This is probably going to be a bit of a long one but bear with me on this one…

This is the way I see the double glazing industry in the future.

After recently changing composite door manufacturer we have seen a HUGE increase in the number of composite doors we’re selling. I can also see that these are the future for residential doors. Composite doors have so much more character, owing to their wood grain finish and the range of styles they come in. They’ve managed to give the consumer the extra choice, rather than just choosing between plain white panels with different glass options.

I believe that the days of the plain white panelled door are over. Obviously the odd one will still be sold. There will be some out there who won’t like composite or engineered doors and will still opt for the plain white panel option, but there won’t be many. Panelled doors are also expensive for what they are, often when we price for panelled doors vs composite doors panelled doors come out more expensive! So it’s a no-brainer to see that composite doors are going to start to rule the residential door market.

Despite the recent cock-ups of the GGF, BFRC and FENSA, I still believe WER will be relevant. Instead of companies using the certificates to show compliance, companies will be using them to help clinch sales. Companies will fight for contracts based on the energy efficiency of their windows, as well as quality and price. 

Colours I think are going to become a mainstay of the industry, but I believe some colours will fall by the wayside while some will become more popular. Cream, black and white wood grain will become a favourite, while odd colours like grey and green will be picked very rarely.

In terms of materials, PVCu will remain the main material of choice. Timber and aluminium may see slight increases, but they won’t be enough to dislodge PVCu from the top. Factors like recycling, energy efficiency and maintenance will determine that.

Conservatories will never recover to levels seen in 2004, where 270,000 were installed. In fact over the next 10-15 years they may go altogether. What I think will replace them are orangeries. With the tough economic climate, I don’t think installation levels will reach the heights that conservatories did, but maybe 50-100,000 a year might be a good level once they become established.

I still think there are a lot more businesses to go bankrupt. Not the most positive outlook, but there are still many companies teetering on the edge, and if the October spending review dampens what has been a good recovery for the most part of this year, it could push them over the edge into bankruptcy.

There are still too many manufacturers and there are still too many installation companies. The market in my opinion is still saturated and the ones likely to go are those that aren’t that old, haven’t switched their energy efficiency heads on and who are still focusing on cheap products rather than higher quality at a higher price.

The industry now needs to move away from selling poor quality products and move towards the higher end of the market. If we all do this we may be able to shake off the ‘cheap and tacky’ tag the industry made for itself.