Cash in on demand for extended living

By Stuart Dantzic, managing director, Caribbean Blinds UK.

Despite the current cost of living crisis in the UK, the home improvement sector is ripe for continued growth, with research revealing that British homeowners are predicted to spend a total of £217 billion on renovations and extensions before the end of 2024.

The most popular type of renovation expected to be carried out is a loft conversion (52%), followed by a kitchen extension (37%) and finally, a rear living space extension (34%), with the need for extra space being the main reason behind these home improvement plans.

In addition, more and more people are investing in their outdoor spaces than ever before – a trend that was sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued to rise ever since. The multiple lockdowns that the country experienced during this time taught us the importance and value of our outdoor spaces and created a ‘holiday at home’ culture, with one in five (20%) of UK homeowners spending the majority of their home improvement money on their garden in 2021.

Extended living solutions such as pergolas and roof canopies are continuing to grow in popularity as those who can afford to invest in their homes and gardens are seeking high-end products that not only provide additional space, but extra living comforts including lighting, heating and retractable roofs and sides.

An ideal alternative to an extension, orangery or conservatory, a luxury pergola will serve the same function – if not better – for those who want to ‘live life outdoors’. Whether it’s in the form of a freestanding structure or adjacent to the house as an extension of the property, a modern bioclimatic pergola is suited to both classic and contemporary homes and extends the use of any garden with a dedicated outdoor ‘room’.

Pergolas with rotating or retracting louvered roofs will provide a flexible, adaptable, all-weather outdoor living space that gives the user complete control of the elements, 365 days a year. At the touch of a button, the louvers allow you to play with light and shade, providing instant shelter from the sun, rain, wind and even snow when closed, and creating the ultimate alfresco experience when left open.

Here at Caribbean Blinds, we have witnessed first-hand that the home represents the biggest ROI, with people spending more time in their gardens than ever before. We saw the demand for our range of high-quality weather-proof awnings, external blinds and louvered roof pergolas rise by 161% during the pandemic – a figure that has continued to rise.

Climate change means that the recent surge in temperatures and multiple heatwaves that the UK has experienced will only continue for years to come, with summers becoming increasingly warmer.

Because of this, the scope for extended living solutions is huge. Unlike conservatories, pergolas can effectively manage a number of environmental factors that have a significant impact on our overall quality of life, as well as our bank balance.

Our highly durable louvered roof canopy – branded the Outdoor Living Pod – offers an open-air alfresco feel when left fully open and is completely weatherproof when closed. Additional features including windproof zip screens, LED lighting and infra-red heaters mean that we expect an increase in demand for these high-value installations.

Our Pods have attracted a growing amount of interest from installers who see this as the biggest potential to add to their range. 239 installers registered as partners at this year’s FIT Show with 10% investing in sampling during the three-day event.

Now is the time for those in the home improvement sector to add our louvered roof pergolas to their product portfolio due to a number of factors including climate change, legislation and importantly, trends in consumer behaviour – and reap the rewards that this versatile shading solution has to offer.

Through supplying the UK’s finest external shading systems to both residential and commercial clients, Caribbean Blinds is leading the market. Our industry-beating, two-week manufacture lead time for all our external shading systems will help our dealers win more sales, alongside our ‘Made in Britain’ guarantee that makes us stand out from the crowd.