The vinyl window market is both expanding and contracting.
Unit sales continue to increase, but fewer players are in the game.
According to the annual Industry Statistical Review and Forecast published jointly by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the National Wood Window & Door Association, the number of vinyl windows sold in the United States grew 12 percent in 1997 compared with 1996. The study, authored by Ducker Research Co. Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., lists window sales by material type: wood, vinyl and aluminum.
Vinyl accounted for an estimated 19.4 million of the 48.9 million total windows installed in residential construction last year, according to the study, which forecasts vinyl windows to overtake wood in total units by next year. Ducker estimated slightly more than 12 million vinyl windows were installed in remodeling and replacement situations, while 7.3 million went into new construction in 1997.
Vinyl has dominated the replacement-window market since 1995, according to Ducker, while wood still leads in new construction. But vinyl is the only material that actually gained ground in new construction in 1997. Both wood and aluminum fell off slightly in that category last year.
In fact, the Ducker study calls for vinyl to become the leading material for new construction windows by 2001.
Meanwhile, the number of companies engaged in extruding window lineals continues to decline as acquisitions narrow the field.
That change is reflected in Plastics News' chart of window extruders this year. Instead of the usual 15 players listed, this year there are only 10.
The reason: acquisitions.
CertainTeed Corp. of Valley Forge, Pa., announced June 8 it is buying out the other half of Insulate LLC of Auburn, Wash.
CertainTeed and Insulate had been operating as a joint venture since CertainTeed bought into Insulate Industries Inc. in 1996. The new configuration brings Insulate fully within the CertainTeed family, and Insulate no longer is listed separately on the window chart. Insulate founders Annette Edwards and Garry Wamsley have retired from the firm, CertainTeed reported.
Another acquisition also is reflected on the window chart: Spectus Systems Inc. is now part of Mikron Industries Inc. of Kent, Wash. That change came too late to show up in Plastics News' overall PPT ranking, but is reflected in the window breakout chart.