Volume 50, Issue 12 - December 2015

USGlass at 50

As USGlass enters its 50th year, the magazine’s editors are taking a look back at how topics and issues have changed throughout the years. This month, we look at the evolution of vinyl windows. (Editor’s note: USGlass magazine covered residential doors and windows until late 1999. In 2000, its publisher, Key Communications, launched a sister publication, today known as Door and Window Market (DWM) to report on the growing residential door and window industry. USGlass continues to cover the commercial fenestration market, and in recent years vinyl has been used increasingly in this space.)

In May 1989 the big question was: Can vinyl windows compete in the new construction market? The author, Paul Barbero, wondered if the nation’s factories employed efficient production methods that could produce these products at a high volume and a low cost.

… Just one year later, two cover stories (March and December) looked at how the “Vinyl Window Market Continues its Growth” by John P. McDermott. So the answer seemed to be yes: vinyl windows can definitely compete. That March article also noted an interesting trend: “While the mechanically fastened vinyl window still dominates in the U.S., the movement towards welding provides the consumer with more choices.”

Vinyl windows grew so much that in May 1988 the question was no longer whether or not to use vinyl, but rather vinyl or aluminum? The article by Chuck Gilderman detailed how the gap between the two materials was getting smaller. Gilderman made an interesting observation, hinting that the growth of vinyl, though impressive, could have been greater. “In retrospect the vinyl window market did not do a good job in introducing itself to North America,” he said. This included not training architects properly, particularly regarding its benefits in new construction applications.

In March 1993, the trend continued with “Vinyl Windows: The Opportunity is Growing.”

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