Clearview North October 2013 - Issue 143 - Page 50

DOORS&WINDOWS IS TRIPLE GLAZING OVERKILL FOR UK HOMES? Developed originally for use in colder and more northerly climates of Canada and Scandinavia, triple glazing represents the next wave of energy saving glazing developments for our homes. But are 3 panes really going to be better than 2? ‘The fact is that our weather seems to be getting less predictable’ Keeping the winter draughts out was, for a long time, the main point that double glazing advertising emphasised. Also, replacing rotting wooden frames with a hard wearing, low maintenance alternative that made the house look at least as good as next door and hopefully would add enough value (real and perceived) to the house were popular reasons during the last housing boom for ‘new windows’. In fact, it is a now pretty much a given that ‘new windows’ actually means new double glazed windows to UK homeowners who have been made more acutely aware of the extra energy saving benefits of double glazing by a crippling recession and rising energy prices. The sales and marketing methods of glazing companies in the past however have, at times, caused an image problem with the cautious UK homeowner and the thought of splashing out on a high value and new variant of a product in hard times has prompted some people to dismiss or delay any commitment, both mentally and physically, to triple glazing. So, is triple glazing in the UK climate really overkill? Double glazing industry expert, Dave Pearson, of Swindon based double glazing repair and replacement company, DA Windows, explains why he thinks it is not. “The new triple glazing incorporates all of the latest developments in glazing. The extra glazed layer gives triple glazing its truly amazing thermal insulating properties. That translates into helping to create savings on energy bills for a long time to come. “Some people were sceptical about the benefits of using solar panels in this country and yet after the summer we’ve been having suddenly they didn’t seem like such a bad idea. The fact is that our weather seems to be getting less predictable and it only takes a really cold winter, which is a real possibility, to make you appreciate any insulation and energy saving measures you’ve taken. ‘Somehow I don’t think that energy prices are going to be falling any time in the near future’ “Somehow I don’t think that energy prices are going to be falling any time in the near future, and if homeowners need to replace their windows anyway it may as well be with something that is going to bring superior benefits for a long time to come. Triple glazing is certainly not overkill, to me it’s common sense.” NEW WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY For the first time since pre-recession days, Britain’s domestic glazing market appears to be returning to growth. Palmer Market Research (PMR), the industry’s most widely respected forecaster, is predicting five consecutive years of growth across almost all products, and an overall increase of 15% in market size to an installed value of £4.15bn by 2017. The 2012 market itself was not much to write home about, down on the previous year by 4.8% to £3.6bn, wiping out even the very small increase in value terms that caught the industry’s interest in 2011. However the five-year forecast provides some much-needed optimism to a sector all-too used to bad news, even though the predicted 2017 figure is a full quarter lower than the market’s 2006 peak. PMR Director Rob ert Palmer projects growth for domestic glazed products in New Housing, and the crucial Home Improvements 50 OCT 2013 market, as more potent than expected government-driven schemes such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy, plus increased consumer confidence, help to push up housing transactions. The glazing market in New Housing also continues to benefit from the move from flats to houses, with on average over twice the number of windows per dwelling. The Social Housing sector will continue to take a battering for a couple more years, as funding becomes ever scarcer, before starting to grow again in 2015. Although tiddlers in the market, bifold doors are the stars of the report. This is not just because they were one of only two products to show growth last year (alongside French doors), and because they are predicted to double in size over the forecast period, but because they look to be real market changers. According to Palmer: “The introduction of bifold doors has changed the market both for patio doors and … conservatories. The access to more light, one of the reasons why both patio doors and conservatories have been purchased in the past, has now become more readily available”. Conversely, the new figures will be a disappointment for those who saw encouraging signs of growth in conservatories and wood windows in last year’s report. The surge in installed price shown by conservatories in 2011 hasn’t been sustained, although the long-term trend still holds. For full details visit the website: To read more, visit