Right now, demand in the window and door industry has reached record levels and it continues to rise as we head into the warmer months. Whilst this is good news for the industry, there are a number of important things the consumer and homeowners should know about what is happening in the window and door industry at present, and how it is affecting you.

Why the massive window demand?

To help you understand the situation better, its important to know about what is actually happening in the window and door industry right now.

As a result of the pandemic, a large swathe of the population is using the disposable income they have seen pile up over the last year or so to invest in their homes. All trades and anything to do with home improvements has gone vertical as millions of people immediately switched their spending priorities. Fenestration, landscaping, general building work, roofing, plastering, electrical work and many more sectors have all boomed to record levels. With foreign travel still very much off the table and the usual ways to spend money still fairly restricted, home improvements and construction have rapidly grown.

Whilst this is great news for our sector and others, it has created intense and continued pressure on the supply chain. In short, there is more demand than manufacturers can keep up with. More is being sold than is able to be made. There are currently acute shortages in glass, resin (which makes PVC) and certain hardware products. This is also the case around the world. Many other countries are experiencing the same demands in their own nations, and there are only a set number of manufacturers both here and abroad that make the basic raw materials that produce our products. The more countries that then open up and demand rises there, this puts even more pressure on raw material suppliers.

Current forecasts show that demand is going to continue to rise throughout the year, perhaps not levelling off until Q1 or Q2 of next year. So what does this mean for you and what steps do you need to take if you’re thinking of starting your home improvement journey?

Prices are rising

Demand for new windows and doors is outstripping supply. It has been for a while and it is set to continue for a while longer yet. When this happens it causes prices to rise, and they have for months quite quickly. To give you some context, prices would rise only gradually about once a year. Right now prices are increasing at the manufacturing level every week.

Rising prices

The reason for prices increasing is down to raw material prices skyrocketing in recent months. Steel, PVC resin, transport, glass have all shot up to record highs and with demand showing no signs of stopping prices are likely to keep on rising.

This means that for consumers the price at which they buy new windows and doors is also rising. Unfortunately, the rise is quick and fairly significant, and not slowing. So what do you need to know if you’re starting your home improvement project?

Speed is your friend right now. Lead times are becoming very long and with prices rising quickly it is important to come to a decision on the company you are going to choose as swiftly as possible. Installation companies are having to pass on prices increases that have been handed to them by their suppliers. They can absorb some of it, but much of it is being passed down to the homeowner. As soon as you place an order that price will be locked in and you protect yourself from any future price increases that might spring up.

In the medium term, the costs for new windows and doors are set to keep rising throughout 2021. Until demand both in the UK and around the world for raw materials drops, which doesn’t look imminent, prices will keep rising.

Lead times are growing fast

The other effect high demand is having is the lead time for window and door installations is stretching out to record waiting times. Many installers are currently booked up for 3-4 months, some even longer than that. The window and door sector is facing a scenario where many installation companies might be booked up all the way to Christmas by July. This is a unique and unprecedented situation for our sector.

If you’re thinking of purchasing new windows and doors for your home you need to consider your waiting times now. If you want your installation complete before the end of the year you really need to be placing your orders now to ensure you get your pre-Christmas time slots.

When you make your enquiries with installation companies, be sure to ask what their lead times are at the start so you understand what timescale you would be looking at. It’s best to be armed with that information from the beginning, rather than signing up to a contract only to be told after the fact that you could be waiting four months or even longer.

Right now demand continues to grow and the window and door sector does not anticipate any kind of slow down any time soon.

In short, if you’re thinking of buying new windows and doors, or already have a quote and waiting to make a decision, you need to get informed fast and be decisive if you want to guarantee your installation before the end of the year. You may only have a couple of months left to ensure that happens.

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