Is this the year for timber?
By Wolfgang Gorner, sales director, Allan Brothers.
There’s been a huge amount talked about the trend towards higher value products in the window and door market. Aluminium, composites and foiled PVCU are obviously all surging ahead, with demand being driven by affluent consumers choosing to improve rather than move.
Up until now, timber products have been rather left behind by this trend, despite the fact that it is the perfect material for the premium sector of the market and, for many owners of traditional properties, only wood will do. However, there are definite signs that is starting to change, with installed value of timber rising even in the face of falling overall volumes, and 2018 definitely has the potential to be the year when timber really bounces back.
Almost 80% of wood windows go into the home improvement market and, for many years, those sales have largely been shared between large direct sell companies and small local joinery firms. Historically, there have been several reasons for that of course – from the fact that independent installers have been able to make a very good living just from installing PVCU, to timber’s association with high maintenance products.
Now though, as the premium sector comes to dictate where the opportunities lie to increase sales and strengthen margins in the window and door market, I think the new generation of low maintenance timber windows and doors presents the ideal opportunity for independent installers to grow their businesses beyond PVCU.
What is already clear from the success of aluminium and composites is that consumers increasingly want and value choice and, by adding a timber option to their range, installers are simply broadening that choice.
The most recent trends report from the Wood Window Alliance (WWA) revealed that 52% of householders still believe that timber windows and doors provide the most character in a home so, if installers can present these buyers with a timber product that is hand crafted, low maintenance and value for money, then they can tap into that appeal.
Here at Allan Brothers, which is the UK’s oldest joinery specialist, we are determined to present installers with an easy route into the timber market, partnering with them to help them win sales and providing a stunning product range that is easy to install and fully warrantied.
Allan Brothers’ products are still all beautifully hand crafted, with a level of attention to detail that sets them apart from the mainstream. Our range includes flush fitting casements and vertical sliding sashes, alongside entrance doors, French doors and sliding patios, all made to measure to suit both traditional and contemporary properties. There are four stylish woodstains available and, with our own paint facility, we can offer customers any RAL colour finish.
The WWA report also showed that 44% of householders still consider wooden windows and doors to be both the most environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing choice, so a range like ours, which carries the FSC certified forest symbol, is obviously very appealing.
As well as our product range though, what Allan Brothers can also offer is a compelling partnership proposition. Our sales team can help customers onsite with surveying, our estimating team can help with pricing and quotations, and our sister company CWG Choices can supply our products direct.
We are part of the giant Scandinavian Inwido Group of course, which is already the largest supplier of windows in Europe and is set for further growth this year. We offer what we think is the perfect combination of traditional British craftsmanship and advanced Scandinavian technology.