Chantel Roach, sales and marketing director at Distinction Doors looks at the potential for volume sales in the new build social housing sector and details how the composite door supplier supported one fabrication partner in maximising opportunities in this market.

While the social housing sector has long been recognised for its replacement door market, opportunities in new build are developing as an abundance of new housing frameworks across England and Wales are announced and opened for bids.

Mega Framework

In September, the Welsh Procurement Alliance invited firms to bid for its mega £5bn framework, delivering housing across 16 regions in south and mid-Wales.  The Welsh Government has set a target of building 20,000 new affordable homes by the end of the term of this parliament.  While housing associations in Wales are planning to double current output to deliver at least 75,000 affordable homes over the next 20 years.

60 Housing Associations

Earlier this summer, 30 contractors won a share of £750 Great Places Housing Framework, delivering new homes for Great Places and other housing associations across the north of England over four years.  Meanwhile, the Central Housing Investment Consortium (CHIC) selected three companies to deliver its £2bn modular housing framework over five years.  The procurement consortium comprises more than 60 housing associations and local authorities and is collectively responsible for more than 600,000 homes.

This is just a snapshot of the extraordinary number of opportunities currently available in this sector.  New build projects include housing, flats, apartments and care homes; that’s a lot of doors!

Favourable Options

Requiring a different approach to private and retail sales, social housing presents long-term favourable options – with supply only, supply and install, and maintenance contracts.  Local authorities and housing associations commit to high volumes as contracts usually follow the framework agreement structure which is locked-in, often for years at a time.

A wide selection of styles, sizes and trimmable options mean that composite doors can be installed right across the residential development, from front and rear entrance doors to bin and shed doors.  This provides a greater opportunity for volume sales.  Often styles, glass and colours are limited by tenant’s choice which helps planning, production and stockholding.

Local authorities and housing associations appreciate composite doors for their performance benefits – security, energy efficiency and low maintenance.

Why Partner with Distinction?

With 15 years’ experience in supporting customers in the social and new build arena, we have the knowledge and expertise to know what’s required.  Accreditations and certificates such as Secured by Design for example, are essential for social housing schemes and we work with our customers to help them achieve these standards.  Our technical and quality teams are also on-hand to support with specific requests.

While choice is often limited on social housing projects, customers still benefit from our extensive range of tried and tested doors, including our fire doors which can be incorporated into a fully compliant doorset.   Our 25-year structural warranty is a reassurance for Registered Providers.

The Distinction marketing team also provides support with marketing collateral including tenant’s choice and technical documents and more generally, literature to promote your offering – a targeted brochure, perhaps.

Case Study – Distinction Fabricator

We have a fabrication partner, based in the North West, which provides entrance doors for replacement, refurbishment and new build schemes in the social housing sector.  Through us, they have access to hundreds of door styles in a multitude of colours and stains – we offer 116 contemporary door styles.

A recent order on behalf of a Salford-based housing association saw our fabricator supply and fit replacement doors for properties in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.  Tenant’s choice offered four door styles – solid, six panel; sunburst with half-moon glazing; six panel with twin top glazing and solid with two vertical glazing panels – for front and rear entrances.  Residents could choose from white, red, green and blue, with gold or silver hardware.  For those with glazed doors, clear or obscure glass could be selected.

The fabricator is a SBD certified door supplier and we are honoured to support them in meeting the stringent requirements of social housing procurement.

To understand how Distinction Doors can help you win new build opportunities in social housing, contact