IN DEPTH: Windows and Doors

Color Choices Growing

Personalization is impacting color choices, too, although manufacturers agree that, for windows and patio doors, white rules exterior colors. “Patio doors are mostly white today, probably 90% of the total,” Hayfield’s Rouhoff says. “Beige is another 5%, and the other colors make up the rest.”

“We do trends with our siding group to see what’s becoming popular,” says Tom Wilhelm, residential product manager for trim and moulding at Royal Building Products. “We’re finding that while white dominates, contrasting colors are growing in popularity. If a homeowner has deep red siding, they are looking for lighter red or beige window trim. Light blue and gray also are popular. More pastel colors overall are being used for trim to match the rest of the house.”

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Dark colors still dominate door choices, especially fiberglass models, Masonite’s Albrighton says. “Fiberglass colors are becoming darker and richer,” matching preferences in flooring and cabinetry. “Mahogany and cherry options are popular. But they need to have a much more authentic grain than they had in the past.”

But ProVia’s Wengerd sees lighter tones gaining ground. “Fiberglass colors are trending toward lighter finishes,” he says. “We still sell darker colors, but requests are growing for lighter shades. It’s likely it reflects contemporary architectural styles, which are leading in that direction.”

Hardware Evolving

Door-hardware options too are evolving, with bright, brassy styles definitely in the past. “Brass is out now,” Thermo- Tech’s Cook says. “It’s been replaced by oil-rubbed bronze.” Window hardware is evolving too, ProVia’s Wengerd says, “We’ve added new finishes to our hardware line, with more requests for contrasts to dress up the windows. We’re not just seeing people use whiteon- white for their windows any more. They’re using satin-nickel finishes more often. It’s not dominant, but it’s growing.”

Hardware choices are impacted by security concerns, leading to more emphasis on multipoint locks for doors. “Multipoint locks are becoming more popular as an upgrade option for several reasons,” Therma-Tru’s Fielding says. They provide not only security assurance but also better energy efficiency. “Especially on eight-foot doors, it’s important to engage the top of the door to pull it against the weatherstripping to ensure a tight seal.”

But dealers must ensure their customers know the options, stresses Masonite’s Albrighton. “Multipoint locks are popular with those who are aware of them, but awareness is low.” The company’s focus groups found that, of people looking to buy an entry door, 72% were not aware of multipoint locks. Once they were educated, 52% said they’d spend $200 to get one. “There’s clearly a latent need for more education,” he says. “Both marketing and education efforts are needed.”

Other high-tech options are growing, Therma-Tru’s Fielding says. “Hardware companies are focusing more attention on contemporary design and electronically controlled options, to take advantage of smart phone technologies. Smart-homing overall is becoming more popular, so I expect we’ll see more in that area.”