Fiberglass is Old News for Canada; Relatively New to the U.S.
In Canada, fiberglass has been used for decades to combat the extreme cold temperatures. In the U.S., manufacturers such as Milgard began selling its WoodClad line of fiberglass windows in 1990. Marvin jumped in 6 years later with its Integrity product and in 2003, Impervia was launched by Pella.
As technology advances and more and more major manufacturers enter this emerging market, fiberglass will increasingly become the material of choice of most consumers. While fiberglass windows may cost a little more upfront, in the long run, they are an investment that lasts. Fiberglass windows have a life expectancy of 40 years compared to vinyl at 15 years.
It is predicted that fiberglass will transform residential window market the same way plastics did 25 years ago.
Facts: Study done by Ducker Research
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association asked Ducker, a leading research firm, to break out fiberglass windows as it's own category rather than grouping it into a general composites category. This will give a better understanding of the growth of fiberglass. The 2004 U.S. Industry Statistical Review and forecast showed that the use of fiberglass in windows grew by nearly 30% from 2003 to 2004. Fiberglass windows, including composites and hybrids, are estimated to grow between 10-20% annually for the next 3 to 5 years according to the North American Residential Window and Patio Door Multi-Client Study published in 2005 by Fry Consultants.
Once the definition of what constitutes a fiberglass window becomes more accurate it is estimated that the reporting will be more precise. And market share will reflect those numbers.