The hottest topic in remodeling continues to be “green” building. It is the umbrella term covering durability, energy efficiency, impact-resistant products and recyclable materials. Vinyl windows have gained even more market share, but other window materials are available to cater to individual tastes and needs. And with bigger windows maintaining popularity with consumers, privacy and security are more important than ever.
On top of offering an enormous array of products with innumerable styles and seemingly limitless options, manufacturers are also stepping in with resources targeting their entire customer chain. One-stop shopping, easy instructions and warranty information, and custom products designed for specific openings combine with elaborate training courses and educational programs to respond to the needs of the entire channel.
The Hottest Shade of Green
Today, vinyl windows are enormously popular due, in large part, to the intrinsic, environmentally friendly values of the material. Vinyl is durable and conducts hot and cold temperatures well, and any scraps in the manufacturing process can be immediately reused.
“Vinyl manufacturers were green before the word green came along,” says Chris Reilly, director of marketing communications and replacement programs for Atrium Industries. “Green summarizes exactly what we’ve been doing for years as it represents energy efficiency and protecting the environment.”
Atrium recently launched its new “good”, “better” and “best” lines of vinyl replacement windows with Aspirations, Dynasty and Heirloom, respectively. These new windows promise styles and designs to meet a variety of window replacement needs. Standard features include double-pane (3/4-in.) glass with warm-edge spacer for optimum thermal performance, extruded, integral vinyl interlock and screens with integral lift rail.
And it looks as though vinyl will keep growing in popularity. As Steve Pickins, brand manager for Visions Windows and Doors, points out, “Vinyl windows are a major trend, as they comprise over half of the market today. This trend will continue as vinyl windows take more market share overall — and in the remodeling market.”
The Visions 4000 is Visions Windows and Doors’ latest vinyl offering which includes state-of-the-art engineering and an accurate wood window profile. The 4000 line provides a strong internal structure with a thick sash made up of multiple chambers and complex webbing. The chambers provide insulating pockets that minimize heat and cold transference through the window, and fusion-welded corners further enhance the products’ structural integrity. The extruded frame is comprised of uPVC vinyl with acrylic modifiers, and stabilizers strengthen and protect against color fading.
Weather Shield’s ProShield product line recently received the first-ever third-party certification for recycled material content for windows by Scientific Certification Systems. The windows feature natural wood on the inside and low-maintenance vinyl on the outside. The recycled content used in the vinyl exteriors and the insulated glass of ProShield products is now certified to comprise at least 9 percent of the entire unit by weight.
For a more unconventional look, Hy-Lite recently introduced Max-Lite Custom Sized acrylic block windows in a variety of styles, sizes and shapes including Fixed, RoundTop ArchTop and Half Round windows. These new windows can be manufactured in 1/4-in. increments to fit virtually any rough opening size required. The Contractor Series of the windows offers the same 1/4-in. size selection in Fixed, Casement, Awning and Hopper styles. For builders and remodelers looking to add a decorative glass window to a project but not willing to sacrifice ventilation, Hy-Lite’s new Operable Hy-Lite Decorative Glass Windows feature a heavy-duty hinge and latch hardware that allows both casement and awning windows to open easily in the home for ventilation. Operable windows come in the Craftsman and Spring Flower patterns and can be ordered with nickel or black caming.