Self-cleaning glass has been talked about a lot, with such a catchy name in his hit the headlines of not only the trade journals, but also the mass media. Does self-cleaning glass mean that all the window cleaners and small businesses across this country are doomed? No, not yet. First of all, self-cleaning glass is not really self-cleaning at all, so many Industry call it low maintenance glass, but either way the idea is intriguing and appeals to consumers. In a recent article in Window and Door magazine, in March of 2003 the industry was asked what they thought of self-cleaning glass many of those interviewed were among the building industry, interior designers, architects, glass manufacturers, new homebuilders, tenant improvements retrofitters and window cleaning service companies. Having been watching the developments of self-cleaning windows for quite some time, we see a time when the big mirrored glass buildings will no longer need the same frequency of services. What does this mean for companies like; the Window Genie; the Window Gang; the Window Butler; and the Window Wash Guys.
Should we be concerned that this new innovation will upset the market sector causing and your reversible micro sector rotation, which will put out of business thousands of small time entrepreneurs engaged in the cleaning of windows? Well, not exactly, however in the future we will see a change in the industry and that change will likely come through a combination of self-cleaning windows and Nano-technology. But for now PPG industries, Pilkington and at least 50 other large glass manufacturers are riding the wave in this newest trend. However, as we watched the industry we have seen surveys that claim over 71 percent of consumers given the choice would be more likely to choose self-cleaning windows over the regular windows even with the increased cost.
A company in Pittsburgh called SunClean self-cleaning glass products introduced their version of self-cleaning glass at the end of 2001, while their sales have increased and have met company expectations, we have seen the industry as a whole lag behind the original hype of the innovation. So it’s 71 percent of consumers given the choice would be more likely to choose self-cleaning windows, within how come we have not seen the promised Boom? Well there are a couple reasons the first being that often consumers do not choose what can glass one other homes as the builders choose 70 percent of what goes into their homes. In custom homes and renovations to numbers are quite promising. Oh what we’ve seen in new home construction is a move to lower-cost, to standardize, and to move quickly. When new home shoppers go to new models and discuss the purchase of a new home those sales offices indicated that they had approximately 40 minutes with the clients and at that time they either made the sale, made of favorable impression for a return visit or had lost the customer completely. The option of self-cleaning glass comes with it a host of questions for instance; what is it? With no time to explain, they rarely got into the subject matter. Also with new customers buying on 1 to 3 percent down they also indicated that most customers and consumers barely squeaked by.
The increased costs of self-cleaning windows throughout a home could be as much as $2200.00 in this increase could cost in the sale those manufacturers that dealt with selling remodeling and replacement type glass showed that steady increase in sales will probably continue into the future. Does this mean the residential market for window cleaning could be substantially hampered given these numbers. The answer is yes and no. Yes, because consumers may feel that there is no need to clean the glass now, because it is supposed to be cleaned itself. No, because those people who might buy self-cleaning glass are overly concerned with clean Windows, as it is a high priority in their life. A clean outlook, if you will? The fact is that self-cleaning glass is really lower maintenance glass, and it is easier to clean, thus a window cleaning company; like ours for the ones mentioned above could actually make more money per hour worked, thus become more efficient and have more money to market and get more business. Also with windows easier to clean, the finished job will look better and therefore more referrals of people who both do and do not have self-cleaning glass themselves. We feel that it is a tossup as to the decreased sales due to people believing that the glasses to clean itself completely into those who still beside the service.