Tapping into trends

Martin Nettleton
Martin Nettleton

As Rehau’s longest standing customer in the UK, Euroglaze has been manufacturing and supplying PVC-U frames to trade customers for more than 45 years. It has seen plenty of trends come and go as fashions have changed in home design and décor and new performance and security standards have come into play.

Like the rest of the market, there was a time in the 80s and 90s when all the PVC-U windows Euroglaze supplied were smooth white, and all the replacement doors were PVC panels. But, over the past 10 years in particular, its window output has been as much about foils and colours as it has about white, and its replacement door output has pivoted largely from PVC to composite.

Euroglaze’s experience tallies with the latest data reported by one of the industry’s leading online window and door designers and the figures contained within Keystone’s UK Consumer Fenestration Trends report – both of which show just how far the market has come from the ‘any colour you like as long as it’s white’ days.

White does remain the most popular window colour across all regions and demographics in the UK, but the growth in foils and greys shows no sign of abating. Almost half of windows sold are now foiled and, for flush sashes like the Rehau Rio, Liniar flush sash and Liniar Resurgence systems which are all fabricated by Euroglaze, that rises to around 80%. Unsurprisingly, the most popular colours after smooth and foiled white are agate grey and anthracite grey, followed by brown, black and then cream and green.

For front doors, white is still preferred by more than a quarter of consumers, but the many grey options are rapidly closing the gap, with black and blue the next most popular but still some way behind. Euroglaze’s order book reflects that trend, with moss grey and pebble grey doors being supplied alongside the established agate and anthracite. There is also a growing appetite for less conventional colours though and in recent months, Euroglaze has supplied its first composite doors in duck egg blue and candy pink.

Martin Nettleton, Euroglaze’s managing director, said: “Clearly, if you’re not adding colours or composite doors to your offering, then you’re missing out on a huge market opportunity, with the potential to target new customers with stronger margins. The Baby Boomers (born from 1948-1964) were probably the first generation to fit PVC-U windows in their homes – driven by promises of lower maintenance, and the Gen X generation (born 1965- 1980) were the ones led the replacement of the replacements as they looked to reduce energy costs.

But there’s a whole new generation of buyers out there – in the form of Millennials (born 1981-1996) and even Gen Z (born 1997-2012) for whom windows and doors are much more of a design statement.

“The research shows that female buyers, younger buyers and buyers in the AB demographic are more likely to choose composite than PVC doors, and they are also much more likely to want a bolder colour. Appealing to those buyers is all about giving them something that is uniquely theirs, rather than something which just blends in with the rest of their street.”

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