With more of us working and learning from home, the appetite for further home improvement projects is only expected to rise. This is great news for profits, but installers may be all too aware of the added pressure the demand will put on them to juggle an already busy schedule.
Here, Keith Dyson, National Technical Sales Manager at Hansgrohe UK, discusses the role products can play in not only speeding up each job but in ensuring installers can deliver on customer expectations, protect their reputation, and avoid the added pressure of repeat emergency call outs.
More plumbing, more problems?
The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on the way we live our lives, and for many it meant spending more time at home. Now, in a post-pandemic world, this trend looks to continue as more companies embrace hybrid and flexible working. As a result, homeowners are spending more on home improvement projects.
According to the 2021 Houzz & Home Renovation Trends Study1, 2020 saw a 36% increase in home improvement median spending compared to 2019 – from £11,000 to £15,000. In addition, more than 50% of homeowners reported to be planning renovations for 2021 and beyond.
With upgrades to bathrooms often being a key area for renovation projects, the plumbing sector appears to be booming. It’s good for businesses but will also mean that installers need to think more about where efficiencies can be achieved in the installation process.
Whilst some may have the ability to integrate intelligent scheduling software and CRM systems into their operation, time-saving opportunities can just as easily be found by selecting high-quality products that are made to last, supported by robust warranties and longevity of spares stocks.
A product that has been designed to be fitted easily guarantees a slicker, more professional look when the job is completed and ensures a great result for the customer.
Whilst it’s widely accepted that exposed shower pipes tend to be easier to fit, customers looking for sleeker, more premium finish will often want most of the hardware in their shower system to be concealed – with just the shower head and controller visible.
There are more things that can go wrong with a concealed valve installation compared to an exposed shower pipe, and it’s important to get the fit right first time to save a lot of dismantling and mess to rectify the job in future.
There are differences from one brand to another in terms of fitting, and there can be a different valve for each type of control panel. For installers that are unfamiliar with a certain brand or product, it may take some additional time or training to be able to fit these.
As a leading manufacturer in our industry with more than 120 years of expertise, Hansgrohe understands that for installers, time is money. That is why we developed the iBox universal to make concealed valve installations as straight-forward as possible. Designed with installers in mind, the iBox, which was launched over 20 years ago, is a single point of installation for many hansgrohe shower controls. The patented circular shape, pioneered by our engineers, makes it easier to feed the pipework in hard-to-reach places and makes it virtually impossible to fit incorrectly.
The ability to fit a product safe in the knowledge that it won’t cause the customer further issues later is key to unlocking customer loyalty and protecting your reputation as an installer. It also reduces the potential for emergency callouts giving you time back to get more jobs completed and increase revenue for your business.
For consumers, sustainability is becoming a growing concern. There is a significant step change happening, seeing more people move away from a culture of responding to trends and replacing items regularly to carefully selecting products that will last for years to come. For installers, this provides a great opportunity to advise customers on products known for high quality materials, great design, and robust testing processes.
For example, hansgrohe showers and taps only use high-quality materials that are approved for use with drinking water, with every single part complying to the relevant standards. Everything is tested with water or air to get as close to the bathroom experience as possible. We also ‘over-test’ to ensure robustness of all our showers and taps – in the UK, three bar pressure tends to be the maximum water pressure will reach – but hansgrohe products are all tested to ten bar pressure as standard.
With so many brands offering different guarantees and warranties it can be difficult to navigate the products with the most longevity. Looking out for products that guarantee every single part is a good way to provide reassurance to customers should any issues arise.
As an installer, you will be well aware that function and finish are equally as important for your customer. Unlike other brands, hansgrohe manufacturers every aspect of the product, including the mixer cartridges, so everything is guaranteed by a five-year manufacturer’s warranty. You can therefore assure your customers that should any aspect of the product fall short of expectations within five years of purchase, hansgrohe will repair, refund, or replace it for free.
In addition, a spare parts guarantee is upheld even after the product is discontinued – for up to 15 years. This provides further peace of mind on the continuity of supply for you and your customers – allowing you to simply ‘fit and forget’.
For more information, please visit the dedicated hansgrohe website for installers: www.pro.hansgrohe.co.uk