home’s exterior, windows and doors are a main culprit for heat loss — with losses accounting for 20 to 30 per cent of a building’s entire energy consumption. To improve thermal efficiency, some may opt for triple glazing. The third pane of glass, located halfway between the inner and outer panes of double glazing, creates two air locks that beat the energy performance of regular double glazing by around 50 per cent. Between each pane is a pocket of air or inert gas, such as argon, which is heavier than air and works as an insulator for both noise and heat.  However, this window option can cost around 20 per cent more than double glazed options, so it’s worth evaluating if the extra pane is worth the upfront investment. Thermally efficient frames can also have a large bearing on the overall performance of a window, so should also be considered when looking to improve energy efficiency. Because argon gas is denser than air, adding it to the captive air in double glazed windows improves their thermal efficiency, without the needed for added glass. When used in conjunction with a special low emissivity glass coating, argon gas can bring the temperature of the window closer to room temperature. Whether you plan to continue sprucing up your space in 2021, or are looking to reduce your heating bills with smart upgrades, windows and doors could be the key to your new year’s refresh.

Read More »

First impressions count

The impact of a front door on a home’s kerb appeal September 2020 was a month of records for the UK housing market. The stamp duty holiday triggered the highest number of residential property sales ever agreed in a month. When selling or looking to purchase a house, first impressions really do count. Here, Nick Cowley, managing director of uPVC windows and uPVC doors manufacturer Euramax, explains the impact of a carefully selected front door on a home’s kerb appeal. Homes are selling faster than ever before in the UK. The average time to sell is 50 days quicker than any previously recorded figure, according to a report by real estate website Rightmove. In such a saturated market, it’s vital that a property stands out, for the right reasons. In the initial stages of selling a property, the exterior appearance holds great importance: the front exterior shot of a home typically takes centre stage on online listings and many prospective buyers will make an informal drive-by visit before requesting a viewing. With such a great focus on the home’s exterior, maximising kerb appeal is a crucial element of a successful exchange. Whether a homeowner is enhancing their property’s sellable status, or plans to remain there for years to come, the front door is commonly regarded as a property’s focal point, connecting the inside with the outside. It should reflect the personality of the home, and can provide a subtle hint towards the interior décor inside the property. Selecting a front door that successfully achieves this requires three key decisions: colour, material and design. Colour choice A front door’s colour is ultimately down to personal preference, but there are a few essential considerations that should be made when creating a stand-out first impression. The goal is to radiate a welcoming feel, which can be reached either by adding a new colour or by maintaining the property’s existing colourway. One of the most popular colours to add to a property is a pale green. Inspired by nature, this hint of colour subtly matches any surrounding foliage. This promotes a view of the house and its garden as a single entity, helping the home to blend in with its exterior environment. Alternatively, neutral shades bring a classic and sophisticated style to any property. Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of grey interiors, so selecting a grey front door complements the interior décor and sets the tone of what’s to come if you were to enter through it. It’s also worth taking the style of the property into account, to ensure the door colour helps rather than hinders the home’s aesthetic appeal. For example, dark colours such as Anthracite grey may be too bold for ornate period homes, but the perfect fit for a modern or Tudor-style property. Considering all these points in advance gives homeowners some creative freedom with their door colour, without compromising on style. Material matters Material is not only key to a door’s aesthetics, but also its functionality. Meeting a door’s aesthetic goals should not come at the expense of performance. Ultimately, a front door must provide security without sacrificing energy efficiency, so material choice should support these performance objectives. A traditional material choice would be timber, thanks to its timeless look and customisability. There are many types of wood to select from and it can be painted any colour. However, timber comes with its downsides. Repeated exposure to harsh weather conditions can cause warping and peeling, hampering the door’s insulating properties and demanding periodic maintenance. PVCu is another material option, which outperforms timber on energy efficiency and maintenance. PVCu doors have a smooth finish that is naturally insulating and weatherproof, requiring minimal maintenance. Contrary to popular belief, PVCu doors are now available in a range of colours, including Anthracite grey and Chartwell green. Their sleek, clean appearance makes PVCu doors an ideal option for modern properties. However, the modern appearance of PVCu may look out of place on a traditional property, while timber doors may not meet all the performance goals. Composite doors combine the benefits of different materials to offer maximum security, unrivalled energy efficiency and virtually zero maintenance. With a variety of colour choices and the option to add a woodgrain effect, composite doors are suitable for any home, whatever its style. Design details Having decided on colour and material, it’s important to think about the door’s design. As with colour choice, homeowners should be mindful of their property’s architecture and ensure that their door is in keeping with the style. The UK’s most popular four-panel door with two glass panels at the top and two solid panels at the bottom is a classic option that suits most properties. However, a modern property may benefit from a trendy design such as a door with four central glass square panels. It’s also advisable to spend some time considering the door’s accessories. Every front door must have a handle and a letter box, but you may decide on additional features such as numbers or a door knocker. Traditional doors may suit gold fittings, whilst contemporary properties may better suit chrome hardware. Euramax is a leading UK manufacturer PVCu and composite doors, which come in a range of colours with an array of customisable glass and accessory options. What’s more, our made-to-measure service allows us to offer bespoke products to meet any homeowners’ specific requirements. Whether your contemplating selling or just want to improve your property’s exterior, the front door holds the key to success. Carefully selecting a door’s colour, material and design ensures that the door seamlessly fits with the property’s style, while allowing the home’s interior style to shine through, making the property stand out for all the right reasons.

