Window Manufacturers Tweak Product Lines as Market Begins to Gain Ground

Jenni Chase
February 17, 2014
| Products

In response to improving business conditions, window manufacturers promoted existing product lines alongside new ones at IBS 2014 to meet the needs of both the new construction and replacement markets.

“The bulk of our business and the basis of our reputation have traditionally been on the remodel/replace side,” said Mark Savan, president of Simonton Windows, which returned to IBS this year after a lengthy absence. “The last time we came to the IBS show … we were still very retrofit-focused. Coming back [to IBS], we’re looking to balance our business.

“We’ve put a series of investments into growing our new construction business, from putting salespeople on the street, to additions to the product line … and we decided that if we’re really serious about new construction, we should come to the Builders’ Show,” said Savan, who is also president of Therma-Tru Doors.

“As we look out over the next five years, there’s going to be growth in the new construction market,” he added. “We would like to participate in that, and we think we’ve got a great value proposition.”

Ply-Gem also mixed it up in Las Vegas, where it introduced three new exterior colors for its 1500 Vinyl Collection of windows for new construction, as well as new exterior paint color options and a new rigid welded nail fin option for its Premium and Pro Replacement Series windows.

This year also marked the first time that Ply Gem had its Great Lakes Window brand on display at IBS. According to Jim Horn, director of brand marketing, the decision to promote the Great Lakes brand in Las Vegas was based on a perceived increase in dealer attendance.

Hope's Windows was among the IBS exhibitors focusing on improvements to their existing product portfolios in Las Vegas.

"We make steel windows, but our competitors were adding plastic thermal breaks to improve energy performance,” said Hope’s Brian Whalen. “We didn't want to change the makeup and integrity of our windows, so we went to work determining how to thermally improve a steel window using steel. Don't change what works, just refine it," he said, referring to the company’s Landmark 175 thermal window.

A Seamless Look
Kolbe Windows & Doors, Diversified Lineal Systems and Jeld-Wen’s displays showcased new window options designed to complement their complete door and window systems.

"Our multi-slide windows and doors complement the new VistaLuxe Collection. We offer the same custom split colors and square profile for a seamless look everywhere in the home,” said Bethany Hoffman, marketing communications manager, Kolbe Windows & Doors. Making its debut at IBS, the VistaLuxe Collection combines multiple units into unique, compatible configurations while maintaining symmetry and sightlines, according to the supplier.

Diversified Lineal Systems also was on hand in Las Vegas, where it promoted its all-fiberglass line of complementary windows and doors, to which it continues to make additions.

For replacement applications where homeowners want to maintain their seamless look, Jeld-Wen promoted its pocket solution that uses the existing exterior trim and interior frame. Whoever installs the new window can just slide in the new frame and sash. “The only disruption is putting back your existing trim,” said company spokesperson Elizabeth Souders.

Jeld-Wen also announced in Las Vegas that it was partnering with Henkel Sealants. To be unveiled this May, the partnership will enable dealers to order windows from Jeld-Wen and receive all of the corresponding installation materials, backed by a warranty.

To view the products on display at IBS, visit our IBS Snapshots page. Additional information on new introductions in Las Vegas is also available here. For continuing coverage of the product trends at IBS, see next week's edition of WDweekly.

Chase is editorial director of Window & Door, and its sister publication, Glass Magazine. Write her at jchase@glass.org.