Cladding Helps Plastics South West Grow

Jul 13, 2021 | Videos

With the trend for home improvements looking set to continue the most significant increase in demand was where homeowners are making aspirational choices about products – such as the over 45s and retired homeowners – who have been largely unaffected financially by the pandemic.

Most window installers have experienced this first-hand, having seen an increase in sales of premium products such as foiled windows and doors, aluminium bi-folds, garden rooms and orangeries.

Freefoam Building Products have also seen this trend, manifesting itself in the sales of its external PVC cladding range with some Freefoam stockist customers recording a 50% increase in sales over the past two years.

One such customer is Plastics South West, based in the busy coastal city of Plymouth.  With an initial stock order in September 2017, the cladding range has now become an important part of their wider PVC product range and now accounts for about 25% of total sales with an uptick in cladding sales of almost 50% in the last 2 years.

Plastics South West stock and sell the full colour range of Fortex Double Shiplap and Weatherboard products, alongside all fitting accessories, to a wide area of the South West, including many coastal locations. Clients in these areas prefer the more subtle softer shades that work well alongside existing render finishes, with Storm Grey and Misty Grey being the most popular closely followed by Sage Green and Colonial Blue.

Paul Ewings, Managing Director Plastics South West explained “We are seeing a steady increase in the demand for cladding in this area. Its addition to our range has definitely helped our business grow and develop. It has helped set us apart from our competitors and gives us a product to increase our share of the RMI and DIY markets. We’ve also seen an increase in our customer base so it’s a win win for us.”

Plastics South West also understands that customers need support with newer products. They have display boards in the trade counter to illustrate the colour options and have even used the cladding on their sales counter to show how the product looks when installed. They offer clients a scheduling service to calculate boards and accessories required for projects and have installed the Freefoam ‘cladding calculator’ and ‘cladding visualiser’ on their website.  Paul continued “We find that by offering customers the help they need considerably increases our conversion rates.”

External PVC cladding is a fast becoming the ‘ultimate’ home improvement product and a great addition for PVC stockists to add to their range. With its ultra-low maintenance properties and its versality it offers an instant home transformation, says Freefoam. Cladding can be used to cover any substrate from brick and block to render and pebble dash and to replace hanging tiles or existing timber cladding and to upgrade existing white PVC cladding, perhaps with a bold new colour choice.

Colin St John, Freefoam Commercial Director, summarised “We’ve seen a huge growth in sales of cladding, and it’s our customers, like Plastics South West, who have understood the potential and run with it who have really reaping the rewards. External cladding is just one example of our commitment to provide building products that help our customers increase their market share and allow them to enter new markets. “

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June 2021 Magazine


First we had the pandemic, now we have the ‘pingdemic’. How this will affect the industry only time will tell. Even though we have record numbers isolating, the home improvement boom has shown no signs of slowing down as we reached ‘Freedom Day’on Monday. And installers will continue to benefit from consumer demand, according to Andy Royle, co-founder and director of Leads 2 Trade. This view is backed by the latest figures from the Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) which reveal that year-on-year sales through UK builders’ merchants are on an upward trajectory, as the industry continues to meet sustained high demand for building products.

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