What's for Sale?

Jim Snyder
June 17, 2014
THE TALK... | Design & Performance

Window types are often described by frame material first, and while no material can claim every advantage, each has it’s own strength and benefit. I guess that’s one way of saying there’s a good argument for every material, if it fits the application.

I’m reminded of a replacement installation a few years ago where the replacement product frame material was just what the client wanted, but made the full-frame installation extremely difficult. The 60-year-old house was originally built with steel casements that were replaced 40 years later with all-wood. Ultimately, 15 years after that, I had to replace those wood products with aluminum-clad wood. Each time there is a conversion, the difficulty increases.

The end result was great, but it took an extreme amount of preparation, skill and, frankly, creativity. The process could have been much simpler, and with an equally nice end-result using another frame material. In this case, the easiest route wasn’t the client’s preference and he was willing to pay for the additional effort.

This job was an exception. In most cases, frame product recommendation has a lot of influence and offering a variety of materials can capture more sales. At the same time, the ability to offer a variety of frame materials requires access to many resources.

As a dealer/contractor, what’s your approach? Please take a moment to take our survey, post a comment or contact me directly.


Survey Results for 06/18/2014 :

How many frame materials do you offer? This may be through more than one brand or through the same brand. Consider a combination frame (clad-wood, for example, as an additional material beyond all-wood).

Two or three





Four or more





Only one






Jim Snyder is an AAMA-certified FenestrationMaster and InstallationMaster who shares his years of installation field experience as an industry writer, speaker, trainer and project/product consultant for dealers and manufacturers. A member of various industry organizations, Snyder also is involved in instructional document creation and revision. Contact him at jim@windowjim.com.


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Great point. As simply put as you made this point, I don't think many homeowners understand this. Homeowners would benefit from another article on the topic spelling out what steps are necessary to do a replacement with a different material.

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