Volume 14, Issue 2 - March 2013


So No More Gambles
Vegas Show Proves Industry Moving Toward Stability
by Tara Taffera

Are we there yet? It’s a question many industry members and experts posed throughout the last several years. What they really meant was: are we out of the recession yet? Are builders going to start building again? Are twenty-something’s going to move out of their parents’ basements? We may not be “there” yet but we’re “getting there.” And nowhere were the signs of this journey more evident than at the International Builders’ Show (IBS) held January 22-24 in Las Vegas.

IBS was packed with attendees sporting a palpable feeling of optimism and excitement. Exhibitors had a variety of products on display, and many trends from past years continue to evolve and generate buzz. (Our complete coverage including four days of video, web stories and blogs all can be found on dwmmag.com). Check out some of the biggest trends and products from Las Vegas.

One-Stop Shop
You can call it a “shop” but Ply Gem is a billion dollar company offering solutions for the home’s exterior. With the addition of a moulding line, which debuted at IBS in a 9,000 square foot booth, the company is “committed to this industry,” said John Stephenson, senior vice president of marketing.

That single source supplier doesn’t just offer products either. The company launched its ProTalk educational series which took place in its booth.

“Attendees always have the intention of attending seminars, but never make it off the show floor so we are bringing the educational sessions to our booth,” Stephenson said.

Fiberglass Brings Beauty to Show Floor
Fiberglass continues to grow in popularity and this was evident from the amount of these products found on the show floor. With Integrity Windows showcasing its array of doors and windows, and Therma-Tru making a splash in the entryway, those in attendance had a variety of options from which to choose.

There were also some new players in the market. Fiberglass supplier Diversified Lineal Systems made its debut at IBS. The new company is a unit of Diversified Structural Composites. Director of operations Mark Back, reported that the company will be rolling out several new products throughout 2013 concluding with a new product to be introduced in 2014 at IBS. “We will have a full line of products for the market,” he said.

Sliding Wall Systems Continue to Awe
You can call them movable wall systems, sliding wall systems, lift and slide, all while uttering the phrase, “letting the outside in.” However you refer to them, these product lines continue to gain attention on show floors such as IBS.

Products at the Kolbe booth, for one, proved that movable wall systems continue to gain in popularity.

“It seems every product we have here fits that category,” said Cindy Bremer, vice president of marketing at Kolbe and Kolbe.

One of those products is Kolbe’s new TerraSpan 90-degree corner door unit. At more than 9 feet tall, the lift-and-slide door panels on the right side of the corner unit span 12 feet. The panels on the left side stretch more than 21 feet and pocket into the wall, practically disappearing to provide wide, open access to the outdoors.

Royals’ Overture folding doors are available for residential and commercial applications. When fully retracted, the product provides easy access to exterior living and a great feeling of wide open space truly bringing the inside out, says Royal. The company offers a complete custom-sized door program manufactured for large openings in many configurations including a maximum width of 24 feet (8 panels) and a maximum height of 10 feet.

Color—More than a Splash
You’ve heard the term “a splash of color.” Well in the door and window industry, companies continue to evolve way beyond the splash. This move toward more colors—bigger and bolder at that—seems to coincide with another growing trend: focus on contemporary designs. Even companies steeped in tradition are embracing the new. “People always think of us as a company offering historic wood windows, which we will always offer, but we are definitely placing an emphasis on contemporary designs,” said Berit Griffin, public relations coordinator at Marvin Windows and Doors.

Components, Apps and More
Walking the halls at IBS, amongst all the booths featuring door and window systems, you will find companies offering the integral components to be used in those configurations.

Doorframer introduced its new Door Fast Closure Plug. Application is quick and easy with a couple of simple twists by hand: no tools are required on the line or for removal at the time of door installation. The company says the product also includes a ratcheting stay-tight system, quick-snap separation that keeps both parts together until applied; and a single-cavity molding for enhanced cost savings. The product fits every door from 2 3/8- to 2 ¾-inch backsets, split-and-flat jamb styles and jamb thicknesses up to 1 inch. 

And when it comes to technology, the question is: who doesn’t have an app? More and more companies can now answer, “Yep there’s an app for that.” Simpson Door, Royal Building Products, Masonite, and more all featured apps that can aid a variety of groups, including homeowners, in selection of their door and window products.

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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