When Galliher & Huguely of Washington decided to open a showroom, it picked the tony suburb of Bethesda, Md. The showroom has a narrow storefront, so the dealer chose carefully when it decided what should be among the first displays to greet visitors. For that precious space, Galliher & Huguely chose windows.
It did so for a good reason: Spending on windows in North America will grow 26.2% from 2010 to reach $15.3 billion in 2015, according to The Freedonia Group. That’s largely driven by a rise in new-home construction, but the Cleveland-based market research firm also predicts window sales in the remodeling sector will grow 6% from 2009 to hit $3.5 billion in 2014.
Window manufacturers are seeking to capitalize on this rising demand with technology that enhances homeowners’ decision-making role, as well as with stronger window systems that can be customized to meet just about any design scheme.
Andersen shook up the market this summer by launching its two-part Architectural Series collection. The company started with a blank slate, says brand communication project manager Stacy Einck, and worked with an in-house design crew and Minneapolis-based SALA Architects to create a library of 10 architectural styles—including Prairie, Craftsman Bungalow, Farmhouse, and Queen Anne—that make up the collection’s A-Series of wood- and vinyl-cased windows. The goal is to make it easy for non-experts to choose windows, trim, and related components that share the same style.
The collection’s E-Series goes a step further by letting architects and builders specify a window down to the size of its grille, color of its frame, and thickness of its glass.
Integrity Windows and Doors helped its Ultrex single- and double-hung windows fit some cottages’ architecture style by creating windows in which the two sashes were differently sized.
For lower-budget projects, Weather Shield’s Aspire Series vinyl-clad windows cater to homeowners who want a wood-interior casing but a lower-maintenance exterior in white, tan, and cameo colors.
Similarly, ProVia’s new Aeris Wx1000 Series Window pairs pre-finished furniture-grade wood on the inside-facing frame and a welded-vinyl frame and sash on the outside, with a low-E glazing on its 3-milimeter dual-pane glass.
It’s not just style. Size—particularly in contemporary projects—is increasingly on homeowners’ minds, says Christine Marvin, marketing manager for Marvin Windows and Doors. The company is offering clad and wood models of its Ultimate Double Hung window in larger sizes—up to 42-3/8 inches wide and 96-7/8 inches tall—with enhanced protection against air and water.
Kolbe’s new Ultra Series Folding Window allows for big views. The window can hold as many as eight linked panels, each of which can be up to 39-3/8 inches wide and 72 inches tall. There are custom options for stiles, rails, and thicknesses.
Zola European Windows’ ThermoPlus Clad triple-pane window is designed for projects that require large, glazed windows to maximize solar gain; it features an 88-millimeter-thick wood profile made from finger-jointed pine and has low-e coating on two of its three glass panes. Also catering to the market for big sizes, Weiland Sliding Doors & Windows’ lineup includes casement windows, awnings, tilt-turns, and fixed models in wood, aluminum, or a combination of the two.
Where huge windows aren’t an option, bigger view panes may be. Simonton’s Asure line of double-hung, slider, and picture replacement windows features narrower frames to open up the visible areas.
Bigger glass and thinner frames aren’t hampering windows’ ability to stand up to the elements, manufacturers say. Andersen strengthened its A-Series windows with a wood composite/fiberglass exterior for a low-maintenance look that doesn’t corrode in harsher coastal climates. And Pella’s factory-applied aluminum trim features a sealed sill nose and small weep holes on the sloped sill nose to redirect water.
Manufacturers are also using glass to block noise. Simonton Windows’ SafePoint glass is designed for use with its ProFinish Brickmould 600 windows and doors and boasts standards-beating durability to stand up to high winds, provide better security, and keep interiors quiet in multifamily or urban settings.
Glass can stand up to the elements without backing down on aesthetics. Hy-Lite says its DecoGuard is the first decorative glass window to meet code for up to Wind Zone 4 in the Gulf and coastal regions. Its impact-resistant laminated insulated privacy glass is framed with a heavy-duty, 48x48-inch vinyl frame, and its pattern is kiln-fired.
As for energy efficiency, “Low-E with argon gas is pretty much anybody’s standard now,” says Brian Roberts, manager of Galliher & Huguely’s new showroom. Integrity Windows and Doors added an argon-gas triple-glazed option for its Wood-Ultrex casement windows and awnings , increasing the glass’ U-values to as high as .20. The company also improved sound transmission ratings on its casement, awning, and double-hung windows, while adding 3.1-millimeter and 4.7-millimeter glass options.
Last year, Hurd Windows and Doors launched its Ultra-R glazed window, which gets its R-values of up to R-20 through heat-mirror films coated with nanoscale metal particles and placed inside the insulated glass. That system blocks up to 99.5% of UV rays and cuts noise by 20% compared to a dual-pane, the company says.
tweaked its Custom Wood Double Hung casement window to meet requirements for historical homes by concealing its jamb liner and tilt latch.