More homeowners and remodelers are looking for a complete turnkey system when they replace entry doors. “We’re seeing a big boost in sales going toward factory-finished panels. The doors can be painted or stained or a combination. If the homeowner wants an exterior painted dark green and wants it stained mahogany on the inside, we can do that.” Kibler says.
Pella, Iowa-based Pella Windows & Doors sees continuing interest in its Craftsman-style doors, according to Steve Brenizer, entry door marketing manager.
Most homeowners are familiar with the Energy Star label on windows and doors, but Brenizer points out remodelers may also wish to alert clients to the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label available on doors. The NFRC label lists the manufacturer, describes the product, provides a source for additional information and includes ratings for energy performance characteristics. The additional information can help homeowners make informed decisions and help the remodeler make the sale.
Wood is Good
Wood doors, despite the prevalence of wood-look doors, still hold a piece of the entry door market, a share that has remained fairly constant over the last 10 years, says Brad Loveless, marketing and product development manager for McCleary, Wash.-based Simpson Door Co.
“What type of wood door goes into a home usually depends on the value of that home, so wood doors tend to go into higher-end homes,” he says.
“One thing that is special about wood is it can be shaped, machined and built to any size and shape,” he says. “Remodelers look to wood doors if they’re trying to match historical doors or ones that are a unique configuration,” Loveless adds.
Loveless says it’s hard to pin down a specific tendency other than to say “consumers want what they want. They’re savvy about being able to customize things and they’re not bashful about doing so.”
Like other door makers Loveless sees a drift toward a contemporary look, whether it’s a very dramatic departure or just small tweaks to make the door more sleek. “Wood doors aren’t just the old traditional six-panel look anymore. There is a lot more contemporary styling, especially with glass, where we’re seeing a lot of asymmetrical designs,” Loveless says.
“Appearance is one of the top drivers for door purchases,” says Derek Fielding, senior product manager for Maumee, Ohio-based Therma-Tru Doors. “If the door hasn’t completely failed, homeowners are going to be looking to upgrade that door. We find that’s where a lot of homeowners tend to look at decorative glass and painting and staining options,” he says.
Vented sidelites are another option. “Homeowners also want to let more of the outdoors in. The sidelites can be opened to allow ventilation, and you don’t have to have a screen door in front of the door you’ve just spent a great deal of time and money picking out and installing,” Fielding says.