Energy efficiency is important, but choices in windows, entry doors and patio doors often are made on aesthetic and security options—and manufacturers are expanding those features.
BY: CRAIG A. SHUTT
This winter’s brutal temperatures put more focus on homeowners’ energy bills, boosting awareness for the need for an energy-efficient home. But as homeowners consider replacements for their drafty doors or windows, they are looking beyond efficiency to accessories and aesthetic choices to find the best value. Manufacturers are introducing new options to meet those needs.
Upgraded benefits are the driving force for product decision in remodeling projects, notes Derek Fielding, director of product management at Therma- Tru. “With builders, in a home that has everything new, there isn’t much focus on the doors’ features. With remodeling projects, where homeowners are replacing their doors, that becomes the focus, and they need more information and attention.”
The market is recovering from the recessionary lows of the previous years, with vinyl windows and fiberglass doors showing the most growth, according to manufacturers and Principia.
“Fiberglass is definitely growing its share of the door market,” says Phil Wengerd, vice president of marketing strategies for ProVia. “The flagship material is still steel, but fiberglass’s performance has improved greatly. Homeowners love the features that fiberglass offers.” Adds Mark Albrighton, senior director of exterior products at Masonite, “Overall, fiberglass is definitely picking up market share from steel, but not rapidly. It’s only a point or two a year but the trend is definitely continuing in that direction. Wood still seems to be holding its share steady.”