Demand for doors and windows in the U.S. is forecast to rise 9.3 percent per year to $34.2 billion in 2016. Growth will be spurred by a rebound in housing completions and gains in building construction spending from a depressed 2011 base. From 2006 to 2011, both housing completions and construction expenditures dropped precipitously, causing door and window demand to experience a similar decline. 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 doors and windows will see the fastest gains through 2016, advancing nearly 12 percent per year to $9.8 billion. Growth will be driven by continuing demand for plastic products because consumers perceive them as energy-efficient and providing a high degree of value, according to the report. Plastic doors and windows have taken market share from wood and metal products in recent decades and will continue to do so over the forecast period. Efforts by manufacturers to improve the aesthetics of plastic products by offering fiberglass doors with woodgrain textures or vinyl windows in a wider range of colors will promote demand in both unit and value terms. Metal doors and windows accounted for the largest share of door and window demand in 2011, and are expected to continue to lead the market in 2016, the report states. Rebounding housing activity will spur gains. Population growth in the South and West will promote demand, as metal products are often installed in those regions because there is less concern about heat loss through fenestration products. Increasing nonresidential building construction spending will also boost metal door and window demand. Metal products are often installed in nonresidential structures because of their durability and low cost.

Demand for wood doors and windows is forecast to rise 10.2 percent per year to $10.4 billion in 2016. Demand for wood products will be checked by competition from plastic doors and windows. However, consumer perception of wood as an aesthetically pleasing material that adds value to a home will help boost demand, according to the report. Many builders and homeowners, especially in the mid-range and high-end housing markets, will continue to specify wood products.

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