Still Packs a Product Punch
by Tara Taffera
The 2011 International Builders’ Show (IBS) gave the industry a snapshot
of the current state of the residential doors and window market, through
both its exhibitors and attendees. Some major manufacturers were absent
(Pella and Hurd) while others, such as Atrium Windows and Doors, exhibited
to show the industry that they are back. Other manufacturers rolled out
new products. For some, such as Lincoln, all the products in their booth
So take a look at the products unveiled and what the industry has to say
about the future of the door, window, moulding and millwork market.
The location of this year’s Builders’ Show, Orlando, Fla., brought out
many Florida-based manufacturers that may not exhibit when the show is
held in Las Vegas. Because of this, impact-resistant products were on
display in many booths.
Florida-based manufacturer PGT Industries showcased its PremiereVue line,
a high-end impact vinyl door, which launched February 1.
“Customers are holding their orders waiting for it,” said PGT’s Bob Petit
during the show, which was held a few weeks before the launch. The doors
can be manufactured 40-feet wide and 10-feet tall, he reported.
The PremiereVue line also includes a high-end vinyl line that PGT’s David
Pitcher says can be used in coastal areas.
“For a long time we had aluminum doors but now we have a full vinyl line,”
Atrium Windows and Doors, based in Dallas, offers both aluminum and vinyl.
Mark Gallant, senior vice president, marketing, pointed out that aluminum
is predominant from Texas to Florida. One of the products the company
showcased was its Safe Harbor aluminum impact window.
“Even single-glaze is still popular in Florida,” said Gallant.
Atlanta-based YKK introduced StyleGuard, an impact-rated sliding patio
door. The all-vinyl door’s wide stiles and rails give it the appearance
of a French door, said YKK’s Craig Marple. “Attendees like the detailing
of it which is unusual for a vinyl, impact-rated product,” he said. The
entire StyleGuard line is also NAHB Green Approved.
“It’s unusual for a window manufacturer to have [its] entire product line
certified,” he said.
"We went through
a reorganization and we want the industry to know we are back and stronger
—Mark Gallant, Atrium
Doors were on prominent display at IBS, and many companies offered new
options. CMI unveiled its new CraftMaster® Conmore™ molded, flat-panel
interior door. The door is the second in a series of molded, flat-panel
doors within the CraftMaster Interior Door family. Available in 6 feet,
8 inches and 7-foot passage and bi-fold sizes, Conmore features five horizontal
panels, and can be specified with either finger-joint or MDF stiles and
The door also offers several environmental benefits. It contains a minimum
of 70 percent pre-consumer recycled wood content and is certified by a
third-party certifier, Scientific Certification Systems, to have no added
The Royal Group previewed its Royal OPUS I and OPUS II™ Patio Doors, which
vice president and general manager Mark Fanelli said was developed based
on regional market demand in Canada and parts of the Eastern United States.
The patio doors offer a new design that incorporates a durable all-vinyl
frame that can be used with two sash systems, according to the company.
OPUS I uses the same sash system as Royal’s Performer™ door and features
the company’s new Super Quiet roller, designed to provide smooth gliding
action. OPUS II uses a welded sash that can accommodate standard 1-inch
thick glass as well as two true triple-glazing options of 1-1/4 inch and
1-3/8 inch for achieving an R-5 rating, and also can be used in triple-glazed
The line will be launched in April and aimed toward the new construction
and replacement markets.
Another new technology unveiled was a patio door that offers increased
security, introduced by Haddon Windows of Bensalem, Pa.
“This is a breakthrough in security for sliding patio doors—a completely
reinvented patio door locking system, which locks from the top to the
bottom, replacing simple single or double latches found on nearly all
doors today,” said company president Sam Jadallah.
"Someday we will
start building a lot of houses. Until then we have a lot for the remodeling
—Derek Fielding, Therma-Tru
New to IBS/New to Residential Doors
Quanex Corp., a company well-known to the door and window industry, but
not as familiar to builders, exhibited at IBS for the first time.
“This gives us a different element of visibility,” said Quanex’s Ric Jackson.
Many builders and other industry members did stop by the booth to learn
more about Quanex.
“We received more than 300 inquiries on the first day,” said Jackson.
“The quantity of traffic here is at a different level [as opposed to other
industry trade shows].”
Jackson says the company’s goal is to create customers that request products
made of Quanex components.
Clopay is no newcomer to IBS but it did preview an entirely new product
line at the show—residential entry doors to complement its long-standing
garage door line.
