HERI TAGE & VERT ICAL S L IDER S
Sash windows aren’t just stylish –
they’re great for business, too
Victorian Sliders managing director, Andy Jones, explains why now is a good
time to take advantage of the high margins afforded by premium products sush as
sliding sash windows.
When people talk about sash
windows, they’ll often focus on
the aesthetics, or the history, or
their compatibility with the huge
number of British homes built before World War
Two – all three of which are key aspects of their
But what’s talked about much less are the very
strong economic arguments for offering them.
Among homeowners, sash windows command
a premium. They’re seen as a desirable, up-market
product, and many people are willing to spend
signifi cantly more on them than your run-of-themill
PVC-U casements as a result.
But crucially, quality sash windows don’t have
to be much more expensive to the trade – which
opens up opportunities for much higher margins.
The price gap between the two types of window
has rapidly diminished in recent years, and that
trend looks set to continue.
The average trade price difference between a
glazed PVC-U casement and the sort of quality
sash window that Victorian Sliders provide is
generally less than £
But for homeowners, the very same sash
windows can be up to £6
Let’s do some maths. Imagine we’re replacing six
windows on an average three-bedroom house.
If we choose PVC-U casements, the average
price is usually around £6
So, for six, we’d be looking at a trade price of
For the homeowners, that would translate to
per window, or a total of £,
That’d give us a gross margin of £,
If we choose ECOSlide sash windows from
Victorian Sliders, however, the price per window
would be slightly more expensive, but not by
To the trade, one ECOSlide window would
usually sell for £6
– or £,6
for six, in this
example. That’s a difference of £600 over and
above the casement price.
But we could sell those six windows for £,
to the homeowner – £
per window. That’d
leave us with a profi t margin of £,
, giving an
of gross margin – an increase of
nearly % more than with the casements.
In short, by spending a little more money
yourself, you can offer a much more prestigious,
sought-after product, that you can sell and install
for much higher margins.
HAPPY TO PAY A PREMIUM
You might think homeowners would be reluctant
to choose products that are signifi cantly more
expensive than your run-of-the-mill casement. But
if the trends of the last ten years are anything to go
by, the opposite is true.
Sash windows have made a major comeback
since the early
s, with millions of
homeowners more than willing to pay a premium
for stylish products.
Part of that is because of a signifi cant cultural
shift that’s taken place – led initially by the
aspirational home improvement shows of the
s, many people now see and buy
window and door products more like pieces of
furniture than the very boring, practical concern
they were viewed as years ago.
But again, it partly comes down to economics.
Back in the ‘8
s, when PVC-U fi rst went
mainstream, houses were very cheap by today’s
standards, and windows were relatively expensive.
Forty years on, house prices have hugely
increased – and now even more costly products
like sash windows seem very cheap as a
percentage of the overall house value.
Back when the average three bed house was
valued at just £
, it was a
for a homeowner to pay £,
PVC vertical sliding windows were considerably
more expensive, with the average product costing
“To the trade, one ECOSlide window would usually
sell for £
6 – or £,6 for six, in this example.
That’s a difference of £6 over and above the
casement price. But we could sell those six windows
for £, to the homeowner – £ per window”
well over £,
apiece. For six, you’d have to pay
at very least, which was
% of the value
of the house.
, by contrast, the average house price
. And buying the same number of
vertical sliding windows required investing less
than % of the property’s value.
That in itself has helped encourage their
widespread installation. But it’s also made highticket
home improvement products easier to
fi nance, too, as the loan-to-value ratio doesn’t
signifi cantly increase.
All in all, it makes sash windows one of the
most profi table products you can offer – and the
reason thousands of installers all across the UK
work with Victorian Sliders, Europe’s biggest sash