Tapping into the market

Chris Tranter of Bristan explains how focusing on homeowners’ needs when it comes to bathroom products can help towards a house purchase.

A new home isn’t just a financial investment for consumers – it can be a huge emotional attachment too. Homes are a place to build a life and express an individual sense of style.

With prospective homeowners believing that it takes eight years to save enough money for a deposit, the decision to buy is rarely taken lightly, and many buyers won’t settle for anything less than their perfect home.

When it comes to a successful build, it’s often the subtler details which make all the difference. With this in mind, it’s important to carefully consider the overall design concept, whether it’s a starter home, city-centre apartment or a large family household.

A recent survey by GoCompare found that 25 per cent of homebuyers are put off buying if the house has an outdated kitchen or bathroom. In light of this, it’s crucial that a housebuilder’s choice of taps and showers matches the lifestyle aspirations of the house-hunters they are looking to attract.

While the inclination may be to just invest on the ‘big ticket’ items, the smaller touches are equally important, able to add a subtle, but striking design distinction which enhances the overall design.

Bathroom taps

In line with customer expectations, housebuilders are expected to deliver ever more stylish homes. Beyond being purely functional, taps can help create bathrooms that are distinctive and on trend, providing that ‘something extra’ that so many buyers hunt for.

For small apartments targeted towards those looking for style and sophistication, taps featuring a wide spout and a luxurious water cascade effect are the perfect choice, creating an eye-catching focal point for the room.

In residences like these where space is at a premium, the use of trough sinks offers a practical, deep ledge for accessories such as soap dishes. By combining this with chunky yet petite taps, it’s easy to provide a contemporary design without taking up unnecessary space.

When catering to modern households, specifiers need to consider a variety of needs. According to the Intergenerational Foundation think tank, over 500,000 households have at least three generations living under one roof, and that number is expected to rise to 556,000 by 2019, with a significant increase in the number of people aged 85 or over.

This has an inevitable effect on lifestyles, and the bathroom is arguably the place in the home where this can have the greatest impact. In such multi-generational households taps with long handle controls are ideal, as young children and the older generations can use them easily and safely. Equally, crosshead taps are especially well suited for elderly members as they are a more familiar style, and are therefore easier to use for those with memory issues.

Showers

A powerful shower can be a big plus for attracting potential homebuyers looking for speed and practicality during the working week, plus a little extra luxury at the weekend.

When it comes to specifying a shower, electric options are the natural choice. Water is heated on demand rather than being drawn from a hot water tank, which means electric showers are a highly economical and efficient choice. This makes them great for ensuite bathrooms, where occupiers can enjoy a piping hot shower, however busy the main bathroom is, and no matter how much hot water the rest of the family uses.

With the many advanced features available on electric showers, including warm up modes to bring water up to a pre-set temperature and anti-limescale technology to prolong shower life, housebuilders can choose a model which is both impressive to the consumer, and also cost-effective.

For households including elderly members, electric showers are available that have been specifically designed with ease of use in mind. Features can include large, easy to move dials, raised markings and an audible click when settings are adjusted. Some manufacturers even offer an illuminated stop/start button with an LED digital display.

In modern builds, it is important that products are both affordable and still include digital elements, able to suit even the most tech-savvy customer profile.

When buying a new property, the bathroom is often the most important room to consider. It is therefore important for housebuilders to stay up-to-date on the latest products which suit the needs of the various households that could inhabit it.

By choosing the right products, housebuilders can be assured that the overall design of their development will be enhanced, offering style and functionality for potential homeowners.

Chris Tranter is specification product manager at Bristan.