Software company reveals colour insights

Software company Tommy Trinder has analysed more than 88,000 PVC-U casements quoted by installers using its Framepoint platform in 2021. The analysis underscores what they call the decline of the smooth white window: just 58% of PVC casements quoted were unfoiled. Anthracite grey (8%) and white grain (6%) continued to prove popular colour choices in 2021. But on the whole, Tommy Trinder’s data reveals a fragmented appetite for colour.

“Long gone are the days when windows were white and handles were gold,” said Chris Brunsdon, Tommy Trinder’s CEO. “The activity from Framepoint users in 2021 suggests we have truly become a rainbow nation when it comes to fenestration. Over 1,000 different colour combinations were quoted on PVC-U casements during the year.”

According to Tommy Trinder’s data, traditional woodgrains were largely in decline. Only Rosewood (4%) and Golden Oak (1%) made it into the top 10 most popular foils. Mahogany, an old favourite, was notable by its absence. Oaks such as Irish Oak, English Oak and Natural Oak, whilst trending upwards, also failed to make the top tier.

“Such vast choice is wonderful for the homeowner, but it does mean great complexity for the installers,” added Chris. “Framepoint users tell us that being able to touch and instantly show clients exactly how a window will look, in a variety of colourways, has become a vital part of their sales process. Modelling a window on the house in full photo-realistic quality, then backing that up with full-colour, photo-realistic inside and outside views of the product, on quotes and contracts, not only wows customers, it also removes any room for error.”

The Tommy Trinder survey also highlighted growing popularity for flush casements. In 2021 around a quarter (24%) of PVC-U windows quoted by installers had flush sashes.

“The data from 2021 suggests flush casements are rising in popularity, and now play a significant part in an installer’s product mix,” said Chris. “In the quest to emulate period features, nearly half (47%) of all flush casements quoted have mechanical joints, compared to just 1% of standard PVC-U casements. And, when it comes to ironmongery, monkey tails and other period handles, such as teardrops and pear drops, outsell standard fasteners and are vital add ons.”

Smooth white was even less popular as a finish on PVC-U flush casements, accounting for just 22% of all windows quoted. A quarter of all flush casements were foiled white or cream. Agate Grey (13%) was almost twice as popular as Anthracite (7%) in the more traditional window form.

“Use of the app is growing rapidly,” explained Chris. “We have around 1,150 active users of Framepoint, from over 360 window firms. So it’s a solid representation of the market. However, it’s likely that our typical subscriber’s product mix is somewhat skewed towards the top end. Upselling occurs naturally when it’s quick and easy to show off premium features, such as foils, dual colours, dummy vents, mechanical joints, flush casements, surface mounted bars etc. It stands to reason that Framepoint users will sell more of these value-added products.”

Looking at his business’ data, has Chris got any insights to trends tip for 2022? “That’s easy,” he said. “The future is… basalt grey!”