Demand for windows and doors in the US is forecast to rise 6.6 percent per year to $31.2 billion in 2014, a rebound from the 2004-2009 period, when demand fell 4.3 percent annually, reflecting the collapse of the housing market between 2007 and 2009. Although housing completions will remain below the level reached at their cyclical peak in 2006, the recovery in new home construction will fuel above-average gains in the residential market for windows and doors through 2014. These and other trends are presented in Windows & Doors, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Among material types, plastic windows and doors will see the most rapid growth through 2014, advancing over ten percent per year to $7.4 billion. Gains will be spurred by rising demand for fiberglass entry doors, which will take market share from wood and steel entry doors. Fiberglass doors are less costly, more aesthetically pleasing and more energy-efficient than steel doors. While traditionally wood doors were seen as more attractive than those made from fiberglass, improvements in processing techniques have enabled manufacturers to make fiberglass that more closely resembles wood. Further gains for plastic windows and doors will be supported by continuing demand for vinyl windows because of their low cost, durability, minimal maintenance requirements and superior energy efficiency.

Metal windows and doors accounted for the largest share of window and door demand in 2009, overtaking wood products, which saw their share of the market decline due to the steep drop in spending on residential building construction, where wood windows and doors are most commonly used. Metal windows and doors are expected to continue to lead the market in 2014. Rebounding housing activity will drive gains. Moreover, population growth in the South and West, where metal products are most often installed, will also spur advances. Homeowners concerned with preventing storm damage, such as those in coastal regions, will continue to install metal windows and doors. Demand will also be supported by the nonresidential market, where metal products are preferred due to their low cost and durability.

Demand for wood windows and doors is forecast to rise 7.2 percent per year to $10.9 billion in 2014. The rebound in residential building construction activity will drive gains, especially in the high-end housing market. Wood windows and doors are seen as aesthetically pleasing products that add value to a home. However, strong plastic window and door demand, which is taking share from wood, will prevent wood products from supplanting metal products as the market leader.

Windows & Doors (published 11/2010, 456 pages) is available for $5,100 from The Freedonia Group, Inc
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SOURCE: The Freedonia Group Inc.

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