Council for Aluminium in Building

The structure of the domestic aluminium window and door industry

The domestic aluminium windows and doors market includes numerous different people and companies that all have their place in making an aluminium system a reality for a homeowner.

Below is a brief run through of the type of companies and processes involved in getting your aluminium windows and doors fitted:

Brand/Systems Houses

A brand/systems house designs a window or door ‘system’.  The system house will design how the aluminium product will work, look and feel.  They will also carry out the major base testing of the system to ensure that it is suitable for the market.  This testing will include weather performance, thermal insulation, acoustic insulation and security.  They will ensure the “system” meets all relevant standards that are in place.

Once a systems house has designed an aluminium system they will produce manuals for how it should be made and will normally also create the lengths of aluminium profiles (extrusions) that will be used to fabricate the window or door installation.

Other system houses do not make a single window or door for purchase. Instead, they design an aluminium window or door system and then sell this design to aluminium fabricators who create the window or door that will be installed on site.

Aluminium Fabricators

A fabricator will purchase the base elements of an aluminium system from a systems house and create individual windows and doors.  This then allows fabricators to create aluminium systems that are bespoke for each installation or project.  The shape, size and frame colour can all be specified (in accordance with the system limitations) to make sure that the end aluminium installation meets all design criteria.  This includes cutting profiles, joints, handles and any additional ironmongery.

Aluminium doors and windows are made from extrusions.  The extrusions are manufactured from either prime or recycled aluminium billets and can be finished by anodising or painting.  The extrusion process is a method by where the aluminium is heated and forced through an extrusion die that has the shape of the profile machined into it. Aluminium is one of the most recyclable construction products in use today.

Aluminium Installers

The installer is the person or company that will install your window or door into the project.  This could be the builder on the project; it is possible to buy basic aluminium windows and doors from fabricators on a supply only basis for an experienced builder to install.

In most cases, the fabrication company you work with will have an installation team in-house or can at least recommend one.

You should check on any quotations you receive from your aluminium fabricator whether they include installation or not. It should be clear within the contents of the quote.

CAB recommends using one of our members for your aluminium door and window requirements.  Click on the link and search.

Members | Council for Aluminium in Building (c-a-b.org.uk)

Also see: Residential Aluminium (residential-aluminium.org.uk) for further information