Recent changes in the planning regulations look set to fuel a boom in the housing renovation market. Chris Ludlow, contractor sales specialist – team leader, at Rockwool outlines the opportunity for builders.
A recent report suggests that almost half of the homeowners in the UK are choosing to ‘improve rather than move’ home. As new housebuilding rates continue to fall as political and other factors create uncertainty in the construction industry, renovation work will continue to be the lifeblood of the building trade for the foreseeable future. As new business opportunities present themselves, the switched-on builder will recognise and seize this opportunity with both hands.
Back in 2013 the government temporarily relaxed the planning regulations around single storey domestic extensions by introducing PDRs (Permitted Development Rights). PDRs, in short, are a measure that allowed homeowners to add a single-storey extension to their homes without applying for planning permission. These measures really kick-started the housing renovation market at a time when the new build sector was stagnating. The good news is that although initially PDRs were introduced as a temporary measure, from May 2019 they have been made permanent. Removing the red tape permanently is great news for all builders, as it will help keep the renovation market buoyant and provide new business opportunities.
The vast majority of renovation projects need the support and skills of professional tradespeople. Homeowners either just don’t have the skills or, in the unlikely event they do, don’t have the time to carry out construction and installation work. What they do have though, is lots of choice when deciding who to call on when they want to undertake a renovation project. Becoming a homeowner’s preferred contractor or installer can be a great way to secure repeat business, because as we all know, a lot of work comes from word of mouth. Building trust and credibility therefore – not just being the lowest on price – is essential for anyone in the building trade looking to gain a competitive advantage over other local businesses.
Working with the right product manufacturers can really help a business establish the right level of trust and credibility with homeowners. As a business, you might be juggling multiple projects, which can be tough and stressful. If you can work with materials that are easy to handle and install, and can save you valuable time on-site and cut down on the inconvenience for the customer. A good example of this would be using stone wool insulation as it’s much quicker and simpler to fit.
For instance, the patented Rockwool Flexi edge allows for quick installation – simply squeeze between the joists and let the elasticity hold the product in place. Even though it will save you time, don’t think that it shirks on performance! The Flexi edge will ensure a tight fit with no gaps, providing maximum thermal performance whilst allowing you to easily keep your projects on track. The all-round benefits of stone wool providing excellent thermal and acoustic comfort means your customer satisfaction will be higher.
Also, nobody likes to go back to a job and spend lots of time on snagging issues, although using the best possible product for the job is a sure-fire way to avoid that scenario. A case in point might be a customer wanting to create a quieter and more comfortable environment. A key factor in achieving this would be to source the best quality insulation that’s guaranteed to perform to the highest standards. Making the right product choice is vital to happy customers and on-going business success.
We have clearly segmented our stone wool insulation into two clear ranges:-
Thermal – the natural solution for insulating lofts, cavity walls and timber frame external walls. Ideal for use in residential extensions and renovations to keep your customers’ homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Sound – for partition walls and floors. Engineered specifically to combat impact and airborne nuisance noise, giving you the perfect upsell opportunity for customers, especially ones living in high density situations, where insulation is a key component of a top-quality renovation that will deliver a more peaceful home environment.
Your reputation matters, and we know that upsell only works if you believe in the product. So, we urge you not to just take our word for it. Why not check out #TheSoundExperience Demo Truck? Currently touring merchants across the country, the truck allows you to look, hear and feel the difference Rockwool can make on a job.