As confirmed by FENSA last week, the first quarter of this year saw a fairly significant drop in new window and door installations. Almost all of it certainly due to the poor weather. Yes there will be a few that bucked that trend, but on a national scale, Q1 was bloody hard work! However, I am happy to comment on what seems to be a pretty brisk pick up since the start of April.

Since the start of April, and as the worst of Winter finally melted away, it has been as if the population has managed to now venture outdoors and address the various problems their homes might have suffered during the snow and the cold. And thank god! I think people were getting a little twitchy!

From a personal stand point at the business I work for, things have picked up well since the start of April. Sales and lead levels are up greatly from the previous three months and judging by comments from others online, a similar positive pattern seems to be in place in other parts of the country. It is nice to see some more positive comments on Twitter again. During Q1 there were quite a few frustrated and negative comments about the lack of energy and activity in our sector and it was quite disheartening to see. Now however, thanks to some decent weather, I can see many more reporting much busier periods than in the first quarter and that fitting schedules and accounts are looking healthy again.

Over the past few years we have been subject to some quite severe Winters compared to the last 20 years or so. Usually, our Winters are wet, mild and windy. Nothing severe enough to put people off buying new windows and doors, with January and February not being as quiet as would be expected. However, the last few Winters have been ‘proper’ Winters, with extended periods of snow, ice and cold winds. Serious enough to keep people in their homes. And we have had this for the last four. One characteristic of these harsh seasons though has been the Spring ‘bounce’ or ‘Spring-back’. I have noticed that after such a severe Winter where people have been forced to stay in their homes, the following Spring and Summer months have seen a surge of business by those wanting to do renovation work earlier but were put off by the conditions. From experience and my own personal opinions, I think we could have a really large Spring and Summer recovery due to how long this Winter has been. I’m hoping that when FENSA are able to report on Q2 figures, they are strong, better than Q2 in 2012 and more than make up for poor Q1 of this year!