Making a statement

A look at popular trends in the fenestration industry. By Richard Banks

From food and drink to clothing and music, trends are constantly evolving — and the same can be said for windows and doors. Whether you’re a designer, manufacturer, supplier or installer, keeping up-to-date with market trends is crucial to remain competitive in an ever-changing industry.

Windows and doors have come a long way. Historically made from a simple wood frame and pane of glass, windows and doors are now regarded as a key attribute and aesthetic feature of any property — and as the industry explores new colours, accessory and design trends, the possibilities to make a statement are endless.

A splash of colour
Say goodbye to plain, white windows and doors. The introduction of bold, new colours is transforming windows and doors into statement features of any building. With building owners now taking greater concern in the look of the structure, appearance is one of the primary reasons why people choose to update windows and doors.

Currently, 40 per cent of the market is demanding coloured windows and doors, so it’s important to offer a range of colours that customers can choose from to enhance their property. Popular colour trends include, blue, red and yellow, while black, Anthracite grey and Chartwell green finishes add individuality to any property.

Serious style
Besides a multitude of colour options, fenestration styles are also advancing. From fixed and sash, to tilt and turn windows, these styles are becoming frequently requested to compliment a modern structure.

Whereas door styles are concentrating on the materials that the door is made from, rather than simply the appearance. Newer options include composite and metal as the durability, strength and finish of composite doors make it a popular choice, while metal doors offer increased strength and an unusual, effective look.

By supplying a variety of popular colours and styles, your customers can keep up-to-date with modern trends and enhance their property, which can increase customer loyalty and the reputation of your business. However, appearance is not the only factor for consideration, as products that can make lives’ easier is now considered more valuable.

SMART and secure
As society reaps the benefits that technology developments offer, the fenestration industry is benefitting too. Innovations like Hive, Amazon Alexa and Google Home are simplifying the lives of millions, and as a result, SMART technology is now being incorporated into fenestration products for enhanced security, efficiency and accessibility.

Automated locks can be attached to windows and doors that can be controlled remotely from the property owner’s phone, while SMART sensors can be retrofitted that signal an alert to the owner or maintenance team if a window or door has been left open or unlocked.

We all appreciate that it’s important for your customers to feel secure in their property. So, supplying products that not only give peace of mind, but also make the customer feel safer, both in and out of the building, can showcase your business as valuable and trustworthy.

Functionality is another factor that many look for when purchasing windows and doors. Dependent on the building, the windows and doors may need to function in a certain way. This could include fixed windows for high rise office or apartment buildings, or windows that can only open to a certain degree in schools or secure buildings for health and safety purposes.

Energy efficiency
Alongside safety requirements, environmental concerns are growing, and energy efficiency has become an important topic in the fenestration industry. As the benefits become realised, the demand for energy efficient windows and doors is increasing across the supply chain.

The British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) rates the energy efficiency performance of windows and doors on a scale from A to G, with a rating of A demonstrating the highest potential for energy efficiency.

Ensuring that your products have a high-energy efficiency rating will save your customers money and reduce their carbon footprint. In fact, around 40 per cent of heat escapes through windows and doors, meaning that money is easily lost by increased energy consumption if inefficient products have been installed.

For any specifier, manufacturer, supplier or installer, energy efficiency should be a priority. By providing your customers with a solution to cutting costs and reducing their energy consumption, you can assure that your customers will thank you in the long run and consider you a reliable and environmentally friendly business.

As aesthetics, technology and efficiency influence changes in the industry, it’s vital that customers can rely on suppliers to provide them with products that can benefit them for years to come. Windows and doors are no longer just a means for letting in sunlight or providing an entrance point for a building. Instead, they are now regarded as an important element of any building.

So, just like multicultural influences are transforming the food and beverage industry and companies like Spotify and Netflix are changing how we consume media, the fenestration industry is well on the road to being a trendsetter in the years to come.

Richard Banks is commercial director of PVCu windows and doors manufacturer Euramax Solutions. Euramax manufactures PVCu and aluminium windows and doors for the modular, new build, recreational vehicle, holiday home and home improvement markets. Part of the building and leisure products group OmniMax International Inc, the business offers made to measure products and has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
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