Seven ouf of eight dealers who do installed sales believe there will be greater demand for their services, particularly for windows and entry doors, as the economy recovers, responses to a recent ProSales survey indicate.

The online poll (get summary) put insulation third on the list. That ranking might have been higher had the survey been conducted today, when President Barack Obama formally endorses the idea of Congress enacting what has been dubbed the "cash for caulkers" program.

ProSales' nationwide survey of dealers found almost exactly a 50-50 split between those dealer respondents who offered installed sales services and those who don't. In the poll, "installed sales services" applied only to company staff or company-hired crews that did installation work, and not to situations in which a dealer did nothing more than refer a customer to an outside contractor.

Of those who did installed sales, 87.9% said they expected greater demand for installed sales as the economy recovered. When asked to identify which products would get the most demand, here's how they responded:

  1. Windows -- 74.5% of respondents
  2. Entry doors -- 62.0%
  3. Insulation -- 45.3%
  4. Interior doors -- 37.2%
  5. Siding -- 31.4%
  6. Framing -- 27.7%
  7. Molding/millwork -- 26.3%
  8. Decking -- 23.4%
  9. Wall panels -- 19.0%
  10. Roof trusses -- 18.2%

The results dovetail with forecasts of relatively weak housing construction forecasts for 2010, combined with general awareness of how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act from earlier this year had earmarked billions of dollars for remodeling-related energy efficiency improvements. (See "A Stimulus To Your Sales?", a package of stories in October's ProSales.)

Earlier today, during a speech to the Brookings Institution, President Obama upped the ante. "I'm calling on Congress to consider a new program to provide incentives for consumers who retrofit their homes to become more energy-efficient, which we know creates jobs, saves money for families, and reduces the pollution that threatens our environment," Obama said. "And I'm proposing that we expand select Recovery Act initiatives to promote energy efficiency and clean energy jobs which have been proven to be particularly popular and effective."

Obama didn't suggest a dollar amount for that program, which has been dubbed "Cash for Caulkers" after the wildly popular trade-in program for autos from earlier this year. Press reports indicated that Congress probably wouldn't be able to take up the measure until early in 2010, after the Senate deals with health care.