The Insight Data report really has thrown up some talking points over the last couple of days. It’s one of those things where it takes a day or two to sink in, and then the real issues of the report start to make themselves known. Perfect example of this happened today. I was sat looking at the infographic earlier on today and the stat about over 20,000 builders being active in the window, door and conservatory market jumped out at me, and not for good reasons.
One of the problems the glazing industry caused itself was how unregulated it was, especially when PVC first came along. Anyone with a tape measure and a garage thought they could start fitting windows, and they could, because there was nothing at all to stop them. And of course, the other areas of a business started to creep in, like after sales, guarantees etc, and most who thought fitting windows was a breeze found out otherwise. But that started to do serious damage to the reputation of the industry, and all because every Tom, Dick and Harry joined the bandwagon. This is something that I fear may be happening again.
As you will know, most company installing windows seriously will be signed up to regulating bodies such as FENSA or Certass. But what about builders? Will they be registered? No, probably not. So will they then be registering window and door installations with their local councils? Again, a frank answer would be no. Now I’m not saying that every builder is like this, there are some very good and professional builders out there. But lets be honest, builders are good at building, window installers are good at fitting windows. The two should work together properly when the situation requires it. Yes, some builders would be able to get away with not registering installations if the work is new build. But not everything they do will be new and they will undertake renovation work.
So, whilst it is great that the industry is resuming normal, positive service. It also needs to very quickly learn the lessons of the past and make sure that a new wave of trades people from all areas, not just windows, doesn’t spoil the party and drag the genuine and hard working companies down again.
It might be good for companies like FENSA, Certass and other industry bodies to monitor this situation as it develops. Tracking of registered installations vs companies active in the sector might create a good indicator as to whether installations are being recorded and registered correctly or not.
All comments welcome as always in the section below.