As sales people who sell their products to homeowners, we have a number of responsibilities. Security, quality installation etc. And whilst the standard set of selling points like security, product quality and installation continue to be important, I think there is an area that until recently the industry has neglected; design.
If you look at other products and other industries, more is being made about how those products look, and the effort that went into them to make them look and feel the way they do. Especially in the technology and car sectors. Design is everything in those industries, but I see no reason why our industry shouldn’t be as obsessed with design than any other industry.
When you look at the things which make people tick the most in our own industry, it tends to be the looks. Although security and build quality is an important feature for many homeowners, it’s how the window or door looks that gets the most excited in the end. And trying to get people excited about windows and doors is a tough enough task in itself!
But take a look at the trend of the more recent products. We have the timber alternative market pushing the boundaries of how good PVC can look. Aluminium continues to become even more high-end and so does the timber. And therein lies the issue. If homeowners want to get excited about the nicest looking products, quite often they are going to have to shell out the most money to achieve the best in looks. And I don’t think that’s right for our industry.
All aspects of design should be considered
For me, as sales people to homeowners, I believe that we have a responsibility to make sure that their new window and door installation not only serves a purpose, but actually enhances their property. Whether it be a terrace, cottage, townhouse, mansion, semi or anything else in between, a good window and door installation should be enhancing the looks of the property, whatever product it might be.
Design I believe should be considered at every single stage of the process, including every product component, down to the actual styles of the opening and door design. This means everything from frame design, window handles, hinges, glass, spacer bars, trims, cills, gaskets, internal window boards, sealing should all be considered when quoting and installing new windows and doors. The style of openings should be thought about too. Obviously they need to comply with building regs, but that shouldn’t stop a window installation looking as good as it can be.
But for many decades until the last one, thought about the design of products seems to have been ignored. Look at all the clunky, chunky profiles that blighted people’s homes. Yes PVC might have been functional and useful, but they didn’t really look sexy at all. Flat white chunky frames is partly the reason a lot of homeowners have a misconception that PVC is ugly. Well tell the timber alternative boys that!
What I’m saying is, every factor of a window and door installation should be considered to ensure that the installation looks as amazing as it physically can be, enhancing the physical appearance of the property they are being installed in. Every property’s looks can be enhanced I believe by new windows and doors. And if we as an industry refocused our efforts to make sure that every range of window, be it budget or the highest of high-end, looked as good as their security and quality features, then I think homeowners might begin to see window and door purchases as a more exciting experience.
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I agree with your comments – design is important. On conservatories, by the time the order comes to us its not that easy to change the design
( although we often will make suggestions). In recent years, roof manufacturers have had to ask about the design of the frames and especially the doors underneath, as openings have got wider with the trend to bi folding doors, so we now see more of the overall design than we maybe did in the past.
HI DGB I have been stressing this particular point as long as I can remember , trying to persuade salesmen and customers the value of designing windows to suit the property takes considerable patience as more than often we are replacing first generation upvc frames one side opener per frame or even better fixed were ever you can keep the cost down . I have driven my salesmen round estates and found only one in forty have replaced original frames like for like and found ridiculous permutations. My advice is to mirror the windows that were originally put in when… Read more »
Totally agree with your comments. I think the industry as a whole needs to be more proffessional in it’s approach to Quality and selling attitudes. Salesmen often sell on price and commission rather than on quality and customer needs. I have often seen conservatories especially sold that are completely impractical or even impossible to actually build because the design by the salesman is inadequate. Salesmen are not adequately technically trained to do the job in hand thus often resulting in a poor quality and poorly designed job.