Did your company’s window sales take a tumble last year? Sales of all types of windows, including replacement windows, plunged in 2011, an effect that industry experts attribute to the rampant demand of late 2010 and the subsequent “tax credit hangover.” A report compiled by Ducker Worldwide and released in May by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Window & Door Manufacturers Association showed product demand falling 9% in 2011. Shipments of replacement units, the largest portion of the window market, fell from 29.6 million in 2010 to 26.1 million in 2011, an 11% drop.

Energy Efficiency Favored

Citing that drop, Ducker Worldwide’s study also foresaw strong future growth for the window industry. That projection is confirmed in a separate study compiled by The Freedonia Group, of Cleveland, which was released in September.

The Freedonia study sees demand for window and door products rising 10% per year to $34.2 billion in 2016. It suggests that sales of windows for “residential improvement and repair” will expand 5.7% annually between now and 2016, with door sales growing at 6.2%, reflecting, according to the report, “the rising demand for fiberglass entry doors because of energy efficiency and corrosion-resistance.”

Freedonia sees sales of vinyl windows rising 12% annually through 2016. The study, which bundles vinyl, fiberglass, and composites into one category, notes that continuing demand for those products results from the fact that “consumers perceive them as energy efficient and providing a high degree of value.”

General Market Upswing

The good news about window market growth corresponds to recent releases from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The most recent information released by the JCHS, which tracks the broader home improvement industry via its Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) metric, projects a double-digit rise in remodeling of all kinds for the first quarter of 2013.

—Jim Cory is editor of REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR.

Related articles: LIRA: Remodeling Activity to Increase Significantly in 2013

Drop in Window Industry Sales No Surprise to Some