Established in 1983, Classic Windows & Facades is one of Cork’s most established window companies. Building Ireland touched base with its Finance Director, Mary O’Sullivan to learn all about this thriving business.
This past year certainly had its challenges for Classic Windows & Facades down in Killumney, Co Cork, but business is still good according to its Finance Director, Mary O’Sullivan.
Employing 50 full-time staff, the company operates from an 11,000 sq. ft. premises in Classic Commercial Park, Killumney, Ovens, Co Cork. It includes a spacious 1000 sq. ft. showroom displaying a wide range of uPVC, aluminium and alu clad windows, doors and rooflites in a variety of colours and designs.
The staff at Classic Windows & Facades have the experience and skill set to help customers design windows for their home from styles to colours that will enhance the property.
All of the company’s windows carry an energy band of A and with its solar gain glass units the windows are designed to heat the client’s home from the outside in.
Building Ireland heard more from Mary O’Sullivan when we caught up with the Rebel County native at the end of 2020 – a year that turned out to be like no other for the company.
“It has been a very strange year for obvious reasons. We were starting out good last January but then from March to May we were completely shut with the lockdown,” the Finance Director outlined.
“In saying that, the residential sector has been extremely busy since May 18th and that has been a positive.
“However, the need for office space is declining now. In fact, there’s very little on the books in the
Cork region next year (2021) at all and that’s a bit of a concern.”
Like so many before the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s a challenge that Classic Windows & Facades intends to meet head on and eventually overcome.
Now into its 38th year, the company continues to grow and has an excellent reputation for its work across the south of the country.
The past three or so has saw Classic Windows & Facades an approved agent for Schüco, one of the leading suppliers of high-quality window, door and facade systems made from aluminium.
There are millions of Schüco products used worldwide and they meet the highest requirements of design, comfort, security and energy efficiency.
Classic Windows & Facades were one of the first in the south of Ireland to become approved agents for the Schüco system and, looking towards 2021, Mary is optimistic given the rate of business they had through the brand this past year.
“What we are more focused on for the next year is more on the residential side,” she said.
“Since 2017, we have decided to go with the Schüco aluminium brand and it required us getting our factory staff trained and sent them over to Milton Keynes to do so.
“It’s a high-end market and high-end brand and, funny enough, 2020 has been very busy with this particular brand.”
Classic Windows & Facades operates with an experienced sales team which are delighted to assist and advise homeowners on what best suits their home when changing their existing windows and doors or when building a new house.
The company supply and install casement, tilt/turn and sliding sash uPVC, windows and doors, as well as casement & tilt/turn aluminium and alu clad windows & doors to the replacement, one off house and housing estate market.
All of the glazing products at Classic Windows & Facades are installed by its own highly skilled tradesmen, which guarantees the homeowner a very good quality finish with minimal disruption to their home.
Right now, the company is on a number of different projects, having had a job on-going at Liffey Valley in December. The early part of 2021 has also seen them on projects for well-known clothing stores such as TK Maxx and Zara.
So, what has been the secret to success for a company like Classic Windows & Facades down through the years?
According to its Finance Director, who has been with the business since 1986, consistently supplying excellent products goes a long way in this game.
“Between 70 and 80 percent of our business is through referrals,” explained Mary.
“I hope what sets us apart is that customers trust that we supply a good product. Clients also know that they can pick up the phone and call us if and when there’s ever a problem.”
Indeed, a loyal customer base had been built up by the Cork business over the last 38 years and a lot of it has been built on trust.
Looking towards the coming months, Mary hopes that the situation with Covid-19 improves first and foremost. The end of December saw the Irish government moving the country into another Level 5 lockdown for the first 30 days of 2021 and that has since been extended to March 5th.
With vaccines for the virus currently being rolled-out, there is light at the end of the tunnel for a return to normality.
On the business side of things, Mary says Classic Windows & Facades will be keen for things to keep on the same path as they were last year with an eye on delving further into the Dublin market.
“I hope that we continue on the same trajectory that we’re on at the minute and hopefully we can expand into Dublin a bit more, and that we can conclude (in 2021) with a good turnover.
“We’ve a good team here to say the least. I’m happy that we have a strong team that has been a huge plus to us down through the years,” she concluded.
Classic Windows & Facades
Classic Commercial Park, Killumney, Ovens, Co Cork
Tel: 021 487 5833
E-mail: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, April, Vol 7 No 4