Installer poll reveals triple glazing scepticism

emplasA new industry study has revealed that installers remain sceptical as to market demand for triple glazed products.

The joint survey, by Emplas and Lister Trade Frames, found that of those polled, only 7% of retailers had installed triple glazed products in the last year.

Further, only 20% expected demand for triple glazing to grow significantly in the next three years, with more than half forecasting slow to little growth, while 29% said that they were ‘unsure’.

When asked if they expected demand for triple glazing to exceed that for double glazed products in the next three years, 79% of respondents said ‘no’, with 16% again, unable to decide. Just 5% of respondents predicted that triple glazed windows and door sales would exceed those of double glazed products.

Results followed the same pattern when applied to a five year period, while 76% of respondents went a step further, questioning whether triple glazed sales would ever exceed those of double glazed products.

,But while as a whole, figures suggest scepticism among installers as to the prospects for triple glazing, when broken down by size, the results reveal a far more optimistic analysis among larger fabricators.

Mike Crewdson, sales and marketing director, Emplas, said: “At that headline level, installers don’t see the value in triple glazed products and don’t report the demand for them. However, if you dig down a little deeper, you see a definite split between larger and smaller businesses.

“Those companies doing between 10 and 20 frames per week are pretty sceptical. Most haven’t installed triple glazed products – only 2% and 6% respectively. And most are conservative in their forecasts of growth in triple glazed products – only 11% and 20%.

“But what we see is an evening-out of the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ camps in larger installers, with 42% of those installers fitting between 21 and 40 frames per week, forecasting growth in triple glazed sales. For those installers fitting 41 plus frames per week, the figure was 40% – a perfect split with those predicting that triple glazed sales would fail to take-off.”

,The survey also hints at one of the obstacles to growth in triple glazed sales. Findings revealed that more than half of respondents cited weight and increased complexity in manual handling as contributing to a perception that triple glazed products were more difficult to install.

When asked if they believed that triple glazed products were a ‘practical’ requirement in most cases in the UK, or delivered meaningful benefit to end users above that of double glazed products, a resounding 76% said ‘no’.

“Triple glazing may deliver certain benefits in certain aspects”, said Mark Warren, managing director, Lister Trade Frames. “In very exposed locations, or on Passivhaus-type developments, triple glazed products may be appropriate. Similarly, with the right configuration of glass they can deliver improved sound-proofing and acoustic benefits.

“But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be right across the board. While we may spend a lot of time moaning about it, the ‘great British weather’, is, in general, pretty temperate and the payback for most homeowners – short of an astronomical jump in energy prices – when compared to the top performing double glazed units is difficult to justify.

“We need to be responsible as an industry and add value to the sale process by guiding homeowners through specification so that they get the right product, whether that’s triple glazing, or in the majority of cases, double glazed products – whichever it is, it shouldn’t be supplied at a giveaway price.”

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