Following conservatory trends

Conservatory technical manager Neville Gleed looks at the changes that have taken place in the conservatory market this year and how Synseal Group is helping customers keep up with these new trends.

The latest Palmer Market Research report on conservatories makes for positive reading for those in the conservatory materials supply chain. It reports an increase in total installed value of 9% and recognises significant pockets of growth in orangery hybrid products and solid roof systems.

We have kept a keen eye on conservatory trends like these, and have launched three products in the last 12 months that respond to the growing consumer demand for slimmer sightlines, better performance and flexible living solutions: the fully thermally broken Stratus lantern roof; thermally advanced WarmCore Fixed Roof Light; and a variable pelmet compatible with all our roof systems.

With more than 4.5 million conservatories in the UK, and a booming market for kitchen/diner extensions, garage conversions and garden annexes, installers operating in this market are thriving, and we’re responding with products that are easier to fabricate than our competitors, with far fewer components.

For us, it’s important to look at the end user and what they are looking for in today’s market, and respond to their demands for slimmer sightlines and aluminium finishes with products like the WarmCore Fixed Roof Light, which has a discreet black flashing kit and flush finish – a real difference to the traditional products on the market.

Our new full height variable pelmet was also developed following customer feedback for a product giving that much-desired internal orangery look easily and quickly. The stand-out feature of this pelmet is its compatibility with all three of our conservatory roof systems – Global, K2 and Celsius Solid Roof. This is the way forward in designing components for conservatories; looking at ways we can respond to our customers’ multi-product needs, which in turn enables them to offer their customers more choice.

Conservatories are becoming more complex products with customers wanting bespoke designed rooms without the fabrication or installation processes becoming more complicated. With a variable pelmet that covers pitches from 5° to 37.5° depending on the design, and depths ranging from 300mm to 1,100mm, our customers can design conservatories and orangeries with varying roof pitches and valleys with confidence.

For the flat roof market, our Stratus lantern has been hugely popular and we’ve sold more than 1,000 fully fabricated kits in the first year of sales, plus many more from fabricator customers like Swadlincote Window Company, which has just installed four large Stratus lanterns into a hotel at theme park Drayton Manor, and RGWS, whose commercial projects include a large garden centre in Leicester.

Customer feedback cites how easy Stratus is to manufacture and praises its fitter-friendly design. As an ex-installer, I know if the roof is not easy to install then you look for alternatives. As I have said many times in the past, ‘time on-site equals money’, so we continue to look at ways we can make our roof systems easier to install, like the single bolt on the Global roof, and the quick-to-install Celsius Solid Roof with its structural panels and hassle-free timber construction.

It’s important to us that we offer our customers unrivalled choice and we’ve seen many of our customers adding Stratus and Celsius Solid Roof to their existing Synseal roof products. One such customer, The Build Directory, has seen great sales of both Stratus and K2 this year following an increase in requests for both hybrid and fully structural orangeries, which K2 is particularly well suited to.

Even as we see more traditional conservatory styles continue to decline, it’s been great to see a real revitalisation of the conservatory/extension market this year, and with such a wide choice of products now available, installers have the capability of designing multi-functional rooms that really meet the needs of homeowners.

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