Volume 11, Issue 1 - January/February 2007

Do-It-Yourself Market Grows

The last few months—and years—have seen an array of do-it-yourself products popping up among the industry, attempting to encourage the consumer to install his own film and skip the tint shop step (see related story in September-October 2006 Window Film, page 22). Among some of these most recent products are ones from companies that also supply to the window film industry, including a new film kit from Atlanta-based ShatterGARD, called VehicleGARD, and Custom Cut window film from Martinsville, Va.-based Gila Film Products. Both films are supplied to the consumer cut for the consumer’s vehicle and are ready to install.

Officials at GILA said the company designed its Custom Cut program to make window film more available to consumers.
“Custom Cut window film cuts the application time nearly in half, and gives customers a professional-looking tint job at a reasonable price. Between the pre-cut film and the easy-to-use adhesive, Custom Cut is expected to make tinting your car windows a more attainable do-it-yourself project,” said David Kaliser, business director for GILA.

Custom Cut can be purchased for the entire car or for individual windows on a special order basis nationwide at Advance Auto Parts or directly from GILA.

VehicleGARD, however, is a “peel-and-stick” film kit designed to serve as an automotive security film. According to a press release issued by the company, the film can be installed in less than 3 hours. If a consumer wishes to install the VehicleGARD film himself, an instructional video and application tools are provided in the kit. The company does offer professional installation, too. 

Consumers can obtain VehicleGARD by providing the make and model of their vehicles to ShatterGARD, which then creates a customized “cut and peel” kit for that particular vehicle.

On the residential side, Portland, Ore.-based Artscape Inc. is promoting a do-it-yourself residential film. The company’s film is available at the Home Depot and Ace Hardware. Artscape provides downloadable PDFs containing installation instructions on its website.

Franz Hyland of Shades Custom Tint in Waco, Texas, said these products don’t necessarily hurt his tint business, as most do-it-yourself customers end up finding a professional tint shop later in the game.

“I feel that people want to do it themselves, but in window film, they end up spending twice the money, because they try to do it themselves and then end up bringing the vehicle in later,” he said. “They start that way and they find it’s not as easy as it seems to be.” 

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