Have you ever stood at the supermarket checkout and haggled over the price of your groceries with the cashier? No, of course you haven’t! Yet most of us wouldn’t entertain the idea of buying a house or a car, for example, without trying to negotiate some kind of sizable discount. Car dealers and estate agents will of course negate this by inflating the starting price to counteract the discount offered, yet everyone generally accepts that’s just the way it is – so we play the game!
The problem with this is that it blurs the lines between products and services that we expect to get a deal on and those where the price is non-negotiable.
When it comes to building products it may be fair game to ask for concessions if there’s a significant variance in price between two products that are exactly the same. However, when it comes to rooflights, not everyone appreciates the huge disparity between the upper and lower end of the market. Unfortunately, the stark differences in quality doesn’t always stop people asking us to match the price of a product which has a significantly lower specification.
As a manufacturer of a high-end rooflight product, we accept that our prices will be at the upper end of the scale. But to avoid any ambiguity, it’s important that customers understand why.
The principle reason being that Stella only manufacture bespoke rooflights, and the cost of bespoke manufacturing is significantly higher than many of our competitors’ standard sized, off the shelf options. The second, and equally important reason why a Stella rooflight costs more than a ‘standard’ competitor product, is because we only ever use the finest materials in the production process.
In terms of production, there are many key factors in rooflight design including frame materials, glass, paint, mechanisms and the people used to produce the goods.
Metal rooflight companies (with the exception of Stella) will offer mild or carbon steel frames as standard – yet the major flaw with these products is that they will likely rust. Some may offer a premium, non standard stainless steel alternative (and note there is also a big difference in the types of stainless steel), so it’s definitely worth checking what you’re getting here as you don’t want to be replacing your rooflights every few years because they have rusted.
Stella is the only company to use Marine Grade 316 Stainless Steel in every single rooflight. While this removes any issues of rust, the cost of Marine Grade 316 Stainless Steel can be as much as 50% more than mild/carbon steel. However, we don’t see the point in making a cheaper product that offers a significantly shorter lifespan, so it’s an area we simply are not prepared to compromise on.
In addition, our first choice of glass is a genuine self-clean, high performance Comfort Plus glazing from Planitherm. It’s important to note that there is a massive difference in the glazing market in terms of the options available and the quality of the glass itself. Our liners are hand crafted by skilled cabinet makers, using a wide range of hard wood options and our customers can choose the type of wood and finish to suit their home.
Our insistence on only using the finest quality materials and components in every single element of our rooflight does significantly impact the cost of production. However, to achieve the best looking and performing rooflight on the market, this is something that we believe is necessary.
So, when people ask us why we are more expensive than other quotes they have received, the answer is simply because they are not comparing like for like. We can almost guarantee that the quote that we are being compared to will not include stainless steel, it won’t include the same specification of glazing, or a hard wood liner finish and it almost definitely won’t include the same quality of opening mechanism – be that the winder or electric actuators.
A Stella rooflight is really something quite special, made exclusively for the individual customer, with the finest materials, by the best craftsmen in the business. However, if you do manage to find another supplier willing to match our specification then you will see we are extremely competitive on price. But please do not expect us to be in the same ballpark as a Velux or any other standard product made from cheaper quality materials.
To avoid any doubt, we always give our best price from the outset, so you can be assured that you are getting the highest quality product for the best possible price.