Triple glazing is coming, whether you’re a fan of the product or not. I can just imagine the humbugs grumbling under their breath when double glazing came along to replace single glazing or steal some market share away from secondary glazing. Questioning the product, asking if UK houses really need it. Well, here we are, four decades later with double glazing very much the standard and triple glazing slowly creeping up to dethrone double from it’s perch. However, there are three main factors triple glazing will have to overcome to make sure that it replaces double glazing as the new standard.
It still bugs me to see triple glazing being marketed as an automatic upgrade from double glazing. For those who spend five minutes to read the actual science, you’ll know that the only specification of triple glazing that makes it worth it is when you have a 44mm deep unit. Only then do the decibel reductions, U-Values and corresponding WERs make it worth it.
If we as an industry are going to make an honest business out of the potentially lucrative triple glazing market, I’d like to see us be open and honest about the science with homeowners. Let them decide which option is best based on the information put to them. I also think that if we reach that point, then the industry might actually believe in it as well.
However I fear that the marketeers are going to drive this market, rather than those who make it and sell it.
If the marketeers have a part to play in this, it’s to help create the demand for triple glazing. I see reports of big demand for triple glazing from some companies online, yet only last year it was reported that of the installers asked, only a few percent of installations were actually in triple glazing.
It seems to me that the current levels of demand for triple glazing are going to need to be seriously boosted if they are to start to steal business away from the double glazing market. It’s worth remembering that as a product, proper triple glazing in it’s wider unit form is only a few years old. A new product like this is going to take some time to bed in. But remember when composite doors first came out. There were drips and drops of sales of that product, yet just a few years later, here we are, with composites doors experiencing staggering growth in just a few short years. I do think triple glazing could go through the same.
For me, price is still going be a hurdle. Now there are some offering a free upgrade to triple glazing, but in reality the extra cost will have already been worked into the overall price. But away from offers and sales, triple glazing is going to cost more than double glazing. And logically, it should do. There is more material, it takes longer to make and all the new machinery needed to enable production has to be paid for.
In some cases, triple glazing can be quite an uplift. So much so that it will put some homeowners off. And right now, the benefits of triple glazing are so negligible that the extra cost simply isn’t worth it. But as we all migrate to 44mm units and start perfecting the exact make up of the glass, those benefits will increase. The key then is finding the right pricing balance to make it attractive to homeowners.
There are of course many other facets around the triple glazing debate, specifically the U-Values vs WERs argument. But I’ll save that one for another post. But for me these three issues are going to be key if triple glazing is going to start stealing market share over the next five to ten years.
As always, all comments on this are welcome in the section below.
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