Are You Still Selling White Vinyl Windows?

John G. Swanson
September 20, 2011
THE TALK... | Aesthetics & Style

I thought I would return to GlassBuild one more time for this week's Talk. This week, I'd like to note that looking at the booths of vinyl window extruders in Atlanta, you would almost think no one sold white windows anymore. Nearly everything had a coating or laminate on it.

Of course, that's not true in the real world, or at least the U.S. market as a whole. White still counts for the large majority of the business in the vinyl segment. But colors and woodgrains are on the upswing, most agree. One supplier noted to me that vinyl window manufacturers no longer need to be convinced to add these options. Discussions are now focused on the quality or performance of various options and how many colors and woodgrains need to be offered.

Still I thought I'd go back to basics with this week's poll and ask you what percentage of your vinyl window sales are non-white. Of course I'd like to hear from you too.  Are you selling more colors and woodgrains? Are you adding more options? Why? Are you targeting new markets? Are you looking to differentiate? Is it a necessity to offer them today? Post a comment below and share your thoughts. And suppliers, if you have insights to share, we'd love to hear from you, too.  

 

Survey Results as of 9/26/2011 :

 

What percentage of your vinyl window sales are white?

More than 90%

  

 

29%

80% to 90%

  

 

23%

70% to 80%

  

 

17.5%

We don't sell vinyl windows

  

 

12%

60% to 70%

  

 

6%

Less than 25%

  

 

6%

50% to 60%

  

 

4%

25% to 50%

  

 

2.5%

Yes, the industry still sells white windows, but this week's survey definitely indicates that sales of non-white vinyl windows are on the rise. Although I don't have statistics from 10 or 20 years ago, I recall most vinyl window makers saying white accounted for more than 90 or 95 percent of their sales. Now less than 30 percent of respondents indicate white vinyl window sales are up at that level.  

Sure, white still outpaces colors and woodgrains at most companies, but non-whites are clearly making gains. There are many reasons. Advances in technology is one, but I would also suggest that in the recent down market, vinyl window and door companies have been targeting new business opportunities. Most specifically, I think more vinyl manufacturers and dealers are looking at commercial and institutional type projects that they probably didn't pursue when the residential market was strong. These larger properties demand bronzes and other colors. 

Using colors and finish options to differentiate oneself in the residential market is important too. If we continue on our current path, providing more homeowner choices could become essential in the future.

 

Comments

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Sixty five percent of our sales are beige or other non-white.  This is indicative of our marketing strategy, showroom location and also a lack of leads in the "white" window market.  The Window Worlds' of our business have driven a lot of the white window cost below considering doing.

 LAMINATED BUILDING PRODUCTS, INC. As a profile wrapper in NJ, we continue to see an increase in demand for our service. But, through conversations with friends, builders, contractors, window installation mechanics,… I recognize the option of color is still not well known. However, when travelling outside the USA, I see more color windows than white. I guess the window industry still has work to do in educating the public in color options.

The results of the poll could be interesting, but I hope they are not too affected by the article stating that you wanted to ask "what percentage of your vinyl window sales are NON-white", followed by the question asking what percentage ARE white.  That almost had me answering the wrong question.  I still see white with a big lead, but you need to have the color and finish options available.