Well I never thought I’d be saying this about our industry, but it looks like this year will be the start of ‘designer windows and doors’!
If 2012 was the year of research and development and new innovations, 2013 will be the year where windows and doors might actually become a more fashionable purchase for the homeowner! Thanks to a plethora of new products and the many options they came with last year, installers are now armed with a very wide ranging portfolio of all sorts of different and very customizable products to hit consumers with.
2012 showed for us a hint as to what may come. A lot of the doors we sold were of varying colours and our own custom glass designs. We never really sold a ‘standard’ door all year. Almost every time something about the doors we sold was individual to that customer in some way, shape and form. Windows were still playing by the ‘standard’ rules a little bit. We still sold plenty of white windows. But by the end of the year, we noticed that people were asking for something different. And this is the key. It is the consumers out there that are asking for something different. They are the ones driving the gradual change and not us as installers trying to force new products on to people who don’t really want them.
Homeowners in previous years have seen the purchase of new windows and doors as something that isn’t very glamorous, a bit tedious and nothing to get excited about. But with high energy efficiency bringing an obvious reason for people to change their windows and doors, with unlimited colours and wood grain effects poking the sense of imagination and innovative products like bi-folding doors opening up large spaces, the consumer is now starting to see windows and doors as a more fashionable purchase now that they know can be custom built to their standards and their home.
I went to a supplier seminar last year, and one of the points made is that selling our new generation of windows and doors has to be marketed as a lifestyle purchase rather than messy building work. We have to appeal to the lifestyle/fashionable senses of mostly the women which will help shed our products in a new and more respectable light. The advancements in our products have helped make this task a lot easier. I know this is something @GlazingGuru might not agree with entirely, but following a similar conversation with him a few months ago, it was agreed he was wrong! ;-)
Getting back to point, our showrooms and websites have to reflect the new found fashion that our ‘designer’ windows and doors now have. The sterile white PVCu days now seem to be coming to an end and a fresh new age of designer products with a better reputation for quality and specifications looks like it’s dawning. Make the most of it guys, this is a real opportunity to boost sales and revenues!