November 05, 2020

Qualities to Look for in Your Vinyl Supplier

by Eric Thompson

2020 has been a wild ride for everyone. But as we look toward the end of the year, we’re seeing some signs of stability, at least compared to earlier in the year. Specifically, demand has come back strong in the residential housing market, and looks to remain that way into 2021.

Take it from this recent piece in Window + Door magazine:

[Connor Lokar of ITR Economics] says housing was set to have “a killer 2020 before it stumbled in March and April.” Nevertheless, the market is still a very positive signal with what he calls impressive single-family housing numbers and mortgage rates that are supportive of growth in single-family housing starts. He anticipates housing starts to continue their upward trajectory and encouraged suppliers to prepare for higher demand throughout the next year.

If you’re a residential window and door manufacturer, there’s two important questions: Are you prepared? And are your key suppliers prepared to keep up with you?

Vinyl windows represent approximately two-thirds of the market, and that means in order to keep up with demand, you’ll need high levels of reliability, service and support from your extrusions suppliers.  With this in mind, I got to thinking about a few things that window and door makers should be looking for in order to capitalize on demand into next year:

Keeping up with your production. Capacity is an important metric when demand heats up—in order to meet the needs of your customers, you need the right products and components from your suppliers in a timely fashion.

Of course, many organizations have adjusted throughout the pandemic, and supply chains around the world were shaken significantly. As such, some vinyl suppliers might be more prepared than others to ramp back up to pre-pandemic levels of production. It’s worth having these conversations with your suppliers now to make sure you’re in the right position to succeed.

Helping you differentiate. Today’s high-performance vinyl extrusions can provide a wide range of desirable attributes that customers are increasingly asking for. A few of them include:

  • Sound control. I’ve been hearing more and more chatter throughout the industry about acoustic performance as of late, and not without good reason. In a world where customers are seeking whole-home comfort, a vinyl profile that can help lessen noise ingress from the outside world is a striking feature.
  • Modern colors. I’ve written plenty about colored vinyl windows in the recent past—and it’s because it’s one of the biggest trends in residential housing. Today’s consumers are increasingly asking for modern, darker colors that won’t fade over time.
  • Outstanding thermal performance. Energy performance has become not just a feature, but a baseline expectation for new windows today. It’s important your extrusions can live up to and exceed those expectations.
High level of service and support. If you’re thinking about developing a new line of windows, or if you’re interested in improving the performance of an existing one, your vinyl supplier should be able to help you achieve your goals. Robust technical support can be invaluable here, especially as you work to hit the performance figures you’re seeking with the right combination of high-performing vinyl and insulating glass. A supplier who can help with testing, troubleshooting and quality assurance can make a big difference.

Working with a vinyl supplier who demonstrates all of these qualities is one way for window and door manufacturers to meet today’s demand and capitalize into next year. Questions or comments? Contact me directly at

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Posted: November 05, 2020 by Eric Thompson Filed under: customer, vinyl, windows