As the promise of a new year beckons, Quickslide advises on how you can capitalise on the continued growth in the home improvement sector.
Earlier this year locked down, bored homeowners had a good look at the inside and outside of their homes and, when we were all allowed out again in May, the world of home improvements exploded – thankfully!
And, rather than that interest tailing off, it just keeps going, as demand continues to outstrip the supply of people and product. The colder days and nights are now prompting people to do something about draughty, cold windows and doors, adding to the continuing rush to do up the homes that everyone is spending so much time in now.
So, with people coming at you from every angle wanting their job done by next week, here are my thoughts on how you can offer them the best advice on the windows and doors you’ll be fitting for them – and how to make some decent money whilst giving your customers a great deal:
- Upsell! – No-one wants standard anymore. And with money available that would otherwise have been spent on foreign holidays and going out, people are more inclined to go with extras that they desire but not necessarily need. Encourage your customers to consider premium window styles such as flush sash, for example. And look at all the extras….the more openings, top notch locks, handles and other window and door ‘furniture’ the more money they’ll spend – and the more money you make.
- Have Brochures to dish out! – Ask your window and door supplier for colour brochures that will show your customers everything they can choose from. Even in lockdown people welcome real paper brochures to thumb through.
- Heritage Sells! – Manufacturers continue to strive for the most authentic window solutions, especially with vertical sliding, box sash styles. Offering a heritage window style is one thing but being able to offer the ornate details that look and feel just like they would on a traditional window is another. By researching and knowing the ins and outs of what’s available you can provide this type of customer with a much better experience as well as increased profits for you.
Details that increasingly knowledgeable customers of heritage-style windows may ask for include:
- Run-through horns with woodgrain foil on the end caps
- Colour-matched wool-pile
- Slim couplers = less chunky frame
- Corner joints: Fully mechanical on VS, ETL on Flush and manufacturers have even gone as far as to add an element of heritage on the otherwise classic casement windows with seamless welds.
- Flush them out! – Flush sash windows have gained huge popularity in the last few years by offering a heritage style that looks good even in more modern homes and which provides a break from ‘standard’ casements.
- Ali or PVCu? – Although a constant favourite for wide span sliding and bi-folding garden doors, aluminium windows have gone from zero to hero in the past couple of years, and there are now lots of systems to choose from. Aluminium is ideal for homes that suit slimmer window profiles, and especially for properties that have a more modern, ‘architectural’ vibe, with anthracite and mid grey profiles a favourite amongst trendy homeowners. The slimmer the frame the better. Aluminium is usually more expensive than PVCu but for many locked down home improvers this is not a problem.
- BIG Windows! – Aluminium is also great for fixed floor to ceiling feature windows with slim frames and HUGE glass areas.
- And Shapes too… – Don’t persuade your customers to square up their original arch topped doors and windows when they can be replaced like-for-like – and usually without huge time penalties too if your fabricator has the resources in-house.
- Colour-splash – More than 40 per cent of all replacement windows sold in the UK are now coloured or wood-grained or both. People are getting bolder, with more and more homeowners daring to opt for coloured frames that blend in with other elements of the home, or simply tone down the brilliant white associated with PVCu frames. Our paint facility allows us to match virtually any colour.
- Bi-fold Doors – Before the pandemic we recorded around 70,000 searches a month for bi-folding doors. After lockdown #1 this leapt to almost 140,000 searches in June alone! There’s no denying it: bi-folds are still the number one home improvement want. Make sure you have a great range of bi-folds and sliding garden doors for customers that already have one eye on spring.
- Don’t forget performance – Make sure your customers make the most of performance options, with AA+ energy ratings, solar control glass on the sunny side of the building and even acoustic control glass. And don’t mess around with cheap hardware – just a few pounds more can massively improve the security of a home.
Windows and doors can make or break the extension/garden room/annexe/garage conversion you are building for your customers. So it’s worth spending a bit of time looking at the incredible choice out there so that you can offer them the very best. Don’t just settle for off the shelf standard!
And after their skiing holiday is cancelled, you’ll be the first choice when they have that extra cash to splash on even more jobs around the house!
For further information on Quickslide visit https://www.quickslide.co.uk/