Demand for windows, doors to rise almost 10%

U.S. demand for windows and doors is expected to rise 9.3% annually through 2016, according to a study conducted by the Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research firm. The forecasted growth is attributed to a rebound in housing completions and gains in building construction from a depressed 2011 base. 

Plastic windows and doors will see the fastest gains through 2016, advancing nearly 12% per year. Growth will be driven by consumer perception that plastic is energy efficient and provides a high degree of value.  Plastic windows and doors have taken market share from wood and metal products in recent decades and will continue to do so over the forecast period. Efforts by manufacturers to improve the aesthetics of plastic products by offering fiberglass doors with wood grain textures or vinyl windows in a wider range of colors will promote demand in both unit and value terms. 

Metal windows and doors accounted for the largest share of window and door demand in 2011, and are expected to continue to lead the market in 2016. Rebounding housing activity will also increase demand for metal products. Population growth in the South and West will contribute to gains, as metal products are often installed in those regions because there is less concern about heat loss through fenestration products. Increased spending on nonresidential building construction will also boost metal window and door demand. Metal products are often installed in nonresidential structures because of their durability and low cost. 

Demand for wood windows and doors is forecast to rise 10.2% per year through 2016. Consumer perception of wood as an aesthetically pleasing material that adds value to a home will help boost sales. Many builders and homeowners, especially in the mid-range and high-end housing markets, will continue to specify wood products.