Where Do You See Window & Door Prices Going?
Survey Results as of 03/15/2010:
Compared to inflation in 2010, window and door prices:
Will rise faster
Will increase at about the same rate
Will not keep up
Will actually go down
Based on poll results, it seems most readers expect prices to rise at a fairly quick pace in 2010. Rising demand with the general economic recovery is probably the reason most people expect increases. One manufacturer points to recent headlines for a specific reason to look for higher prices. “Any products made of wood will increase faster than inflation for the next six months as a result of the Chilean earthquake and supply/demand ‘miscombobulations,’" he writes.
“I'm sure that manufacturers want to increase prices as raw material prices increase and they probably will,” reports one West Coast dealer. “This will put the dealers in a very difficult position." Focusing on large custom homes recently, he notes that competition in the market has been fierce with multiple builders quoting such jobs, each getting bids from numerous window manufacturers for projects. "Margins for dealers are dropping significantly and I think we will see more window dealers closing their doors in the coming year,” he predicts.
Following up on my observation that traditional remodeling and replacement industry suppliers have complained about "new construction guys" entering their market, another dealer writes, “This is a major problem here in Wisconsin. These so-called builder contractors are installing windows, siding, doors etc., in such a substandard manner that a legimate contractor looks like a rip-off artist when he gives a fair price on a job. It doesn’t do any good to gripe,” he continues, but, he adds, the homeowner usually realizes the mistake “when winter comes again.”
"It's no wonder that 'new construction guys' are getting into remodeling," the dealer that supplies custom homes says. “The margins are traditionally higher and the scope of work is very similar to that of a new custom home. But it's where the work is. There has been a significant increase in whole house renovations lately and why wouldn't a quality contractor go where the work is?”
Window and door prices may rise, but he doesn't expect anyone to get fat. "The bottom line is that contractors, dealers and salespeople need to be flexible and creative to get the attention of the few projects that are being built today," he concludes. "It's going to be a great time to learn and re-learn our trades and the survivors will be a better group in general. But passing on price increases will be very difficult."