Re-invention of a Classic

With over one million Classic roofs sold in the UK, Ultraframe’s longest established roof remains the most popular system on the market today. This popularity is sustained through the constant improvements Ultraframe has made to the product over the years. After listening to recent feedback from their customers Ultraframe has announced yet more technical improvements to make its design even more fitter friendly. Design and Development Director at Ultraframe, Andrew Thomson, explains the range of enhancements that have been made to the Classic roof.

In 2005 Ultraframe set up a programme of regular installer and fabricator consultation days for its customers. These events provide an opportunity for customers nationwide to review our latest developments and give vital feedback to shape the way Ultraframe products and services are evolved. The enhancements to Classic are a direct result of this feedback. Our customers are loyal to our existing tried and tested roofing systems and the innovative and important enhancements to products like Classic are of great value to them. Through their comments we have identified ways in which we can help to make their jobs even easier and help them to sell more conservatories.

Our Classic system is still widely recognised as the best system on the market. Customers rate it highly because of its excellent value, its aesthetic appeal and its market leading ventilation. The roof has unmatched flexibility to cope with any roof design or configuration and is often the only system that can be used when a heavy glass roof is required. Add to this an extensive range of extras and it is easy to see why customers love the Classic brand. You may think that this popular product has been in the market long enough to meet all anticipated needs but, markets are constantly changing and developing and there is always room for improvement to meet the new requirements. In the light of this, we have unveiled a number of enhancements to the Classic system.

New Lantern Eaves Beam (Show pic of lantern eaves beam or what it allows you to achieve )
We have just launched a new lantern eaves beam which allows for a variable pitch on the lower ‘tier’ of the roof and also allows for larger lantern conservatories to be made without the need for a costly portal. In this development phase, lanterns up to 6m width are possible, whilst the maximum projection is 7.5m.

The UK’s only tie bar alternative (show pic of Glassex conservatory)
Our new Tie Bar Replacement Kit for the Classic system offers an innovative and comprehensive alternative to the traditional tie bar often required to support larger span conservatories. The Tie Bar Replacement Kit comprises a series of radical new features including a new aluminum bolster beam along the ridge, which acts as one with the existing ridge improving its resistance to deflection, new end stops on the eaves beam to secure the conservatory to the host wall securely and a new ridge compression plate. By strengthening the roof ridge, the kit significantly reduces the requirement for tie bars, meaning less than 10% of Classic conservatories will now need them.

The Kit is a direct result of the market’s desire to enhance the internal appearance of a large roof, giving installers the flexibility to deliver a conservatory that satisfies the needs of the consumer.

New Tie Bar Boss
We have also launched a revised boss cover which hides the ends of the threaded bar where it meets in the centre of the tie bar. It consists of a front and back cover plate featuring a threaded connector and receiver. The two plates simply fit together with a quick spin, making finishing much quicker and easier.

Even better news for installers is that on five way tie bars, when the boss is laid horizontal as opposed to fitted vertically, the cover plate with the receiver screws onto the end of the threaded ridge drop rod creating a sleek finish.

New Bolster End Caps (Show pic)
Where large projection lean-tos or P-shapes require a bolster bar to give the design structural integrity, Ultraframe has created a new bolster end cap to ensure a perfect finish.

These injection moulded end caps replace the need for complex compound mitres on the standard cladding. In an on-site situation, where an installer is finishing into the eaves beam cladding on a 90 degree corner, the new end cap simply push fits over the box section profile to give a discreet but effective finish. The end cap is supplied at both ends of the bolster, whenever a bolster is needed and is included in the overall cost of the roof.

Raised Back Box Gutter
Following extensive CAD, theoretical modelling and factory testing, Ultraframe has improved the engineering and weathering details on its raised back box gutter.

We have used new materials and improved welding techniques and the manufacturing process to create an enhanced raised back box gutter. Key to the gutter is the inclusion of a refined parabolic bolt slot head detail and the integration of a short run of glazing bar along the raked edge of the box gutter. This ensures the glazing material is securely retained and does not solely rely on the adhesive tape of glazing support .

Chambered Top Cappings (Show pic)
Another successful addition to the Classic system has been our innovative chambered top cappings. The PVC chambered top cappings significantly improve the thermal performance of the roof and comfort levels for the homeowner.

Available in a choice of two new designs, dome and bevel, the chambered top cappings’ multi-chambered extrusions trap air in expertly designed air pockets to enhance thermal efficiency. This design prevents heat loss through leakage points, virtually eliminates cold bridging and condensation and lowers the overall ‘U’ value. The cappings demonstrate an 18% improvement over our standard cappings and are 40% more thermally efficient than competitor systems.

The new top cappings have proved a big hit with installers, Steve Mileham, Managing Director at Home County Conservatories Ltd, based in Chelmsford, commented: “Chambered top cappings are a great development on the Classic roof. They are much easier to install than the traditional cappings and like all Ultraframe products, are finished to a high standard so they are aesthetically pleasing to homeowners. In terms of raising the level of thermal performance, no other competitor product comes close.”

The latest enhancements to the Classic system have come about through us listening to the suggestions from our customers, stretching the boundaries of design and continually striving to improve our established products. Our consultation days and installer events have been crucial to helping us develop our systems in partnership with those who use them. As a result we have been receiving incredibly positive feedback from our customers who have recognised that the recent additions to the Classic system are advancements of real value and benefit to them. The changes have helped sustain Classic sales and volumes, despite difficult market conditions. They have also attracted new customers to Ultraframe and contributed to us winning back previous customers.

Ultraframe will maintain regular customer dialogue to advance its entire product range, as part of its commitment to deliver top quality innovative products and services that meet market demand. As a result of this continuous drive for improvement Ultraframe’s Classic roofing system, which is widely recognised as the original and the best on the market, is now even better.