Signs of Life at Remodeling Show

By John G. Swanson
October 17, 2011
Meetings & Events

Chicago—With the appearance of more window and door industry exhibitors than in recent years and respectable traffic in the aisles, the Remodeling Show provided hints of optimism for a stronger remodeling market in the coming year. Last week's show at McCormick Place also featured a healthy dose of new products.

 Lincoln Windows and Marvin were part of what appeared to be a larger contingent of window and door manufacturers at this year's event compared to recent Remodeling Shows.

On the window side, the event suggested that several manufacturers continue to see opportunities for alternatives to vinyl. Engineered plastic profiles said to offer higher performance were featured prominently by THV Compozit Windows & Doors and Starmark, a business unit of Okna Windows & Doors. ProVia, which had a large display showcasing its entire portfolio of door, window, siding and stone products, was featuring its Aeris Collection windows, which boasts a composite profile combined with a real wood interior veneer.

Andersen Windows was highlighting its alternatives to vinyl replacement windows, including its traditional clad-wood insert windows, its Woodwright wood composite insert windows and replacement sash kits designed specifically for upgrading its own Narroline windows that are prevalant in existing homes. The manufacturer has focused its efforts to expand its capabilities in remodeling and retrofit in recent years, and these markets now represent about 65 percent of the company's business, reported Andersen's Stacy Einck-Eckberg.

Numerous manufacturers were promoting vinyl products, of course. Pella was featuring its new 350 Series window, manufactured in a way minimize the appearance of the weld seam on the interior corners. Numerous attendees who had heard about the technology were stopping by the booth to take a look at the new windows for themselves, noted the company's Stan Sturtz.

First-time exhibitors showing vinyl windows at this year's event included Climate Solutions, a four-year-old manufacturer based in Franklin Park, Ill.  Minnesota's Lindsay Windows came to the show because it is expanding its activities in the Chicago region and surrounding markets, reported the company's Geoff Roise.  Also making its debut was EcoView Windows, a company that has developed a new dealer program for selling Earthwise vinyl windows. 

Several companies also featured entry doors in Chicago. Therma-Tru was highlighting a variety of its recent door product introductions,such as its venting sidelite, but was also emphasizing the Fypon line of synthetic millwork. The line, which has been expanded with new designs offering the look of stone and rustic wood, provides a good upsell for door and window applications, noted the door maker's Derek Fielding.  

Paragon Door Designs, a pre-hanger targeting the remodeling/replacement market, was also making its debut at the show. The company distinguishes itself by offering a pre-finished steel and fiberglass door systems, assembled in packages that include all components, as well as a coordinated storm door offering, explained the Paragon's Phil Clark.

In addition to its current Signet fiberglass and steel entry doors, ProVia  was showcasing a thicker concept door designed to provide an even higher level of energy efficiency. The manufacturer was using the show to get feedback on the new door, which also features a rabbeted edge similar to many European doors, reported ProVia' Joe Klink.

Other door industry suppliers on hand included ODL, which was featuring its TriSys doorlite frame system as well as several of its more recent doorlite designs. The company was primarily focusing on its retail products, however, including the company's doorblind add-on units, its retractable screens and its tubular daylighting devices, which are enjoying a great deal of momentum in the market right now, noted ODL's Bobbie Locke.

 A variety of educational sessions were held on the Remodeling Show floor.

New products
The Remodeling Show saw the launch of a variety of new products, including a new line of sealants and adhesives from Dap Inc. that is targeted to the professional market. The Spec Line is formulated to meet specific industry specifications for each job, and take any guesswork out of selecting the right product, explained the Dap's Mark Longo. The line is also Dap's first complete product line designed for window and siding installations and applications, he noted, and includes such products as Dynaflex 800 sealant that meets AAMA 800 series specifications for window and door installation sealants.

Also focusing on window installation, Grace Construction Products was featuring its new Vycor Pro.  The butyl flashing product offers "controlled-flow" adhesion to form a better bond with the substrate. The adhesive is said to be particulary useful for irregularly-surfaced materials like OSB, where it fills peaks and valleys to provide a better air and water barrier.

The presence of windows and doors at this year's Remodeling Show was somewhat stronger than in recent years, but the event appears to be seeing growth in other categories as well. With the event co-located with DeckExpo for a second year, the portion of the show floor devoted to decking, fencing and railing products once again accounted for much of the show floor in Chicago. In addition, the floor featured a section devoted to home performance products and technologies, and another section devoted to products and services targeted at compliance with lead paint requirements.

Organized by Hanley-Wood Exhibitions, the Remodeling Show returns to the East Coast next year.  More information on the event, scheduled for October 9-12 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md., is available at


Snapshots from Chicago

 THV Compozit was one of several manufacturers featuring alternatives to vinyl replacement windows.
 Showing its Aeris Collection composite window offered with a real-wood interior, ProVia brought its entire portfolio of products to Chicago.
 Hurd launched its new Ultra-R windows featuring Heat Mirror insulating glass technology offering R-values up to R-20.
 Pella featured its 350 Series vinyl windows featuring its SmoothSeam corners.
 Therma-Tru showcased its venting sidelites, as well as its expanded Fypon synthetic millwork line.
 The Window & Door Dealers Alliance gathered signatures on a petition asking Congress and the White House to extend and enhance tax credits for energy efficient home improvement products.
 Lindsay Windows from Minnesota was among the first-time vinyl window exhibitors at this year's show.
 Paragon Door Designs also featured its entry door systems at the Remodeling Show for the first time.
  Andersen highlighted its variety of replacement window options.
 Pennsylvania's Okna Windows & Doors was featuring its Starmark high-performance composite line.