Locking in Some 2013 Predictions
Everyone has their projections of what they may foresee for the
door and window market in 2013, and maybe they even have some ideas on
what will happen in specific segments. If you are a door or window manufacturer
or dealer and want to know what’s coming in hardware, DWM makes it easy.
On the following pages you will find forecasts from two industry leaders
regarding their predictions.
We also gathered some of the latest products, and asked
the industry its input regarding hardware on our Second Annual Industry
Benchmark Survey (see page 30 for the full survey results.) Following
is what to look for in 2013.
President and CEO, Roto Frank of America
As we all know, the loss of stimulus tax credits translated into a market
dip in residential door and window sales in 2011. We are glad to see that
2012 shows signs of improvements.
Economic environment: Macro-economic indicators have started to
Remodeling: The (slight) improvement of the economy combined with
the record low interest rates will generate moderate gains in the home
New housing: Due to the strong increase in housing starts and building
permits in 2012 (compared to 2011) the hardware market should benefit
from it in 2013.
Remaining risks: Total housing inventory, foreclosures and the
relatively high unemployment rate in the U.S continue to pose risks. This
is also true for the Canadian economy due to its strong ties to the United
Conclusion: The weak economic recovery in the last years has been
limiting growth prospects, but suggests prospects for sales in both the
new construction and remodeling/replacement markets will gain some momentum
in 2013 and beyond.
Customer Expectations/ Product Growth
During our annual customer satisfaction study which we performed this
year, we asked our customers about their outlook for 2013. The vast majority
is expecting a “flat” to a “slight positive” market development.
From the product perspective, I see European products (tilt
turn windows, tilt/slide, lift/slide and fold/slide doors) gaining momentum
in conjunction with more stringent performance requirements.
Our company has been growing strongly the last years and
gaining market share, despite the fact that the market shrunk substantially.
Now, as Roto North America, which also includes the newly acquired Roto
Fasco Canada (formerly Fasco Die Casting), we plan with continued growth
into 2013 and beyond.
Door Hardware Forecast
Manager, Door Hardware Products,
The future of the door industry is an exciting one in that there are many
new features and styles of hardware coming out in the marketplace designed
to benefit the manufacturer, door jobber/pre-hangers and homeowners themselves.
When we attended the Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) Convention
in Louisville in October 2012, we had numerous discussions with millwork
dealers and pre-hangers who are looking for better quality, multi-point
door hardware systems. Many of the systems that have been on the market
had design and reliability issues that caused a lot of installation and
service issues. The market for multi-point hardware systems is increasing
and these manufacturers cannot afford to jeopardize their own brand image
with hardware systems that are unreliable nor have all the design features
they require. The increase in multi-point door hardware is not confined
to simply the French or terrace doors as we are also seeing a trend toward
this robust and dependable hardware being considered for entry doors as
well—security is one of the main drivers. The same is true for multi-point
door hardware usage on different “levels” of doors. Where once these systems
were just considered for upscale wood or wood-clad doors, there is an
increasing desire to incorporate this type of hardware into a company’s
standard door offering, no matter what the material make-up.
One interesting expansion of this hardware usage has been
to operable sidelites. Homeowners are now seeing the advantages of the
multi-point locking system on these companion doors and are searching
for systems that will not only provide the security, but also offer an
aesthetic look that is complementary to the system on the entry or patio
While multi-point hardware, with three to five locking points,
has become the new benchmark for customers looking to enhance the security
of the door as well as improve the overall integrity, there are certain
elements that help distinguish one system from another. Homeowners are
looking for styles they are accustomed to using, such as the preferred,
North American designed deadbolt configuration where the locking mechanism
is located above the handle making it easy to see and access. To help
optimize the security of the door, shoot bolts at both the top and bottom
of the door are becoming specified increasingly by manufacturers.
For sliding door systems, manufacturers are offering rollers
with precision bearings designed to provide a smooth, effortless movement
of the door panel. Engineered to carry the load of much heavier door panels
due to triple-pane glass, these roller systems produce new opportunities
for door manufacturers to extend their product offering.
While stainless steel hardware is now considered more of
a standard than an option for the purpose of optimizing the corrosion
resistance of the hardware, there are also certain decorative finishes
which have risen to the top of people’s lists. Brushed finishes in chrome
and nickel are more popular than they once were and those that resemble
an oil-rubbed bronze look remain extremely sought after.
Overall Door Market Outlook
Ducker Research recently reported that patio door usage will increase
by 14 to 15 percent in 2013, with 22 percent of this surge being found
in new construction and 8 percent in repair and remodeling. Being able
to enhance your living space by bringing in more light, as well as opening
the interior of the home to a patio or courtyard, is a wonderful way to
extend the useable footprint of a home’s floor plan. The popularity of
bi-fold doors has really started to create a buzz within the architectural
community. These “folding glass walls” are enabling homeowners and architects
to literally push the envelope on what once was considered a limitation
on what a wall area was intended to do. For many, these bi-fold door systems
were often considered mostly for light commercial applications, however
architects, designers and homeowners are really driving the interest in
this market. Those companies looking to jumpstart their business out of
the doldrums of recent years should strongly consider the potential this
market provides in terms of sales and broadening one’s product offering.
Handle with Flair
Manufacturers and dealers polled regarding consumer hardware preferences
prove that customers of all types are looking for a variety of hardware
options: and a little style to boot.
While we asked both groups in our second annual industry
benchmark survey (for full results, see page 30) how many customers are
asking about automated options and more, (see charts below), they also
gave us some additional responses of what is requested on a regular basis.
The manufacturers placed fancy finishes, more hardware options
and colors, metallic finishes and ease of operation on the top of their
lists. Dealers agreed with many of those requests and one survey respondent
answered: “finishes: brass just doesn't work anymore.” Another said, “customers
are trending to more expensive finishes like satin nickel.
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