Read More »

Five upgrades to keep your house warm this winter

Euramax explores energy-saving home improvements The average UK home spends around £550 a year on space heating alone. Surely there is a smarter way to invest this money and achieve long-term savings? Leading uPVC windows and doors manufacturer, Euramax, has released an infographic that examines five ways homeowners can improve their home this winter to keep warm, without turning up the heat. When winter approaches and the temperature starts to drop, many homeowners begin thinking about how they can reduce the cost of their energy bill. This year, keeping homes warm without excessive costs is more relevant than ever. In April 2020, 46.6 per cent of people in employment did some work at home, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Many people traditionally turn their heating off during the day while they are out of the house. However, with government advice to work from home wherever possible not set to cease, this will not be the case. Many people will spend their days inside their homes this winter, meaning heating expenses will rise. As a result, homeowners will need to take actions to keep their homes suitably warm, without increasing their financial outgoings. As well as lowering costs, homeowners may also want to explore more environmentally friendly heating methods. In summer 2020, the UK government announced that it would be supporting homeowners that want to make energy-efficient home upgrades, with its Green Homes Grant. As part of the scheme, the government will provide a voucher worth up to £5,000 or £10,000 to cover the cost of making energy-efficient home improvements. Homeowners and private and social landlords are entitled to the vouchers, which can be used for changes such as improved insulation or low-carbon heating. “Elevated energy bills are a worry for many people across the UK, especially in winter. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help bring these costs down and relieve some financial strain,” explained Nick Cowley, managing director of Euramax. “Some of these changes are things that can be done at no extra cost, like setting your thermostat effectively, while others do take a bit more preparation. “We wanted to suggest some possible uses of the Green Homes Grant, while demonstrating how high-quality windows and doors can improve the energy efficiency of a house. This infographic offers some suggestions that will allow homeowners to optimise their home this winter, whatever their budget.” To learn more about Euramax and their products, visit euramaxuk.com.

Read More »

Can modular construction rebuild the UK’s high streets?

