Garden Party

After an optimistic start to 2012, October saw house prices slump once again. It is therefore unsurprising that the latest Palmer Report revealed a rise in the purchase of high value conservatories, orangeries and garden rooms as people try to adapt their existing home to meet their evolving needs. Alan Robinson, director of specialist aluminium door and window fabricator, Alumen advises how installers can take advantage of this trend.

The average house price in Britain rose by an estimated 1.5% through 2012, according to figures from It was heartening to see a nugget of positive news in a sea of unemployment and double dip reports. However, the tentative celebration was not to last as last month, the Knight Frank/Markit’s House Price Sentiment Index (HPSI) revealed the second lowest reading since February, meaning that once again, house prices are on the decline.

This rather disappointing development means that, once again, homeowners across the UK are unable to think about selling a home they have outgrown and moving to a larger or otherwise more suitable property. Couple this with an ever ageing population and adult children, unable to climb the property ladder themselves, moving out of the family home much later, and it is clear that space is at a premium.

It is hardly surprising then, that there is such a trend for extension and improvement of existing homes. In fact, according to the Window, Door and Conservatory Markets in Housing 2012 Edition from Palmer Market Research, there has been an increase in the number of people purchasing higher value conservatories, orangeries and garden rooms.

As one area of growth in our sector, the more forward thinking fabricators and installers amongst us will be looking to take advantage of this trend by offering high end conservatory buildings and ancillaries. At Alumen, for example, we have noticed a marked increase in the number of aluminium bi-folding and sliding doors being sold to projects looking to combine outdoor and indoor living space.

Bi-folding doors are a great way to allow homeowners a more flexible living and working space, as they can provide a 90% opening onto a conservatory or garden room. Aluminium is a popular choice for bi-folds as it is a lightweight, yet strong and long lasting material which offers superb kerb appeal with its ability to accept a variety of surface finishes. Alumen recognises this and offer our customers a choice of both Schueco and SMART aluminium bi-folding door systems.

SMART Systems are popular within the domestic market due to their reputation for product innovation, design and technical competence, and Alumen offers the SMART Visofold 1000 and Visoglide systems. Schueco is a world class leader in energy efficient technology, and Alumen is one of only a select number of UK fabricators able to offer its bi-folding sliding doors range. Our sliding patio doors are equipped with the latest polyamide thermal barrier technology, which creates a thermal transmittance barrier between the cold outside and the warm inside, perfect for conservatories and garden rooms.

Installers wishing benefit from these products can also call on our extensive technical expertise, and we offer a supply only or complete supply and installation service with full 10-year guarantee through our sister company GRP Designs. We also manufacture or supply complementary aluminium products including aluminium windows, French doors, rooflights, and conservatory roofs.

If you are looking to take advantage of one sector in our market that is proven to be thriving, why not speak to us? We are keen to partner with proactive installation companies across the UK so if you are interested in growing your sales with the support of the Alumen door and window brand, call us on: 01536 737377 or visit: