Building Record Attendance at the International Builders’ Show

NAHB’s massive trade show to take Orlando by storm in February
January 1, 2007
FEATURE ARTICLE

Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any bigger, the International Builders’ Show has another growth spurt. You’ll need your comfortable shoes to make the rounds, with the 450 new exhibitors the National Association of Home Builders has added to the show floor roster—bringing the grand total to 1,800 suppliers spanning 300 categories of residential and light commercial construction.

Organizers expect that more than 100,000 housing professionals will make their way to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando February 7-10. “The International Builders’ Show continues to grow because it is the ‘event of the year’ for builders who want to stay on the cutting edge,” says David Pressly, NAHB’s president and a builder from North Carolina. “With 450 new exhibitors, an impressive lineup of speakers and some truly amazing show homes, we expect this year’s show to be the best yet and certainly not one to miss.”
About 200 window and door manufacturers have exhibited at the International Builders Show in recent years.
FENESTRATION IN FULL FORCE
Window and door manufacturers, as well as hardware, millwork and other industry suppliers, will take up a significant amount of floor space at this year’s show. Almost 200 window- and door-related exhibitors have signed up to display.

Some of the largest exhibitors on the floor will include industry manufacturers Pella, Kolbe & Kolbe, Marvin, Andersen and its recently purchased Silver Line Windows, Jeld-Wen, Weather Shield, Atrium, and PGT Industries.

Some traditional window and door lines have received makeovers in preparation for the Builders’ Show. Marvin’s new Ultrex Series of windows features pultruded fiberglass-based material both inside and out for builders who are looking for the performance features of fiberglass.

In the wood arena, Pella will introduce an expanded line of products in its Architect Series, which will now include mahogany, alder, Douglas fir and pine options. The line can be configured in unique shapes and sizes, unlimited exterior colors and custom grille patterns to meet the specific needs of builders.

Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. will present a European-inspired push-out casement and awning window for buyers looking to recreate a classic style.

OPENING DOORS
If the Hanley-Wood 2006 Remodeling Show, held in Chicago in October, was any indication, the 2007 Builders’ Show will likely feature impressive entry door displays, even from manufacturers who traditionally dedicate most of their trade show floor space to window products. Tacoma, WA-based Milgard Windows, for example, debuted its first crack at entry door products—a fiberglass door line with exclusive decorative glass options—last summer at the West Coast PCBC Show (formerly the Pacific Coast Builders Show) in San Francisco. The company touted the doors at the Remodeling Show and it will likely highlight the option for builders at the Orlando exhibit.

Therma-Tru, a fiberglass entry and patio door veteran, is trumpeting performance this year. As builders and contractors take time in the slowing market to evaluate their vendors and vendors’ products, Therma-Tru is spreading the message of its Tru-Defense entrance and patio door system approach. With a DP-40 rating, the company’s system is ideal for the Florida and coastal markets in which it’s exhibiting. The producer will also show attendees its FinishRight technology, a factory finish program that gives builders greater quality and consistency from door to door.

As the trend in entry and patio doors is to go bigger and more decorative, companies like Jeld-Wen, Peachtree and ODL will roll out additional designs and upgrade options for builders and end users looking to create a distinct impression with the front of the house.

Jeld-Wen has taken many of its popular custom wrought iron grille designs and added them into its standard catalog so builders and architects can make the upgrade without any additional lead-time.

Peachtree Doors & Windows will showcase its popular Citadel fiberglass patio door in a new four-panel-wide configuration, reflecting the market push for bigger doors with a greater outdoor viewing area.

As distinction in doors becomes the name of the game, ODL Inc. will highlight decorative door glass designs, including its new Fluted Architectural Series. The line features fluted moldings and corner medallions for a unique look.

CATERING TO THE COASTS
Some exhibitors figure there couldn’t be a better backdrop for the introduction of new and upgraded hurricane-rated windows and doors than Florida. Following a couple of devastating hurricane storm seasons, manufacturers are talking to builders about how to protect coastal structures.

Simonton Windows made a splash during the 2005 and 2006 Builders’ Shows with its simulated hurricane booth, calling attention to its full line of StormBreaker Plus impact-resistant products. This year, the company will introduce a new vinyl sliding door that can be as tall as 8 feet and as wide as 12 feet.

Silver Line has upgraded its Series 8700 replacement sliding window by offering it with its Weather Stopper impact protection, which features reinforced sashes in the two-lite slider and laminated glass.

Some new impact products have made it to the market as well, and they will be on display at the Builders’ Show for attendees to examine. Gorell Windows & Doors plans to introduce its new line of vinyl hurricane windows—the 5400 Series. The line slated to be on display features a double-hung with tilt-in sash, two- and three-lite lift-out sliders and a picture window. YKK AP America Inc. will feature its new StyleGuard vinyl impact windows.

Suppliers of opening protection products will also gear displays toward coastal buyers. Protecto Wrap will introduce its new Protecto Sill Drainage System, a grouping of products aimed to make sure moisture inside window openings is directed to the outside weather plane of the structure.

BUILDING SMARTS
Reflective of the slowdown in new residential construction that is convincing many builders to look at the remodeling market, this year’s IBS will, for the first time, feature two showcase homes—one new and one remodeled. For builders looking for an edge in a shifting market, more than 200 companies will be exhibiting in the newly renamed technology pavilion, nextBuild. Attendees will have their choice of more than 290 educational sessions during the four-day show, as well as a series of pre-show educational seminars to earn credit toward a professional designation. This year’s scheduled keynote speaker for the opening ceremonies is Ted Koppel, former anchor of ABC’s television program “Nightline.”

New for 2007 is a “Changing Markets” education track with more than two dozen classes, including forecasts for the home building and remodeling industries, advice on penetrating new markets and sessions that address the fundamentals of today’s marketplace.

Economists and industry experts will offer presentations looking at various building trends, including green building, baby boomer buyers, energy efficiency and coastal construction. Most sessions are targeted specifically at builders, but some course descriptions are geared more toward building product manufacturers and suppliers.

IBS was originally scheduled to be in Atlanta in 2007 and 2008, but organizers moved the show to Orlando when its increased size meant the Georgia World Congress Center was not big enough to accommodate the crowd. The show will stay in Orlando through 2008 before returning to Las Vegas in 2009.

Exhibit floor hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 7 through Friday, February 9, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 10. The Builders’ Show is not open to the public.

For general information about the show itself, including the full list of exhibitors and a list of seminars, visit www.buildersshow.com.