As our industry continues to diversify and bring out ever more interesting, dynamic and ground breaking products, I can see the industry being split down the middle and it is happening right now.

I think it’s something akin to the car industry. There is just no middle ground now. There are plenty out there who just want a cheap, value for money car. And there are those that want the big luxury saloons like Audi, Mercedes and BMW. The middle ground of the car market has bottomed out completely, so I am told. And given what is happening with the window industry right now in terms of product options and varying levels of quality, the same is happening with installers.

There are those out there who will always sell a cheap white window, a cheap white panel door for peanuts and will always stay at that end of the market, despite the increasing range and popularity of new timber-alternative products and other high end options right now. Then there will be those that will adapt their installations business to accommodate for new high end products like the Loggia, timber-alternative windows and doors or even incorporating new materials into their portfolios like aluminium or timber windows and doors. These are the companies that will actively go seeking the higher value contracts, using these high-spec products to win them the business.

So, to make it clear, it my mind, the window industry is going to be split: one half cheap and cheerful, the other half premium and high-end. I can see the middle ground, just like the car industry, bottoming out completely leaving the customer the choice between cheap and white, or expensive but quality.

I don’t think that this is a bad thing at all. The industry has created this situation for itself, knowing it has had to find the big money out there. It’s the one-off big contracts that installers have got which have sometimes been crucial to the survival of the business, thanks to new high quality products that have come to market. The industry has identified that during these economic conditions, there are two clear groups of people: the savers – those willing to spend as little as possible, getting value for money wherever possible. The spenders – those who are lucky enough to have stable jobs, high income, low debt and willing to spend well on home improvements.

What this will do is create competition in places where there weren’t previously. Those expert bespoke companies specializing in one-off special jobs are suddenly becoming more populous. Suddenly timber-alternative windows are not such a restricted product. So it is going to be imperative that installation companies sell not only on the benefits of the products, but what they as a business do better than their competitors. Selling on quality is all about selling the products as well as the business. Unprofessional, wishy washy, slap-dash selling will not help shift these products. These are the sorts of products and contracts that require hours and hours of dedication and work that will help convince the customer that you are the professional outfit to install this ‘investment’ in their home properly.

Comments are always appreciated!