The internet has allowed the home owner to learn much more about our industry than before. They can be put in touch directly with the manufacturer. They know how windows and doors are made. They know the energy ratings, security features, guarantees and pretty much everything the sales reps do.

Apart from one thing, in most cases at least, and that is the price. However, in recent years there has been a move by some parts of the industry, generally the companies that sell direct to the home owner, to display their prices openly online. They of course are subject to a number of factors, but they at least give the home owner a guide as to what to expect.

So, in my most recent Twitter poll, I asked my followers if they would be willing to share their prices online with home owners.

The results

This was the question I asked, and the results the poll gave:

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Future direction

For me this is a clear indication as to where the future of the industry lies, at least with the businesses that deal with home owners. The internet has opened up many industries including ours, so its only natural for home owners to want to know what they may be paying for their new windows and doors. You can do it with cars and other big ticket items, so why would home owners not want the same information for windows and doors?

Naturally, the one big caveat to any prices given online is that they would be subject to a site visit by the company quoting the prices. Our industry is very much one that operates on a personal level. Much of what we do is made to measure and requires human interactions, so we’ll likely never be an industry that can operate totally online. So, while it would be possible to give a price online via software and information input from the home owner, that wouldn’t be the final price as it would be subject to a surveyor visiting site and measuring accurately before anything goes into production. This would affect the price to some degree.

Nevertheless, even a price given as an indication would be useful for home owners looking to budget. They may not intend on buying right this second, but information like that would allow them to know what to save so they can place an order in the future. It may also be useful for installers who wish to filter out the tyre-kickers from the more serious buyers. I am sure all installers would want to spend their time on those who were serious buyers rather than those who might end up wasting their time.

As always, a new poll will be live on DGB shortly. Thanks to all those who voted.

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