I’ve written before on DGB about the need to sell sexy in our industry. Funky door designs, colours and glass all help to peak the interest of the homeowner far more that discussions about PAS 23/24 and internal beads do. But perhaps one area that our industry has missed a trick on completely is the aesthetics of the hardware that we use.
Lets face it, how many hinges or handles have you seen over the past few years and really thought “damn that looks good”. Probably not. And that is a problem that hinge specialists SFS Intec have pointed out in a recent survey – which I can’t believe I have only just seen!
9 Out Of 10 Can’t Find Sexy Hardware
According to this recent survey, SFS say that much of the industry isn’t meeting the demands for better looking hardware. And I can believe their results. Hand on heart I can’t really say that I’ve ever seen a hinge or any other piece of hardware that has really blown me away. I can say that I prefer some hardware choices over others, but I can’t say that they are at the same level of sexy as some of the coloured doors that we’re doing for example.
According to BDM Nigel Wood: “Specifiers have revealed that the availability of aesthetic hardware products is surprisingly poor, at a time when a high percentage of fabricators, specifiers and installers desire them. This is supported by the statistics found in our industry report, which stated that 50-100% of all projects are now driven by aesthetics. So while 80% of the fenestration industry once specified white doors and windows, this is now rapidly changing. The demand for cutting-edge designs and advanced colours is increasing, and so is the specification for colour-matched hardware.
“Changes in consumer taste are impacting all stages of the supply chain; people want more choice, with colour becoming a key selling point. The industry needs to act now to ensure supply meets demand, perhaps by working with specifiers to identify the key metrics for success.”
Hardware Letting The Side Down
Can you make a hinge sexy? Possibly. Though I haven’t really seen one that justifies the use of that word on it. Handles are coming on a bit though. We have seen new finishes such as brushed aluminium and dark chrome join the other long standing colour options. We’re also seeing more designer door handles now, such as the long brushed aluminium cylinder handles from Solidor. But we’re really only talking about a select few handle ranges from a select few companies.
If we’re going to get hardware to catch up with all the other aesthetic developments that have happened in the industry then the industry needs to look at the hardware sector as a whole. When something is so far behind, it often needs a complete overhaul. I think if hardware is to meet the aesthetic demands from installers and of course homeowners, then all of it needs to be updated.
All New, All Different
We need new designs, not just tweaks on existing ranges. Something completely ground breaking and different to what we have now. Hardware companies need to challenge the norms we’re used to. Bring out radical new designs with radical new colour options to go with. Really cause a revolution and turn a mediocre feature of windows and doors into a feature that installers can really get excited about and sell to the homeowner.
It should be fairly obvious now to everyone that design and style is what gets a customer revved up about buying windows and doors. We should be able to call upon a sexy range of hardware to back that enthusiasm up and help us sell.
All comments welcome in the section below.
The trouble is that the fabricators just wont pay for it, I spent the last 7 years selling hardware, and it is totally price driven as long as it works and its cheap enough the majority of fabricators don’t give a flying fig what it looks like. Hardware companies bring out new designs/premium ranges and guess what they are too expensive for the trade fabricators to purchase as they are having their margins driven down all the time by their customers. The majority of hardware companies will have a rake of designs that they would love to take to market… Read more »