I’m in the reviewing mood, so in keeping with the current spirit and as we enter a new quarter of the year, here are the top 10 posts read on DGB so far this year.
Well, it’s the beginning of the first working week of the year. I know how excited you all are to be back in the office…not! Still, 2015 promises to be an exciting year in our industry, so I want to take a look at five companies which we should be keeping an eye on.
For many decades, silicone has been the material of choice for the sealing of windows and doors in the UK. It comes in many colours, it’s easy to apply providing the guy holding the gun knows what he’s doing, and it’s convenient. Yet silicone is easily one of the most inefficient products in the whole window and door installation process.
The industry really has run away with bi-folding doors over the past few years hasn’t it. They have become a must have product for hundreds of thousands of homeowners across the UK, in the attempt to open up a room fully or really make the most of the gardens. In the PVC, aluminium and timber worlds, there is a glut of choice of bi-fold door products, almost too much. Oddly, last year the bi-fold sector lost 7%, perhaps something not many of us saw coming. Still, the bi-fold market is a massive one, and will probably continue to grow long term.
However, debate erupted after Ultraframe tweeted some research done by a company called Zopa which claimed that the average cost of a new conservatory was £5300. Yes, you read that right guys and girls, just a tad over the £5k mark. Now, as you can imagine, many of us raised an eyebrow at such a figure.
The installer and fabricator relationship is one of the most vital partnerships in the whole chain. If an installer is to do a good job for the homeowner, they need the tools and support from their fabricators to make that task as easy and profitable as possible. So these are five main things that an installer looks for from their fabricator. And by the way, I work for an installer!
Cowboy installers. Quite easily the biggest plague our industry has to deal with day in day out. They have been almost the sole reason why our industry has been tarred with a brush that has seen the reputation of the industry languish at the bottom, along with MPs, banks and estate agents. Despite there being many high quality installation companies out there, the industry’s poor reputation always goes before them. So who should be taking the fight to the industry’s deadwood?
You may have seen since WERs were introduced literature and adverts that say “A rated glass” somewhere on them. Well, the BFRC has issued a warning today to explain that this in fact is not allowed, and that companies found to be advertising glass as A rated could face a hefty fine.
We all complain about the bad companies and bad individuals in our industry, and for good reason. Whilst I suspect most of us are professional people running professional businesses, there are always a few out there that spoil the party for the rest of us and we all get tarred with the brush that says we’re all cowboys and rogues and that the general public should hold us at arms length. I’m sorry to say though, that this is the way it will remain, as there is no effective way to police this industry.
While the UK glazing industry fumbles about in the low percent range for triple glazing installations, on the other side of the world, China is already getting into quad-glazing, and it seems in a big way. Mark Warren, social media fave and Lister Trade Frames head honcho pointed me to an article about a Chinese building company and their outstanding new building technique.
I have always wondered what the best all round company would actually look like in our industry. I know, it’s a tad sad! But honestly, if there was to be a perfect company, the perfect embodiment of the ideal fenestration business, what should it consist of?
Whether some of these posts will be in the top ten at the end of the year remains to be seen. Got to admit though, there’s some good reading in that top ten ;-)