What is the next generation of aluminium door products?

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Nick Dardalis

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The general perception of aluminium doors and windows has vastly improved over the last few years. Some of the typical misconceptions about aluminium windows and doors have been successfully put to bed. It is no longer true that:

  • Aluminium is not thermally efficient, is cold and condensates.
  • Aluminium windows and doors are ‘commercial’ windows.
  • Aluminium windows and doors are high maintenance.

Aluminium doors are now better than ever.

contemporary extension with large sliding doors.
What is the next generation of aluminium doors that will capture the imagination of the customer?

The reality is that the awareness of aluminium in the eyes of the end-user customer is now better than ever before. Much of this is to do with recent innovations in aluminium design, extrusions and performance.

The development of the polyamide thermal break is one great feature found in aluminium doors and windows. The thermal break is responsible for giving aluminium frames their thermal properties and great U Values when used with various glass combinations. The thermal break has also enabled customers to have an excellent colour choice. Different colours inside and out are now possible thanks to the polyamide thermal break.

The other great feature of aluminium doors especially is how large they can be made from the slimmest sections. Bifolding doors are an excellent example of this.

With any maturing market, it is easy for it to stagnate. Look at the current generation of bifolding doors and many offer similar thermal performance, similar U Vales and modern design.

There are of course exceptions. Some doors are highly engineered and positioned at the premium end of the market. Origin, Schuco, Aïr, Reynaers Kawneer are all great examples of bifolding doors with superb design, engineering and specifications.

The Origin bifolding door comes with a 20-year guarantee. The aïr range of bifolding, sliding and lift and slide doors all come with a 25-year warranty. In short, bifolding doors are today great products with some exceptional ones in the mix.

So what are the aluminium products to look out for?  We can see two definite growth markets in aluminium.

The next generation of aluminium sliding door.

air sliding doors in new build home.
aïr sliding doors are one modern aluminium sliding door to cater for the large spans, slim lines and big openings the customer wants.

We predict the next generation product in home improvements will be the sliding door. It is worth remembering that this product is far older than the bifold. The bifold gained popularity for its ability to open up space. Does this mean that bifolding doors have replaced sliding doors?

Our view is that every product has its place, but there are certain properties, locations and designs where a sliding door is now regarded as possibly better than a folding door.

The established aluminium fabricators tell us that orders of contemporary sliding doors are taking up a sizeable chunk of their manufacturing capacity. The consumer enquiries into this website nowadays, are commonly about sliding doors as much as folding doors.

Manufacturers also report a customer demand for extra-large span sliding doors. These are being ordered as two or three-panel doors up to six meters or more in width and up to 3 metres or more in height. This means that the customer wants the large glass panels, the uninterrupted views all year round.

On a sliding door, the only loss of view is where the doors meet – the interlock. With interlocks ranging from just 20mm with some high-end systems to more standard 40-60mm on most modern sliding doors, that is all the view customer loses with a sliding door. Compare this with several of the slimmer bifolding doors with meeting stiles of 120mm and you can see why customers might still prefer a sliding door. Let us not forget our doors remain closed most of the year.

The sliding door market is certainly gaining momentum, and we know there are several new sliding door products from some well-known names in the door and window industry coming soon. Watch this space.

We do not see the new generation of contemporary aluminium sliding doors overtaking the bifolding door because they both serve a different customer requirement. We are seeing owners of large properties with big gardens or located in beautiful locations choosing large sliding doors for their extensions. Some properties can benefit from both a sliding and a folding door.

The smaller properties such as the suburban houses (of which there are far more) are opting for a folding door to enjoy their outside space more when the weather is better.

The contemporary aluminium front door.

aluminium front doors.
Aluminium front doors are going to be the next growth market as consumers seek modern, wider and taller doors.

Make no mistake, composite doors are good. Look at a quality composite front door such as a Solidor or a Rocal and they look great, they feel like a real front door. They have dominated the front door market for years.

However, we all know that the trend is for bigger doors and double doors. Entrance doors that are wider and taller. Composite doors are restricted as to how large they can be made. Aluminium doors, depending upon the system, have little restriction.

Composite doors are also restricted as to how small they can be made. It is not uncommon for it not to be possible to fit a new composite door to old cottages and properties having short and narrow doorways. The slab sizes determine how small composite doors can be made.

Aluminium again has little restriction. Doors as narrow as 400mm are possible with an aluminium door – something a composite door cannot achieve.

The next generation of front door is going to be aluminium. Origin, Dutemann, Spitfire Doors and others, have all brought out a vast range of aluminium front entrance doors. Knowledgable manufacturers are also finding sources of contemporary aluminium panels and creating their own aluminium front doors. These are only modern or traditional panels glazed into their existing residential door system.

We predict the aluminium front door market will be the next big thing in 2017.

Aluminium products for the ‘high-end’ market.

large span sliding doors
The high end market demands better, larger and more impressive aluminium doors.

