Sash window sales are soaring

Victorian Sliders’ marketing manager Geoff Bishop explains why the company has experienced record-breaking sales in the first half of 2021.

Last March, I don’t think any of us could’ve predicted the situation our sector would be in nearly 18 months later.

Back then, prospects looked bleak: society was on the brink of shutting down almost entirely. But Victorian Sliders, and dozens of other businesses across the glass and glazing sector, went on to enjoy the most successful year in our history.

Between March and August 2020, mortgage comparison site estimated UK homeowners spent a staggering £55 billion on home improvements, and even in 2021, that enormous demand shows no sign of slowing.

According to Barclaycard, home improvement spending rose 34.4% in March this year – the biggest surge since July 2020, when the first lockdown lifted.

At Victorian Sliders, we’re seeing that translated into huge numbers of sales and orders, which means we’re confident that millions of homeowners are being specifically drawn to quality sash windows like our own ECOSlide.

Why is that? There’s not one simple answer. In part, we think it’s the continuation – and acceleration – of a trend that’s existed since the 2000s.

Once, choice in glass and glazing was extremely limited: the vast majority of the windows sold and installed in Britain were PVCU casements, and most of them were white.

Then, in the years that followed, there was an explosion of choice. Manufacturers began offering a whole range of different, more stylish products, as homeowners began to treat doors and windows more like an extension of their interior décor.

Now, the experience of living under lockdown has pushed home improvements up the priority list for millions of people around the UK, and they’re eagerly seeking out products that can add to the character and curb appeal of their properties.

That’s also likely to have been driven by the estimated £180 billion homeowners are thought to have saved during the course of the pandemic. Much lower fuel and commuting costs for many, combined with the fact costly luxuries like foreign holidays have been off the table, has allowed them to invest in higher-end home improvements.

That means sash windows – with their timeless, elegant aesthetics – are benefiting hugely.

Once widespread across the country, sash windows declined throughout the 20th century following the development of the first PVCU casements. But over the last 20 years, they’ve staged a major comeback.

People with older properties are increasingly seeking to restore their historic character, by replacing the casements that were installed in the decades since with more authentic alternatives.

But even people living in modern properties are embracing sash windows too.

In recent years, there’s been a noticeable rise in the number of newbuild developments designed to have a traditional look and feel; hundreds of ECOSlide windows were installed in houses of this kind built by Hope Homes in West Kirkbride, for example.

Even people living in contemporary homes are realising that sash windows can be used to add personality to their properties.

The reason we’re seeing such huge demand for ECOSlide in particular is that it offers everything homeowners want from a sash window, without their traditional downsides.

Early sash windows were exclusively made of timber, which meant they offered great aesthetics, but came with a wide range of drawbacks.

They required extensive maintenance to keep looking their best, including regular sanding and painting, and if homeowners didn’t keep on top of that heavy workload, the windows would quickly start to deteriorate.

But today, with the huge advances in window technology that have been made by manufacturers like Victorian Sliders, thousands of people around the country are enjoying sash windows without those issues.

With products like ECOSlide, you get windows that offer authentic timber-look aesthetics, easy maintenance and excellent thermal efficiency, all while minimising the impact on the environment.

ECOSlide comes with an ‘A’ Window Energy Ratings as standard (A+ ratings with an argon-filled unit), and is extremely secure; unlike many competitor products, it uses top and bottom toughened glass as standard, and features an anti-jemmy bar.

It’s also available in a vast array of foils and in any RAL colour, as well as offering run-through sash horns.

For installers, it’s a win-win: stylish, much sought-after, high-performing PVCU sash windows backed with a 10-year guarantee.