Current colour cult

Pioneer’s Danny Williams answers your questions. This month: “We have been receiving a number of enquiries from our customers at all levels about coloured profiles, including woodgrains. Is this a fad or likely to last?” GE of Wiltshire (and several other readers).

So have we! And also from a wide range of our trade customers and through our local retail installation business. Colour is the buzz presently but it is far more than a fad.

With many supplier organisations heavily invested and committed in their infrastructure as well as their marketing and sales to colour they are determined that it will be long term. And colour is now popular across the three main profile materials: PVCU, aluminium and timber.

Trends are shared these days through the internet and social media at extraordinary speed. The proliferation of ‘homes’ programmes on TV has also had an enormous effect – witness the explosion in bifolding doors – and the advent of coloured window frames has also been heavily influenced in this way.

Obviously, timber woodgrains have been around for some time and they are still popular with increasing variations on the theme, though I believe that the quality of some is questionable. And so too do Mr and Mrs Public apparently because their choice, increasingly, is for coloured profiles, usually flat and sometimes woodgrained.

However, the objective of many homeowners is to replicate good old fashioned timber, and – ironically – textured woodgrain is often anything but authentic.

The boost in coloured frames has been popularised partly by the continuing regard for bifolding doors. Inevitably, for aluminium the choice is usually dark grey 7016 although thankfully that is changing now as word gets out there is a choice. And just as Mr and Mrs Public stand back and admire their new bifolds they can also begin to imagine the rest of the house in muted, non-white.

Heavens above, what a revolution! Windows that aren’t stark white!

Homeowners are also becoming more aware that they can actually colour match other elements of their homes now, such as gable ends, soffits and so forth, though heaven save us from the excesses that surely this could potentially produce; the modern equivalent of stone cladding? But a muted off-white might work well throughout.

The desire for orangeries – rather than your stock Victorian/Edwardian – has also helped colour seep into the homeowner’s psyche, with the typical pale green favoured by so many also a popular choice now for flush windows to match.

Flush windows have done a great deal to popularise colour, with the omnipresent Residence9 doing much to promote this style. Now of course, pretty much every PVCU systems supplier has its own version though they do vary considerably. We are using Deceuninck’s excellent Heritage suite these days and it is going down very well with our punters, and we enjoy knowing that the two systems are closely related.

The point is that homeowners investing in flush windows more often than not choose colour, usually a shade of green I grant you, but last time I looked green was a colour. Trends have to begin somewhere of course and now homeowners are becoming more adventurous, led by what they see and read in the media and online.

The upshot is that yes, coloured windows, conservatories and doors are indeed here to stay and thank heavens for that! Our homeowner customers respond well to innovation, just as other consumer elements such as furniture are no longer the investment-for-life purchases they once were. If we continually introduce new products then our customers will find a reason to continually re-invest in their homes.

Your question suggests that you are not quite committed to colour, which at this stage of the game means you are playing catch up. The secret between success and failure is to have what your customers want, before they want it. But better late than never.