It should come as no surprise to anyone that costs are getting higher and higher. We thought Brexit would be bad enough but over the past 24 months, rising costs are unavoidable. They seem to come frequently and invariably in all shapes and sizes such as silicone, glazing, raw material, transport and rising fuel costs.
That said door and window prices have remained surprisingly stagnant and yet supply chain costs costs have skyrocketed. At every point throughout the chain, companies have been trying to absorb costs. Now that bubble has burst, and price increases are dripping through to the customer.
However, it’s been a long time coming. If we compare ourselves to other valuable assets, it certainly seems that we have not had any price increases. Especially from the house in which the windows and doors occupy. Stats from 1980 to 2020 of the housing market shows significant increases of 1,145%, with only one dip in the housing market in 1995 by 5% with the biggest 5-year increase 1985 – 1990 which was an exceptional 109% (Good Move, 2021).
Most glazing companies have been predominantly steered by the end-user and local competition for wanting to win quotes based on price. Moving forward with rising costs perhaps we need to look again at our deliverables and rethink what needs to change.
Thankfully Windows and doors have come a long way since the single glazed unit from the 70s. With so much debate, discussion and exposure, sustainability and performance are helping to drive these changes. As a business, we are fortunate that the brands we supply are constantly redesigning innovative new profiles to ensure we supply the best products for our customers.
Thermal loss in homes through heatmaps has always highlighted windows and doors as a location for heat loss in the home. According to a government report written 2013 Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (Department of Energy and Climate Change) (GOV.UK) from 1970 to 2009 the overall rate of heat loss from a home was, on average, 376W/°C. Forty years later, it had fallen by almost a quarter to 290W/°C. There was an approx. 100W/°C drop in wall heat loss and approx. 50W/°C in window heat loss. Surprisingly door heat loss remained unchanged.
Many of these companies took this information on board and redesigned their products to minimise and resolve this issue. It is now fair to say that heavy investment in this area has seen significant improvements in heat loss values.
On top of this, the UK temperature has risen by 1°C from an average temperature of 8.3°C during 1961-2020 (Royal Meteorological Society, Jul 2021). However, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the homeowner has increased their internal temperature by 4°C. now averaging at 17.7°C (whole house).
It seems ironic as UK temperatures are rising so is customer behaviour to turn up the heat. With better insulation and more legislation to arrive customers need to understand what it all means. We know and trust our brands to deliver not only Part L regs but any other fore-coming legislation. Perhaps this is where opportunity is to be made. With a more comprehensive, digestible and strategic method that targets customers with the quality of products, giving them the understanding and guidance that helps them to make an informed decision rather than the cheapest offer on the table.
The bottom line is with rising inflation and the cost of living the customer needs to be more informed. Therefore, benefits such as energy efficiency, durability, quality, longevity and sustainability of the product need explained otherwise the end-user will choose the simplest option, price!