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Window and Door Companies Bring More Operations In-house

Plus, more takeaways from the 2024 Top Manufacturers Survey

Window + Door’s annual Top Manufacturers Report and List takes a holistic view at the North American residential fenestration market. Although some things remain relatively static year over year, each iteration of the report uncovers some timely insights as to the state of this industry.

Here are some of the key takeaways from this year’s report.

  1. Money is a real concern. Inflation, mortgage rates and housing affordability continue to challenge the economy as a whole, and certainly our industry. New home sales in April were down 7.7% compared to a year earlier, according to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Remodeling is also expected to decrease this year, though at a moderating rate.

    Not only are the construction and remodeling markets hurting. Material and labor inflation continues to be problematic, with material input costs rising 4% year-over-year and direct labor costs rising 7%.
  2. Product, products, products. The end result of what every company in this complex supply chain works to achieve: the products ultimately installed in customers’ homes. Products present one of the greatest opportunities for companies to grow and innovate. Energy Star Version 7.0’s implementation last fall upped the ante on what products qualify as Energy Star rated, especially at the top level. Triple pane and fourth-surface low-E are the top ways companies are increasing efficiency, but plenty of technologies are at play in the performance space. Of course, large windows and doors and color continue their reigns as the top features customers ask for to customize their homes.
  3. Labor: Recruitment, Retention, Training. Labor continues to challenge companies across the industry. Although getting workers in the door is still the hardest part, retaining and training them is high on the list of labor concerns. And, as many workers are retiring and taking with them decades worth of knowledge, companies are working to find ways to formalize and document that knowledge to effectively transfer it to new employees.
  4. Companies are doing more and more. Three-quarters of survey respondents do IG production in-house and almost two-thirds have other in-house operations, including extruding, laminating, tempering and more. Technology and automation are also helping. Most already use automation in their business and two-thirds plan to add more in the next year. Artificial intelligence, though not yet widely used, is ripe for adoption.

Stay tuned for the full report on soon and in the May/June print issue.


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Laurie Cowin

Laurie Cowin is editor of Window + Door. Contact her at