Contemporary Styles Take Center Stage at AMD

Window & Door
November 12, 2013

Atlanta―Two overarching themes defined the AMD Expo, held here last week: sales of window and door products continue to improve, led by demand for contemporary styles.

 “Business is up. We’re seeing a lot more smiling faces than we did last year,” said Steve Syrdal, sales manager for Entrust Door Frames. “We’re seeing more willingness to take a look at the new trends and [develop] new products,” he reported.

“Our plants have been very, very busy this year. Business has been fantastic,” added Sarah Young Hamlin, sales and marketing manager for Young Manufacturing Co. “We have seen a solid 20 percent growth this year.”

On the show floor, door and door hardware manufacturers agreed that contemporary styles, with sleek and modern lines, are shaping demand. Craftsman, cottage and bungalow styles are “not going away,” said Mark Albrighton, senior director of exterior products for Masonite. Customers in the entry door market are looking for styles with cleaner lines and fewer decorative elements, he said. “A few years ago, these doors on display might have had intricate beveling. Now it’s minimalistic,” Albrighton said.

Simpson is bringing the contemporary look to its wood door lines, said Brad Loveless, marketing and product development manager for the company. During the show, Simpson showed its new contemporary door collection, designed by architect James L. Cutler. “Just because it’s wood doesn’t mean it can’t be contemporary,” Loveless said. “These are styles we saw 50 or 60 years ago, with clean lines, less decoration and no raised moldings. [Customers] are looking for something more sleek.”

Contemporary styles were also on display at the Woodgrain Doors booth. “Customers are looking for contemporary looks, with darker stains,” said John Jurcak, national sales and marketing manager. Woodgrain’s Shaker and Craftsman styles continue to be popular, he said. 

Homeowners are “looking for simpler styles that are less beveled out—for a much more contemporary look,” agreed James Wilson, COO, Tru Tech Doors. “People are looking for more modern styles.” Tru Tech re-launched its fiberglass door line and has ramped up its Craftsman style doors to meet market demand.

Bungalow doors continue to be a popular item in GlassCraft Door Co.’s Craftsman series. Vice president of sales, Pat Polansky, said the trend is away from decorative elements and toward wrought iron.

The contemporary design trend could be seen in the door hardware on display at AMD as well. “We have a lot of requests for contemporary handles,” said Ramesh Satram, president, Rockwell Security . “It’s cool to be square,” he said of the more simple lock and handle designs.

Hoppe is also bringing more contemporary styles to its door hardware. During the show, the company introduced its Dallas Series Contemporary Handle Sets that feature straight, modern lines and a “more contemporary finish,” said Matt Taylor, Hoppe product manager. “People are looking for the simplest of simple,” he reported.

Additional product trends
In addition to the contemporary styles on display, demand for wood, or the look of real wood, was also apparent on the show floor. “Customers want something that looks like, or is, a real wood door,” Masonite’s Albrighton said. Several companies were showing their real wood doors, like Masonite’s Lemieux doors with a 20-year warranty, and GlassCraft Doors Co.’s line of innovative wood entry doors, many featuring handmade wrought iron.

Also on display in Atlanta were fiberglass products with a wood-grain finish. Masonite had a wide range of fiberglass doors offering the look of real wood, and Jeld-Wen displayed its new line of Architectural Fiberglass doors. To create the look of real wood, the company made molds of real wood doors, and poured fiberglass into the molds. “Wood can take a lot of abuse. Fiberglass offers longer life, and lower maintenance, while still providing the real wood appearance,” said Larry Moore, vice president of creative services for Jeld-Wen.

Driving demand for fiberglass doors with a wood-grain look is concern about maintenance, said Entrust’s Syrdal. “Everyone is seeking low-maintenance solutions,” he said. “Homeowners are willing to invest on the front end if it will pay off in the long run.”

On the hardware side, multi-point locking continues to be popular. Endura Products showed its Multi-point Astragal, a system in which the mechanisms for the multi-point locks are held in the sill body. “This prevents bowing,” said Sarah Chandler, marketing coordinator for the company.

Hoppe also showed its multi-point locking system. According to Hoppe’s Taylor, electronic multi-point locks are gaining interest. “We use keyless entry for our cars; why are we still using a key for our doors? The market is there for this technology—people want it. But, it will be a big change in how we do business,” Taylor said.

See pictures of the new pictures introduced in Atlanta in the AMD Snapshots gallery.