Yesterday I wrote about three products which I believe needed to be retired from the industry straight away. That was a little bit negative. So this time round, I want look at five areas which I believe have massive growth potential. Something nice and cheery for a Friday before the Bank Holiday.
1. Composite doors
Lets get the obvious one out of the way first. Composite doors have been one of the start performers in our industry over the past decade. Since their introduction the sector has undergone growth unlike any other product.
Over the next few years I do not see that pattern changing. If anything, I think the rate of growth will actually get stronger. Home owners are becoming ever more educated about the product. But more than that, given the competitive nature of the major suppliers in the sector, they will all work harder over the coming years to try to be the company that is on top. This will have a positive effect on the number of consumer leads generated that are then passed on to installers.
This is what is happening now, and will become more energetic as the years go on. Good news for installers.
2. Lantern roofs
A relatively fresh niche within the sector when you compare it to other parts of the market, but it is most certainly one of the most competitive, if not the most competitive sector right now.
Every conservatory roof manufacturer has a dedicated lantern roof product now. All keen to cash in on the revolution that is the flat roof conversion market.
One example of that competition was the campaigns being run by Prefix and Atlas in the Conservatory Roof Fabricator category in the National Fenestration Awards last year. It was spicy, but was kept in control, and was a great example of how active that part of the market is right now.
The good news for installers is that all this competition is spurring product evolution and quality improvements, as well as interest from home owners looking to open up potentially millions of flat roofs up and down the country.
Relatively inexpensive when compared to a brand new glazed extension or renovation, lantern roofs have a market potential beyond what can be measured right now. Time to make hay.
3. Coloured entrance doors
Residential market windows will remain mostly white in a lot of cases. However the same cannot be said for doors.
At our place we have seen an enormous rise in the demand for custom coloured doors:
This one was produced by the good people at John Fredericks and sprayed by the good people at Kolorseal. I would say that 75% of our PVCu engineered doors are now sprayed custom colours.
Home owners want something of their own, rather than something out of a brochure. By spraying doors custom colours, this is a great way to give home owners individuality and pride in their purchase.
Also, manufacturers cannot stock every single colour, and this leaves huge market potential for installers who are prepared to take the extra time and effort to facilitate doors for custom colours. This is a part of the market with massive growth potential and a great way for installers to win orders over their local competition.
4. Vertical sliding sash windows
This is a product in the midst of a rather fashionable renaissance. There is no doubting the strength of the comeback in the vertical sliding sash market.
The last industry report from Insight Data showed the number of installers now fitting sash windows was up markedly on the previous year. When the 2015 report comes out I fully expect that to rise once again.
The fact is that home owners are wanting to go back to traditional design, but using modern fenestration materials. Sliding sash windows are a perfect way to do this. And when you look at all the homes that went for first generation PVCu windows that were split 50/50 with top openers because they were cheaper, the potential for this new replacement market is massive. And profitable.
5. Integral blinds
I know integral blinds aren’t exactly a new product to the market, but there remains absolutely massive potential for this product within the wider fenestration market.
Since I began selling windows and doors nearly 12 years ago, I have seen the sales of integral blinds rise each year. Every single home owner who sees them thinks it’s a great idea. No cleaning. No flapping about in the wind. Instant privacy and light blocking. Lots of positives. Varying qualities of course. It’s important that home owners buy a good blind if they want it to last a decent amount of time.
They’ve come on some way since I entered the industry. And it’s important for the sector to keep on improving them.
Although integral blinds are popular in places like bathrooms, kitchens, stable doors etc, I am finding that home owners are spending more to have them in other places. I recently sold a house full of windows with them in every single unit.
This is a product that will not go out of fashion. This will be here for a long time, so no matter how many times windows are replaced, integral blinds will always have a place in the industry.
These are my five suggestions. Do you agree/disagree? Leave your own opinions and ideas via the comments section below.
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