Conservatories are evolving – and Vector is too

Mark Dudley
Mark Dudley

Windowlink’s managing director, Mark Dudley, charts the rise and transformation of the great British conservatory – and discusses how installers can stay ahead of the curve.

After almost 40 years making software, I feel like I’ve been around a very long time – but the great British conservatory has been around a lot longer.

It’s been on a long, and occasionally bumpy, journey. Once upon a time, they were a luxury only the very richest could afford.

You’d see elaborate orangeries – designed, as the name suggests, to protect valuable citrus trees from harsh winters – on majestic buildings like palaces and manor houses.

By the 18th century, advances in technology meant you didn’t have to be quite as rich as a king to get one.

The Victorians loved their iron-framed conservatories – but at the time, they were still largely used for growing plants, not relaxation.

It wasn’t really until the 1980s that we saw the rise of the more affordable, multifunctional conservatory spaces we know today – made almost universally out of PVC-U.

But no sooner had conservatories gone mainstream, and become a familiar fixture in back gardens around the country, the complaints started to emerge.

They were lovely to sit in some of the time – but in summer they were too hot, and, predictably, in the winter they were too cold.

Since the turn of the millennium, we’ve seen the conservatory market undergo a considerable shift.

It’s often said the conservatory has ‘declined’ – but in my opinion, that’s not the case. People just want a different type of product than before.

Increasingly, we call them ‘glazed extensions’ – people still want comfortable additions to their homes, and they still usually want spaces that incorporate a lot of glass and are designed to allow them to enjoy the sun.

Leaps in technology mean that temperature fluctuations are a thing of the past – and as advances continue to be made, I suspect conservatories, or something like them, will be with us for a very long time to come.

Vector – always evolving

Just as conservatories have constantly evolved, so has Vector – Windowlink’s industry-leading design and sales software.

Helping you manage the sales process from quote through to contract and delivery, Vector allows homeowners to customise their ideal product, choosing from a vast array of different styles and configurations. We can completely personalise our software for your product range.

Then your staff can superimpose their chosen design on an image of their home using impressive visualisation technology. We’ve even added full animation, so your customers can see exactly how bi-folding door combinations and other complex products work in real life.

Finally, all the above can be quickly and easily translated into personalised quotes, contracts and reports – helping build trust, and presenting you as a highly skilled, professional, reputable business.

With Vector, you can also significantly streamline the conservatory survey process, too. Quotations can be turned into a job file that’s sent directly to a surveyor, who can then make any modifications, then send an order to your suppliers.

We’re constantly updating Vector, and it’s perfect for modern glazed extensions too.

Are you interested in learning more about how Windowlink can support you? Contact us today for a free demo, and we’ll show you how we can help your business grow.

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