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.