I think I’m right in saying that the mass majority of the new products the industry has released over the last few years have been pretty successful. Bi-folding doors, Irish Oak and coloured wood grains to name just a few. With Loggia being the most recent success example. All these products have been well received and have gone on to establish themselves well in the market place.
But, and there is always a but, there has been one quite big flop that seems to have slipped unnoticed. I was once told by someone that bi-folding windows were going to be the next big thing and that it would put the conventional casement window under some real pressure. What a load of old crap that turned out to be!
I have seen…wait for it…just ONE bi-folding window on my travels around the country. One. Obviously there will be more than just one bi-folding window fitted in the whole of the UK, but you get my point. They’re rare, very few in number and certainly not putting any pressure on the casement window market.
So why has this product failed to get off the ground? I put it down to over-engineering. A bi-fold window is not like a bi-fold door. Bi-fold doors serve a purpose in intentionally opening up a room and maximizing on space. A window on the other hand, depending on the style, can do exactly the same in a casement style. So I think in many people’s eyes, the need for a window to slide all the way across was rather unnecessary.
The other thing to consider is that most people only open a few of their windows, a small amount of the time. A lot of people I see always point out to me the windows that they never open. There are various reasons for why they are not opened, so bearing that in mind, a bi-fold window seems the least attractive option when replacing windows.
I think I’ve made my point. It’s always good to come up with new ideas and to try and push the boundaries. But in this case the bi-folding window is a product that doesn’t really fit a niche, as that niche doesn’t exist.
I may of course be wrong and bi-folding windows might be selling massively in other parts of the UK, but up to press, I just have not seen any evidence or publicity to tell me otherwise.