Industry Pulse: Product Trends

Emily Kay Thompson and Norah Dick, Window & Door magazine
January 7, 2019
FEATURE ARTICLE | Markets & Trends

Which products were most in demand in 2018?

Vinyl windows remained the most in-demand product, according to both manufacturers and dealers. By segment, dealers reported high demand for aluminum windows and wood windows, while manufacturers reported modest demand for traditional patio doors. (Represents manufacturer and dealer respondents only.)

 
Total
ManufacturersDealers
 1 
Vinyl Windows
Vinyl Windows
Vinyl Windows
 2 
Fiberglass Entry Doors
Multi-Panel Doors
Aluminum Windows
 3 
Aluminum Windows
Energy Star-Rated Products    
Fiberglass Entry Doors
 4 
Multi-Panel Doors
Traditional Patio Doors
Wood Windows
 5 
Energy Star-Rated Products    
Fiberglass Entry Doors
Energy Star-Rated Products    

Product Launches

Across industry segments, 62 percent of respondents added products in 2018. By segment, only half of dealers added new products, while over 60 percent of manufacturer and supplier segments had new offerings in 2018. More than 50 percent of respondents plan to launch new products in the coming year. Company reporting suggests a nominally larger market share for window/door components, which was selected as the number one product category to be launched in 2019, as well as the number one product that was added in 2018, largely due to the supplier market segment. 

Over 80 percent of manufacturers said they would be adding production capacity for 2019. Combined with potential gains in units shipped, this could again provide a healthy market for suppliers in 2019.

01. Window/Door Components
02. Other
03. Multi-Panel Doors
04. Vinyl Windows
05. Aluminum Windows

Opportunity in Remodel/Replace Market

“We expect that the renovation market will represent that biggest area of opportunity for window and door makers this year, for a few reasons. First, we’re expecting a slowdown on new builds. Second, as we witness rising interest rates, it’s reasonable to expect that current homeowners already locked into low interest mortgages won’t be looking to move. And if they’re staying put, they may very well be looking to upgrade. The median age of the U.S. housing stock today is about 37 years old, and we know that most homeowners tend to take on major remodeling projects (including window replacement) when homes reach 20 years old. For replacement and remodeling suppliers, the outlook for 2019 should be promising.” —Anthony Wright, director, strategic marketing & analysis, Quanex Building Products

Product Trends

“More and more studies are proving the benefits of natural light on health and wellness, plus it’s becoming more widely known that most people spend a majority of their time indoors, away from the natural environment. Due to these two factors, people want to optimize natural light throughout their home, work environment and the other places they spend a majority of their time, so windows and doors continue to get larger in order to control and capture where light plays in a space. As part of this trend, we’re also noticing a demand for large window walls, or many windows that are mulled together, to flood the space with natural light.” —Kris Hanson, senior manager, group product management, Marvin Windows and Doors 

“Market adoption of available technological advances will improve the energy performance of windows, which will lead to economic and energy saving benefits.” —Chris Dimou, president and CEO, Roto North America

“One thing we’re seeing is a continuous push towards efficient, sustainable new construction. Even if some of the federal mandates and/or incentives may have temporarily faded from view, codes are getting stricter (for instance, ASHRAE 90.1 comes to mind), buildings that operate efficiently are now an expectation on a broad scale. What’s more, there’s an increasing expectation among homeowners and renters for not just efficiency, but enhanced occupancy comfort at every level.” —Erin Johnson, director of marketing, Quanex Building Products  

Intro
Employment Trends 
Sales Trends & Demand 
Tariffs & Trade Policy 
Product Trends 
Economic Insights