When it’s time to install a quality door or window at your business or home, Wisconsin has you covered. The central part of the state is home to a cluster of window manufacturers that make and ship energy-efficient and attractive panes worldwide, adding value to Wisconsin lumber and supporting thousands of manufacturing jobs.
The value added to Wisconsin’s lumber industry – and the state’s broader economy – starts with the wood in the window frames. Window and door manufacturers here say Wisconsin lumber provides a natural advantage.
“We have numerous lumber suppliers in the state of Wisconsin,” says Keith Koenig, vice president of manufacturing/procurement at Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc., Wausau. The company purchases Wisconsin pine and hardwoods like oak, walnut and maple.
“When you can source materials you need locally, it does save on transportation costs,” Koenig adds.
Good Things Come in Trees
Purchasing Wisconsin wood supports forest owners, loggers, sawmills, truckers and others in the wood products industry. But the glass that goes into the window may also come from a Wisconsin company, according to Dave Pfahl of Medford-based Weather Shield Windows and Doors, which employs approximately 1,200 people. Weather Shield also relies on Wisconsin aluminum fabrication and metal stamping businesses to provide metal components made to spec for windows and doors.
The wood products sector serves as the foundation for many related jobs and businesses, as many of the items that protect and beautify windows and doors come from here, too. Wisconsin companies also supply finishing products such as paints, sealants, fasteners and hardware, as well as the packaging, advertising solutions and technology services.
Proximity to forests providing lumber, a long history of wood craftsmanship and established relationships with specialized input suppliers – many of them in Wisconsin – have resulted in a global reputation for Wisconsin window and door manufacturers.
Their ability to create energy efficient, environmentally responsible and aesthetically pleasing designs has given companies an edge in meeting the tastes of global consumers, including high-end home builders.
The luxury home market is a particular focus at Weather Shield, which created an entire design collection for the market, according to director of sales Dan Drost.
“This has allowed Weather Shield to take advantage of trends in the industry for sleek lines, square profiles, and large window and door units,” Drost says. “All major metro markets are seeing tremendous interest in this architectural style, and Weather Shield is poised to capture a large portion of business with our quality wood products from Wisconsin.”
Window and wooden door shipments, including wooden interior doors for nonresidential buildings, have increased since 2013, according to the Window and Door Manufacturers Association. Wood-clad windows made up about 20 percent of all window shipments from 2013 to 2015, and total shipments increased 8 to 10 percent annually. Wooden doors, especially higher-end entryway doors, are also seeing positive market growth. With positive growth forecast through 2017, Wisconsin’s window and door manufacturers have plenty of opportunity to continue beautifying homes around the world.