It’s either gone wildly unnoticed or people just aren’t talking about it, but, one of the industry’s largest companies, Synseal, has now entered the lantern roof market with their very own offering: Stratus.
This marks yet another ratcheting up of competition in what has quickly become quite a crowded market place. So what is Stratus, and what does it’s arrival mean for the wider sector?
Stratus is a thermally broken lantern roof system which Synseal says has been designed from the ground up, can be made as large as 3m x 6m and is most definitely aimed at the flat roof market, looking to transform kitchens and new extensions.
Here are some of the products main features:
- 24mm glazing
- Polyamide nylon and glass composite thermal breaks – claimed to be 533 times more thermally efficient than aluminium
- 20 degree pitch
- available as a 2-way, 3-way or minimalist contemporary design
- claims to be 65% more efficient than traditional aluminium roof systems
This is a solid showing by Synseal. Plenty of selling points for K2, Global and Sysneal installer customers to talk about with the home owner.
But it is joining a market that is already becoming crowded with fabricators all offering their own high quality option. It might be a good product, but getting a foothold into the sector might prove a little more difficult.
Standing out in a very similar crowd
Whilst on the face of it the Stratus looks like a good product, it’s issue won’t be it’s own product, rather, everybody else’s. It is joining a market where already established brands such as the UltraSky by Ultraframe, Atlas, even Skypod by Eurocell have already established their own market shares and loyalty from installers. Standing out above the rest is now the primary target I suspect.
One way to do that is through marketing. In particular the Stratus website. It is very well designed, ultra-modern, and includes a nice mix of text, video and graphics to grab your attention.
A slick website won’t be enough though. Synseal will need to support their installers with superb marketing support, showroom support and PR to make sure that Stratus gets market traction. Again, the issue at hand here is isn’t the product, but all the other ones that have already established themselves. Stratus will be fighting to push through the crowd to make it’s way to the front.
And if the product is good, priced competitively and the marketing is there to support it, there is no reason why it cannot established itself as a major sector player.
The market right now
The lantern roof market is still as hot as ever. Even more competitive now as it seems every major player now has a lantern roof product to sell.
The potential of the market is huge. There are millions of flat roofs across the country that would be suitable for a lantern roof, and the earliest adopters of the lantern roof will find that they’re already establishing a decent market share. As with any new market, the companies that decide to get on board in the early days will find early success. The later companies leave it, the harder it will generally be to elbow their way into the increasingly crowded market place.
As we head towards Christmas, the “silly season” rush to get home improvements finished is in full swing, and this includes lantern roofs. I fully expect demand for this product to last right up until the last few weeks of the year.
The future of the market
Synseal won’t be the last company to bring a new lantern roof product to the market. Whether they, or any others last is another question. There are big differences in the quality of some lantern roof products already, and I think that over time the industry will filter out the good from the bad, and some companies may decide to exit the market if they see it as unprofitable through lack of sales.
With this type of product, home owners and installers are going to be more discerning. It’s far more than just a window by comparison, and there is a lot more work involved when installing a lantern roof to a flat roof. Roofers, plasterers, electricians, glaziers all potentially involved on the project. The home owner is going to want to make sure that the lantern that’s going up there is a good one.
That is why I believe that over the coming years we may see a number of companies fade in and out of the market as they attempt to make their few quid from this still emerging market. The ones that stay ill be the ones who produce a quality product. The ones who will go will be the ones to be found to be cutting corners or just generally producing on the cheap.
As for Stratus, the next few months will tell us if the product will gain traction. A company like Synseal, with marketing pockets deeper than most should be able to make a success of this. But it will not be a walk in the park, and the already established brands will make sure it’s not easy either.