Our Story.

Windowmakers is Auckland’s premium aluminum joinery fabrication business with a reputation for designing, manufacturing and installing award-winning windows and doors that make buildings better. The company’s success is down to a highly efficient process that ensures products are delivered on time, on budget and on value.

With over 20 years experience in the industry, Windowmakers has developed strong relationships with their ABC clients — architects, builders and consumers.

It's very much a family business.

Heidi Johnston is the owner and managing director of the company and one of the things she’s most proud of is the team that helps make Windowmakers tick. When she took over the business in 2001 it had nine staff.

Today, Windowmakers employs close to 50 people and over half of the team have been with the company for ten years or more. Recently, Heidi welcomed a new partner to the business and set up a share ownership scheme for long-serving employees.

“It’s very much a family business,” says Heidi. “My mother, who is in her mid-70s, does the accounts and many of our key people have been with the company since we bought it. We even have some second generation Windowmakers on the team who I remember when they were babies. We invest a lot of time into training and developing our team because we’re committed to growing our knowledge and expertise and keeping it in house.”

How it all started.

Heidi comes from an entrepreneurial family and after a few years in the banking and finance industry, her first taste of working for herself was renovating and building houses with her husband Bruce. That experience combined with a passion for architecture, technical drawing and engineering convinced her that running a joinery company would be a good idea.

In 2001, she bought First Windows and Doors North Harbour in Silverdale and rebranded it as Windowmakers. A new factory and showroom helped launch the company and shake up the industry.

“When we built our first new home, the builder organised the windows for us and we ended up with these ugly windows with green aluminium joinery,” says Heidi. “I remember we had the same windows with different handles and it bugged me. I didn't know anything about joinery at that stage but I thought there had to be a better way. The windows and doors on a new home are a big cost and can make such a difference.”

“One of the first things we did when we bought the company was build a new showroom.

A lot of people can't read building plans and struggle with spatial awareness. They need to look and feel a window or door to get a sense of how it will look in their home. Joinery has always been treated as a functional component but right from the start, I knew we were responsible for producing one of the key elements that can make or break a new home build. It’s a responsibility we at Windowmakers take very seriously and our showroom makes it easy for our customers to know what they are getting.”

"The windows and doors on a new home are a big cost and can make such a difference.”

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What we do.

The Windowmakers tagline is "The difference is clear." So how is Windowmakers different from other joinery companies?

“Our process is our point of difference,” says Heidi. “There are key milestones in every building project. Turning up to a building site with a truck full of windows a few days or weeks earlier or later than the builder needs them costs time and money. We pride ourselves on delivering what our clients order, when they want it, to the high quality specifications they expect. It sounds easy but 95 percent of our competitors can’t do it. They just can't get their act together. What our clients tell us is they trust us to deliver a quality product every time.”

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for the company. In 2011, Windowmakers was struggling to keep up with the demand.

“It was a chaotic time when my phone ran hot every day,” says Heidi. “Unfortunately, most of the calls were complaints about how we had stuffed up. Back then we had a 27-step process with a lot of repetition. Around that time I learned about Lean manufacturing principles and over a two-year period we transformed how we worked. We reduced our process to seven steps that everyone in the company knows inside out.”

Introduce

Introduce

01.

Establish

Establish

02.

Design

Design

03.

Schedule

Schedule

04.

Produce

Produce

05.

Deliver

Deliver

06.

Success

Success

07.

Our Process.

A completely personalised service building on long term relationships.

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Maintaining higher standards.

To maintain the highest standards, Windowmakers invests in state-of-the-art electronic cutting and machining equipment from Italy.

“It's a big investment but the quality of the cut and the accuracy of the angles makes a huge difference to the finished product,” says Heidi. “We're always looking for new products and technology to achieve the highest level of precision and quality. As a company we’re committed to continuous improvement and exceeding our clients expectations.”

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Close ties with the construction industry.

WIndowmakers has close ties with construction industry associations including Master Builders and Certified Builders, and organises regular functions and training. The training covers installation, new products, and changes to the building code or regulations.

Windowmakers project managers work closely with architects, builders and their clients, meeting them on site or at the Silverdale showroom to discuss the different joinery options, styles, colours and custom made design.

As well as designing and manufacturing custom-made, award-winning products for architecturally designed houses, Windowmakers also caters for high-volume builds including apartments, group housing and subdivisions. The company covers the Auckland region and north of Auckland and you can find Windowmakers windows and doors in many of the houses in the new developments in Hobsonville Point, Silverdale, Millwater, Kumeu and Long Bay.

“We’re very lucky that we get to collaborate on some exceptional residential and commercial builds,” says Heidi. “We pride ourselves on doing an exceptional job but we also work with some great architects and builders who make us look good. We work with some of the best builders in Auckland and often they don't even ask us the price. They know when we price a job it will be on budget and there won’t be any nasty surprises. They also know that if there are any problems we will work with them until they are resolved.”

Windomakers has a team of expert installers that works with the builders and before the final handover of every building they visit the site to inspect all the joinery and repair any scratches, marks or fixtures and fittings to make sure everything is perfect.

“Our builders know we will make them look good and we're both trying to achieve the same end result for the client — a house they can be proud of,” says Heidi. “One of my favourite parts of the job is visiting a finished project to appreciate the architecture, care and attention to detail that goes into the buildings.”

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