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Sawdac Newsletter: Windows and COVID go hand-in-hand?


July 15, 2021
By Jennifer Beingessner

Topics
SAWDAC raising awareness of its Window Wise program in downtown Toronto.

Windows and COVID go hand-in-hand it seems this past year with the backlog of installs, manufacturing, and sourcing raw materials from suppliers. This has been the bane of our members’ existence. While we are looking back, we would have to reflect at how dismal our industry was from April to June 2020 but fast-forward a year later and we are seeing sales that we have never seen before in the marketplace! What’s driving this? There are a multitude of factors causing the greatest boom we have seen. Let’s start with housing prices. They have skyrocketed thanks to the cheaper mortgage rates – a 30-percent increase year over year. Consumers not traveling or going out for entertainment or spending on kids’ activities has created disposable income. This income along with the housing prices are two main factors in fueling the renovation craze. People are sitting at home with time and money on their hands. So, they are using this to upgrade, remodel and focus on energy-reducing measures for their greatest investment – their homes.

We talk to many consumers here at the office and they are saying they would rather invest in their current house, which has a ton of equity in it, than to sell and move to a much larger ticketed property, as everything is relative unless you are moving to remote areas. With this said we have seen the average spend per job increase drastically! Not only are consumers spending to replace but they are spending to upgrade on higher-priced windows, doors, and siding. This has benefitted our industry to the crippling point of 16- to 24-week delivery times that used to be four to six weeks. This, in turn, is creating frustration on the consumers part as they have this money burning a hole in their pockets and want it done right away. The calls we receive on this are actually quite funny as they don’t believe the SAWDAC member on these lead times because last time they purchased windows or doors it was on a one-month waiting time.

Now, to add to this pain, is the Greener Homes program that the federal government has just rolled out. If you haven’t heard of this program yet you can check out our webpage and Facebook for more information on this. The basis is that the consumer can receive as part of the initiative:

  • Up to $600 for a home evaluation and expert advice so homeowners can begin to plan retrofits.
  • Up to $5,000 total to help homeowners make energy efficiency retrofits.

We have worked with government on this program and stressed to them that this grant money wasn’t needed right away as we are looking at huge delays and backlogs on job completions. We asked that this money earmarked for consumers be marked to help our industry members and partners in a different manner that would help jobs to be completed faster. Well, we got what they gave us and need to work within that program as best as possible.

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Summer is here and people are starting to be able to get outside, maybe this will slow our industry down a bit as that disposable income will be spent back on entertainment and travel. Can we believe that we want this to slow down? Nah, full steam ahead everyone!


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