It’s been a great start to the year so far! Much better than January 2012 and most of the people I speak to online are reporting great starts as well. So as we take stock for what has been a good first week, I’m going to talk about just a few of the products that I think might make a splash this year.
I really do think that this will be the biggest and best year for the bi-fold door. With the rise of orangeries and Ultraframe’s new Loggia, there is a great excuse to put bi-folding doors in the structure. They make a great up-sell product when trying to sell a conservatory and customers are really tuning in to the idea of opening a whole room or conservatory up by installing bi-folding doors.
They are a great modern addition to our industry’s overall product portfolio. They are also becoming more and more well know to the general public thanks to installers pushing the product and TV programs like Grand Designs showing the product in some of the UK’s best and funkiest housing projects.
Bespoke Entrance Doors
It’s amazing how the door market is evolving so quickly. Especially the front entrance section. Making a bit of a bold statement here, but I think this is the year when the growth of composite doors will slow, just a little bit. I think installers are starting to turn towards more structurally engineered like the ones from the Suffolk range from John Fredericks and the range Evolution do. These are the sorts of doors that are probably the closest thing to a traditional timber door. They look the business, structurally made a lot better, available in every colour, wood grained and have a plethora of different designs.
We phased these doors in last year and we found that they were very popular indeed. Once our customers had seen the advantages over composite, I would say nine out of every ten customers bought and engineered door over a composite. Importantly, these were decisions made completely by the customer and no coerced by us. So I think this year, with the demand for more traditional looking products on the rise, these will do well this years.
Last year, Ultraframe unveiled what they hoped would help revolutionize the conservatory market. Feedback was positive from almost everyone and plenty are now being put into showrooms up and down the country. Crucially, it seems that installers believe in the products and like it. This is vital if they are to convince customers to go for something a bit bolder than a standard white box on the back of their house.
The product itself is good and boasts some impressive energy efficiency stats which will blend in well with an energy-efficient world. They look great too, which is of course vitally important to the homeowner.
I concede that not many have been fit for customers yet, but I am sticking my neck on the line here and saying that they are going to be very popular this year and in the years to come. But I think this will be the year they really get off the ground.
I know that throughout the year there will be various other products that find success, but it is the three above that I think we are going to hear most positively about throughout 2013. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you think that there are any other products out there which are going to make a big impact in our industry this year!