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Pricing pvc-u windows in 1996 vs 2024 - FIGHT!


old attered pvcu window price list in beige with black text
pvcu window pricelist from 1996

Step into the ring as we compare pricing PVC-U windows in 1996 vs 2024. From hand-drawn price lists to live online quotes, the battle has evolved!



Spoiler alert! As you are no doubt aware unless you've been in a coma since 1996 - things are different in the year 2024.


The tatty beige A5 sized pvc-u pricelist

is from our company archives, yes we actually have a museum of trade window paraphernalia, it's not very large, it's all stuffed in the bottom drawer of an old desk. Yet it contains a 1990s Nokia, a filo fax, and other bits of junk.


I well remember guarding these price lists zealously and even asking for them back from customers if they weren't ordering!


Each price list was handmade,by myself, with a passion not dissimilar to the Lindisfarne monk's own illuminated pages.




black and white numerical grid of sizes and prices with hand drawn window illustration
MSDOS 7 dot matrix printer with hand-drawn window styles

The pages were printed off on a dot matrix printer I think ? one at a time. The window pictures were then hand drawn by myself with a ruler and a biro above each grid if you made a mistake, you started again!


These masters were then taken to printers across the road who photocopied them off before finally printing the reverse side, with no mistakes. Then you had the relatively easy job of stapling them into the cardboard cover -in the right order.


The original Armstrong Industries logo the AI bit, someone, a young person, told me over the weekend 'it looks well retro' and we should do a retro logo rebrand on our 30th anniversary ---


'yeah okay' I said 'Good idea'

but inside I secretly thought 'fuck off !' do you realise the cost and the time involved in doing that ?' Just like the old window pricelist it is so time-consuming to produce.


Pricing?

That was also done by hand with a calculator and we still have the original calculator from 1996 in the drawer, I mean museum. It still works in a fashion. I vividly recall pricing jobs each week for invoices until I think we got to about 200 frames a week. It was a bit of an art back then doing the prices as I had memorised certain sizes for the various styles, you know 1800x1200 ...in fact I'm sure a style 6 1200*1200 is £137 list price- I just checked it is!


Skipping forward 30 years nearly ....


It's not going to be much of a fight, is it ? Our latest price list isn't actually a price list of grids, though some window companies still cling to their luddite window-style price grids.

No, it is known as a live materials list, it's a fantastic thing really. All the components have part codes, prices, translations, deductions, maps, groups, nodes, and codes. From all this a live price is generated.


We've been offering our customers remote server access to their own online quote system

for about 8 years now and more and more are seeing the advantages of using it. See the link above for a short video and description ( I made it without a dot matrix printer)


So who wins the fight?

That's rather a rhetorical question, it's all about information and the online quote system is far superior in every way, except nostalgia. By the way, the young person mentioned above said our old AI logo looks like AI as in Artificial Intelligence ...




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