Graham Price, managing director of TuffX, explains how the company’s Ambience range of specialist glass can help installers make the most of increasing consumer demand for high end products.
Industry reports on the conservatory market make for very interesting reading. On the one hand, it is evident that when it comes to pure volume of installations the market is in decline, a clear indication that homeowners have lost their appetite for the standard ‘white box’ conservatory that would have been a common addition to homes in years gone by.
Figures released by Palmer Market Research, for instance, show that by the end of 2016 installations hit an all-time low of 77,000 units.
While this presents a rather sombre outlook going forward, the positive news is that the value of those installations is on the up – hitting over £1bn at the end of the same time period – thanks to a combination of exciting new products that are designed to transform old fashioned conservatories into all year round living spaces, and the increasing amount of homeowners who would rather improve their properties than face the extortionate cost and hassle of buying a larger house. In fact, the desire for more versatile and feature-rich orangeries and orangery hybrids, which can be specified with sophisticated glass and lanterns, reflects broader growth in the industry for premium products, whether that’s with expensive composite doors, aluminium bi-folds or the latest flush sash windows – all available in an ever-expanding range of colours and foils of course.
And it’s the same with conservatories and orangeries. Not everyone has the disposable income to invest in a ‘glazed extension’ but those that do are no longer happy to make do with something ordinary – they are typically well informed, style conscious and willing to spend on high end products that will make a real difference to their home.
To cater for this demand, we have developed our market leading Ambience products that are ideally suited to today’s discerning homeowner. The Ambience range presents a broad choice of specialist glass to cater for all eventualities, including the self-cleaning Ambi Sunshade Blue, which is our best performing solar controlled glass with superb solar and heat reflection properties of up to 82%, and Ambi-ULTRA, which offers 91% solar heat reflection and superb UV qualities, increasing the recreational appeal of conservatories even in strong sunlight.
In addition, Ambience also includes Ambi-MAX, which gives homeowners the option to choose larger single units for conservatory roofs, reducing the need for muntin bars and catering for oversized units up to 4,000mm – a unique offering at TuffX.
There’s also Ambi-TRIPLE, which offers centre pane ‘U’ values as low as 0.7, some 30% better than standard double-glazed roof glass, along with enhanced sound reduction and improved solar control.
We’ve used all of our world leading expertise at TuffX to create the Ambience range, which is designed to ensure a comprehensive choice of specialist glass that will be suited to a wide range of property styles. Choosing the correct high-performance glass for a conservatory or orangery is of course vital in order to ensure that it presents a useable space all year round, so we have also created a stylish and informative brochure that is designed to help installers communicate the different benefits of the Ambience range to end users.
For example, homeowners may be more conscious of style these days, but when considering a new or upgraded conservatory, then factors such as location, temperature control, maintenance and durability are just as important as aesthetics. Which is why, in addition to aspirational photography, the brochure also explains the technicalities of self-cleaning glass, U values and light transmission. Ultimately, it’s imperative that installers and fabricators are properly equipped to deal with the increase in demand for high end products, if they are to capitalise on the higher margins that they represent.
That requires you to not just have an arsenal of market leading products at your disposal, but an effective way of presenting these to the end user – combined with a reliable and supportive supply partner to help ensure that you provide the best service as well.
At TuffX, we have nearly 20 years of experience in manufacturing and supplying specialist, toughened safety glass, and pride ourselves on being a progressive, customer orientated company with a level of service that includes delivering our glass direct to site, anywhere in the UK. After all, in an industry that is becoming ever more challenging, we feel it is only right that we give our customers the products and the service to stand out from the competition.