Fenestration Review

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Fenestration Canada – Fall 2015

A look around the country


October 21, 2015
By Skip Maclean

Topics

There has always been interest in what is happening in the industry in general and the differences experienced in the various regions across the country. I recently reached out to several individuals and companies across Canada to elicit their take on current and future business activity. Here are some of the responses.

First I asked about the general business climate in the market.

  • “Business has been strong since May and remained so all summer. Increased competition however has put a strain on margins.” – a fabricator in Atlantic Canada
  • “Sales in Ontario started slowly due to weather concerns but have rebounded strongly during the summer months.” – a fabricator in Ontario
  • “Demand for new homes is down year-to-date in Manitoba. The renovation market has remained strong but increased competition is creating a consumer buying market.” – a fabricator in Manitoba
  • “Single-family home construction remains strong, while custom home builds had a very slow start. Multifamily market is strong with condo, apartment and townhome construction doing very well.” – a fabricator in B.C.
  • “Skittish, due to oil pricing and the trickle-through effect on the whole economy – a supplier in Alberta

Next, I asked for forecasts for the balance of 2015 and beyond.

  • “U.S. exchange rates will continue to have a major impact on the price of raw materials, primarily glass and hardware – a fabricator in Ontario
  • “Renovation will remain strong in 2015 and beyond providing our economy does not go into recession.” – a fabricator in Manitoba
  • “Results for 2015 should remain strong for the balance of 2015 and housing starts are forecasted to increase from 18,700 units in 2015 to 19,200 in 2016 – a fabricator in B.C.
  • “Unless oil pricing shows a dramatic improvement, we expect volumes to suffer by as much as 30 per cent in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.” – a supplier in Alberta
  • “Even with an unstable economy being projected, it seems that most window and door manufacturers are optimistic for 2016.” – a supplier in Ontario
  • “Prediction for the balance of 2015 is that we will experience a very busy season and we are predicting slightly higher volumes for 2016. Manufacture-direct and the influx of the non-regulated supply of window and door products could adversely affect the market.” a fabricator in Atlantic Canada
  • “The focus is on developing value-added products, increasing productivity and improving margins.” – a fabricator/supplier in Ontario
  • “As the U.S. emerges from the downturn, additional opportunities are present for those companies looking to expand their sales and territories.” – a supplier in Quebec
  • “New product introductions that better suit the changing consumer trends (more minimalistic designs) will be important to ensuring future growth.”  – a supplier in Ontario
  • “Better than 2015 but company growth might have to come from new development and new business rather than organic growth. Lots of question marks remain for 2016.” – a supplier from Quebec

Undertaking this endeavor has reinforced my belief that events such as Windoor and the Fenestration Canada AGM are critical to the industry and all its stakeholders. Many thanks to the following contributors: Westeck Windows in Alberta, Extreme Window and Entrance in New Brunswick, Mennie Canada in Ontario, De-Mar Window Hardware in Ontario, TruTech Doors in Ontario, Fenestration Components International in Alberta, Paramount Windows and Doors in Manitoba, AquaSurtech in Quebec, Sunview Patio Doors in Ontario, ODL Canada in Ontario, Westech Building Products in Alberta, and Vitre-Art in Quebec.

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Skip MacLean is president of Fenestration Canada. He is business development manager for Tru-Tech Doors and has over 40 years’ experience in the window and door industry.