Steve Hacking, MD at SupaLite, answers some questions about the growth of the tiled roof market and why products like SupaLite present a valuable opportunity for installers.
The tiled roof market has seen impressive growth over the last decade. What would you say is the key driver behind this?
I think it’s the ability to solve the age-old problem where conservatories are either too hot or too cold. By replacing those traditional polycarbonate or glass roofs with a fully insulated, solid tiled roof, homeowners can better regulate the temperature in their conservatory and create a practical living space which is useable all year round.
The prospect of a rejuvenated conservatory, lower energy bills and potentially thousands added to the value of the property is certainly proving to be a powerful proposition for homeowners nationwide.
Why should installers add a solid tiled roof system to their product offering?
Space is at an absolute premium for UK homeowners. Whilst the housing market has shown signs of recovery in 2020, the number of houses for sale nationally still remains relatively low. The increased competition among buyers has ultimately helped prices to rise, making a move even tougher for stretched families.
With moving off the table for homeowners, many are now actively looking to make the best of what they have. For some, that means investigating retro-fit products to convert their tired and inefficient conservatories. For others, it might be investing in a brand-new conservatory or extension with a high-performance tiled roof.
In short, there are fantastic opportunities available for ambitious installers if they offer a solid tiled roof system like SupaLite. It’s a valuable route to market and could be a reason why customers are choosing a local or national competitor ahead of you.
What is the main stumbling block stopping some installers from branching out?
I think there are a number of barriers which make installers hesitant, whether it’s the fear of taking on a new product, the fear of diminishing their glass roof business, or maybe the thought of having to deal with Building Regulations. I would argue, though, the biggest hurdle is adopting a new, and for many, different product range.
However, we’ve worked hard at SupaLite to not only make our product range faster and easier to fabricate and install, but provide plenty of relevant training and support to our approved network. We now have a dedicated training space and showroom site near our HQ in Preston which has proven incredibly popular with our partners.
Along with our original SupaLite roof, we offer solutions to suit all types of conservatory and orangery and a full range of design and customisation options across our roof systems. We regularly update our showroom and offer refresher training that covers new products, installation and sales and marketing.
You mentioned Building Regulations. How does a SupaLite roof meet them?
Peace of mind is incredibly important for homeowners, especially with a renovation like a roof replacement. It can be really confusing, especially when less reputable installers sell the dream of a cheap ‘tiled roof’ but instead deliver a ‘clad-over’ which inevitably fails and causes more grief and expense for the homeowner – especially when they sell their home.
To give consumers complete confidence and to save our customers both time and expense, we are partnered with JHAI – an organisation approved by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) to carry out Building Regulations approvals. They have given the SupaLite roof their complete approval, which is not only another powerful sales tool, but a great way to separate trustworthy installers from the ‘clad-over’ cowboys.
Installers can submit applications with supporting documents and photographs to SupaLite for certification. We’ll issue Building Regulations certification, a 10 year product warranty and a certificate of authenticity to the homeowner, helping customers save both time and money.