Vinyl windows continue to gain market share, according to the latest study from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, which said vinyl has grown at a rate faster than anticipated in earlier AAMA reports. In the important remodeling market, vinyl windows should equal wood for the first time this year, then hold steady at 9.6 million units in 1996 and 1997 while wood drops behind, AAMA said. Although vinyl windows have made strides into new construction, remodeling remains the largest vinyl market, using twice as many vinyl windows as do new homes.
AAMA, based in Palatine, Ill., bases its annual report on data from Ducker Research Co. Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Ducker looks at window sales from 1988 through 1997. Data from 1994 are estimates, and 1995-1997 figures are forecasts.
In overall residential construction, which includes both remodeling and new construction, vinyl will continue to grow, albeit slowly, while wood and aluminum will slip a bit through 1997, AAMA said.
Vinyl has made impressive market-share gains in overall construction. AAMA pegs vinyl's growth at 82 percent from 1990 through 1997 - nearly 31/2 times faster than the overall market. During that same period, wood will grow a modest 14 percent and aluminum will decline by 11.5 percent.
Ducker Research also adjusted its data pinpointing milestone vinyl years in remodeling and overall construction. In remodeling, Ducker had expected vinyl to catch up to wood in 1996; instead, that should happen this year. In overall construction, the report says vinyl actually surpassed aluminum in 1992. Earlier reports showed that happening in 1995, then 1993.
Overall construction. Peak years for total residential construction are 1994 and 1995, when total windows sold will top 45 million units. Wood remains the most popular framing material overall, selling 21.4 million units in 1994. But while wood and aluminum use slows from 1994 through 1997, vinyl will keep growing at a modest rate. Vinyl hit 13.6 million units in 1994 and will grow to 14.3 million this year, 14.7 million in 1996 and 15.1 million in 1997.
Remodeling. As vinyl holds at 9.6 million units through 1997, wood will decline from 9.6 million in 1995 to 9 million by 1997. Aluminum, hurt the most by vinyl's growth, will decline from 4 million units in 1995 to 3.6 million in 1997. Overall remodeling window sales, including all materials, were 23 million in 1994 and will reach 23.5 million in 1995, 22.9 million in 1996 and 22.5 million in 1997.
New construction. In an effort started in the late 1980s, vinyl window manufacturers continue to court builders aggressively, by designing windows specifically for new homes. AAMA continues to bump the new construction numbers up from earlier vinyl forecasts. In this year's study, vinyl stood at 4.4 million units in 1994. This year it should reach 4.7 million units, then 5.1 million in 1996 and 5.5 million in 1997. By 1997, vinyl windows should be half the size of the new construction king, wood windows. But just five ago, in 1990, vinyl was only about 13 percent the size of wood. Total new construction windows reached 22.2 million units in 1994 and will continue at an annual rate of about 21 million or 22 million through 1997.
The study also looks at storm windows and doors, patio and front doors, residential skylights and other building products. Glass-fiber-reinforced plastic doors accounted for 4 percent of the 11.2 million residential front doors sold in 1994.
The $50 study, ``Industry Statistical Review and Forecast,'' is published jointly by AAMA and the National Wood Window and Door Association. Contact AAMA in Palatine at (708) 202-1350 or NWWDA in Des Plaines, Ill., at (708) 299-5200.