Heritage flush with colour

Deceuninck’s sales director Rob McGlennon explains how Deceuninck’s wide range of colours from stock and online ordering makes it easy to sell colour with confidence.

Anyone who grew up in the last 40 years could be forgiven for thinking that windows are white. For the last few decades white PVCU was the default for replacement windows, so most post-war houses have white windows. But, looking back, the last 40 years were an anomaly.

Go back further and white windows were much less common. People painted their windows and doors in a range of colours, often complementing the local style and architecture. Regions in Britain had their own colour palettes – black and white in Cheshire, creams and soft greens in the Cotswolds, and brighter colours in East Anglia for example.

White conquered the inside of the home in the 1970s, and in the 1980s paint companies like Dulux promoted ‘natural’ whites with a hint of colour. But homeowners became bored with white everywhere and paint companies and others started to entice them back. Then in the last 15 years there’s been an explosion of colour from premium paints like Fired Earth, Sanderson and Farrow and Ball and homeowners have fallen for colour in a big way.

Homeowners also looked for colour outside, so sales of coloured windows and doors have grown in the last ten years. Currently around one in four windows sold in the UK are coloured. In Scotland it’s 45%, and it’s around 55% in Ireland. Colour has always been popular in mainland Europe and accounts for 75% of sales. Homeowners are already colour confident inside the home, and the trend for coloured windows and doors will continue to grow.

Colour lets homeowners add their personal style and boost their homes’ kerb appeal. Bold coloured windows and doors make a statement, softer shades often complement older properties. Deceuninck’s new Heritage Flush Sash, for example, looks beautiful in colour and is the perfect choice to add character to modern homes or as a sympathetic renovation of traditional buildings. Give homeowners the choice, and many go for colour.

But colour is a problem for systems companies, so most are slow to promote it. The more they sell the harder it gets, unless like Deceuninck they specialise in colour. More colours mean more raw materials, more work in progress, more frequent tool changes producing more waste, more finished stock and more cash locked up in stock. Then there’s the vastly greater warehouse space needed for all the coloured profiles – not forgetting the matching trims, cills, ancillaries and end caps. You can see why most syscos try and contain fabricators’ enthusiasm for colour.

For most fabricators, this means a lack of choice, long unreliable lead times, and colour deliveries on back orders. So it makes it hard for fabricators to offer much colour choice to their installer customers. Unless you are a Deceuninck installer and fabricator, you have to be passionate about colour and very determined to get it in order to sell it with confidence.

We saw huge potential in colour so we make it easy for fabricators to offer colour and for installers to sell colour to homeowners. Our always-in-stock colour range of 26 colourways, including matching trims, cills, end caps and ancillaries, for our windows and doors, is on the same lead times as white. And we have a wide range of additional colour on short lead times too.

We keep it all in stock because we can – it’s what we are structured to do. Deceuninck Online, our online ordering system, lets fabricators see exactly what’s in our warehouse and put their name on it – in any colour – from a stillage to a single piece of profile, knowing it will be on their next delivery.

That knowledge gives our fabricators the confidence to sell colour. They know that whatever they order, from our beautiful new Heritage Flush Sash and Heritage 2800 window to our new Slider24 patio door, Slide & Swing, composite doors and residential outer-frames, it will arrive on the next delivery. So their installer customers can sell colour as confidently as white knowing it will arrive at the same time.

That’s why Deceuninck customers sell 50% more colour than their competitors. Demand for colour is growing, so our customers are selling more and selling at better margins.

Call me Rob McGlennon on 07818 383385.