Heritage Interest Rekindled

A renewed interest by homeowners in their properties has rekindled an old market sector, argues Nathan Court, the sales director at Sternfenster.

Despite warnings of a slowdown in 2023, business for most window companies has been brisk, with high-value renovations making up for a drop off in volume work,” said Court. “It took the industry by surprise but homeowners really did take a renewed interest in the homes following the series of lockdowns in 2020. The reasons were generally accepted as being the desire for better-looking homes, coupled with more space and more light.


Heritage designs desired

“Homeowners also viewed their homes in a historically sympathetic way when they chose new windows and doors, which has helped drive the trend towards flush, colour and other heritage designs.”

Court pointed out that most homes in the UK are not modern and require sympathetic attention to heritage detailing: “While 2.3 million owner-occupied homes were built since 2003, 4.7 million owner-occupied homes were built before 1919. In many of these cases, a white, chamfered storm casement PVC-U window looks dramatically out of place. Following the pandemic, homeowners are increasingly realising this and are moving towards products that suit the period their home was built.

“This has helped to drive sales of flush casement windows, heritage foils and heritage-style aluminium windows and doors.”



Among Sternfenster’s heritage product range is the Styleline window, which was designed and developed by the trade fabricator in 2015, by capitalising on the near invisible welds produced by the Graf Welder. The modern welding process hides the excess PVC-U inside the window frame, which leaves a corner that requires no cleaning.

The benefits of this process are most keenly felt on foiled product – which make up a significant portion of Sternfenster’s offering – where the finish to the weld is exceptionally clean and requires no touching up.



Sternfenster was the first UK fabricator to own a Graf welder and now has three at its Lincolnshire facility. They produce a range of finishes, from a near invisible weld on foiled StyleLine sashes, to a 1.5mm pencil line finish on standard white outerframes.


Energy & security

StyleLine is available with a flush sash, is rated A for energy efficiency as standard, and the multi-point shootbolt, claw locks and Maco hardware provide PAS24-compliant security.”


Aluminium too

Sternfenster also offers a heritage option in aluminium with the Heritage 47 window, which features slim sightlines and heritage detailing, coupled with excellent thermal and security options.



“What is important to remember that homeowners would have already started their buying journey – usually online – before approaching a window company,” court said, “which is why it is important to have the tools ready to close the deal.”

Sternfenster has invested in an online showroom, complete with a full suite of CGI videos, which is available for installer customers to incorporate into their own websites.

“Each one-minute CGI fly-through provides a close-up of our PVC-U and aluminium products’ key features, including heritage detailing,” said Court. “These sit within a virtual showroom, which showcases each product’s technical specs, colour options, hardware options and locks – all presented in a series of drop-down menus. These sit alongside a CGI hero image with interactive ‘hotspots’ highlighted, which give contextual detail for the areas of the window; and an interactive brochure. And the moment this page is opened, our virtual salesman video will start to sell and present the window to the viewer in a relaxed but comprehensive manner.” 


Simple ordering

The virtual showroom was developed by Sternfenster so that it can be distributed to its customer base and over-branded through its own back-office CRM.

It then links seamlessly to the trade fabricator’s Proposal Builder, which invites homeowners to submit their own measurements, generating a quote in the process.

“With modern tools and the latest products, we can satisfy the latest trend for heritage windows and doors,” Court concludes.


Picture: Sternfenster’s Nathan Court says there is still plenty – and growing – demand for heritage style windows and doors and different styles and colours to meet that demand.



Article written by Cathryn Ellis
15th August 2023


Related Articles