PARKERSBURG, W. VA. – What factors can help a building products manufacturer weather the sustained economic storm? According to Simonton Windows® President Mark Savan, there are three key factors that help stabilize the boat in rocky economic waters: sustained dedication to product excellence, investing in new product growth and financial stability.
“At Simonton, we’re fortunate to have a financially strong parent company in Fortune Brands,” says Savan. “This has allowed us to continue to invest in new product research and development even during challenging economic times.
“We have been growing market share and expanding our business based on our investments in new products and strong partnerships with our customers during the past year. We believe these core business elements give us a solid roadmap leading into 2010.”
According to Savan, surviving an extended down cycle in the current economy can be difficult. “By having the support to constantly invest in new products and services, we’re able to respond to customer needs and plan for the future,” says Savan. “We’re actively planning for the future and a time when the economy rebounds.”
Enticements for Homeowners
Savan credits the addition of the $1,500 tax credit for homeowners purchasing windows meeting specific energy standards provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as being a bright spot in 2009 window sales … and one to look forward to again in 2010.
“Our fourth quarter manufacturing volume indicates that homeowners are making the smart decision to invest in energy-efficient windows now to take advantage of the tax credit they’ll soon receive thanks to this investment,” says Savan. “The really great thing is that homeowners have all of 2010 to take advantage of this federal tax credit. As a result of this stimulus activity, we’re seeing people reinvesting in their homes to make them more comfortable and energy-efficient. These purchasing decisions on replacement windows will help consumers in the long-term as they live in their homes and eventually sell them.”
Legislation currently pending would shift the federal tax credit from the .30/.30 requirement to align with the 2010 ENERGY STAR® standards. The shift of the tax credit from the artificial criteria established in the stimulus bill to the newest ENERGY STAR label would help build on the success of the tax credit by providing consumers with the most energy-efficient window based on their particular home and the climate they live in.
“All of our products will have the capability in 2010 to be ordered with options that will allow them to meet the new ENERGY STAR 2010 standards,” says Savan. “The tax credit has worked well so far, but it can work better with this proposed change. At Simonton, our commitment to meet this higher level of energy-efficiency provides homeowners, remodelers and builders with more energy-efficient options than ever before.”
What Homeowners Want
In addition to energy efficiency, Savan believes homeowners are moving towards investing more in fenestration products that add comfort and beauty to their lives. He cites the accelerating sales of windows with sound control and dampening features, like impact-resistant glass products, for people trying to keep traffic and external noises out of their homes.
“We’re also seeing that fashion and décor influence window purchasing decisions,” says Savan. “Homeowners are looking for window interiors that complement their modern maple hardwood floors or the brushed nickel hardware in their faucets. This growing personalization desire led us to create the Decorum collection by Simonton earlier this year. In this product line homeowners get all the energy-efficiency savings they need in a window combined with woodgrain interiors, matching grids and special hardware. From antique cherry to classic oak or contemporary maple, the Decorum collection satisfies the interior fashion desires for homeowners.”
Simonton Windows produces ENERGY STAR® qualified replacement and new construction windows and doors, including a line of impact-resistant products. For the second year in a row, Simonton ranked “Highest in Builder and Remodeler Satisfaction among Residential Window and Patio Door Manufacturers” in the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Builder and Remodeler Residential Window and Patio Door Satisfaction StudySM. Simonton was also ranked #1 in quality in the 2009, 2007, 2002 and 1998 Brand Use Studies sponsored by Builder magazine and has won three Best-In-Class Awards from Market Research Associates.
Founded in 1946, Simonton’s hallmark has been to deliver its made-to-order products in five days or less. Part of the home and hardware business of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO), Simonton delivers award-winning products nationwide to key markets throughout the 48 continental United States. For information, call (800) SIMONTON (1-800-746-6686) or visit www.simonton.com.