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This article first appeared in the PB April 2014 issue of Pro Builder.

Energy efficiency and price are among the top three considerations when builders choose windows and doors, according to Professional Builder’s 2014 Windows and Doors survey.

While past surveys showed builders increasingly offered more energy-efficient windows in a bid to differentiate their product, this year’s poll showed most homebuyers did not choose to upgrade their window selection. Price could be the barrier or, perhaps, buyers are satisfied with their standard window selection. Another explanation from a Massachusetts builder is that windows are the most misunderstood and undervalued component in a home. “It amazes me that there are so many window brands available with such varying ranges of quality and performance,” he wrote. “The misunderstanding and undervaluing is being done by both homeowners and builders because both parties are not interested in the true performance of the window they are purchasing.”
Methodology and Respondent Information
This survey was distributed between March 3 and March 14, 2014, to a random sample of Professional Builder’s print and digital readers. No incentive was offered. By closing date, a total of 223 eligible readers responded. Respondent breakdown by discipline: 35 percent diversified builder/remodeler; 27.3 percent custom home builder; 13.2 percent architect/designer engaged in home building; 6.4 percent production builder; 3.6 percent manufactured, modular, log home, or systems builder; 2.3 percent multifamily; and 12.3 percent other. Almost 67 percent of respondents sold one to five homes in 2013, and 9 percent sold more than 50 homes.
Two-thirds of the 223 builders, architects, and designers who responded said the average size of windows is about the same as the window units they specified for homes over the past three years. More than half indicated the number of windows they specify for their new houses (a third of respondents specify 10 to 15 windows for each home followed by 23 percent who average more than 25 units for each house) has not changed during the same period.
More findings about the top considerations for selecting windows and doors are presented in the charts that follow: