The construction and housing sector has been one of the worst hit industries during the pandemic, but the outlook is favourable.
The British have always seen their home as their castle, but perhaps never more than in 2020 when they couldn’t leave it. We’ll look at their top home improvement priorities.
The Green Homes Grant could be the boost homeowners are looking for to kickstart energy-saving improvements. Whilst it’s not as revolutionary as we hoped, applications for the grant open soon and there are opportunities for the glazing sector.
British Homeowners Are Seeking Natural Light & Great Views
Origin commissioned research into homeowner trends and found that British homeowners are willing to spend £13,000 to improve their properties.
The top features that the glazing industry are primed to deliver are:
- More natural light, be it in skylights, larger windows or conservatories
- A great view
- A quality front door
It’s no surprise that the most sought-after feature is more natural light. Perhaps whilst we were unable to enjoy the outdoors during the lockdown we’ve focussed on creating our own Great Indoors. Buyers expect to pay 8% more for a home with lots of natural light, so it can yield an excellent return on the investment for homeowners.
Having a stunning view is also in the Top 10 of desired features. British homeowners love the idea of looking out into picturesque landscapes so much that new buyers would sacrifice square footage for the view. The benefits of home improvements are twofold: living in your dream home and improving the value of it when it’s time to move on.
In a study by HouseLogic, new front doors increase kerbside appeal so much that the return on investment can be up to 98%!
Can You Use the Green Homes Grant?
The Green Homes Grant promised wide-reaching support to make homes in England more eco-friendly.
It hasn’t been as all-encompassing as we were hoping, but it still offers opportunities for glaziers when replacing single glazed units and old external doors. Converting these features is increasing the energy efficiency of the building, and this is what the Green Homes Grant is all about. Sure, it’s more hassle than we were expecting but most homeowners and landlords will be entitled to a voucher. This voucher can be redeemed against qualifying projects.
These projects are split into two types of measures that increase the building’s energy efficiency. Primary measures include adding insulation or solar heating. Secondary measures, where glaziers can add value, include:
- New double or triple glazing
- Secondary glazing
- Replacing doors fitted prior to 2002 to more energy efficient ones
- Enhancing draft proofing
Unfortunately, the homeowner does need to undertake a primary measure to claim for a secondary one. There are two schemes available:
- Higher earning households can receive a voucher of up to £5,000 to improve the energy efficiency of their home
- Those with lower incomes and receiving some form of benefit can receive up to £10,000
Applications open at the end of the month and will be available until March 2021. You’ll need to be registered with TrustMark for customers to find you. On the plus side, the fact that there are extra steps means the firms willing to put in the additional effort will face less competition in taking on Green Homes projects. For more support, direct your customers to the Simple Energy Advice website where all applications can be made.
What About Construction in General?
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the construction sector is starting to come out of the slump, with repair and maintenance of private housing being the most improved aspect of the industry.
It’s no secret that construction was one of the hardest hit industries by Covid-19 but there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. The monthly output for June 2020 grew by a record 23.5%. This breaks down into several key sectors which grew significantly compared to the previous period:
- Private sector new housing grew by 42.3%
- Private repair and maintenance grew by a huge 44%
- All repair and maintenance grew by 26%
Sure, these are from a low base and we’re not yet back to the output levels of 2019, but it shows that we’re coming out of the downturn quickly. We’re heading to the much-desired ‘V’-shaped recovery with the hope of skipping a lengthy stagnation. The creation of new homes has been a priority for successive UK governments, so it’s not surprising that new build housing is bouncing back.
The most hopeful figure is the growth in repair and maintenance. The British are a houseproud people and, when it came to a period of uncertainty, we’ve turned to our homes as a place of investment.
It’s been a tough and unexpected year for the glazing industry, but all signs suggest that the future in ‘new normal’ is still bright. New opportunities are out there for the companies that put the effort in to find them. British homeowners still place a high value on home improvements.
"An Englishman’s home will always be his castle and the glazing sector will always be there to serve"