Remodeling Show Emphasis Shifts Outdoors

October 12, 2012
Meetings & Events

Baltimore, Md.–Decking and railing products accounted for much of the floorspace and enjoyed much of the traffic at last week's Remodeling Show.  A handful of window and door manufacturers were on hand at the Baltimore Convention Center, as were suppliers of numerous other building products, but this year's show seemed to reach a tipping point with outdoor products becoming the main event.

 New products introduced in Baltimore included the Geometrics window line and a watertight louver system for the tops of pergolas from Bella Fleur.

The Remodeling Show has been co-located with DeckExpo since 2009, with the North American Decking and Railing Association hosting meetings at the combined event as well.  Not surprisingly, decking, railing and other outdoor products have become more and more prominent each year.  Meanwhile, an anemic remodeling and replacement market over the past several years has discouraged many traditional Remodeling Show exhibitors, including replacement window manufacturers, from coming to the event.   

That trend appeared to be ending last year in Chicago. The 2011 event featured more window and door manufacturers than the previous years' shows. They also appeared to be fairly busy. The same could not be said for Baltimore. While overall attendance figures for the show has not been released, it was clear that the DeckExpo portion of the floor was the busiest.

Among the big window and door players, Andersen, Marvin, Pella and Therma Tru once again came to the Remodeling Show.  Other manufacturers with sizable presences included Lincoln Windows, ProVia and Vytex Windows. Most reported they were getting a few quality leads at the event, but the overall activity they were seeing was light. Attendance also appreared to be down at various educational sessions and demonstrations that are always a big part of the Remodeling Show.

This year's event did produce a few new product introductions. Geometrics Windows, a new company in the market, was in Baltimore introducing its line of injection-molded windows designed to be installed between studs. The windows, which can be mulled together in many ways to create a variety of looks, was enjoying strong interest from remodelers, reported Greg Farrell, president.  "It enables them to get in and out of a job pretty quickly," he said.  

Several window and door exhibitors were highlighting electronic sales tools, such as Therma-Tru's Picture Perfect visualizer. 

ProVia used the show to launch a new addition to its Aeris window line, a vinyl window with a real wood interior.  The line can be supplied in a variety of species, as well as several exterior colors that enables it to compete head-on with clad wood products, reported the company's Joe Klink.  "The reaction has been 'That's something I can sell,'" he noted, adding that dealers like the fact than it further differentiates their product line.

Another new product of note in the outdoor product area was BellaFleur's new BellaBlades for the top of pergolas. The line combines the company's decorative glazing panels as louver blades with a hardware system developed by Truth Hardware that enables the louvers to be opened or closed to create a watertight seal, keeping the deck or patio area underneath dry when it rains, explained Bella Fleur's Miguel Villarreal.

Software and service offerings received much of the emphasis from window and door manufacturers at the show.  Pella was demonstrating its order entry system and product showcase app.  Therma-Tru was featuring its Picture Perfect visualizer system for its entry door systems.  Andersen, meanwhile, was introducing a new concept it is launching with design guides focusing on how to match window and door products and options with particular architectural styles.  "We are trying to make it easier for homeowners and architects to maintain or even recapture the architectural style of their homes," explained the manfuacturers' Stacy Einck. 

The Remodeling Show and DeckExpo return to Chicago again next year, when the event is scheduled for October 16-18 at McCormack Place.  More information is available at the Remodeling Show website.