The window and door industry has experienced extraordinary retail market demand since the relaxing of lockdown restrictions, and as circumstances change – the reopening of schools; job losses; the end of the furlough scheme etc., the retail market may inevitably lose some of its recent intensity. However, as the industry and its customers shows resilience, there are prospective sales opportunities in the wider building and construction market.

Andy Grogan, national sales manager for Distinction Doors details investment and positivity in the new build sector, post-lockdown and explains why composite door fabricators and installers should be seeking opportunities in both private and social new build housing.

New Build Investment

The Government has taken measures to stimulate growth in the construction sector with the aim of boosting the economy and creating jobs.  Amongst the initiatives, Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick confirmed £1.3bn of investment (4th August 2020) to deliver 45,000 homes, create 85,000 jobs and upgrade skills and infrastructure to “…help fuel a green economic recovery.”

In addition, over 300 shovel-ready projects in England will receive a share of “…the £900m Getting Building fund, announced by the Prime Minister in June.”  Add to this the proposed planning reform in England, and this presents real opportunity, both now and for the future. 

Healthy Second Half

Yes, the pandemic has slowed house building but the industry has shown resilience.  Following understandable losses for its half year results to 30th June 2020, housebuilder Persimmon, for example, has declared an “excellent” start to the second half and has a current order book of c. £2.5bn, a 21% increase on last year.  “We expect that by the end of September, we will have delivered c. 45% of our anticipated second half new home legal completions,” said group chief executive, Dave Jenkinson.

And Persimmon is not alone in its positivity.  Pete Redfern, chief executive of the UK’s second biggest house builder, Taylor Wimpey said he was pleased with the company’s “resilient” performance, and that its ‘…balance sheet strength, long order book and high quality and growing landbank meant the business was confident it would emerge stronger from the pandemic.’ (source. Housing Today)

It is also encouraging to hear that Persimmon has seen sales soar, with 49% more homes being sold since the start of July compared to last year.

Social Housing

While the social housing sector has long been recognised for its replacement door market, new build schemes are on the horizon. Requiring a different approach to private and retail sales, social housing presents long-term favourable options – with supply only, supply and install, and maintenance contracts.  Registered providers commit to high volumes as contracts are usually awarded as part of a framework agreement which is locked-in, often for years at a time.

Composite doors can be found on social housing estates up and down the country.  A wide selection of styles, sizes and trimmable options mean that composite doors can be installed right across a development, from front and rear entrance doors to bin and shed doors.  This provides a greater opportunity for volume sales.  Often styles, glass and colours are limited by tenant’s choice which helps planning, production and stockholding.

Local authorities and housing associations appreciate composite doors for their performance benefits – security, energy efficiency and low maintenance.  It may be a harder win than a retail sale but with the Welsh Government setting a target of building 20,000 affordable homes by the end of the term of this parliament and the Welsh Procurement Alliance planning a £5bn framework across 16 regions to support it, for example; opportunities abound.

While uncertainties remain, we are confident that new build housing presents real opportunity for our customers – composite doors account for around 50% of the UK entrance door market and have long been a popular choice with housebuilders.

To understand how Distinction Doors can help you conquer new markets, contact support@distinctiondoors.co.uk.