Pro Installer January 2022 - Issue 106 - Page 20

Installer Support
20 | JANUARY 2022

Installer Support


Cladding is the next big thing for installers transforming the looks and energy efficiency of customers ’ homes , says Richard Jackson , Freefoam UK Sales Director .
One of the biggest changes to emerge from the pandemic has been the way people use their homes . After three lockdowns most of us will have spent more time in our houses than ever before , and with hybrid working becoming the norm , the home will continue to play an even more important part in our daily lives .
Many homeowners also have more money than ever sitting in the bank , getting on for an extra
£ 200bn in fact , according to the Bank of England . Covid restrictions and complicated travel rules have made it harder to spend on holidays and other forms of entertainment , and people
are spending a lot of this spare money on moving or improving their homes . Some have joined a mass migration from the cities to find more space and nice surroundings . But most are investing in a range of improvements to make
their properties to make them more spacious , to live and work in , more attractive and easier on the eye , and more energy efficient so they waste less of their money on more expensive

one of the most timely benefits of cladding is its ability to improve a property ’ s energy performance

heating . The home improvement sector is doing very well and set for long term expansion .
This time last year , we predicted cladding and cladding transformations would grow fast in 2021 , and we weren ’ t wrong .
External cladding is an easy , low maintenance way to give homes an instant transformation . We ’ ve seen countless makeovers this year where cladding has been used to replace existing timber cladding or tired hanging tiles , and update drab rendering . The results are truly stunning , spectacular in fact . But , given the need to rapidly improve the energy efficiency of Britain ’ s housing stock , one of the most timely benefits of cladding is its ability to improve a property ’ s energy performance . Around 20 % of heat , and carbon emissions , leak out through windows , doors , the roof and walls . Cladding is a straightforward installation , and when fitted with
insulation , it can make a substantial difference to the amount of energy that is lost to the sky . Homeowners love the double benefit of looks and energy savings . There ’ s a bandwagon building serious momentum .
Over the past 18 months Freefoam ’ s premium X-Wood , and Fortex
cladding sales have grown strongly . So strongly , that in response to this demand , we are working on a couple of new cladding solutions . Launching in Summer 2022 , these will include an easy-to-install system , ideal for home renovations and garden rooms .
www . freefoam . com


Dekko Sales Director Kurt Greatrex looks to the future following a rollercoaster year …
18 months ago , we invested in a new 25,000 square foot factory dedicated to the production of Räum , our exclusive aluminium range .
A total manufacturing capacity of 80,000 square feet combined with trusted relationships with key suppliers meant lead times of Räum , as well as the Residence Collection and Infinity , our two leading uPVC ranges , were kept as lean as possible .
Another big issue facing the industry is the growing skills gap , and in recent months , we ’ ve shown our commitment to tackling the crisis by starting an apprenticeship programme .
Our new apprentices have taken on different roles , including HR , manufacturing and engineering , and by taking them on , we ’ re upskilling young workers and giving them an opportunity to learn on the job , with the long-term goal of developing a skilled workforce that will contribute to the industry .
Thanks to careful investment and strategic planning , we ’ ve experienced our best-ever 12-month period , recording a 40 % sales increase since September 2020 , despite all the challenges faced .
Forward thinking
With a strong sales record matched with an equally strong and loyal customer base , we ’ re in a very solid position moving forward , and at Dekko , we plan to continue that success well into 2022 .
While the market has changed considerably in the past two years , we ’ ve adapted our business in order to support our customers as much as we possibly can .
From a factory expansion which helped to ramp up production and keep lead times to a minimum , to hiring apprentices and investing in our future , helping our customers has always been paramount .
Looking ahead , we will be investing in a new CRM software which will allow us to manage everything from customer enquiries and quotes to production and supply .
We are also planning several other key investments in the business in the next 12 months ,
which will see increased production , new products added to our offering , and a general onwards and upwards approach that centres around our valued customers .
I don ’ t see the boom in demand for home improvement products slowing down any time soon , but come the new year , I do predict that supply chain issues will calm down significantly , allowing those at all levels of the industry room to recover , improve , and come back even stronger than before .
It may be a long time before the industry returns to what it was pre-pandemic , but as we adjust , the team at Dekko is always grateful to both our loyal customers and our reliable suppliers for their continued support , and we very much look forward to continuing these relationships into what I ’ m certain will be a strong and prosperous 2022 .
www . dekkowindows . com