Expert for Roof Windows

John Duffin

Managing Director


John Duffin

John trained as an engineer and graduated from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown with a BSc Hons in Building Engineering and Management, Built Environment. He subsequently joined the Keystone Group as Technical Manager of Keystone Lintels in 1996 playing a significant role in the development of the business in GB.

Just under 10 years later John was appointed Managing Director of Keylite Roof Windows, taking the helm of a fast growing business. This included managing its innovation pipeline and expansion across Europe for the last 10 years.

John has successfully grown Keylite into the UK’s No.2 Roof Windows brand driven by an uncompromising pursuit of investment in R&D, and delivering ground breaking innovation to continuously add value to the award winning Keylite range.

John’s 20-year career with the Keystone Group and more recently the Keylite company has forged strong relationships across the entire construction trade, and he is renowned for his unrivalled commitment to exceptional customer service.

Keylite Roof Windows

Keylite Roof Windows was established in Cookstown, Co.Tyrone in 2001, as a subsidiary of the Keystone Group. Today it is the fastest growing roof window manufacturer in Europe and one of the biggest brands in the UK roof windows market. This success is largely a result of a company which has been driven by an ingrained and intuitive spirit of innovation, continuous investment in R&D and a total commitment in putting the customer at the heart of its business. Most recently Keylite was acknowledged by the London Stock Exchange 2016 report as one of the most inspiring companies in Europe.

Renowned for its award winning innovations, Keylite believes in continually adding value to the Keylite Roof Window as standard – a combination of features referred to as Futhertherm, which offers a number of unique patented features in every window, such as the Integrated Expanding Thermal Collar, Flick Fit Brackets, Unique Sash Finger Spring and recessed fit.

Keylite offers a full range of roof windows products, designed for every size and category of building project, an extensive range of genuine Keylite Blinds, as well as roof window accessories including timber loft ladders, flashings and electric operation kits.

The business has over 400 employees across its sites, with offices in Cookstown, N.Ireland, and Swadlincote, South Derbyshire. Keylite’s roof windows are manufactured in Poland. Due to continued expansion Keylite will be moving to a new purpose built 200,000 sq. ft. factory in Zambrow, Poland in 2017.

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Keylite Roof Windows comment: Q1 2019

John Duffin, Managing Director Keylite Roof Windows is BMBI’s Expert for Roof Windows.

Q1 2019 has been a positive start to the year with good growth across New Build and the Repair Maintenance and Improvement (RMI) sector. Growth was again in double figures and even when adjusted for lost days due to last year’s harsher winter weather, it was still at 9%.

The run up to March 29th meant considerable time, effort and expense preparing for Brexit and the ‘deal or no deal’ scenarios thrown at the construction industry. Thankfully the government secured an extension therefore avoiding the precipice. The vast majority of roof windows supplied to the UK and Ireland are manufactured in mainland Europe. The nightmare of delayed imports due to new customs checks would have affected the whole roof window industry.

Some manufacturers have tried to share the burden and cost of increased stocks with merchant partners. Instead, we decided to increase our stockholding at our new distribution centre at Burton Gateway. This new 40,000 sq ft facility has enabled us to broaden our stock range and substantially deepen our stock holding by up to 30%.

The first quarter also saw a small price increase introduced to the market driven mainly by labour, distribution and material inflation. This increase was minimised due to the strengthening in sterling which will bring some welcome relief to suppliers of products sourced in mainland Europe.

Keylite believes that product innovation is essential to drive growth and we have been working with our housebuilding partners to develop modern alternatives to traditional products. The Keyline Dormer product, for example, is one result. It can be installed and made watertight in just a couple of hours. For consumers looking for more control over ventilation and light from their roof windows, Keylite Connect provides full window control via a new App including a ‘lock down’ security function.

The roof window market provides a strong growth opportunity for those prepared to solve real problems – as well as work with the potential disruptions.

Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.