This is a very interesting read: (article from GGP magazine online)

“The domestic replacement door and window market in the UK has been ‘hit hard’ by the recession with further decline expected in 2010, according to a new report by AMA Research.

Defining characteristics of the market were identified as: maturity, fragmentation, increasing competition, building legislation, ‘green’ building issues, cost-management and diversification – as industry players seek to consolidate their market positions.

The report states that replacement windows are the dominant sector, accounting for an estimated 55% of the replacement market by value. Residential doors were found to account for an estimated share of 37%, while the patio door sector reportedly has a minor share at around 8%.

While the private ‘direct sell’ or retail home improvement market represents around half of the market, AMA estimates that share reduced in 2009, as a result of the sharp contraction in consumer spending on higher value home improvements.

The public sector, by contrast, was found to have increased as a proportion of the whole market, with this sector maintaining volumes in 2009. AMA predicts that in the coming years, this will reverse, as public spending cuts are implemented with refurbishment programmes likely targets.

The report also found that changes in material usage continue to evolve. PVC-U remains the key material across windows and doors, though timber has made some recovery in recent years – particularly in the window market.

Composite entrance doors have also been successfully accepted in many sectors and now account for more than 10% of the replacement market – with an even higher share in public sector refurbishment.

AMA forecasts that the door and window replacement market will decline further in 2010, with only modest increases in value in 2011-13, reflecting the fact that this mature market has little scope for volume growth.

Caution and uncertainty remain key features, as companies are anticipating future spending cuts after the Election.

The report found that sustainability is becoming a key issue and predicts that in the longer term, the development of the sustainable building concept will affect the choice of materials by specifiers and end-users.

According to AMA, the design and specification of glazing products is already changing in response to these issues and it will become an increasingly important feature in driving commercial success in the medium-term.

The research predicts that long-term prospects will be governed by the underlying level of second and third time replacements, although the underlying growth in housing stock is said to provide some opportunities.”

So, it looks like composite doors could be the main door type come the middle of the decade. Timber could make some sort of minor comeback (unless we do something about it). And public sector/supply only market will shrink as public sector spending cuts kick in.

I’m going to put a link on this site to the http://www.fightingbackwithfacts.com/ website. I believe the PVCu industry needs to do more to promote itself, else the timber market is going to continue it’s modest gains. http://www.pvcaware.org/ will also be put on here.