Expert for Roof Windows

Jim Blanthorne

Managing Director


Jim Blanthorne

With a career spanning 20 years in the supply of building materials to merchant and retail customers, including 14 years in a senior capacity at Metsa Group, Jim brings extensive construction industry experience to this category. Recently appointed to Managing Director of Keylite Roof Windows, Jim joined the Keystone Group in 2016 as International Operations Director for the business. During this time he has led the development and implementation of ambitious investment programmes to progress and future proof the business. Central to Jim’s approach and drive is his passion for exceptional customer service, people development and operational excellence.

Keylite Roof Windows

Keylite Roof Windows was established in Cookstown, Northern Ireland 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.

Renowned for its award winning innovations, Keylite believes in continually adding value to the Keylite Roof Window as standard without compromise. A combination of unique patented technologies such as the Integrated Expanding Thermal Collar, Flick Fit Brackets, Unique Sash Finger Spring and recessed fit feature in every window.

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. Ongoing expansion of the range includes a range of flat roof solutions including Roof Lanterns, Flat Glass Rooflights and Sunlite systems.

The business has over 300 employees across its sites, with offices in Northern Ireland and Burton Gateway, South Derbyshire. The relocation in 2019 to brand new 40,000 sq ft office and warehouse premises at Burton Gateway greatly enhances Keylite’s ability to service and supply the UK and Ireland markets more effectively. Keylite’s roof windows are manufactured in Poland, in a 160,000 sq ft factory which has benefited from a significant investment programme during recent years, significantly improving the safety, quality and reliability of manufacturing activity.

Find out more at or visit the Keystone Group website at

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Expert Comments
Blog Posts

Keylite Comment: Q4 2023

Our Technical teams have been studying the newly released Future Homes Standard consultation document, which states that roof windows must achieve a U Value of 1.2 W/m2K, significantly lower than the current standard of 1.6 W/m2K.  Most of our sales today are for our laminated inner, double glazed range, which achieves 1.3 W/m2K in common with our competitors.  Our triple glazed product over achieves the FHS standard with a U Value of 1.0 W/m2K however, the cost premium for the uprated product is 30%+ which may not be welcome, particularly in the current climate.

Key to future demand for pitched roof windows will be the ability to integrate directly with PV panels to maximise the surface area of the roof with solar energy generating panels to maximise carbon reduction. Keylite’s PV panel flashing integrator is approved by leading panel manufacturers.

Roof window manufacturers have been confirming 2024 price increases. As ever, Keylite tries to absorb cost increases as far as possible, but prices are inevitably impacted by the statutory minimum wage at our manufacturing site in Poland increasing a further 19.4% this year and the Polish Zloty-Sterling exchange rate. To mitigate these factors outside our control, we continue investing in automation and push suppliers hard to reverse the exceptional material inflation we experienced in recent years.

The downside to a strong market share with National Housebuilders is that, when construction slows, we slow. But there’s a strong underlying demand for quality new housing, especially in more affluent areas of the UK & Ireland. Throughout the UK & Ireland quote levels are strong and up on 2022. Many projects in the planning stages, new build and RMI, are on hold until decision makers are confident to proceed. This matches the general sentiment from merchant partners. Activity is down, quote levels are strong.

Builders and merchants search for every opportunity to improve margin in a downturn. The investments we’ve made into people, product and processes ensure that Keylite presents a quality, innovative, excellent value alternative to other leading brands. Our sales teams will continue to work hard for our merchant partners, creating demand, generating quotes and bringing in orders.

In the short term, we expect volumes to remain subdued. Brighter days lie ahead.