Will Many Plants Re-Open?
Survey Results for 06/10/2009:
Will more window and door plants re-open when the economy recovers?
Yes, but only a handful
No, demand will just not be that strong
No, companies will look at new locations when they need to expand
Yes, a substantial number
The good news is that most readers out there think we’ll see more window and door plants up and running in the future. The largest percentage of respondents say a handful will re-open, while others see more companies looking elsewhere to expand some day. A few people think the number of plants reopening will be substantial.
Of course, close to 40 percent just don’t see demand getting strong enough again to support much more capacity. I have heard such predictions from a number of people. Housing levels won’t come back to the “bubble” levels and, even when new starts start going up, the homes that are built are going to be different. Square footage is getting smaller, most experts project, and smaller homes usually feature fewer windows and doors.
I don’t necessarily doubt the experts, but there are still reasons for hope. The drive to improve our nation’s energy efficiency holds tremendous potential for our industry. I also don’t think the picture will be so bleak for new homes. I look at the growing popularity of multi-panel door systems and it tells me that people want to connect to nature and the outdoors in their homes—perhaps now more than ever.
Enhanced window and door technology and smarter designers are enabling homeowners to do that and still be comfortable and not send fuel bills through the roof. Advanced technologies may provide even more opportunities.
Will that translate into new and re-opened plants? It may take some time, but I suspect so.