U.S. Window & Door Demand to Rise 9% Annually

September 20, 2012

With growth spurred by a rebound in housing completions and gains in construction spending from a depressed 2011 base, demand for windows and doors in the U.S. is forecast to rise 9.3 percent per year over the next several years, according to a new report from The Freedonia Group Inc.  Total demand for both the residential and nonresidential markets is expected to reach $34.2 billion by 2016, up from $21.2 billion in 2011. 

The Cleveland-based market research firm notes that from 2006 to 2011, both housing completions and construction expenditures dropped precipitously, causing window and door demand to experience a similar decline. Its new study projects total demand will recover, and surpass the pre-downturn levels by 2016. 

Among material types, plastic windows and doors will see the fastest gains through 2016, advancing nearly 12 percent per year to $9.8 billion, Freedonia predicts. Growth will be driven by continuing demand for plastic products because consumers perceive them as energy efficient and providing a high degree of value, researchers note.

Plastic windows and doors have taken market share from wood and metal products in recent decades and will continue to do so over the forecast period. Efforts by manufacturers to improve the aesthetics of plastic products by offering fiberglass doors with woodgrain textures or vinyl windows in a wider range of colors will promote demand in both unit and value terms.

Demand for wood windows and doors is forecast to rise 10.2 percent per year to $10.4 billion in 2016. Demand for wood products will be checked by competition from plastic windows and doors, which provide energy efficiency and durability at lower cost. However, consumer perception of wood as an aesthetically pleasing material that adds value to a home will help boost demand. Many builders and homeowners, especially in the mid-range and high-end housing markets, will continue to specify wood products, it is noted.

Metal windows and doors accounted for the largest share of window and door demand in 2011, and are expected to continue to lead the market in 2016. Rebounding housing activity will spur gains. Population growth in the South and West will promote demand, as metal products are often installed in those regions because there is less concern about heat loss through fenestration products.

Increasing nonresidential building construction spending is also expected to boost metal window and door demand. The study notes that metal products are often installed in nonresidential structures because of their durability and low cost.

U.S. Window and Door Demand

(millions of dollars)

    % Annual Growth
Total Demand33,32021,25034,200 -8.610.0
Metal13,1709,22014,050 -6.98.8
Wood12,4306,40010,400 -12.410.2
Plastic7,7205,6309,750 -6.111.6
Source: The Freedonia Group

The 468-page report is available for $5,300 from Freedonia. More information is available by calling 440/646-0484 or via e-mail at pr@freedoniagroup.com.