The home extension market

When it comes to the extension market the line between conservatory and traditional brick-built home extension is now blurred. To meet the demands of this market, Ultraframe said it has concentrated on giving retailers a comprehensive range of roofs and components to complete almost any type of home extension.

According to Ultraframe having the systems to satisfy even the most ambitious home extension project is just half the challenge. Ultraframe (in partnership with its digital consultancy Icaal) has just completed a five-location tour of the UK engaging over 100 retailers to share their insights and knowledge in a course designed to maximise sales leads.

Sarah Bower, client manager at Paxtons Home Improvements, and Mike Parry, managing director at BellaVista, recently discussed their perspective on Ultraframe’s approach to winning higher-value, more complex home extension projects, and how the sales lead generation course contributes to this.

“There’s absolutely no question the home extension opportunity has exploded for us,” Mike said. “Some parts of the UK might feel it more than others, but with the majority of our work coming out of Greater Manchester we have seen a dramatic shift in the appetite of homeowners to use us for work that previously might have gone to a builder.

“The Ultraframe sales lead generation course was absolutely on point and demonstrated why this is happening. The work and effort Ultraframe has invested up front to create demand among consumers for an extension from what are typically double glazing companies is phenomenal.

“Arguably the Grand Designs effect feeds into this – I can’t credit Ultraframe entirely for that shift. But for us, the figures speak for themselves: in just 18 months our average order value has increased by 24% and the margin on that increase is up by 60%. If you take the new Ultraframe website as a starting point for the vast majority of consumers looking to extend their home, by the time the lead filters through to us, they’ve already got a vision in minds of what they want. It’s not about an Edwardian, or a Victorian – it’s about an extension that looks and feels as individual as they are.”

Sarah Bower from Paxtons Home Improvements has seen a significant shift in the appetite of their customers for more evolved extension systems too.

“There’s no question that Ultraframe have got all the tools and the insights to enable us to really maximise the home extension opportunity,” she said. “I’ve been in the business for eight years, a relatively short time compared to many in the industry, but in my experience, today’s homeowner is definitely seeking more from their home extension.

“The explosion of home improvement resources such as Pinterest have definitely contributed to the growing appetite for more style-lead, bespoke extensions. For us, hearing first-hand from Ultraframe how you can package together components and offer a more refined extension was powerful.

‘Mike references profit in his business, and for us it’s the same principle – it’s identifying small, yet important design tweaks such as the addition of cornice or an internal pelmet that represents a profit opportunity for us, and a valuable design-addition for the customer.”

Ultraframe’s Alex Hewitt said that working with Icaal has helped the company deliver a comprehensive sales lead generation course.

“Part of this has been re-launching our own website where we have seen a 75% increase in website conversation rate,” Alex said.

“However, our most important contribution is supporting our retail customers with online tools that enable them to create and convert their own sales leads. With our ready-to-go websites, quoting tools and virtual reality plug-ins, we’re making it easy to deliver a highly convincing and fully immersive online experience for the consumer.

“Without question, these tools are delivering the biggest impact we’ve seen in terms of lead generation and conversion our retailers have experienced in our 30-year history. This is a fantastic time to be an Ultraframe retailer.”