The high-end market is regarded as the customer with a large budget, with an impressive property and with a desire to fit windows and doors that are better than standard.

Quite what determines a high-end system is down to interpretation. The perception of high end is in many respects, a combination of smart marketing to a particular target customer. Often the product is ‘standard’ but perceived as high-end thanks to branding. In short, aluminium manufacturers are catering to those customers looking for a ‘wow’ factor.

This wow factor now comprises of special colours, designer handles, doors that are slimmer yet larger.  Doors with impressive weather performance specification and long warranties.  These are also doors that tend to be more exclusive in their source.

There are of course aluminium products marketed as high-end and luxury doors that are basic systems and others that are anything but. The two examples we gave earlier with doors by Origin and Everglade Windows. A 20 and 25-year guarantee respectively, demonstrates a commitment by some manufacturers as to how a product can be properly designed, made, marketed and supported.

We think the sliding door and the aluminium front door are the doors to watch in the next 12 months from the major systems companies. Our research is supported by the number of entrance door and sliding door providers that have booking space at forthcoming trade and consumer exhibitions in 2017 as well.

Prepare to see more of these products in the coming months and a shift to showroom refurbishment where entrance doors and sliding doors will feature more than ever before.

Providing expert help to homeowners and trade professionals since 2010




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16:42 30 Oct 23
Nick responded incredibly quickly to my enquiry (on a Saturday too!), and was able to offer invaluable advice on both aluminum systems and manufacturer / suppliers. Thanks Nick!
chris steerchris steer
16:18 09 Oct 23
Had a meeting with Nick during the grand designs show. Was extremely helpful and professional would highly recommend
Chris WesthorpChris Westhorp
19:55 13 Sep 23
Extremely helpful with pointing us in the right direction to find the products we required and suggesting firms that could reliably fit them.Nick was quick to reply and very detailed in his advice.Highly recommend reaching out to them.
Cathy GreenwoodCathy Greenwood
07:03 11 Sep 23
Update - A second email to nick for help on bifolds resulted in a detailed informative reply even on a Sunday ! This guy is so knowledgable and helpful .I approached Nick for an independent view on sliding doors v bifold and the different brand options . His reply was extremely detailed and prompt and allowed me to navigate this often confusing world in a much more informed way . Thanks so much Nick
Anthony CraigAnthony Craig
12:45 05 Sep 23
This is a must site for anyone looking for advice. Great service and very quick answers to questions. Nick has been of great help quiding us through the maze of aluminium products. Thank you
Philip DuffieldPhilip Duffield
20:24 26 Jul 23
I contacted Nick @ ATS for guidance on what aluminium sliding door systems would be suitable for an opening in an extension that is going to be both wide and tall. He came back really quickly with very detailed and incredibly helpful advice. He is clearly extremely knowledgeable about the systems on the market and their respective features and capabilities. If you’re feeling a bit lost by the overwhelming range of choices out there, I’d definitely recommend contacting him.
Dariush HekmatDariush Hekmat
17:25 19 Jul 23
Nick's advice is great. He is always quick to respond and spends time on responses, which really help to make an informed decision.
Alan FosterAlan Foster
07:51 12 Jul 23
Absolutely fantastic. Asked for advice about replacing Crittall (?) windows late last night and early this morning received 3 great suggestions and contact information for suppliers
Rachel LauRachel Lau
09:24 16 Jun 23
Fantastic website full of valuable and pragmatic advice about product selection and comparison: no other website gives information like this. Truly written for public interest. Don't hesistate to reach out to Nick via the mailing system. He responds very quickly, is friendly, and has very sound and high knowledgable advice. I have already shared this with my friend planning her own grand design.
guard Charlieguard Charlie
12:28 14 May 23
I emailed this company just on the off chance they could help me with new magnetic sliders for my patio door. They were not able to supply those but were so very helpful providing me with the name of a company who could. I am so very grateful at the great service. Dare say customers must be very happy. thank you so much.
Benjamin LewisBenjamin Lewis
10:06 04 May 23
Nick is very helpful indeed. Extremely knowledgeable on bifolds which was in relation to my query. Great website as well, some very useful articles. Particularly appreciated the article that lists all the major bifold options in order of their sightlines! Thank you!
P JonesP Jones
08:07 15 Apr 23
I asked Nick some questions about an installation we were considering and he replied within hours with some very useful suggestions that will probably lead us to using a different make and supplier. Thanks, Nick. Great work.
Nicholas WallNicholas Wall
13:18 02 Apr 23
Looking for fair and honest expert advice on all aspect of aluminium windows and doors? These guys will arm you with all the information you need to make the RIGHT choice in a highly complex, crowded marketplace. post a question and you will get a very quick professional answer you can rely on being based on fact. Thanks guys!
