“It can be a little overwhelming.”

“These things are just so massive.”

“You could get lost in here.”

Those are just a few of the comments made by attendees of the International Builders’ Show, while traversing Hall C’s towering door and window exhibits. Amid the hustle and bustle of what feels like an indoor city, small- to mid-sized companies try to gain an edge by luring people in with unique products.

BasikWall’s flip up window drew more attention than the company expected.

BasikWall leaned on switchable glass to draw builders into its booth, but they soon found another product more alluring, said Art Davis, one of the company’s representatives. Many were fixated on a new flip-up window that can be used as a pass-through feature, connecting indoor-outdoor areas, such as bars or kitchens. The product folds upward like a bi-fold door, but seals against a counter or other surface in the down position.

Several companies tucked their displays away from larger door and window manufacturers, instead setting up in other halls and areas, such as the outdoor exhibits. Accoya Wood exhibited in the South Hall, where its decking and other outdoor structures fit the motif. At the same time, the company cross-educated builders on its acetated wood, which is also used in doors and windows.

Nearby, ClearVue Glass displayed small samples of its products, amid a backdrop of decking, railing and outdoor products.

The 2024 International Builders’ Show felt like an indoor city.

Despite the juxtaposition, “Builders have been interested in fireproof glass,” said George Mammen, one of ClearVue’s representatives. Companies building in “confidential settings” and on niche, high-end projects were also interested in bullet-resistant glass, he said.

Cascadia Windows and Doors also hoped to provide a change of pace in the South Hall, by showing cross sections of fiberglass windows, with graphite-infused, rigid foam insulation. The company’s Universal Series can compete with products offered by the biggest door and window companies, said Cameron Hendrix, business development sales representative, with U-value ratings of between 0.13 and 0.17. But by exhibiting away from larger exhibits, “It helped us to avoid getting lost in a sea of door and window companies,” Hendrix said.

Still Growing

As companies pile up through acquisitions, brands are consolidated into even larger displays. With an acquisition in the works by Miter Brands, PGT Innovations was at the show, proceeding on existing plans for its WinDoor line of luxury doors and windows. The company held an exclusive event where it unveiled a new logo, a fresh rebranding, and a partnership with HGTV celebrity designer Sarah Baeumler.

In other cases, acquisitions have blurred the lines among products. In Masonite’s booth, the acquisition of Endura Products (acquired by Masonite in January 2023) resulted in new, M-Protect entry doors.

“The part that’s been really interesting for us is making sure that we come up with full door systems and full solutions, leveraging the Masonite slab business and the Endura component business, forming functioning products that meet consumer needs,” said Jennifer Renaud, Masonite’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Cornerstone Building Brands worked hard at the show, representing more than a dozen different brands under the company umbrella.

Based on the company’s Performance Door platform, M-Protect doors add a new, multi-point locking system by Endura for added security. To demonstrate the strength of its locks, Masonite dropped 45-pound weights against the latching edge of its doors. Doors with standard, single-point locks broke away on contact, while an M-Protect door was unphased—even after repeated attempts and demonstrations.

Meanwhile, Masonite is set to be acquired by Owens Corning.

But brand mashups can also create a marketing puzzle, said Matt Bereda, vice president of marketing for Cornerstone Brands. With nearly two dozen brands under the same umbrella, “Trying to define a value proposition for each one of those brands that doesn’t overlap … as the marketing person, that’s one of the tasks on my calendar,” Bereda said.

Working Outside the Lines

Others have promoted themselves to additional sectors—including new fads in modular construction. By supplying windows for factory made modules used in everything from accessory dwellings to high-rise apartments, some door and window manufacturers have found a niche in modular. For WinTech Windows, modular construction represents about 15% of total business, said Walter Branch, general manager. The sector serves as a third revenue stream for All Weather Architectural Aluminum, said Benjamin Woo, director of marketing and channel management.

“Modular is exploding,” Woo said.

Among certain models of modular homes, the company’s products “are like OEM,” he said.

As a testing ground, smaller exhibitors know that IBS can make or break concepts. After landing a Best of IBS award in 2023, in the Door and Window Products category, “I sold out after the show,” said Jim Newenhouse, owner and founder of Door Stud.

This year, Newenhouse is joined by countless other companies and inventors—all hoping to leave Las Vegas as winners.

IBS runs through Thursday, February 29.

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