Trend Tracker: Increase Your Profits with Residential Glass

By Dustin Anderson

Trends come and go and I find it incredibly important to keep your finger on the pulse of this piece of our business. While commercial trends are a very real thing, the residential sector is an ever-changing space. While certain staples, such as brushed nickel finishes, are
popular for years, there are also fads, such as matte black finishes, that hit the market strong. These trends can deplete the stock of a specific hardware, creating long lead times and delays. This can make fads seem like a bit of a headache. Identifying the trends
that will have an extended shelf life can lead to some increased profitability for the glass shops that embrace them.

SHOWER DOOR SELECTION

There was a time not long ago when the residential glazing estimator or salesperson cringed at the thought of having to tell a client that the layout of their bathroom would require a sliding shower enclosure or bypass enclosure. The availability of styles was limited and the overall design of any unit on the market hadn’t changed in decades.

That scene is very different today, and there are abundant frameless slider options. Today’s choices include sliders that function with a single door and fixed panel, as well as those with a laminated glass header that allows both of the doors to function. Couple the incredible number of frameless slider options with the vast array of glass choices and the
customer has an infinite number of design combinations.

WINE CELLARS

Wine cellars have become extremely popular lately in the residential market. Glaziers are using frameless hardware as well as commercial interiors hardware to achieve the look that their clients desire. Frameless shower hardware finishes give the client numerous possibilities and allow the glazier to design around those specific needs. From three-sided glass structures being attached to a single wall, to locations under staircases and others off of dining rooms, consumers are choosing to add these rooms—which are much less expensive than traditional wine cellars.

GLASS HANDRAILS

Glass handrails aren’t anything new in the residential world, but homeowners are getting very creative in how they use them. Clients are looking for a modern glass handrail for their stairs now more than ever. As an industry, we’re also seeing clients requesting
glass handrails on balconies and around pool and spa areas. Likewise, the mounting options for handrails have increased, allowing the glazier and client to determine the best look for the house as well as the installation.

MIRROR CHOICES

Installing square cut, seamed edged mirrors goes back years and years for our industry. Styles come and go, but the standard go-to, regular, old plain mirror is something that moves through glass shops all over the country. Framed mirror has always been part of the game, but for most glass shops, keeping a large stock isn’t profitable. This usually leads the client to local shops such as Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Pier One, etc. Options have changed for glass shops, though. There are companies that make a variety of styles and finishes that adhere directly to the face of a mirror, giving the client the right size and look they desire. Other glass companies are incorporating steel fabrication to their list of services provided and are making custom frames. The margins can be very good, allowing for a great add-on product.

Dustin Anderson is the owner of Anderson Glass in Waco, Texas, and also served as the resident glass guy on the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper.

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