At the beginning of the week I wrote about how the fabricator market sees the future of the glazing industry. It was very much from an aluminium windows and doors focus. The strength of the recovery in the aluminium sector has been remarkable.
Whilst that post focused mostly on fabricators and where they see their strength, I want to focus solely on the installers this time.
The rise of aluminium windows and doors in recent years cannot be ignored by installers in the market. There is a demand for the product that is driven very much by the home owner. And installers must be able to cater for the home owner in as many ways as possible.
Lucrative new revenue stream
I was long of the opinion that up until a few years ago, PVCu wasn’t really going anywhere. Yes things like energy efficiency and security were constantly being improved. But on the design an aesthetic front, barring a few wood grain and colour options, things were getting a bit stagnant.
Then we had companies such as Evolution and Residence 9. Two companies which injected some life into a drifting sector with their superb timer aesthetics, original wood grain finished, detailed styling and all round timber goodness.
Still, whilst the PVCu sector was undergoing it’s own transformation, the aluminium market had already finished with theirs and was busy making progress back into the residential market.
Fabricators had identified a growing demand from home owners for something a bit sleeker, a bit more architectural, something not plastic. Aluminium windows and doors ticked that box nicely.
Great news for installers. A new generation of aluminium products that home owners are asking for. This presents a brand new revenue stream for installers that had either ditched the product in the past, or had let that side of their business drift a little.
Installers rapidly diversifying
The last major industry report, put together by Insight Data, showed that in 2014 4834 installers were offering aluminium windows, doors, bi-folding doors and patio doors. These figures are two years old now, and I fully expect that number to be well over 5000 now.
There’s no doubting the recovery and progress in the aluminium renaissance. It is strong and it is here to stay. The more forward thinking installers will have already seen this, years ago, and moved to diversify their product portfolios to cater for new home owner demands.
Given the strength of the recovery, the huge range of products and rising home owner demand for aluminium windows and doors, every installer should really be looking at expanding their product offerings to home owners. Demand is only going to rise in the coming years. I can’t see much stopping it. Not a recession, not Brexit and not even PVCu. I think we’ll find that the dominance of PVCu in the residential market is going to wane in the coming years. Most think that it won’t be knocked off the top. But in a decades time, who knows how the market will be structured.
Installers can’t ignore this. By not having an aluminium option, of any kind, be it hybrid or true aluminium, installers will be losing out on a significant chunk of potential business to competitors that offer it. And it doesn’t matter if that installer is an OMB or a big regional or national business.
The future for installers is going to be a strong mix of PVCu and aluminium.
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