I recently did a Top 5 Hot Products To Watch Right Now post a few weeks ago, which you can read again right here: https://www.doubleglazingblogger.com/2014/05/5-hot-products-to-watch-right-now/ so I thought for the sake of balance I would take a look at 5 products which are heading in the opposite direction too. These are in no particular order, just 5 of the industry’s products which in very much their senior years.
When I mean PVC panels, I am talking about these white beauties:
This is one of our own doors we sold, a LONG time ago. The traditional PVC staple of molded panels, 28mm thin dimensions and small glass panels is definitely a dying breed. I can count on one hand with fingers to spare how many full PVC panel doors that I actually sell in a year now. So far I am up to a grand total of ONE PVC panel door. I’m yet to quote for my second.
So why the decline? Well the emergence of colour, composites and customization have killed off the allure of purchasing a PVC panel for a new front door showpiece. Instead, homeowners are quite rightly drawn to the bright, bold, new colours that composite doors can provide, with realistic wood grains and a mix of contemporary and traditional hardware. These types of doors were great 25 years ago, but the industry has grown up immensely since then and evolution is doing it’s thing in slowly squeezing these out of the market.
Of course some will disagree strongly on this one. Some will argue they are selling hundreds a week and making good money on them. And this may well be the case. But my counter argument to that will be that they are doing very well in capturing remaining market share in a quickly decreasing sector. Which in itself is an art. But an art that cannot be sustained.
However all is not lost of PVC panel makers, as their staple product is now being used in a far more creative guise:
Polycarbonate Conservatory Roofs
Too hot in the summer, way too cold in the winter, it’s no wonder homeowners didn’t go off conservatories any quicker than now. But the tide has well and truly turned over the past few years. Glass roofs have become significantly cheaper, with the seductive ideas of self cleaning glass, more light and better climate control increasing their popularity massively.
Compare this image with the algae stained panels that always had to be awkwardly cleaned. The panels that turned conservatories into ice boxes or sweat houses. Quieter, stronger, energy efficient, better looking and easier to maintain, glass roofs and now solid roofs are currently hammering in that final nail in the polycarbonate coffin.
The only place a polycarbonate panel has now in this industry is the insurance replacement market, serving to replace old poly panels damaged because of falling roof tiles and attempted burglaries. I can personally vouch for this as at our place I think we have sold about two poly roofs in the last 18 months if my memory serves me right.
Move with the times people. Glass roofs aren’t expensive any more. Ditch the poly and aim for something better!
Shiny White Frames
I debated whether to include this one or not, as I still see quite a lot of demand for smooth white PVC window frames. But I also see a growing demand for different coloured foils and custom spray finishes. So this one I guess is a bit of a long term trend rather than a product likely to die off in a few years.
The great thing coloured doors have managed to do is to inspire people to think about colour a bit more, not just for their doors, but their windows too. Colours like anthracite grey, chartwell green, black etc are making gains. Even foils as simple as cream and white wood grain are gaining popularity. What I am finding is that there is a growing demand to move away from frames that shine, even if it does mean going for something as incrementally different as white wood grain.
Don’t assume that white windows will disappear altogether, because they won’t, there will always be a demand for them. But that demand will continue to become less and less as the years roll on.
Cheap Door Knockers
Ladies and gents, this is a door knocker:
That is a completely all metal, ring pull door knocker from Evolution (other manufacturers are available!) that harks back to the days of proper British made hardware that felt and sounded well made. So the next dying product on my list of cheap door knockers.
In our showroom we have two different “ranges” of door knocker. We have the mass produced Chinese made door knockers which are very small, sound very tinny and generally don’t fit very well on the doors. On the other hand, we have knockers of the type you see here, as well as doctor knockers. When people use both, there is only one winner. And when I tell them that they are 5-10x more expensive, there is still only one winner.
Times they are a changing people. Customers don’t want to spend north of £1k on a brand new door, to have it then insulted by having a £5 door knocker stuck on the front which will probably fall off in 18 months. They want their door knocker to be the signature of their new door, telling all that come and knock on it that it’s probably better than what they have got and and that they decided British was best.
Flippin’ Finials And Crappy Crestings!
Back to conservatories again, or rather, glazed extensions, just in case a certain someone from Twitter is reading this ;-)
Yes it’s those fancy, frilly little bits that sit atop of glazed extensions of old. And just like their polycarbonate counterparts, they too are subject to the same mold, algae and weather damage.
On a modern, glazed roof that opens up the whole space, why would you finish it off with something that looks like it’s from the 1950’s? Well that’s the feedback we’re getting, and to be honest, from some of the pictures I’m seeing online of new glazed extensions going up, it looks like you’re all on trend.
Finials and crestings were nice for a time. They were fine when a conservatory was something you just plonked on the back of your house because you needed somewhere to put the kids toys. But these days, a glazed extension is now the second living room, the dining room a family never had, or an office. They have become far more usable parts of the home. So lets not go stick a frilly piece of plastic right at the top eh?