Freefoam | Colour me impressed

Freefoam | Colour me impressed

Adding a splash of colour to roofline and cladding installations can transform a property, providing a home that’s bang on trend, says Colin St John, Commercial Director at Freefoam.

Over the past two years, there has been a significant uplift in demand for cladding and roofline products over the past two years. Last year, sales of cladding products increased more than 20% when compared to 2019. This was a function of the pandemic with its increased focus on the home and, last year, an estimated 66% of homeowners were planning home improvements, while 22% wanted improvements that added value to their home.

It is also driven by a desire to personalise the home and create bespoke environments which is something that obviously also increasingly applies to the new build sector.

Apart from the aesthetic benefits of quality roofline, there is necessarily a practical dimension too and being durable and stylish, PVC exterior goods can include roofline and deep flow gutters to protect homes from increasing volumes of rainfall and more violent storms while boosting curb appeal. Cladding and roofline can also add value by complementing windows and doors, alongside offering colour options as part of a complete house look.

Where we are seeing most growth potential is in sales of coloured cladding and roofline products. In 2021, sales of colour and woodgrain fascia increased significantly in comparison to 2019. This is a hot trend that housebuilders can continue to capitalise on.

Grey expectations
In the past, popular shades for cladding and roofline fittings have been largely confined to natural wood finishes as well as more traditional white. Before the pandemic, we were seeing a real interest in our grey product lines, such as the Fortex cladding which includes four contemporary grey shades. And this has continued – more than 60% of all such cladding sales in 2021 were in grey.

Grey cladding and rooflines can be a straightforward upsell to those wanting to complete the contemporary look of a property. In response to customer feedback, the company announced the addition of a new grey shade to the roofline range in summer 2022. Agate Grey is soft grey with tones of green and offers a lighter alternative to the ever-popular Anthracite Grey.

A splash of colour
More recently, there has been a shift to an even wider colour palette in the UK and this has been largely driven by trends in Europe. The market for cladding and roofline products is well established in Europe, and countries such as France, the Netherlands and Belgium strongly influence the trends we see here. Domestically, there is definitely a growing appetite for colour products in the UK, particularly off the back of the strong trend to colour in windows and front doors.

Colour of the Year
One of the biggest colour trends for this year is blue. At the start of 2022, Dulux announced its chosen Colour of the Year 2022 was Blue Skies, a light, airy and optimistic shade of blue which felt like a breath of fresh air for a new year. Similarly,  PVC cladding now comes in a variety of colours including Pale Blue and a deeper Colonial Blue.

Upcoming shades for 2023 will continue the pastel theme, with experts predictingDigital Lavender’ to be named colour of year for next year. These shades are proving popular, giving builders the opportunity to enhance new and existing properties with a modern, fresh look.

Choosing lasting, vibrant colour
When offering coloured cladding, fascia and soffit boards, it’s important to be able to confident it will not fade over time. To ensure the colour of cladding and roofline products remains vibrant for years to come, technically advanced proprietary
colour technology uses a unique selection of highly colourfast stabilisers and pigments which allows us to offer a wide range of long-lasting colours from subtle gold and soft grey to striking black and anthracite grey. This technology is so effective that leading manufacturers, such as Freefoam, should offer a 50-year extended guarantee on white products and an industry-leading 10-year guarantee on all other colours.

The colours are added to products through a co-extrusion process which gives them a coloured top coating of rigid PVC-U, that is smooth, strong and hard-wearing. The process is quick and easy and it means that standard colours can be offered with no lead time, which is an advantage for those working to tight deadlines.

The majority of colours have a RAL equivalent which allows for exact colour matching, so housebuilders can exactly match the colour of the cladding or roofline products to other elements of a home’s exterior. With such products, builders can create properties with a choice of coloured roofline and cladding, offering a splash of individuality and the perfect finish for any home.

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