As some of you may be aware, I work for a small family run business. We have once office, a couple of fitting teams and a small number of office staff and sales people, including myself. So we’re not that big. But at the moment, we are signing up 1-2 glazed extensions a week, and have been for a while now. Duplicate that ratio to a whole year, and you’re looking at anywhere between 50-100 in a year. Add in to the mix that we’re having our best year in 8 years on the windows and doors front, that starts to put pressure on our fitting teams as well as builder, plasterer and other trades too.
Not that I’m complaining. It’s great that we’re getting the regular glazed extension work now. It’s probably the strongest it’s been for around 6-7 years. And from what I am seeing from so many of you online, it seems that glazed extension work for your guys is strong too!
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. A glazed extension is one of those desirable add on purchases to the house that maybe the property doesn’t need, but the homeowner aspires to have one. And in times of prosperity, it is those sorts of purchases that start to see a rise. Hence a tangible rise in activity in this market as the economy starts to improve.
But it’s not just the economy that is driving the increase in demand. I also believe it is the range of new products that have transformed a tacky glass box into a more significant and substantial addition to the home, without the stereotypical weather related problems which cause a climactic nightmare in the summer and winter months.
We have items like Loggia columns, Livin room plastered internal detailing, downlighters, under floor heating, orangeries, glass roofs, solid roofs and many other new product features which have helped transform a dull and ageing market into a new and exciting sector with endless customizing options. The ability to create something bespoke has also allowed us to start to rebuild our profit margins. A higher specified product, with bespoke features and designs commands a higher value. And at the end of the day, we are in business to make money, so this is an important factor to remember as the glazed extension market continues to strengthen.
Another positive to bear in mind is the replacement market that is also in a high growth stage. All those rattling old frames and roofs from installations of old are crying out to be changed for something far better. And indeed that is what we are seeing at our place. There is an increasingly large number of people coming to see us about changing their frames and roof to their old conservatory to make it a more comfortable room and permanent part of the house. And again, there is good money to be made in this sort of regular, high end replacement market.
Has the glazed extension market come through it’s evolutionary phase? I think so. I don’t see many “bog standard” structures being put up now. More often than not they are something akin to an orangery, Loggia or something else substantial. And people out there are buying them.