TUFFX Looks at Ways to Boost UK Conservatory Roof Glass Market

Graham Price, Managing Director, TuffX Conservatory Glass looks at some positive elements regarding the conservatory glass roof market in the UK that should help to increase opportunities within the sector for installers.

As conservatory design continues to improve aesthetically so can the options increase for installers when approaching the consumer. Over the last 10 years focus has been placed on self cleaning glasses and the ability to use a conservatory all year round. There are vast opportunities for the industry if installers take full advantage of these products that are now available when approaching homeowners. In the last few years in particular many have been acutely aware how the industry has suffered, primarily because of the economic downturn, however this does create opportunity for those willing to approach homeowners with a broader range of options.

Today, performance values are improving and the choices available are increasing. Triple glazing is growing substantially in popularity, month on month, as the values offer huge advantages in respect of sound insulation and helping to really reduce conservatory fuel costs. Designs and performance in conservatory roof glasses have advanced considerably with the introduction of high performance, self-cleaning products that provide the homeowner with the benefits of adding value to their property and reducing fuel bills. Consumers are gradually accepting that changes for the better do not necessarily need to mean moving home.

This, without doubt, offers installers far more business opportunities than ever before. New coloured foils and colour coated conservatories enable homeowners to create bigger and more beautiful additions to their property by installing products that complement each other and add substantial value to a home. Aesthetics are beginning to play a really important part of conservatory design – people are realising that they can have more than just additional space. They can reflect their lifestyle and enjoy it. The introduction of products such as Pilkington’s Activ Blue roof glass and the BioClean Cool-lite from Saint Gobain’ revolutionised a previously stagnating market. As solar control self cleaning conservatory roof glass allows homeowners to really personalise their homes, however there are now so many more choices that installers should consider offering that will help to boost sales. Product diversification is imperative for any business. Whilst price differences may have been vast initially, costs for glass roofed conservatories are now much more competitive.

The introduction of products such as the Ambi-Max superlength units have really increased opportunities for customers, as the product provides a solution to the age-old problem of leaks caused by muntin bars and also it enables installers to create much larger conservatories than ever before. This design concept was developed from an evident need within the conservatory roof market that previously had caused both installers and homeowners considerable frustration. Uncertainty regarding the economic climate has made the consumer reticent to make quick decisions, when making financial commitments in the home, however this is slowly but surely changing for the better Now with such a broad range of colours and tints, homeowners can truly add the personal touch to their properties. For example, Ambience customers nationwide have acknowledged the combined, high performance benefits of the glass such as 78% solar heat reflection, thermal efficiency and self cleaning properties which over the last 12 months have helped to increase profit margins. It is essential to remember also that installers must educate the consumer on the type of glass required for each individual project. One of the main things to consider when advising on glass choice is the positioning of a conservatory on a house.

Depending on the whether a house is north, south, east or west facing can make a tremendous difference on the glass roof products that should be installed. For installers this can have a huge effect in terms of both pricing and referral if the wrong choice is made. As the UK conservatory market continues to adapt to a volatile economy, there has never been a more important time to sell more than just the conservatory itself to the consumer. Reflection, solar control, self-cleaning properties may be familiar terms to installers however they need to grasp that the consumer arena still has a lot to learn and that if they can demonstrate the vast amount of options available they will be ahead of their competition. While glass performance and improved lifestyles are major selling points, an installer can gain not just the sale but referral if the facts are presented easily and concisely. If style, colour and positioning can be demonstrated quickly and effectively via effective marketing tools such as glass samples, product guides or tailored websites then the conservatory market will not be quite so aggressive for those with foresight. As conservatory designs improve through product diversification, installers need to understand the array of colour options and glass performance choices they have at their disposal which will strengthen their business potential.

There is also a lot of potential within the refurbishment and replacement conservatory roof sectors with possibilities for all sized projects developing.” For more information on the broad choice of options available from within the Ambience conservatory glass roof range then please visit: www.ambiglass.co.uk

600450 TUFFX Looks at Ways to Boost UK Conservatory Roof Glass Market glassonweb.com
Date: 29 February 2012
Source: www.h-stanley.com

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