February 03, 2020

Framing Trends Take Shape at IBS 2020

by Eric Thompson

Did you attend the International Builders Show (IBS) this year? Did you find yourself bumping shoulders with other attendees more frequently than the past few shows?

If you did, it’s because it was one of the most well-attended IBS shows in recent years, as reported by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The show drew about 65,000 building professionals from all over the world. IBS was, of course, once again combined with the Kitchen & Bath Industry (KBIS) show to form Design & Construction Week—drawing a total of 90,000 professionals to Las Vegas.

I think those attendance figures are indicative of an optimistic streak headed into 2020. The show is also a reliable opportunity to observe trends across the broader building and construction industry—and to validate some of what we’re seeing from the fenestration side of things.
Here are some things I noticed from the show this year:

Big windows, bold colors—the new normal? I’ve been tracking the growing prominence of colored vinyl windows for years now, and it feels like we’re reaching a saturation point. Modern home design emphasizes clean lines, sleek profiles and—seemingly invariably these days—black framing. My colleague Erin Johnson has noted how this style is integral to the popular “modern farmhouse” aesthetic, but black is applicable to just about any cutting edge home style.

In its own recap of the show, DWM Magazine noted some additional, insurgent colors in the market: “Bordeaux is a new color seen at a few booths throughout the show. Still a darker hue, but it was nice to see some new shades breaking in,” they wrote. “Also interesting, were some exhibitors talking about lighter shades becoming more popular. But what are those shades? Light gray—so not too far off from predominant black.” We’ll see if these or any other colors make inroads in the near future.

DWM also notes the influx of large format windows gaining greater acceptance in high-end residential new builds. It’s something Quanex has picked up on as well—high-end home owners are using fenestration to make a statement, and in some cases, to blend indoors and outdoors in exciting new ways.

Composite framing gains traction. As I walked the show floor, I picked up on something beyond color and size: Wood composites are gaining greater traction, with some of the bigger names in residential fenestration putting emphasis on these products at IBS.

Profiles capturing the aesthetics of traditional wood windows might at first seem at odds with the clean, sleek trend of black window systems that have stolen headlines in recent years—but I think it’s more indicative of a maturing marketplace. There are a variety of options available to today’s consumers, and buyers are increasingly familiar and comfortable with new window technologies. Window companies can capitalize on that confidence with new options to suit any style and taste.

Questions or comments? Contact me directly at Eric.Thompson@Quanex.com.

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: February 03, 2020 by Eric Thompson Filed under: color, IBS, windows