Home In Depth IN DEPTH: Doors And Windows

IN DEPTH: Doors And Windows

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IN DEPTH: Doors And Windows

New labeling from the National Fenestration Rating Council has added to the conversation, notes ProVia’s Albaugh. The new labels include ratings for air infiltration and condensation resistance. “Those points are being looked at very closely by customers,” he says. “Our products tend to the mid- to upper-end of the line, so we get few value-oriented customers. But we are picking up sales now due to our windows’ labels showing we have very low air-infiltration rates. A lot of folks are paying attention to that and comparing rates.”

Those are important ratings, he adds, because they measure key factors. “There are really two reasons why a homeowner wants to replace windows. Either they feel a draft or they see moisture on the window in the spring or fall.”

Glass Options Consolidate
Glass technology has helped meet some energy-efficiency standards in both windows and doors. “Homeowners always want more glass viewing areas in windows, and we’ve changed our products to adapt to that,” says Albaugh.

Shape options have consolidated in line with the move to simpler, contemporary styles. “There are fewer shapes today, fewer round options and more rectangular designs,” says Ply Gem’s Montgomery. “There are more picture windows versus operating windows.”

Perspectives-textured-door-glass-collection-from-ODLThe Perspectives textured door glass collection from ODL has added six glass textures to the existing options of privacy glass, Micro-Granite and Rain. The new textures balance texture, light and privacy to create distinctive patterns for the door. They are said to meet rigorous quality standards for air resistance, water resistance and door slamming.

ODL’s Fowler agrees. “We had a lot of transoms in our inventory five years ago, but we’ve pared them down, as we’re not getting as many requests. I think it’s due to fewer McMansions being built and grand entries being designed for homes. Shapes are typically driven by door cutouts, and we have to meet those requirements. The selections typically are regional.”

More customers are requesting custom glass pieces, Fowler notes. ODL’s design team can create custom pieces based on provided sketches. “That use is growing, even if it’s still constrained,” she says. “Customers like to customize existing styles with caming or do their own designs.”

One choice growing in popularity with all homeowners is frosted or opaque glass that retains privacy while providing style. “Homeowners are very concerned about visual privacy and are willing to pay to get it,” Fowler says. “People want to be able to see out without letting visitors see in.” Using opaque glass, such as the company’s line that offers 1-10 gradients, allows larger glass areas, she notes. “Customers feel more confident. They don’t have to shy away from larger panes.”