Increased use of privacy windows, simple design lines in glass and the continued “hot” trend for using 4′ x 1′ transom windows are just some of the top developments that leaders at Hy-Lite® predict will impact the fenestration industry in 2018.
“We originally thought that the 2016/2017 demand for transom windows would burn out quickly, but it has not,” says Roger Murphy, president of Hy-Lite, a U.S. Block Windows Company. “In reality, our top overall selling product in 2017 was the Prairie-style 4′ x 1′ new construction framed transom window. This particular window has quadrupled in sales this year for us over last year.
“Transom-sized windows are extremely popular in baths and showers to provide light and privacy. However, builders are reporting to us on other creative applications for this window, such as door sidelights and as a way to provide light in the kitchen by installing them over cabinets.”
The Prairie window, part of the Home Designer Collection available from Hy-Lite, provides simple, clean lines in a window. Murphy relates that the same Prairie style, in a 4′ x 4′ size, was the second most popular selling company window in the company’s decorative glass category in 2017. In the category of acrylic block, the 42″ x 42″ fixed unit was the top seller, followed by the larger 47″ x 47″ window. For glass block windows, the 46-3/4″ x 46-3/4″ fixed window was the company’s best seller in that category.
“Overall, our business grew at a healthy rate in 2017,” says Murphy. “The research we’ve done and ongoing meetings with builders, designers and distributors, show that homebuyers are gravitating toward different types of unique, eye-catching windows.
“While we’re proud of our award-winning acrylic block windows, Hy-Lite is so much more than just a block window company. Our decorative glass window options are well received by builders who are looking for something new and different to set their homes apart in a competitive marketplace.
“Specialty window products absolutely complement clear glass window packages. When builders discover the ease of installation and cost effectiveness of our acrylic block, glass block and decorative glass windows, they’re pleasantly surprised.”
According to Murphy, Hy-Lite is on track to introduce several new products in 2018. New operable windows in stylish designs and popular sizes will be launched to align with the needs of designers and builders.
“We anticipate 2018 will be an extremely exciting, growth-oriented year for our company and others in the fenestration industry,” says Murphy. “As designers specify (and builders include) specialty windows in unique ways throughout the home, they’re meeting the needs of homebuyers for privacy and personal style.
“People continue to crave more light in the home. This trend has not diminished in the past decade. This means builders are including our privacy windows in an ever-increasing number of areas of the home. Stairwells. Closets. Halls. Small bathrooms. These are all ideal for integrating privacy windows into the home to capture the essential benefits of natural light while answering the need for privacy.”
According to Murphy, using privacy products adds very little complexity to an installed window package for a home. To the contrary, fixed and operable privacy windows throughout the home add differentiation and profitability to a window package for a builder.
“Our research shows how our windows give builders the rare opportunity to increase style, add much-needed privacy and increase the profitability of their homes,” says Murphy. “By knowing what buyers are willing to pay for our products, it can be easily shown how a builder can add profitability straight to his bottom line.”