The market for bi-folding doors is expected to grow 7% per annum, despite Brexit fears, says AMA Research.
According to the market analysts, the sector grew 12% last year, with similar growth predicted for 2016. Rising from a low installed base, bi-fold demand has increased sharply in recent years driven strongly by significant growth in the home improvement market – both new extensions and replacement -and changing tastes in favour of opening up the home and garden area.
According to AMA, the bi-fold doors market is a relatively new and expanding sector, worth over £70m at manufacturers prices – and much higher in terms of installed value.
As indicated above, a key driver of market growth has been consumer interest in bi-folds – with the residential market accounting for over 50% of sales - while suppliers themselves have contributed to the growth of the market through new developments in frame materials, styles, colours and features. In terms of product mix, exterior bi-folds dominate the sector by both volume and value due to residential use – although commercial interior bifold doors account for a significant share of the market.
AMA’s report assesses the market by frame material and, while aluminium is the dominant frame material, timber accounts for around 20% of the market. Overall, the trend for maximising natural light has resulted in increased glazing used for entrance and patio doors and internal doors. Home extensions are a key market – with around 200,000 extensions per annum offering good market prospects for manufacturers and installers alike with bifolds popular where homeowners are extending kitchens/living areas and want a more open link to the outdoors.
AMA Research director Andrew Hartley explained, "The supply structure remains complex and fragmented, but increasingly competitive as many window and door companies now offer bi-fold doors. A number of companies that originally focused on single materials - eg, aluminium, PVCu or timber - have extended product ranges to include alternative material products in order to widen channel exposure. Bi-fold doors have also seen wider distribution generally in recent years, particularly through retail DIY/home improvement multiples and online."
Current AMA forecasts indicate steady to good growth into the medium-term with the bi-fold doors market growing by around 7% per annum to 2020. Factors likely to have a positive impact on volume and value growth include housebuilding completions, the house moving market, trend for higher value replacements and steady levels of home improvement projects. Bi-fold doors are likely to remain a key product sector for retail window and door companies with second/third time replacements likely to impact on the market in future years.
The impact of Brexit on the residential newbuild and RMI sectors remains extremely difficult to forecast and implications are likely to become clearer as the UK eventually begins the process of negotiation. However, as a minimum, the uncertainty created by the situation may cause the market to become more volatile and may lead to reduced levels of spending on home improvements.