In 2007, while researching for a book I authored entitled Why. . . Buy Replacement Windows? I found that there were 22 million windows manufactured for new home construction. During the same period, there were 33 million windows manufactured for replacement installations. The majority of these replacement windows were custom manufactured – to size – and delivered within two to three weeks from the time they were measured by a window expert and purchased by the homeowner.
In most cases, within four to six weeks from the time they were sold, they were installed in the home with little or no disruption to those living in the home – and – the windows replaced were removed and disposed of without damaging the environment.
The largest percentages of these windows enabled homeowners to live with less maintenance and contributed to energy loss reduction with great savings to those homeowners. Plus, the homeowners realized a healthier lifestyle.
This is, but one example. I could cite similar studies for insulation, roofing, heating/air conditioning, siding, gutters, cabinet re-facing, bath refitting and more.
Our industry took great products that might still be on a drawing board and created ways to get viable information to homeowners through creative marketing. We researched tools and equipment to complete the installation. We offered services that ranged from financing – to cost vs. value surveys – to customer service development. All of this, arguably, lifted this fragmented industry to become a cornerstone of the American economy.
A portion of our $325 billion total is comprised of D.I.Y. – do-it-yourself projects. Yet, the actions of promoting and advertising by retailers is what created consumer awareness, which, in turn, stimulated the D.I.Y. market and still does today. And, if you marvel at the growth of the “turnstile” end of the business through companies like Lowes, Home Depot and similar, you can thank the home improvement product and service retailers. They first took great products door-to-door to develop consumer interest and the appeal for so many of the products featured in the “turnstile” home improvement store of today.