Why town planners should use modular construction for Towns Fund projects In September 2020, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, announced the first part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund. Over 100 towns in England will be given up to £1 million to rejuvenate their centres. Town planners should use the money strategically to make as much of a positive impact on the area as possible. Here, Nick Cowley, managing director of uPVC windows supplier Euramax, explores why modular construction should be part of this strategy. The initial £80 million investment into the UK’s towns will be used for various projects, including pedestrianising streets, creating green spaces and redeveloping high street units. When rebuilding high streets, town planners should consider the increasingly popular methods of modular construction (MMC). MMC involves manufacturing individual parts of a building in an offsite facility and transporting them to the site in a completed state. When building in busy areas like town centres, work needs to be carried out efficiently to achieve sustainable and durable results, with minimal disruption to residents. MMC offers planners a perfect solution to build back commercial areas thanks to its speed, safety and sustainability. Faster completion MMC can be carried out between 30 and 50 per cent quicker than traditional methods. By taking a manufacturing-style approach to construction, identical components can be made repeatedly in an automated factory environment. Typically, two eight-hour shifts are undertaken each day — more than would be achieved onsite — which increases output. Once individual parts have been manufactured, the indoor construction process can begin. According to a 2019 report conducted by McKinsey & Company, a team of five workers can assemble up to six 3D modules per day. Module assembly can be carried out at the same time as the onsite foundation work, which adds to the speed of modular construction. Fast completion is beneficial to town planners because it reduces the time that access to the developing area is limited. This allows planners to mitigate the impact of the project on residents, ensuring noise pollution and blockages on roads and footpaths are kept to a minimum. Increased safety Guaranteeing safety when using traditional building techniques can be complicated:  numerous tradespeople need to be coordinated in a small construction area, in potentially harsh weather conditions. In contrast, elements of a modular building such as electrics, plumbing and uPVC windows and doors can be fitted in a factory setting, improving control over the process. Safety requirements can be met with ease and weather conditions have no impact on the quality of construction. As construction workers complete the bulk of the project indoors, less time is spent in a potentially dangerous, open-air environment. MMC also reduces the risk to the public because it moves around 80 per cent of construction offsite. This is particularly important in busy towns: the more potentially hazardous work that is done in a controlled offsite facility, the less of a danger the project is to the public. Lasting sustainability Modular construction is more sustainable than traditional building methods because it requires less transportation. Entire modules are constructed in one location, which reduces deliveries by up to 90 per cent, lowering the industry’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The pre-fabricated approach to construction also allows for more thermally efficient builds. Constructing modules in a controlled environment allows workers to seal joints, install insulation and minimise thermal bridging more accurately, which can reduce operational costs by around 20 per cent. Town planners can also select components that are certain to improve energy efficiency. Windows and doors are typically some of the biggest culprits of heat loss, so it’s important to work with a reliable manufacturer to deliver project success. Euramax offers a wide range of energy efficient uPVC windows and uPVC doors that come with a ten-year guarantee, which can be manufactured and fitted offsite, making them an ideal partner for energy efficient builds. Rejuvenating town centres is key to driving local economic growth and maintaining a sense of community. Using MMC can help planners build quickly and safely without sacrificing sustainability, restoring their towns’ spark.

Read More »

Euramax welcomes calls for 75,000 modular homes per year

Modular construction needs to be at the heart of the Government’s housing strategy A report compiled by the Government’s modern methods of construction (MMC) champion Mark Farmer and Mike De’Ath from architectural group HTA Design suggests that the Government should build 75,000 modular homes every year until 2030. Fulfilling this target would account for 25 per cent of the existing housebuilding goal of 300,000 homes. Here Nick Cowley, managing director of windows and doors supplier for modular builds, Euramax, explains why he agrees that the UK Government should take modular housebuilding more seriously. The Blueprint for a housing led industrial strategy presents MMC as a promising method that will aid the success of the Government’s housebuilding target, and will play a vital role in the construction industry’s COVID-19 recovery plans. Housing delivery faced massive disruption in 2020, and is likely to endure lasting impact. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Government have vowed to “build, build, build” to counteract the deceleration of the construction sector, placing housing at the centre of the recovery agenda. But, with a complicated road to recovery still ahead, the construction sector must use cost and quality effective methods to navigate this path. Let’s look at why we should “build, build, build”, using the modular method. Reaching goals Long before the pandemic hit, the Government outlined targets to increase the performance of the construction industry. Construction 2025, a report published by the Government in 2013, envisioned a 33 per cent reduction in construction costs, 50 per cent faster delivery times and a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases emitted by the built environment. We’re five years away from these proposed targets, and even more pressure has been placed on the industry since 2013. Modular construction is already proving its value in driving the industry towards these targets. The speed of MMC is well known — we only have to consider the speed at which the world’s tallest modular construction was fabricated, with 44 stories craned into place in just 31 months. The increasingly favoured volumetric MMC approach involves fabricating fully finished modules that include assets such as fitted kitchens and bathrooms. These units deliver a complete turnkey solution, with little need for external parties to work onsite, facilitating a smoother collaboration for quicker completion times. Increased sustainability Like all forms of manufacturing, the construction industry faces increased pressure to lower its carbon emissions and contribute towards global climate goals. According to some studies, construction is responsible for up to 50 per cent of climate change, 40 per cent of energy usage globally, and 50 per cent of landfill waste. With the climate and housing crises running in parallel, it’s key that we find ways of building better, smarter buildings. Many modular construction companies are adopting an environmental approach throughout their supply chain. Incorporating eco-friendly building materials is now an innate part of the modular building process, lowering the environmental impact of prefabricated builds and reducing their overall material consumption. The reduction of material waste is largely down to the controlled manufacturing environment that facilitates modular production. Obsolete materials that would typically be sent to a landfill if they were unused onsite can instead by recycled for other projects being hosted at the facility. Constructing modules at an offsite location also reduces the amount of energy that’s required during the project. Everything from bathroom tiles to windows and doors are integrated at once, reducing assembly time and meaning fewer partners need to be called onto the production site. Not only does the UK need to build more homes, but these homes must be built to a higher standard, in less time and help meet pressing environmental targets. Farmer and De’Ath’s Blueprint closes with ambition — that building 75,000 modular homes each year will present the UK’s construction industry as “an international exemplar in innovative housing delivery and [that] drives standards in the rest of the new build housing market.” For Euramax, this call for consideration marks the recognition of modular construction as a viable solution to many challenges in the UK’s built environment — a solution we wholeheartedly support. Euramax supplies PVCu windows and doors and composite doors that can meet the specifications of any modular build. To learn more about our products, visit the website today.

Read More »

Building homes for first-time buyers

How housebuilders can prepare for the First Homes scheme In February 2020, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, announced the Government’s First Homes scheme. The scheme will see thousands of new houses being built across the UK, aimed to help more first-time buyers onto the property ladder. When building for first-time homeowners, housebuilders need to consider their specific needs. Here, Nick Cowley, managing director of windows and doors manufacturer Euramax, explores how housebuilders should prepare for the First Homes scheme. The First Homes scheme aims to make home ownership more attainable by providing homes at a discounted price of at least 30 per cent. In the UK, house prices can be as much as 15 times the median salary, excluding many from purchasing. By selling houses for less than the open market price, the Government hopes to help people buy homes in their local communities. Even with a discounted housing price, first-time buyers are likely to be on a tight budget and will favour ready-to-move-in homes that require minimal modification. Therefore, it is important that housebuilders construct new builds to be as practical as possible, so that first-time buyers can move in comfortably and enjoy their homes right away. Safety first Home security is a top priority for any homeowner. With around 350,000 burglaries occurring across the UK every year, a comprehensive home security system is a sensible investment. However, security measures can be a costly upgrade that first homeowners could probably do without. Housebuilders should choose windows and doors with integrated safety mechanisms that will give new homeowners peace of mind that their property is secure. Around 74 per cent of burglars in the UK enter through the front door, and housebuilders should be mindful of this when designing their new builds. Security technology is rapidly developing, and housebuilders may want to integrate SMART window and door locks into high-spec new homes. SMART locks can be combined with sensors that alert homeowners if a window or door has been left open. This can then be managed remotely via a smartphone, giving homeowners complete control of the access to their home, no matter where they are. Besides thinking about SMART technology, homeowners must build with structural security in mind. Composite doors offer the highest level of protection. They are made of sturdy structural frames and glass-reinforced plastic, which makes them ideal for protection against burglars. Taking a two-fold approach to new build security will give first-time buyers confidence in their property right from the start without the need for costly enhancements. Energy efficiency Another outgoing that first-time buyers will be keen to keep low is running costs. Although new homes are already roughly 50 per cent cheaper to run than an equivalent Victorian house, improving the energy efficiency of a new build should be prioritised by housebuilders. In a 2019 report, the Committee on Climate Change recommended that all new homes should use no more than 15 to 20 kilowatt hours of energy per square metre per year (kWh/m2/year) to keep warm. However, Government statistics suggest that the actual figure is nearer 60 kWh/m2/year. Using up to four times the amount of energy recommended comes at an extra cost to homeowners, so housebuilders should select materials and building components that contribute to lowering energy expenditures. Up to 30 per cent of a home’s heat is lost through its windows, so choosing the right window style is crucial to improving energy efficiency. Windows need to be as non-conductive as possible, to keep the cold out and the heat in. Euramax offers double-glazed PVCu windows that are rated A for energy efficiency. Both the air between the windowpanes and in the PVCu frames are good insulators of heat, which helps to improve the consistency of a home’s temperature and prevent heat loss. Selecting energy-efficient windows will not only reduce costs for new homeowners, but it will also reduce national domestic energy consumption. Domestic energy consumption accounts for around 28 per cent of the UK’s total energy use. If housebuilders ensure that new builds are as energy efficient as possible, the industry will support the UK in meeting its target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Modern design According to a survey conducted by Barratt Homes, only half of first-time buyers intend on staying in their first home for over a year, yet in reality, 71 per cent stay for four or more years. Housebuilders should build with this in mind, by choosing components that are designed to retain their appearance, reducing the need for frequent replacements. The average first-time buyer in the UK is 34 years old, meaning many will be hitting other life milestones at the same time as home ownership. Whether it’s marriage, children or a new pet, a first-time buyer needs a house that can adapt to suit any change in lifestyle. PVCu windows and doors are a practical option thanks to their strength and durability. However, they are often considered an unstylish solution because of the misconception that they cannot be customised. At Euramax, our products come in a range of colour options and glass designs that can be customised to suit the desired house style, be it traditional, modern or anything in between. What’s more, our windows come with a ten-year guarantee, which means new houseowners will be safe in the knowledge that their new property will be fit for purpose however their lifestyle may change. With more than four million people in the UK living in sub-standard accommodation, it’s important for the housebuilding industry to prepare for the First Homes scheme to allow them to work with the Government to reduce this number. By carefully considering the unique needs of the first-time buyer market and selecting housing components that meet them, housebuilders can be sure that new properties will serve their owners for years to come.

Read More »

Supporting affordable housing with modular construction

~ Euramax releases infographic on benefits modular construction brings to housing market ~ Yorkshire based window and door manufacturer, Euramax, has released an infographic that outlines the UK’s current struggles to create enough affordable homes for first time buyers. Following the UK government’s recent creation of a First Homes scheme, many hopeful homeowners still remain uncertain that they will have enough funds to make it onto the property ladder. In order to create enough homes to meet demand, the government has predicted that over 300,000 homes must be built each year until 2025. A lack of housing is not the only factor affecting the UK housing market. Many first-time buyers are unable to get onto the property ladder due to the high cost of an initial deposit. To help first time buyers, the government announced the First Homes scheme in February 2020. The scheme, which has been prioritised for key workers such as those in the Armed Forces, police and teachers, will offer a 30 per cent discount on new homes. However, analysis by homeless charity Shelter has found that 96 per cent of average earners would still not be able to afford a home under this scheme. Modular construction has become a standout method in the construction industry. Builds can be completed quicker and because fewer resources are required in their construction, they are usually cheaper to build and buy. This could offer a more affordable solution for the first time buyers struggling to get onto the property ladder. Euramax originally supplied windows for narrow boats and the static and touring caravan market, before expanding into the modular and offsite construction sectors in 2019. “Though Euramax has not supplied into the modular sector as long as it has caravans, assessing the industry and connecting with professionals has helped us to gain a strong insight into the potential of modular construction”, said managing director, Nick Cowley. “We now supply our products to a number of modular home manufacturers across the country. “Modular constructions can be built up to 50 per cent faster than traditional brick and mortar homes. This quick completion time has recently helped to build emergency hospitals and additional wards, as well as school classrooms. Modular builds can be completed quicker because the build is prefabricated offsite, in a factory-controlled environment. “Unlike traditionally built homes that require extensive site preparation before construction can commence, fabrication of the modules can start right away. Because a modular build is predominantly constructed offsite, there is little disruption from factors such as the weather and quality checks can be carried out beforehand. “It’s clear to see that a lot more must be done to help more first-time buyers enter the property market. That’s why we are dedicated to supporting this industry and recently supplied modular home manufacturer Ilke Homes, with windows and doors for 2,000 of their modular homes,” added Cowley. To learn more about how Euramax’s range of PVCu windows and doors and composite doors can support the modular industry, visit the website.

Read More »

UK window and door manufacturer celebrates 70 years

Yorkshire based window and door manufacturer Euramax is celebrating its 70-year anniversary. Incorporated in 1950 as a family run business, Euramax now employs 150 people, operates from a 205,000 square foot facility and manufactures over 3,000 products a week. Boasting an impressive number of firsts in its 70 years, the company has also witnessed the paradigm shift from cost-effective windows and doors to luxury, double-glazed materials. Originally founded as Ellbee, the company’s journey began in Leeds, manufacturing aluminium window frames for narrowboats and the automobile industry before partnering with a glazing company to supply pre-glazed aluminium windows. In the 1990s, Ellbee became the first company in the UK to supply unplasticised polyvinyl-chloride (PVCu) windows to the static caravan market. It also became the first to develop an internal clamping system for efficient window installation, which is still widely used in the industry today. As the company expanded, Ellbee moved to its first of three factory sites in Leeds in 1964. In 1996, Euramax International was formed and in 2013 the company moved to its current facility in Barnsley. After the arrival of managing director Nick Cowley in 2019, Euramax broke into the portable building and modular construction markets. At present, Euramax manufactures and supplies PVCu windows, doors and composite doors for a number of sectors, including the holiday home and home improvement markets, as well as builders’ merchants, including Wickes, Selco and Travis Perkins. “Euramax has transformed into a company that adapts to support its customers’ marketplace,” said Nick Cowley, managing director at Euramax. “Following trends and analysing the requirements of our sectors has allowed us to expand our customer base to a number of home improvement customers and builders’ merchants, leisure home and modular home manufacturers across the country. “The caravan market has changed dramatically since the 1960s. StaticCaravans that were not highly regarded and were considered popular for those who couldn’t afford to travel abroad, have now been developed into impressive modern homes. As the style, size and purpose of these products developed, so did the requirements of Euramax’s products,” continued Cowley. “Energy efficiency was not a consideration in the original development of the caravan market. But, gradually the need for warmer accommodation was in demand. We knew that the market needed energy efficient windows, which is why we moved from supplying single glazed aluminium windows, to double glazed PVCu, which has better thermal properties. In fact, our windows are rated A for their energy efficiency by The British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC). “While the industry and its requirements have changed, our ability to consistently supply glazed PVCu windows to what is an ever-changing market has remained the same. Some of our longest serving customers include Willerby Holiday Homes, Atlas Leisure Homes and Carnaby Caravans. “Turning 70 is a great milestone for Euramax. There aren’t many window and door manufacturers that can say they have survived a recession.  We’ve gone from barges to building and construction and I’m very proud of that. Who knows what the next 70 years will bring?” “In addition, we developed our unique hybrid PVCu and composite doors in 2019. We wanted to provide our customers with the best of both worlds as we found that composite options can become swollen in the summer,” added Cowley. “I don’t think our success this far would’ve been attainable without the dedicated team we have,” said Richard Banks, commercial director at Euramax. “Some of our employees have been with us nearly 40 years now. “During my time with Euramax, I have seen many changes in personnel, products and processes. However, the one thing that has remained consistent is the dedication of our employees to fuel our passion to listen to our customers and deliver the solutions they require,” said Banks. August 2020 marks 70 years of manufacturing for Euramax. For more information or to browse its products and the sectors it supplies, go to www.euramaxuk.com or call +44 (0) 1226 361639.

Read More »

Offsite construction: overcoming the challenges of the building industry

Digitalisation and autonomous processes are propelling the manufacturing industry into a Fourth Industrial Revolution. With technology providing connectivity and data-driven insights  to the manufacturing sector, can it also solve challenges facing the construction industry? Here, Nick Cowley, managing director at window and door supplier to the offsite construction industry, Euramax, explains how offsite construction allows building project managers to use the infrastructure of the manufacturing industry to overcome industry challenges. Offsite construction involves fabricating the elements of a building under controlled factory conditions, in a location away from the installation site. This approach takes advantage of the modular building method, where separate units are manufactured individually then brought to site and joined together. The modules of the building include walls, roofs, windows and doors and even entire rooms, such as bathroom pods or contained accommodation units. Offsite construction is increasing in popularity, with the Lloyds Bank annual housebuilding report finding that 68 per cent of housebuilders are investing in modular housing. With its ability to significantly shorten construction time, without compromising building quality, offsite construction has the potential to solve many of the challenges facing the building industry. Boost Productivity The main reasons for productivity difficulties in the building industry can be pinpointed to a lack of technological advancement and inefficient use of time. This has been overcome in the manufacturing industry through digitalised processes and paperless manufacturing. Many manufacturers have discarded their paper trail of information and adopted a seamless digital system, which connects all equipment and processes together. These systems can display real time data for easy monitoring and can synchronise processes to maximise productivity and efficiency. Factory workers now have a stream of data at their fingertips, cutting wasted time searching for information. In contrast, ask someone to describe the equipment of a construction project manager and common answers are likely to include a clipboard, pen and paper. In fact, around 40 per cent of construction companies still use manual recording methods rather than a digital system. This outdated process encourages mistakes and misinterpretation on construction sites, and falls far behind the advanced digital recording and monitoring systems used in the manufacturing industry. Updates to daily reports, punch lists and blueprints can get buried and lost when recorded on paper, meaning keeping track of information is a challenging task. During offsite construction, automated production techniques use advanced robotics that are connected by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in order to manufacture building parts. This allows superior monitoring of production lines, which can be used to streamline processes and keep a clear and comprehensive record, minimising mistakes and reducing production time. The Buildoffsite report found that offsite building can reduce onsite construction time by up to 30 per cent for large buildings, such as office blocks and supermarkets, and 60 per cent for smaller projects, such as schools. Increase profit margins A large number of construction companies operate on the low margin, high volume business model, with margins as low as 1.5 per cent considered a normality. This is largely driven by the fact that low offers win business, so low margins are necessary to survive in the competitive industry. With margins being so low, construction projects are commonly focused on getting the job done as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Setting unreasonably short time frames inevitably has negative repercussions. Pressurised workers can become stressed, which is not only damaging to their mental health, but also increases the chances of disrupting and potentially dangerous mistakes. Unrealistic project deadlines can cause corners to be cut, so work is of a lower quality and health and safety concerns become an afterthought. Building components of the construction project offsite can save money and in turn increase profit margins. Manufacturing facilities can use automated equipment to produce materials faster and require less manual labour. The resourceful manufacturing techniques also mean less supplies are wasted. By only transporting the constructed components to the building site when needed, the probability of damage from weather conditions or onsite equipment is also reduced. It’s important to work with a trusted supplier that can deliver high quality products to ensure a successful modular build project. Euramax is experienced in supplying quality PVCu windows and doors for modular buildings. Offering a range of products that can be transported from the factory and installed in pre-fabricated construction sites across the country, Euramax’s PVCu windows are easy to install, providing a cost effective solution that meets security and energy efficiency requirements. The construction industry is key to UK infrastructure, yet its productivity and profit margins can risk falling behind the fast pace of the manufacturing industry. However, it’s possible to merge the two. Offsite construction allows housebuilders to benefit from industry’s advancements by bringing construction to the manufacturing plant. The use of automated equipment connected to the IIoT enables faster production with a comprehensive digital record — helping boost project productivity and increase profit margins.

Read More »