The power of premium

Karen Bell, sales director at David Salisbury, explains why demand for premium conservatory and orangery solutions has never been higher.

At David Salisbury we design and manufacture bespoke orangeries, conservatories, garden rooms and kitchen extensions. Built from the finest materials, our glazed timber extensions have helped to transform beautiful homes all around the country.

Primarily serving the upper end of the residential market, but with an increasing portfolio of prestige commercial projects, we aim to add space, value, natural light and a luxurious finish, whatever the particular context or design brief.

Founded over 35 years ago, we’ve experienced the strongest period of growth and success in our history over the past couple of years, driven in part by demand in the home improvement sector during the pandemic.

Starting out as a business solely making wooden conservatories, our designs have evolved so that orangeries and garden rooms now dominate.

Of course, we still make conservatories, as our design offering is entirely bespoke, but an orangery or garden room tends to provide more flexible, multi-functional living space – making them ideally suited as open plan kitchen extensions, for example.

Whilst we’ve noticed new enquiries are starting to return to more normal, pre-Covid levels, our order book and manufacturing output has never been so strong, buoyed by the peak in demand experienced over the past couple of years, and this seems to be a pattern replicated across the industry.

Volumes of new orders remain strong, but what’s interesting, and perhaps tells a wider story of consumer behaviour, is that we’re seeing a higher average order, indicating that the very top end of the market is not, comparatively speaking, currently being impacted by the wider economic environment as much.

Much of the supply chain pressure of the past couple of years has subsided, at least in terms of lead times, but there are clearly still inflationary concerns, in terms of input prices and energy.

What’s driving demand? Certainly, the unparalleled demand during the pandemic is what has driven record levels.

In recent months, we have been seeing more and more customers wanting to extend their existing properties to create more space, as opposed to moving. This is perhaps being influenced by house prices continuing to rise significantly, partly due to supply constraint.

If a discerning homeowner with a reasonable budget cannot find a new property to move to and/or does not want to pay the transaction costs, then adding a luxurious orangery or garden is perhaps the best way to add to and reimagine their current living space.

We then consider those who moved house in the past year or two, of which there have been many, who have now settled into their new property and are going about their plans to modify their homes to their requirements and preferences.

With the broader construction sector a hugely significant part of the UK’s economic output, we see the success of the premium end of the market as vital to generating employment and opportunity around the whole supply chain, which includes builders, installers and all associated trades.

What does the future hold for the industry? Clearly, sustainability is a topic that is only going to grow in importance, but with timber the only truly sustainable building material, we predict that timber framed buildings will continue to be well sought after, over the long term.

Whilst in the current marketplace (with some of the global news events very much front of mind), it is difficult to predict with certainty what is ahead, demand for bespoke designs, which can meet the most demanding of design briefs, will most likely continue to be upheld.

We’re confident that our sustained success over the past several years has put us in a strong position and we continue to invest in the very latest technology to ensure we remain at the very forefront of the UK joinery market.