Today (18th October) I attended a seminar hosted by John Fredericks. Now I have been told that I am not to give away much until the last of the three planned seminars is over, which will be next Thursday. Then I think I can talk about anything I want. But what I can say is that what I saw there today confirmed to me that the industry is now in a complete state of product evolution.
We are now burying, way, way underground, the stale and cheap image of those mass produced white plastic windows that were badly made and badly fitted. The PVC industry has now done the smart thing and looked at what people really want: timber. The consumer actually wants all the best bits of a timber window and door, but without the drawbacks like maintenance and the vulnerability to the weather. This is where the top thinkers in the PVC world have been getting down to business and worked out how to combine traditional looks and character, with security, low maintenance and style. And over the past few months we are really now starting to see the fruits of the RnD department’s labour!
Loggia. Residence 9. Vertical sliders. Irish Oak. Coloured wood grains. All in a long line of improvements that the PVC industry has seen over the past few months. When you look at the quality of these compared to the god awful white plastic we all used to sell just a few years ago, it really is an achievement that our sector should be proud of. We have come on leaps and bounds in what is really a short period of time. And the best thing is, the consumer is really taking to them. Coloured wood grain doors are becoming more popular and customers are now taking to the idea of Orangeries and other solid alternatives instead of normal white plastic boxes we call conservatories.
When I am allowed to, I’ll publish some of the images I took at today’s John Fredericks seminar. Taking away the fact that we buy from them and that they advertise on my site, if I was to have gone to that seminar as a neutral, I would still be ranting and raving about how good they are on here. They really are a step above what is out there. The colours are great, the designs hark back to the days of the beautiful looking timber doors and will probably bang the final nail in the coffin of the paneled door market.
It has only been over the last couple of years that the industry has taken the idea of heritage looking products seriously. But now it has, and it has really focused on quality, looks and thermal performance all in one package, the industry is really now taking a massive leap forward. We’re not just selling windows and doors now, we’re selling lifestyles and products that customers will actually get a little bit excited about. We’ve suffered in recession for long enough. Our industry is rising from the ashes of the old one and is coming out looking fresh, forward thinking, quality driven and a whole lot brighter.
I do agree that there has been a massive shift in quality products which have now become available. It seems to be a war with all profile manufacturers as they compete for the most diverse product range. I think it an exciting time to be in the industry!
Its good news for us as installers! Customers are asking for items and products that are less and less standard. The weird and wonderful stuff. The more suppliers compete for a diverse product range, the more we can service our customer’s needs! Going to be an exciting couple of years coming up!
So upvc is finally moving into the realms of what aluminium can ALREADY DO and has been doing for some time. bye bye upvc.
Anon – when PVC still makes up over 80% of the residential market, I think I can safely say that it is certainly not ‘bye bye upvc’. In fact, the ali market should be watching carefully now the PVC industry is now moving up to the ali standard. The quality of the wood grain finishes and colours, along with fully sculptured lines and heritage style old fashioned hardware were really very very good. Something the ali boys would actually admit to liking! PVC is moving into a new, modern and dynamic era.
Yes, Anon that’s right….. on doing it more cost effectively, more thermally efficient, quicker, easier, more flexibly, more sustainably and easier to install.
I could go on but I think you get the picture.
PVC-U the nation’s window/door material of choice just keeps getting better!
Of course you would back the product you sell. From a neutral perspective, ali has more appeal. Mark my words, in 10 years, ali will out sell upvc.
Anon – in ten years, assuming this site is still going, would you be happy to come back on here and admit you are wrong?
PVC has a limited life span May not be ten years but as we will run out of oil in the next 30 or so PVC as it is today will be no more
As does every product Dave. I ave championed the need to get out of our reliance on oil on this blog before, and companies like Eurocell are doing good things by creating a £3million specialist recycling facility which is making new windows and doors out of old frames. Aluminium and timber will also have to be recycled as they don’t last forever. Also, the polymers used to make PVC can be made from sustainable crops. Sustainable crops are on a big increase so the days of PVC certainly won’t be over in 30 years. Do you ever agree with anything… Read more »
Beat me to the punch DGB, It is a common misconcepption or some might call it a lazy criticism to cite oil as a pre-requisite for PVC-U production and therefore label PVC-U as having more of an environmental impact. Ethylene is a by-product from the petrochemical industry which is utilized in the production of PVC-u. Ethylene is an organic compound which can be produced from sustainable crops. So in summary PVC is 57% salt, 43% Ethylene (either sustainably sourced or petrochemical by product) PVC is actually regarded as a natural resource saving product. The second largest danger to mankind is… Read more »
Sometimes but I didn’t realise it was a prerequisite of posting.
It’s not, just trying to figure out if you’re a troll or not!
Lol so is someone doesn’t agree with you they are a troll grow up……..
Not at all! I just can’t think of a time where you have left a comment in agreement!
Ok your next comment I will agree with just to make you feel better :-p
s a person who works solely with timber, we have known for may years that the customer actually wants timber but without the problems that used to exist. We not have a wooden window industry that gives a minimum 30 year warranty against rot or decay, a 10 year no painting guarantee along with the normal ironmongery and sealed unit warranties of 10 years. We have learnt from the UPVC and Ali industries and now have a product that can compete at every level. Yes price is more but the full life cycle cost of our timber prodcuts is less… Read more »
Its not the sustainability or the cost, its just the fact that upvc, no matter how it tries to re-vamp itself is an outdated product. ali and timber will continue to grow, meaning their cost will reduce, and they will be more available. as soon as the public realises that they have the option of ali, then there will be no competition.
I have to disagree Anon, if you could have seen what was available at the seminar I went to yesterday and what we have in our showroom, it is certainly not outdated.
Had to reply to you down here Dave! Reply thread ran out! Yeah, leave an agreeing comment and I’ll be pleased ;-)
If you do your research correctly folks, you will know aluminium is an endless resource and the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust.
Fiberglass is a better insulating material than PVCu etc and very big in Canada, see http://www.thermotechfiberglass.com An Italian Co. displayed at Glassex about 20 years ago + a Company in Bristol used to make (think they went bust). It is expensive but if we are going to offer the best and meet new thermal targets what are system companies waiting for?