Despite England spectacularly crashing out the Rugby World Cup at the group stages, 2015 was packed with plenty of high points. Following the Conservatives dramatic election victory in May, wage growth occurred alongside the lowest rate of inflation in 50 years. In turn, this helped consumer morale surge to its highest in over 15 years, with Andy Hulme, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank explaining “latest figures provide further evidence that in 2015 people continued to increase their spending on home improvements as the economy and housing market picked up.”
Whilst patio awning sales declined slightly, sales of our louvered roof Outdoor Living Pod increased by over 20%. This demonstrates a shift in homeowner’s desires as they seek to create an outdoor space that can be used in all weathers, rather than on a seasonal basis. Furthermore, with new research suggesting ‘space’ replaced ‘location’ as the most sought-after feature for prospective homeowners in 2015, it is no wonder our Outdoor Living Pod which enables homeowners to expand their useable living space proved to be in such high demand.
With consumers opting for more space to socialise, single storey extensions have never been so popular. Virtually all these extensions contain fashionable sky/roof lights to create an open airy space so they’re flooded with natural light. However, this abundance of natural light can cause a multitude of problems, such as unwanted solar heat gain, resulting in a space that's far too hot to enjoy, particularly during the height of Summer.
As roof glazing is the area affected most by excess heat, it’s no surprise sales of our external roof blinds increased by a staggering 238%! (Yes you have read that right). This substantial increase in sales could also be the result of El Niño, which made 2015 the hottest year on record, hence the growing need for homeowner’s to control the internal temperatures of their properties.
During 2015, we also re-introduced our St. Lucia tensioned blind (pictured above) with streamlined hardware dimensions for small skylights up to 2.5m square. This blind features the same fabric locking technology as our Antiguan range of external roller blinds, to ensure there are no light gaps and the blind remains windproof. Additionally, due to its lightweight design it works well with opening skylights as well as fixed.
Our favourite project of the year has to be our multiple Outdoor Living Pod installation at The Woolpack in Bermondsey. The end result was an alfresco dining experience like no other (as the video below demonstrates), with the installation paying back for itself according to the general manager within 6 weeks thanks to all the extra covers that can now be accommodated. Both food and atmosphere at The Woolpack is awesome, and the staff were exceptionally friendly to our team during the 7 day install, so if you happen to be passing it’s definitely well worth a visit.
As we start 2016, we are ramping up the number of shows we will be attending to 5, so we have an exceptionally busy schedule on our hands. This means there will be plenty of opportunities to see our products in action, along with witnessing first-hand the superior quality and design that really sets us apart from the crowd. Additionally, we have several job vacancies across both our office and production teams as well as expecting delivery imminently of two additional installation vehicles to keep up with demand. So after a busy 2015 we are set for an even busier 2016!
With the New Year underway we will continue to provide genuine expert advice along with superior quality products and a service that is second to none which is the reason behind our continued growth and success.