When it comes to other big ticket purchases, such as cars, kitchens, bathrooms, phones, tablets, TVs etc there is a big focus on design and style. And customers are prepared to invest time and hard earned money in that purchase. Especially on home improvement works like kitchens and bathrooms. Yet, in the past, when it comes to our own industry, we have often been seen as the poorer cousin. The dowdy one at the dinner table, where we’re talked to only when we have to be.
But times are changing.
Doors, doors and more doors
It seems to be door season for many companies up and down the UK right now. Not everywhere, but a good percentage are reporting very strong sales of doors as we near the very end of the year.
At our place for example, we have signed up 6 door sales in the past 24 hours. And whilst that’s a good bit of business in a days work, it’s the variety that has our interest peaked. There’s been a composite door from Solidor, three PVCu engineered doors from John Fredericks, an entrance door and pair of French doors and side lights from Evolution. Whilst they are all very different types of doors, there was one common link between all the customers – they were all genuinely interested in the design, style and functionality of their doors.
To all of these people, these weren’t just doors. They had all invested time during the sales process to find out about colour, build quality, hardware options and usability. They weren’t just buying a door because they had to. And this is where there is a definite change in home owner attitude.
Doors are the new kitchens
Some of us have long argued that doors, be them bi-folds, sliders, front doors or back doors, are as vital as any kitchen or bathroom is. And that they can look great as well. That they should be seen as a desirable purchase rather than a necessary one. Finally, that tide may now be turning.
You only need to look on social media to see some of the stunning doors being installed by the industry right now. There are some absolute beauties. Some cracking bi-fold doors, amazing sliders, contemporary entrance doors and stellar stable doors. In the entrance door market specifically, I believe it is the focus on traditional design using modern materials that has helped show home owners that doors can be a purchase to get excited about.
The door market has completely changed in the past decade. Gone are the days of plain old white panels, terrible Mahogany replicas and discoloured Light Oak alternatives. Now, we’re in a period where colour reigns supreme. Design is limitless. Glass is a feature rather than a necessity. It is this shift towards design, rather than price, which has transformed the door market in to one that people can really get excited about.
Are windows going under the same transformation? Unquestionably, yes. The innovation and development in that part of the industry has undergone just as much change as the door market has. Yet, I do sense that excitement from home owners isn’t quite at the same level as it is with doors. Perhaps because doors are a feature of a home used every day, where windows are not. Either way, the industry has moved on leaps and bounds in the past ten years, and it is now one which can be seen as just as desirable and exciting as the car, kitchen and bathroom industry.