Giorgia SiriacoGiorgia Siriaco
16:25 21 Mar 23
After a lot of research to find doors that would meet our unusual size requirements and feeling increasingly uncertain about the best way to spend our small budget, I stumbled on the ATS website, and I'm so glad I did! I contacted ATS to request advice and Nick promptly replied with a wealth of information, providing us with options and relevant contact details. I only wish I'd found them sooner!
Carol NortonCarol Norton
10:01 17 Mar 23
I've been so confused about how to achieve the look I'm after, and going round in circles with various window/door companies, trying to get away from the huge chunks of plastic currently around my windows. I didn't expect an email to a company found through a Google search to really help - but I was desperate, so I tried. I'm SO glad I did. Finally I have clear explanations from ATS of where I've been going wrong, exactly what I'm looking for, and a list of local companies that might be able to provide it! The response has excelled my expectations and I feel as if I'm finally inching closer to a home with which I'll be happy and comfortable: thank you.
David NunnDavid Nunn
20:54 14 Mar 23
It is rare that I write reviews, however after my very positive communication with Nick - enquiring about suitable slim sash aluminium windows for my project, I felt that a review was definitely warranted. I can reinforce the many positive reviews posted so far, Nick was very quick to respond, providing comprehensive detail, with excellent independent advice.In summary, great service, thank you Nick.
Chantal AuerbachChantal Auerbach
13:04 09 Mar 23
Nick from Aluminium Trade Supply was incredibly helpful informative and pleasant to deal with. He responded quickly to emails and was very knowledgeable. Highly recommend being in touch with Nick if you are considering new aluminium windows or doors.
Lee JonesLee Jones
20:21 22 Feb 23
I dropped Nick at Aluminium Trade Supply an email re high security slim sightline bi-folds and their alternatives and he responded that quickly (and so comprehensively) that I felt bad I’d not paid him for his time!Nick Sir your product knowledge is outstanding and you are providing a level of service that goes wayyyy above and beyond expectations. I’ll definitely make sure I mention Aluminium Trade Supply to anyone I encounter looking for a fenestration solution 🙏🏼
15:13 13 Feb 23
We are looking to replace some old UPVC patios doors with aluminium ones. The ATS website is a great source of advice in an area where clear information is sorely lacking. Having used the website, I then followed this up with a number of specific questions relating to our search, and Nick came back very quickly with clear, detailed and very useful advice.I have been very impressed with both the website and with Nick's advice. My only regret is that I didn't come across ATS before replacing various windows in 2021 - I'm sure it would have saved me a lot of grief and money! Thanks again Nick.
Azza McCabeAzza McCabe
17:47 01 Feb 23
So impressed with this company.Responded to my query quickly andgave valuable advice. Nick was extremely helpful and we were able to move forward with our project.
Adri LoloçiAdri Loloçi
11:21 08 Jan 23
Nick was super fast to respond and provided some great recommendations. I would recommend this website to anyone looking to find bifold or sliding aluminium doors.
Stephen HoustonStephen Houston
16:16 03 Jan 23
Looking for aluminium crittall style internal door and external patio French doors. Noted good reviews and thought would ask for advice. Comprehensive reply with excellent independent advice and lists of fitters who could provide products and installation. Great service.
Inga GeachInga Geach
08:25 21 Dec 22
Nick from Aluminium Trade Supply has been extremely helpful with navigating the jungle that is aluminium glazing for our upcoming extension project. His advice was prompt, detailed and always impartial. Very grateful for your input, thanks Nick!
Amanda BurtonAmanda Burton
10:54 16 Dec 22
Brilliant website and an excellent service. Nick provided not only detailed advice and supplier contacts, but highlighted the considerations of various products so I could make an informed choice. Our Sunvista minimal sliders were fitted this week and I couldn't be happier, stunning. Thanks once again for your advice and recommendations, invaluable!
Keith BarnesKeith Barnes
17:18 10 Dec 22
Very helpful advice given to my question, including the name of 3 different companies that i could try for the product being enquired about. Many thanks
Munim ChowdhuryMunim Chowdhury
11:45 13 Sep 22
Nick has been very helpful on signposting me to a number of partner organisations for steel/aluminium doors.
SUSAN wallaceSUSAN wallace
17:26 31 Aug 22
My experience with this firm was exceptionally good and this is notalways the case as a female, dipping a toe into technical waters.I was spoken too with courtesy and at a level that helped me consolidate what was needed .On top of that I was given a list of companies and places where I could obtain the type of product I needed.I could not thank them enough and would certainly go there again and reccommend others do too.
Paul SalterPaul Salter
22:39 22 Aug 22
Contacting Aluminium Trade Supply is like contacting the Oracle direct. Advice is always comprehensive and balanced. On multiple occasions they have provided me with options that fully meet our objectives. Many thanks.
Nick McCormackNick McCormack
20:25 14 Aug 22
Really helpful and useful came back to me on a Sunday with some invaluable information. Highly recommended.
ray addisonray addison
13:14 14 Aug 22
received a prompt reply to my query,and helpful information from ATS