Weathering the rain!

Sioned Yates
Sioned Yates

By Sioned Yates, marketing director, Whitesales.

None of us needs the Met Office to tell us it’s been raining – a lot! 

They have just reported though that, thanks largely to the position of the jet stream, the winter of 2034/24 was the eighth wettest on record in the UK. The south of England had its wettest February since 1836 and England as a whole had its fourth wettest February on record.

Lots of the news coverage has been about the impact this has had on farmers and the likely knock on effects on food stocks and prices, but there has been less coverage on the impact on our industry – even though it’s likely to be significant.

Wet weather inevitably causes delays to both new build and refurb work that have an impact all the way down the supply chain. The fact is that if installers can’t get out on site, they’re not completing jobs and moving onto new ones, which means they’re not getting paid and not placing new orders.

We’re hearing reports from customers that they are up to two months behind on some projects which obviously causes cash flow issues for them, but does it also mean we could see a surge in orders later in the year as businesses desperately try to catch up?

And is the supply chain ready for that? After months of soggy sales as the whole industry has waded through water, could we actually be looking at a COVID type home improvement boom in the summer?

I’m pleased to be able to report that Whitesales is fully prepared either way. When it comes to rooflights, our products can help installers who are battling wet weather to reduce their time on site.

If you choose one of our stock lanterns, delivered to site in three days, you’ll get the glass and frame delivered together and you can assemble it on site in around 40 minutes. Our flat rooflights are supplied as a complete aluminium frame, factory pre-glazed and ready to fit.

And, if you opt for one of our pre-fabricated timber kerbs as well, you can achieve a fast, water-tight and compliant install in no time – with no worry about having to construct your own builder’s kerb on site in the rain.

Our best advice is to order stock rooflights where possible – we offer 18 sizes from 600 x 600 right up to 1,600 x 3,100 so there’s plenty of choice. Not only are these cheaper than bespoke rooflights, but we can hold any orders at our warehouse and deliver direct to site as soon as there’s a break in the weather.

If you order first and then cut the hole when you know there’s no rain forecast, you can simply call off the stock item that’s been reserved for you and have it delivered direct to site the next day.

And of course, if anything goes wrong with a stock item on site – say a piece of glass gets broken, then we can supply a replacement component the next day.

There are encouraging signs at last that the market is starting to pick up pace. Because we have control of our manufacturing at our own factory, Whitesales is in a great position to be able to respond.

We always hold plenty of stock anyway but, if and when, the surge does come, we can increase output within days and make sure our customers don’t miss out on a single installation.