The key to improving commercial property

While many glazing manufacturers have enjoyed a busy season thanks to the uptick in home improvements spending that the pandemic sparked, when it comes to commercial projects, it’s a different story. Karen Bell, sales director at David Salisbury, explains.

Many businesses – especially those in the sectors worst-hit by the pandemic, such as hospitality – who were forced to shut their doors, as well as impose strict limitations on the numbers they could cater to, simply weren’t in a financial position to prioritise much-needed upgrades and extensions anymore.

Changes to business rates relating to property improvements may help to offer some respite. The recent October 2021 Budget contained several reliefs from business rates that apply to businesses in England in the 2022/23 financial year. This includes a “100% improvement relief for 12 months from higher business rate bills caused by any improvements to an existing property, depending on eligibility”.

Essentially, the reliefs will support investment in property improvements so that no business will face higher business rates bills for a year after making qualifying improvements to a property they occupy. This will enable businesses to adapt to meet rising demand and make improvements to their premises. For example, this might be a hotel adding extra rooms – or having an extension, such as an orangery or conservatory built to house a restaurant.

There’s an opportunity then, as an industry, to help these businesses make the most of these new rates rule changes. In turn, we can help ourselves, as the suppliers.

Those in the worst-hit sectors, particularly, will want confidence that the improvements they are making will help to drive extra revenue.

One way to achieve this is through creating structures that help to future-proof both building and business, and that means they need to perform in all seasons.

While conservatories were popular in the 1980s and 1990s, riding on the tailcoats of the double-glazing boom, a number of hotels are now left with glazed extensions that could be up to 30 years old, and may have issues with discolouration, condensation, and especially climate control, predominantly being too hot in summer and too cold in winter.

Thankfully today’s modern glazing technologies and joinery techniques of extensions like orangeries, can overcome the problems associated with older, poor quality, PVCU models of the past.

These advances also mean reduced heat loss and energy consumption, which can help businesses meet sustainability goals, as well as save money in the long term, justifying their investment.

However, it’s not just about costs and capacity, but the importance of customer experience too. As well as creating a comfortable environment for guests regardless of the weather, being able to retain the level of glass content means being able to keep views intact. Getting the solar glare right is also just as important as regulating temperature, as areas that are too bright won’t appeal to diners or guests.

For those businesses looking to make crucial upgrades, or expand to meet demand, there’s an opportunity to take advantage of business rates relief, but to really maximise their return on investment even further, creating structures that make use of the latest joinery and glass technology, will both create an improved customer experience and future-proof their businesses.

David Salisbury has manufactured and installed hardwood conservatories, garden rooms and orangeries for over 30 years.