A History In Heritage

The home improvement market is seeing a resurgence of classic styles and historic charm says Timberlook’s sales director Phil Myers – and the brand has its own recent but impressive history in this resurgence.

Myers writes: Timberlook sits within the scope of the Affordable Windows Group – a massive window fabrication group that produces vast numbers of PVC-U and aluminium products. There are a number of group companies and there are a number of associated brands. These brands have always stayed ahead in the ebb and flow of design trends in our industry.

Without giving my age away, I have first-hand experience of the industry's gradual departure from favouring PVC-U products and the massive uptake in aluminium systems over the past two decades.


Back to classic PVC-U

However, in recent years, we have seen the fenestration industry shift back to PVC-U. We have noticed homeowners increasingly move away from the white PVC-U windows that dominated during the 1980s. Instead, the home improvement market is seeing a resurgence of classic styles and historic charm.

This trend, coinciding with the soaring demand for energy efficiency, created a new challenge for our industry, which was to make heritage windows and doors that combined traditional aesthetics with modern performance.

With this challenge also came a huge opportunity. So, when Affordable Window Systems launched Timberlook, our aim was clear – to create something distinct – something that would stand out from the other offerings on the market.


The foundations of success

Timberlook is a young brand – we only launched six years ago. Yet, for such a new range, the product has seen extraordinary success. Having our parent company, Affordable Window Systems, at its foundation has helped propell Timberlook into the trade market and gain it recognition.

Based in Lancashire, Affordable Window Systems, part of the Affordable Windows Group, has roots that trace back to the 1970s. Initially operating as a supply-only fabricator serving local tradespeople, Affordable Window Systems saw huge early success.

The company's expansion was fuelled further by establishing 21st Century Window Centres to provide the local level of service on which Affordable Windows was founded. The introduction of Affordable Aluminium gave the trade a specialist, Aluminium-focused outlet to purchase from as well.


Employee Ownership Trust

Today, Affordable Windows Group is an EOT (Employee Ownership Trust) and is one of the UK's leading suppliers and manufacturers of aluminium and PVC-U windows, doors and conservatories.


Introducing Timberlook

When initially expanding into the heritage market, it was essential to test the water, so we originally bought flush sash windows from a smaller supplier. After seeing their product, we knew what we wanted to do and we already had the infrastructure to do it.

Behind the scenes, we began crafting our own ambitiously authentic flush sash casement window. With meticulous attention to detail, it took just over a year for us to fulfil our objectives. The time spent proved more than worth it. Today, our Timberlook range is arguably one of the most authentic heritage ranges on the market.



We began developing Timberlook by bringing together design details, such as Timberweld joints to mimic timber butt joints, astragal bars, authentic sills and heritage hardware, such as monkey-tail and teardrop handles. We also curated a collection of woodgrain foils to mimic the timeless beauty of timber.

However, we determined Timberlook's appeal needed to go beyond aesthetics.


Thermal efficiency

A-rated for efficiency and with cleverly concealed trickle vents (the first on the market), our range of windows may look classically historical, yet they are designed to stand up to modern building requirements. This makes them the choice for new-builds as well as historical properties.

We are always keen to stay on the cutting edge, so we constantly refine the range. In 2018, we launched a flush French door system to complement our existing products. We also future-proofed our windows by improving their thermal performance even further – our flush sash casement windows can now boast U-values as low as 1.2W/m2.

In just six short years, we have manufactured over 65,000+ Timberlook frames – so we must be doing something right.


A win-win relationship

Installers are at the heart of everything we do at Timberlook, right down to how we design our products. With a 70mm depth, our flush sash casement windows make for quick and easy installation, while our national distribution system delivers Timberlook nationwide.

Timberlook products are also featured on Tommy Trinder's Framepoint Technology, making it even easier to bring Timberlook to life for customers. In late 2023, we set up our first marketing department to ensure we can provide comprehensive assistance whenever possible. The department has been hard at work curating a new Timberlook installer pack containing a plethora of branded Timberlook products for customers to use and wear while installing. This initiative strengthens the brand and propels in-house lead generation, ensuring our valued customers have the tools they need for success.


The future of heritage

While we don't have a crystal ball, it is clear that the heritage market will play a pivotal role in the future of the fenestration industry.

We have ambitious plans for the future. Our new purpose-built warehouse will allow us to continue offering our installers the most efficient service and we have many more exciting updates in the pipeline.

As we continue to build on Timberlook's legacy, we have the utmost faith that its success proves the considerable potential of the heritage window and door market. It is abundantly clear that there is a growing demand for authentic traditional styles designed for modern living, so we don't plan on slowing down anytime soon.


Picture: A typical Timberlook installation.


Article written by John Roper
10th March 2024


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