Who thought the conservatory market was dead? Perhaps at the height of the recession and the conservatory market’s dramatic fall from 2004 highs, a few of us did. But in a recent comment left by Ultraframe’s Adam Wilde, there appears to be plenty of potential life left in the sector.

Market research

This was the comment left by Adam:

According to our research only 18% of available housing stock have a conservatory. That’s excluding flats and council property. So that still gives us 82% of the market to go at!!… good for conservatory dealers, but the difficult part is making them fashionable again. Hopefully new products available are addressing this issue.

So that would indicate a huge pool of potential for the glazed extension market. A lot has been made about the new replacement market that has emerged in recent years, and perhaps we have forgotten a little that much of the housing stock is available for brand new conservatories and glazed extensions.

The trick, as Adam points out, is to show the public that they are still fashionable, useful and a must-have purchase. The older generation of conservatory products don’t cut it. Hence the industry has introduced a whole raft of new products to change the sector’s perception.

Products like solid roofs, Loggia columns, LivinRoom internal pelmets, Sage Glass, Cornice gutters and so on are changing the way home owners see conservatories. In fact the term “conservatory” is becoming less and less relevant, as modern day structures now represent glazed extensions rather than old fashioned conservatories. They look and perform totally differently, with glazed extensions performing much better and holding much better value.

Room for expansion

It is estimated that there are roughly three million existing conservatories that are ready for refurbishment of some kind. That is a big market. But with 82% of households still available for a glazed extension, that market is so much bigger.

Focus should not just be put on the new refurb market, but on the existing potential business that is out there. Tens of millions of new glazed extensions could be built over the coming years. That means a great opportunity for syscos, fabricators and installers alike.

The key is finding out how to tap into that market. It’s a tricky road to navigate. Right now, the EU referendum is stalling spending across the country until the result is known, one way or the other. The economy in general isn’t in the best of health, which means the public may not be willing to spend as freely as they perhaps otherwise would.

So as an industry our job is to make the proposition of purchasing a new glazed extension impossible to ignore. That can be done using high quality marketing that engages the imagination. Using technology like Ultraframe’s new VR app to inspire and build up desire. Installers going in-depth with the home owner during the design process. Marketing departments working to generate leads, as without leads all of the above is pointless.

This part of the market has a positive outlook in my opinion, more positive than perhaps we all realise. We just need to work hard to unlock the potential of that 82%.

To get weekly updates from DGB sent to your inbox, enter your email address in the space below to subscribe: