New Mood, New Products at IBS 2013
January 29, 2013
Meetings & Events
Las Vegas―The mood was distinctly upbeat among exhibitors and attendees at the International Builders’ Show, held here last week. While several large window and door manufacturers―notably Andersen and Pella―were absent, Ply Gem, Jeld-Wen, Marvin, Therma-Tru and others capitalized on the spotlight.
The now three-day show, organized by the National Association of Home Builders, drew an estimated 50,000 attendees and more than 900 exhibitors. Although still down from its 2007 peak, the event garnered favorable reviews from exhibitors.
“The first day, we were shocked at the volume of people,” said the reps in the Kolbe Windows & Doors booth on the show floor. “It was incredible. At noon on the first day, we had as many leads as we did the first day of last year in its entirety.”
Jeld-Wen previewed its new replacement pocket double-hung window, now available as part of its custom line. Company reps reported increased demand for windows with a hybrid look, in which the frame and sash complement each other but are not made of the same materials. The window pictured features a mahogany frame with a copper sash.
Marvin promoted its a new line of interior stain options for its windows.
“The first day was jam-packed,” agreed Brad Johnson, vice president of marketing for Therma-Tru. “We were busy all day long. The first year of any city is usually pretty good, and Las Vegas is always good,” he said.
Among the new introductions this year at IBS was Ply Gem’s 1500 System vinyl window line for the new residential and light commercial construction market, with features designed to help with issues in the field. To address the installation challenge of having just one window designated as the drywall pass-through, Ply Gem built in a rail that can easily be removed on any unit. The exhibitor also featured a new protective film option, and for consumers, a screen clip that eliminates screen rattling. “A builder told us that with this one, small improvement, we’ve eliminated one-third of his call-backs,” said Chris Pickering, vice president of marketing.
With Ply Gem marking its 70th anniversary, Gary Robinette, CEO, reviewed how the company has evolved to have a 50-50 remodel/new construction product focus, which he noted would shift back to 60 percent new construction within its 22 plant locations as the market continues to improve. Robinette also described his newest pet project, “Foundation Labs,” a new R&D company that is incubating two new products. One of those is vacuum insulated glass technology that eliminates convection of a traditional IG unit. A display case featuring the Guardian Industries technology showed how it works.
Ply Gem expanded its booth this year to also include a new ProTalk education series, with topics ranging from housing industry updates and design trends to installation clinics and consumer expectations. Videos of each day’s seminars are available at www.youtube.com/plygem1.
Jeld-Wen, meanwhile, previewed a new replacement pocket double-hung window on the show floor, among other new products. “We’ve had pocket double-hungs for a long time, but now we’re introducing them in our custom line,” said Teri Cline, director of communications. “Because it’s in our custom line, we can offer more than 41 cladding colors; we have it in multiple species (walnut, fir, alder); and you can really match anything that’s going on in the existing structure.”
The focus in the Marvin booth this year was “on options to make things a lot easier for builders, remodelers and homeowners,” said Berit Griffin, public relations coordinator. “On the Integrity side, we have a host of new options including expanded sizes, expanded mulling options and some new lite cuts.”
Options specifically designed to appeal to builders included the factory-applied stains now available on Marvin windows. “Anything we can do factory applied as opposed to in the field makes it a lot easier for builders,” Griffin said. “So, for instance, on the Marvin side, we started offering factory-applied stains. We have six different color options on all of our wood species, totaling more than 50 options. Marvin also offers custom applied colors. This is not new—we’ve been offering this for years—but for the first time, you don’t have to have a specific poundage to get it. We can do any size job,” she explained.
Lincoln Windows was also on the show floor, where it introduced a direct-set corner window. Part of the Distinction Collection, the aluminum-clad window featured a military blue exterior and a low-profile blended sill. Lincoln also added the Lifestyle double-hung window to its Traditions Collection.
On the door side, several manufacturers debuted contemporary designs, among them Therma-Tru Doors. “The highlight of the show has been our new Pulse collection,” said Eric Dotson, R&R manager. The Pulse collection includes four doors with sleek, modern designs that feature single or multiple glass lites in center, left or right positions. Available in oak-grained fiberglass, smooth fiberglass and steel, Pulse doors come in heights of 6 feet, 8 inches, and 8 feet.
|Therma Tru introduced the Pulse collection of entry doors, designed to meet demand for door designs that complement mid-century modern architecture.|
“There is a resurgence of the mid-century modern architectural style,” explained Therma-Tru’s Johnson. “That is what led us to start experimenting with some pieces that we already had in our product line; mixing and matching them in different ways … to create the Pulse line.”
“Therma-Tru has always been very traditional, so we wanted to get into this new space,” Dotson added. “We had some builders who said they were building homes that were more mid-century modern. So, we introduced this collection. Builders have these modern homes, and now they’ve got something that fits the style,” he said.
ODL’s display also reflected this trend in modern architecture, while still appealing to more traditional customers as well. The company continued to promote its contemporary Array collection―introduced last year―and also debuted the Inglenook decorative door glass, in the Craftsman tradition.
“Typically, we focus on traditional door glass and [the Array collection has] a very contemporary style. This is in response to a new demographic buying homes,” said ODL’s Amanda Fowler, manager, channel marketing. “[In the past], we haven’t focused as much on urban dwelling: people who are redoing lofts and living in contemporary homes. So, that’s what [the Array] is in response to: a younger generation that is kind of rejecting the traditional aesthetic. We felt it was important to start coming out with new designs that address that issue.”
Traditional designs, however, are still in great demand, she said. “The Craftsman door is really growing in popularity both for remodel and new construction. The new Inglenook decorative door glass is a really classic Craftsman style that focuses on some elements of traditional Craftsman architecture.”
“Even a good ‘ole wood guy can go contemporary,” said Brad Loveless, marketing and product development manager at Simpson Door Co. The McCleary, Wash.-based manufacturer displayed a wide variety of door options, including contemporary designs featuring glass and mixed wood species, as well as a new switchable glazing entry door for homeowners looking for a privacy option.
Masonite also debuted modern door designs for 2013, including the Hamel interior door, part of the West End Collection. The door’s modern design features bold, graphic elements with equally positioned horizontal and vertical embossed lines to create an eye-catching profile, according to the exhibitor. Capitalizing on consumer demand for increased privacy, the company is also introducing new textured glass options this year.
While Kolbe Windows & Doors also featured its contemporary and traditional door designs in Las Vegas, a primary focus of its booth was the new TerraSpan 90-degree door unit. At more than 9 feet tall, the lift-and-slide door panels on the right side of the corner unit span 12 feet. The panels on the left side stretch more than 21 feet and pocket into the wall, practically disappearing to provide wide, open access to the outdoors.
|Lift/slide and bi-fold door systems continued to demand attention at IBS, with exhibitors such as Weiland enjoying a busy event.|
Large, multi-panel door systems continued to generate much interest in Las Vegas, where many exhibitors were talking about their thermal performance. Las Vegas-based Panda Windows & Doors, for example, showed its S-60 bi-folding door, with U-factor ratings down to .12. “We want builders to know that all of our windows, entry doors, patio sliders and other products are all energy efficient,” said Ximena Rojas, marketing director. She noted also that even at 500 pounds, all of the company’s doors are operable with one or two fingers alone.
Royal Building Products displayed its Overture vinyl folding door, highlighting two options, one designed for Northern climates and a second for ADA sill requirements. Monarch by Hufcor introduced the company’s double thermal break system in a sliding bi-folding door to the U.S. market during IBS. The 660-pound door, featuring an electronic break-out screen, has been sold in four-season rooms in Canada for five years. The doors are glazed on site; the Wisconsin company is hurricane testing now.
AquaSurTech OEM introduced a new AAMA-tested stain with solar heat-reflective pigments to minimize temperature and fading for Southern climates and where doors have overhangs. Company President Mike Brauel noted the product now exceeds California standards for ultra-low VOCS for performance and environmental requirements. Brauel showed attendees how the spray technology combines the rich look of a manually applied brush or rag application with a hand-rub finish where consistency takes time to achieve. “Our grain filler, stain and clear coats are all the same basic resin, and so are completely compatible and dry together,” he said.
Konrad Hornschuch AG showed samples of applied profile films that had undergone extreme weathering tests for more than seven years in climates like Florida and Arizona. The company will continue the test into a 10-year period. Hornschuch also introduced new “white design” options.
“A lot of customers want to take out the UV stabilizers and pigments to leverage the properties of the substrate,” explained the company’s Josh Snyder. “Most companies don’t want to stock all the varieties of beige, clay and white to meet the cool color requirements asked for by builders,” he added.
Among the component suppliers on the show floor was Fomo Products Inc., which introduced its new High Flow Technology, a pour-in-place polyurethane foam that can flow over 40 feet through intricate voids to fill complex cavities, according to the company. Applications for the new material, demonstrated in a YouTube video, include the filling of window lineals and gaps in replacement window installations.
Next year, IBS returns to Las Vegas where it is scheduled to run February 4-6. More information about the event is available at www.buildersshow.com.