This year has been a cautiously optimistic one for the housing industry in general, and some predict an even more dramatic recovery for the windows and doors market. "World Windows & Doors," a Freedonia Group study published in June, expects global demand for windows and doors to reach $223 billion in annual revenue by 2017.
With that said, a good portion of this recovery is predicted to take place outside the United States in areas such as China and certain developing nations. It may be no surprise, then, that the outlook in the United States stays consistent with that of the overall housing market.
Berit Griffin, public relations coordinator at Marvin Windows and Doors, acknowledged that Marvin continues to see improving conditions across the board. Do Freedonia's figures sound accurate? Time will tell.
"Remodel and replace continues to remain steady, and there is an uptick in new construction activity that we are seeing," said Griffin in an email. "Right now, it's impossible to forecast exactly what the demand for fenestration products will be on a global scale, but we do believe that it will continue to strengthen as the housing market rebounds in developed countries."
With a predominantly positive outlook either way, exterior home products continue to delight the eye and advance in their performance and craftsmanship. This year, there's as large of a premium as ever before on energy efficiency, airtight performance, clean, modern lines and a "back to nature" aesthetic. Here are a few of our favorites.
For the eco-conscious home builder, these bamboo doors are an opportunity to support American manufacturing and sustainable material sourcing. All that aside, many might gravitate toward them for their good looks alone. (greenleafdoors.com)
New-home construction is weighing storm-proof features more heavily in 2013, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Marvin's Stormplus Windows, here showcased in a home on Captiva, are certified to withstand 140-mph winds. (marvin.com)
Privacy, affordability and elegance are hardly competing interests when it comes to this collection of bathroom windows, available in three vinyl frame designs. (hy-lite.com)
Fiberglass is a pragmatic choice for homes in humid climates. With handsome woodgrain options such as this one, homeowners don't have to choose between looks and performance. (plygem.com)
This clad-wood window line employs a smarter use of thermal breaks to meet Energy Star criteria in all four U.S. climate zones — while remaining faithful to strict budgets and traditional aesthetics. (jeld-wen.com)