“Our dealers have always gotten calls for entry doors,” said Clopay’s
Mischel Schonberg. “Now they can do one-stop shopping.”
The residential entry doors, offered in both fiberglass and steel, were
scheduled to launch in the second quarter at press time.
Is It Wood? No, Fiberglass
Therma-Tru introduced the New Classic-Craft Canvas Collection, which it
calls the “first smooth fiberglass door on the market.”
“This rivals what a custom wood door looks like,” said Derek Fielding,
senior product manager.
The collection offers a smooth, paintable surface and is available in
a variety of architectural styles.
Fielding said the company spent a great deal of time conducting consumer
“The details [previously in fiberglass] weren’t custom enough. They [customers]
were still going to custom wood,” he said.
“But people are finally seeing an alternative to a custom wood look at
a cost advantage.”
But fiberglass wasn’t just seen in doors as some window manufacturers
blended wood and fiberglass together. Atrium, for one, showcased its Essence
window, which is fiberglass with a wood interior.
“There is a huge anticipation for this product,” said Gallant. “Fiberglass
is where the industry is going.”
Window Options in All Materials
One company that knows a great deal about fiberglass is Integrity Windows
by Marvin, which now offers a roundtop window to round out the Integrity
The Marvin booth displayed a “re-engineered” slider window for use in
residential and commercial applications.
“This is the first time, to our knowledge, that a major manufacturer has
re-engineered the slider,” said Marvin’s John Reinan.
He pointed out that when you close the window it locks automatically.
Andersen Windows offered several new products, one of which is its exterior
trim system, which can be installed in “as little as six minutes.” The
system works with the Andersen A-Series, 400 Series and 200 Series product
lines. Trim is available in 11 colors, and is made of Fibrex® material,
a composite combining the strength and stability of wood with the low-maintenance
features of vinyl.
At the Lincoln Windows booth, Todd Metz simply said, “Everything in our
booth is new.”
Those new products include its new StormPoint product for impact applications,
which Metz said were “very popular with attendees.”
“We wanted to show everything we offer,” said Metz. “With our company
we have a ton of different options.”
Those looking for wood windows found some options from Quebec-based Bonneville
Windows and Doors, a first-time exhibitor.
“This was our first time exhibiting, but definitely worth it,” said Terry
Mackey of Bonneville. We received incredible contacts. We found everything
and more that we needed.”
Mouldings, Millwork and Trim
IQM Trim featured a new brick mould profile with a built in J-channel.
“We are the only manufacturer that offers that,” said IQM’s Mel Marzan.
“Our big competitive advantage is that we offer it in different colors
instead of just white.”
Along with its color and durability, the company adds that the product’s
AquaFlex™ fin protects a home’s building envelope, guiding water away
from the wall to minimize the chances for water intrusion. The J-channel
also means fast, efficient installations for contractors, according to
Trex offered Trex Trim with a smooth edge, which company officials say
is ideal for doors and windows. The company also featured its release
film, which allows a contractor to install the trim and then take the
film off when the job is complete.
“These are commodity products,” said Trex’s Mel Karlson. “But the smooth
edge and release films are big hits. The contractors love them.”
Many companies offered mouldings as well, including Fypon, which shared
a booth with Therma-Tru since the two companies recently merged.
“With our partnership with Fypon we are really focusing on creating the
entryway,” said Fielding. “It’s not just about the door.”
Back and Better
It is the International Builders’ Show and several companies, including
PlyGem, reported a number of Canadian attendees. Several companies also
reported a great number of attendees from the Caribbean and that included
CGI Windows and Doors.
“We’ve had a lot of Caribbean dealers come by,” said CGI president Brian
Evans reported that CGI has done well, even through the downturn, by “expanding
products and expanding territories.”
“I feel for the companies that haven’t been able to invest,” said Evans.
Other companies that have also made investments and came to “show they
are solid” included Atrium. Gallant reported that the company opened a
fourth vinyl extrusion facility in Greenville, Texas, recently.
“The market will come back eventually,” he said. “Atrium was out of IBS
for two years. We went through a reorganization and we want the industry
to know we are back and stronger than ever. The show was a good way to
say we are back and we are solid, and we are investing further in the
The same is true for Therma-Tru, which hadn’t exhibited in recent years.
“We’ve never given up on innovation,” said Fielding. “We’re back at IBS
with a lot of products. Someday we will start building a lot of houses.
Until then we have a lot for the remodeling industry.”
I BS is scheduled for February 8-11, 2012, in Orlando.
Tara Taffera serves as editor/publisher of DWM magazine.
© Copyright 2011 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.