Both the fiberglass- and steel-door markets are growing significantly, while vinyl windows continue to outpace other materials, according to data from The Freedonia Group Inc.
Energy Performance A Focus
One of the reasons the market for doors and windows is growing is that homeowners realize the impact these products have on energy performance and subsequent energy bills. “Energy Star has driven a lot of changes in performance requirements, and consumers are using the Internet to get more informed,” says Doug Cook, sales and marketing manager for Thermo-Tech. “This will often drive what they buy. Windows and doors get some of the most engagement by buyers when selecting a builder, because consumers care about energy performance and are interested in the most energy-efficient products available.”
George Castro, director of sales and marketing at Neuma Doors, agrees. “The expanding economy is raising interest in new door products, and energy efficiency is driving builders to offer upgrades that provide more performance,” he says. “Customers are concerned about doors and windows, because they are holes in their walls that need to be efficient.”
Energy Star requirements are slightly more stringent for 2016, Cook notes, moving from a 0.30 rating to 0.27 U-factor in the Northern zone. Thermo-Tech slightly modified its glass offerings to meet this need, and it will be doing more. “To meet future requirements, we’ll be introducing a triple-pane configuration at the beginning of 2017 that will achieve U-values substantially better than even those.”