Are We Getting More Colorful?

John G. Swanson
April 27, 2010
THE TALK... | Materials & Components

Survey Results as of 5/4/2010:

What kind of growth do you expect in new color and finish options?

More than 20 percent





5 to 10 percent





10 to 20 percent





Not much, but we've offered a lot of options for a long time.





Not much because we haven't added many.





Less than 5 percent





Looking at our poll results, it looks like about 60 percent of our respondents see growth in color vinyl windows, and close to 40 percent say that growth will be fairly substantial (more than 10 percent). 

Color has fans, but many remain skeptics. I heard from a distributor, for example, that likes color and sees it helping vinyl take share from aluminum products, but sees challenges that need to be overcome (at least in his market in Texas).

First, he suggests, there is a lack of education or training on colored product. "I believe that many of the retail sales people will sell what is easy or learned," he writes. "Painted products are not easy. They cost much more. They take longer to get. Higher costs and slower delivery do not help sell for replacement. And builders will seldomly spend more than they have to."

Until costs come down, delivery is improved, and better training is provided, "painted vinyl will remain a novelty item," he concludes.

Others continue to see opportunity, however. I heard from one Northeast manufacturer that reported significant growth in its custom color vinyl business since introducing that offering three years ago.  That growth is coming at the higher end, he says.

Personally, I suspect that will continue to be the case, and that may make painted vinyl a "novelty" for some, but for others a major business focus.