PARKERSBURG, WV – After two years of federal energy tax credit offerings that provided incentives for homeowners to replace products in the home with upgraded energy efficient items, experts at Simonton Windows® believe there will be a shift in homeowner product needs in 2011.

“The Federal Energy Tax Credit available to consumers under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 definitely raised the awareness of energy efficiency options in windows during 2009 and 2010,” says Sid Spear, vice president of sales and marketing for Simonton Windows. “This has been a positive educational experience for homeowners. Now, with the expiration of the tax credit at the end of 2010, we believe homeowners will carry that knowledge with them for future window purchases, but a shift will take place with homeowners requesting more aesthetic appeal in windows.”

The Decorum™ by Simonton product line, featuring interior woodgrain and exterior color options, meets the consumer demand Spear sees elevating in 2011. “Sales of this product line are already higher than anticipated, which indicates to us that consumers are eager to select aesthetic features to add to the overall interior and exterior beauty of their homes,” says Spear.

“Homeowners appreciate the ability to customize the full look of their home, matching the interior woodgrain of their windows with their laminate wood flooring, cabinets and furnishings. The Decorum product line gives consumers options for doing that with interior choices of authentic Antique Cherry, Maple and Contemporary Oak. They can also choose their window hardware to complement the cabinetry hardware or faucet systems. Selections for Decorum hardware include Brushed Nickel, Oil-rubbed Bronze, Polished Brass, Dark Bronze, White, Driftwood and Tan. And, on the outside of the home, replacement window frame options now include the colors of Brick, Chocolate, Bronze, Cream, Driftwood, Pine and Tan.

Closing Out 2010
At Simonton Windows, Spear and his team are seeing strong “pull ahead” orders during the fourth quarter of 2010. “We believe some people who were originally planning to purchase replacement windows during the first part of 2011 are ordering them now to take advantage of the final days of the federal tax credit,” says Spear.

“Upon expiration of the tax credit, we believe consumers --- in particular, baby boomers --- will broaden their selection scope for windows in the year ahead to include more maintenance-free products with proven track records for strong performance and superior value. We feel very good about the long-term prospects for the windows market.”

Helping Contractors Secure The Sale
Support tools and programs for contractors are a constant priority at Simonton Windows. Plans in 2011 call for the introduction of business model programs as part of the educational Simonton University program, along with the development of tools to help contractors close more homeowner sales.

“While no company can compete with or replace a government incentive program like we saw during the past two years, we believe that Simonton’s history of success and top-quality product offerings serve as their own incentive for future sales,” says Spear. “When a contractor sits at a kitchen table to close the deal with a homeowner on a replacement window project, we’re right there with them.

“We’re with them through our 65-year company history of supplying top-quality products that bring value to the home. We’re with them through our multiple J.D. Power and Associates high rankings that showcase our outstanding performance with consumers and contractors. And, we’re with them by offering the best value proposition possible, so that both the homeowner and the contractor fully know that they’re receiving maximum return on investment.”

Bright Future for Vinyl Windows
Industry numbers show that vinyl windows continue to chip away at market share from wood and aluminum windows. The aesthetic offerings of vinyl products, combined with energy efficiency features, appeal to homeowners who view their windows as an investment in their homes. “One of our many goals is to continually offer new products and features in our vinyl window lines,” says Spear. “By always enhancing our windows and patio doors, homeowners receive products that perform solidly in the home, offer a great upgrade solution for their ease of lifestyle, and provide good value.

“Again, the Decorum by Simonton is a terrific example of how a company can provide homeowners with exactly what they want. People like the look of wood, but not the inherent problems of wood related to long-term maintenance. So, we created the Decorum line to provide the authentic look of woodgrain interiors without maintenance hassles. These windows are also extremely energy-efficient. That’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

Simonton Windows produces ENERGY STAR® qualified replacement and new construction windows and doors, including a line of impact-resistant products. Simonton ranked “Highest in Builder and Remodeler Satisfaction among Residential Window and Patio Door Manufacturers” in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010, 2009, 2008 Builder and Remodeler Residential Window and Patio Door Satisfaction StudySM. The company also ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Residential Window and Patio Door Manufacturers” in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Windows and Patio Doors Satisfaction Study SM.

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 currently administered by LBM Journal Research Institute.

SOURCE: Simonton Windows

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 security business of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO), Simonton delivers award-recognized products nationwide to key markets throughout the 48 continental United States. Simonton is a founding sponsor of The Weather Museum and a supporter of Homes for Our Troops.

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