In 2006, homeowners spent approximately $168 billion on home improvements and repairs, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. High-end product installation is a key element of this expenditure.
Homeowners want to increase the value of their homes and bigger, high-end windows are a dramatic way of adding new grandeur to a previously modest home.
“Although the new home market is sagging, luxury building and remodeling continues its steady climb toward the highest spending ever,” explained Jeld-wen’s Hedlund. “High-end remodeling activity has reached record highs in the past five years because there is no shortage of homeowners willing to pay for the best.”
For this burgeoning market, Jeld-Wen offers options such as matching wood species and custom wood windows with integrated Phantom Screens technology, catering to homeowners who want the latest features and most luxurious looks for their homes.
“I see the hottest trend for 2008 as net size window replacement,” says Jim Sheehan, sales manager for Milgard Windows and Doors’ WoodClad Division. “This is due to the fact that new home construction is declining and homeowners are choosing to upgrade their current homes. They can put in new energy-efficient windows and doors into their existing home and save on their heating and cooling costs.”
Milgard has added new options to its Ultra and WoodClad lines of fiberglass windows, expanding its offering of windows for the upscale remodeling market. The windows feature Milgard fiberglass frame and sash design with standard SunCoat low-e glass for energy efficiency. The new offerings include a ¾-in. grid option available in the Vintage style grid on both the Ultra and WoodClad lines. The new windows offer the traditional ventilation of the double-hung design with the added benefit of top and bottom tilt-in sashes for easy cleaning.
PGT’s Eterna is a simulated wood grain finish for the visual beauty and warmth of wood in durable, low-maintenance aluminum frames. Initially, PGT is offering Eterna Finish exclusively on select WinGuard Impact-Resistant Windows and Doors. Eterna’s simulated finish is available in five popular wood grains: acacia, cherry, light oak, dark oak, and dark walnut.
Windsor recently introduced vertical-grain Douglas fir as an option on windows and doors. The Douglas fir’s coloring ranges from bright white to a light rosy color, which is accented with the vertical grain pattern. Windsor promises that all fir windows and patio doors contain at least six vertical growth rings per inch, rather than a mixed pattern that has rings going in many directions. Windsor’s fir windows are made only from solid wood with no veneer.
Hy-Lite Products has expanded its line of decorative glass windows to include a selection of highly private windows called the Private Elegance Collection. For the ultimate privacy in bath, spa and bedroom settings, the collection promises “above the top” seclusion with high-opacity glass that provides a privacy rating of 9 on a 1-to-10 rating scale.
Since baby boomers make up 26 percent of the U.S. population, the importance of universal design is growing stronger as they experience the physical limitations caused by aging.
“Universal design is a major new trend as the baby-boomer population grows older,” says Jeld-Wen’s Brian Hedlund.
“Homeowners are choosing low-maintenance, easy-to-operate windows that they don’t have to worry about as they age.”
For this segment of society, Jeld-Wen created MAG-Lock — a one-touch automatic lock that comes standard on the company’s Premium Vinyl slider and single-hung windows. MAG-Lock includes intuitive and easy-to-use design, safe and secure performance, and a stylish low-profile design. MAG-Lock is a fully concealed mechanism that is streamlined into the window profile. Jeld-Wen tests show there is no way to disengage the lock using other magnets, and it won’t interfere with pacemakers or computer equipment.
“And ease of maintenance continues to grow in popularity,” adds Kathy Krafka Harkema of Pella Windows & Doors.