It’s often difficult to free our time to rise above the day-to-day to look at what’s driving the market, and where we should steer our business to capture this demand to maximise growth opportunities. What are the current trends and what are the likely drivers that will shape the future door and window market?
Loren Jenner, our MD, discusses what’s hot in the door and window market and what’s likely to be around the corner.
It’s been an interesting 18 months with some key trends clearly apparent. Most significantly we’ve seen increased demand in the aluminium sector, an increasing comeback for natural wood, a marked growth in PVC manufacturers offering ‘Timber-esque’ products and the ongoing shift from bi-folds to larger sliding patio door systems. We’ve also seen a marked increase in demand for flush casement windows.
The growing popularity of ‘home improvement’ and self-build’ programs has fuelled a design trend for maximising available natural light and wide-span openings seamlessly connecting inside and out. This has led to an increasing need for larger sashes and slimline profiles. These programs have also meant homeowners are much more aware of hardware options available which look, feel and perform better. Sustainability and longevity have become much more of a priority with homeowners, even down to their hardware choices which has led on to a marked increase in demand for our high performance blu™ hardware and DuraTique™ Antique Stainless Steel hardware. blu™ hardware is made from high quality 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel, built to last and comes with a Lifetime Guarantee. Our DuraTique™ Antique hardware range is made from stainless steel with a specialist antique top coat, won’t rust and comes with a 25 Year Guarantee.
What has also been evident, from talking to fabricators, is that in an increasingly competitive marketplace they’re having to work harder to differentiate their product ranges and are seeing their hardware offering as a way to help achieve that. Below are some suggestions of how you can achieve this differentiation, or you can contact us on 01726 871 025 or [email protected] to discuss how we can help you.
Future Trends in the Door and Window Market
The ‘Timber-Look’ and ‘Flush Casement’ window market is one we fully anticipate increasing markedly. From a hardware perspective that means the uPVC handle designs traditionally fitted to uPVC windows won’t suit. Manufacturers will need to reconsider their window handle offering to better match the style and quality of this style of window. So greater choice is going to be important and this is an area we’ve been working on - enabling manufacturers to offer customers a greater choice of quality window handles than what they’ve offered traditionally.
We also expect demand for larger sash patio sliding doors to grow. This will in turn impact the hardware market because traditional patio handles are neither designed to cope with these larger, heavier door leaves nor are they designed to suit the minimalist style of the door.
At blu™ we've developed a new range of solid stainless steel sliding door handles specifically to suit they style and weight of these larger, minimalist style, Patio Straight Sliding Doors and Lift and Slide Doors.
The Importance of Differentiation in an Increasingly Competitive Market
From talking to manufacturers and fabricators, they’re certainly finding it increasingly challenging to differentiate themselves and we’re working with many to help them use hardware as a key differentiating driver. The look and feel of doors and windows will become increasingly important for customers and from a human interaction perspective, hardware will be a more important factor in the decision-making process.
As an example, we place a real emphasis on our extra finishing process during manufacture of blu™ hardware, giving a noticeable quality feel. Combine that with the use of 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel as standard, and manufacturers can offer customers, aesthetically pleasing durable, corrosion-resistant hardware in a number of different finish options.
And as increasing competition squeezes margins, manufacturers and fabricators are being forced to find ways to reduce their costs. With labour being a big percentage of overhead, site callbacks and other product failures can be a huge contributor to costs. This will, we feel, increase demand for hardware with exceptional performance and guarantees such as the Lifetime Guarantees which comes as standard across the blu™ hardware range, and the 25 Year Guarantee on the completely unique DuraTique™ range of Antique Stainless Steel hardware.
It’s these definable, real value-added features, which we feel customers will increasingly make their purchasing decisions on.
Don’t lose out by not being prepared.
For more information on how we can help you differentiate to maximise these trends and grow your door and window business throughout 2020 contact us on 01726 871 025 or [email protected]. We’re keen to work with you.