Recap of the Year: A Year in the Window and Door Industry

23 December 2022
Updated 27 March 2023

The year 2022 has been an eventful one for the window and door industry. From new technologies and materials to changes in regulations and consumer trends, the industry has seen a lot of changes over the past 12 months.

Throughout 2022, there have been a number of regulatory changes, some more prominent than others, as well as a myriad of changes in the economy, from warnings of a looming recession, to homeowners tightening their belts. Let’s take a look at some of the key headlines.

We will take a look at:

  • New trickle vents regulations
  • Energy and cost of living crisis
  • Approved Document O

Trickle vents: Changes to regulations

In June 2022, new regulations were introduced to improve ventilation in new dwellings, or when replacing existing windows.

When replacing existing windows that have trickle vents and/or other background ventilation functions, it is compulsory to ensure that the new windows provide trickle vents of at least the same size as the original. Additionally, the vents must be able to be controlled by either the occupant or have to be automated.

For replacement of windows that didn’t have existing trickle vents, it becomes important to ensure that the level of ventilation is no less than it was previously, by ensuring that trickle vents are specified as part of the project.

This places additional pressure on window and door installations, as it is now necessary to be aware of the additional ventilation regulations and ensure the project is specified in accordance with these.

You can find out more details about trickle vents and ventilation regulations in the Government’s Approved Document F.

Energy and cost of living

As inflation took hold throughout 2022, pressures on homeowners and businesses alike have grown, with spending power being reduced as the cost of day-to-day goods and services increased.

Despite this, and the constant possibility of a recession, the main factor touted amongst the cost of living crisis is energy, and how the cost of electricity and gas has increased substantially in recent times.

This has one advantage –  homeowners and businesses are looking at how they can reduce their energy bills through making properties more energy efficient. This naturally creates a positive selling point of windows and doors, as window and door installers can highlight the energy efficiency of their products and upsell to higher-rated products.

Nonetheless, the situation with the economy remains fluid and it can also dampen demand as homeowners find themselves not being able to make investments in their homes.

As the situation develops, this is an area where you should keep a particularly keen eye on, and ensure that the way in which you communicate and market to customers aligns with the situation, so that you can position your windows and doors as a benefit, as opposed to a burden.

Approved Document O

Alongside the introduction of trickle vent regulations, the Government introduced an entirely new Approved Document, Approved Document O.

The purpose of Approved Document O is to set out the regulations with regards to new dwellings and overheating. It’s designed to help the Government meet its net zero plans, whilst also improving the health and safety of occupants.

For windows, the Approved Document O regulates the size of glazing in regards to its location and orientation. It specifies the requirements for the maximum percentage of glazing that can be included in various locations and orientations on a dwelling to lower the risk of overheating.

For the exact specifications and guidelines, please refer to the Government’s document here. It’s one more piece of regulation to be aware of, especially in what is deemed a ‘high risk’ location.

Undoubtedly, 2022 saw a significant number of shifts and changes both in the global economy and in the fenestration industry that impacted the status quo and will likely continue to do so in the coming year. It seems clear that the double glazing industry is set to face the implications of these changes in 2023, with the concept of sustainability and energy efficiency gaining even greater importance and leading to an increased demand for sustainable home improvement solutions.