Report: Slow growth expected for windows and doors
United States market demand for windows and doors is expected to reach $40 billion in 2012 – that’s a slower pace than the 2002 to 2007 period, but still a gain of 2.8 percent annually, according to the Freedonia Group.
Several factors are working to restrain demand, including low residential construction. Housing starts in October sank to the lowest level since tracking began in 1959. Residential construction constitutes the largest market for windows and doors, according the Freedonia report, the 461-page “Windows and Doors.” While a modest recovery is expected through 2012, Freedonia expects the level of housing completions to be only slightly higher than in 2007. Another challenge for window and door sales is the decline in average floor space per new housing unit, leading to home construction requiring fewer windows and doors.
The picture for windows alone is more promising, as increased interest in energy efficiency contributed to the projected gain of 3.7 percent per year through 2012. Metal windows are expected to show the biggest growth in demand.
Looking specifically at doors, projections are for 2.4 percent growth through 2012. Plastic doors, according to Freedonia, will show the most rapid gains in demand, with an anticipated annual rate of 4.9 percent.
Wood windows and doors will continue to account for the largest share of overall window and door demand, totaling 41 percent in 2012. Through 2012, however, demand for wood products will dip below the average pace, primarily due to the high cost of wood products compared to plastic items, according to Freedonia.
“Wood products are increasingly seen as high-end products that increase the values of the structures in which they are installed,” the research company said in a statement.
Ferguson opens new Tennessee showroom
Ferguson, one of the leading plumbing and HVAC distributors in North America, has announced the opening of a new branch in Jackson, Tenn. The 4,500-square-foot showroom will sell plumbing fixtures, lighting and appliances.
Ferguson’s parent company, U.K.-based Wolseley, recently announced that it reduced Ferguson’s headcount by 1,110 workers and closed 50 branches during the past quarter, which ended on Oct. 31, 2008. These actions were taken in preparation for expected declines in commercial and industrial construction in the early 2009, the company said.
Ply Gem to shutter plants
Ply Gem Industries, a manufacturer of exterior building materials, has announced its intention to close two window and door manufacturing plants. They are located in Hammonton, N.J. and Phoenix. Approximately 306 employees will be affected.
In a prepared statement, Gary Robinette, Ply Gem’s president and CEO, attributed the decision to market conditions. The Hammonton and Phoenix locations were chosen because of their proximity to other Ply Gem facilities, according to the company.
On Nov. 10, Ply Gem reported third quarter net sales of $342.8 million, a 7.3 percent decrease from the previous year. Net loss before unusual items for the third quarter was $4.1 million, compared to net income of $11.6 million for the third quarter of 2007. Net loss for the past quarter including goodwill impairment, net of taxes was $190.8 million.