Mark Devaney peers into Windsor Windows & Doors and sees unparalleled craftsmanship and commitment to customers.
Many elements within a home must be aesthetically pleasing and sturdily dependable at the same time. But nowhere does form meet function more crucially than in windows and doors — and nowhere can you find a company that manufactures these products better than Windsor Windows & Doors.“Our first and foremost goal is to service our existing customer base,” says Kris Winter, Windsor’s marketing communications manager. “Windsor has had phenomenal growth, and we want to make sure our current customers’ needs are being not only met, but that we are exceeding them.” By crafting some of the finest windows and doors available and asking fair prices, Windsor steadily built its reputation of quality and value among architects, contractors and homeowners.
What began in a humble garage in Windsor Heights, Iowa, more than 50 years ago has grown remarkably. After its founding, Windsor operated mainly as a regional manufacturer of wood windows and doors. The company went through several owners until it was purchased by Woodgrain Millwork, Inc., of Fruitland, Idaho, in 1987. Woodgrain is the nation’s largest manufacture of interior pine doors.
Today, Windsor makes full use of the resources of Woodgrain’s four divisions: Millwork, Pre-finish, Doors and Windows. These divisions operate in 17 manufacturing plants located in 13 different locations, including two in South America. Woodgrain’s stability and infusion of capital have helped Windsor grow into a national manufacturer of what now numbers three distinct lines of windows and doors.
Windsor itself has streamlined its manufacturing process, has further upgraded its products’ quality and has expanded its operations into two world-class manufacturing plants. The Iowa headquarters for the window-and-door division of Windsor in West Des Moines is 250,000 square feet and employs 350. An additional 250 work in the 200,000 square-foot plant in Monroe, N.C., which was purchased in 1992.
Windsor products are found in many types, sizes and price ranges of building projects. While a large part of its business is the new-construction, single-family-home marketplace, the company also sells products targeted for multifamily and light commercial projects. The company ships windows and doors from California to Maine. “Our products are available through authorized distributors of building products who target builders and contractors,” says Winter. “Windsor has gained popularity with many custom homebuilders because we offer a wide array of standard and custom sizes, a large offering of options and a better value than our competitors.”
Windsor introduced a redesigned wood window line this past year that has met with huge success in the marketplace. The Pinnacle Series wood window and door line is available in both prime wood and with an aluminum-clad exterior. The company replaced roll-form aluminum with extruded aluminum for a stronger more durable wood-clad product. New hardware options and a wet glazing method have also enhanced the product redesign.
Windows of Opportunity
Windsor has been a leader in the use of alternative materials with its Legend Series line of window products. The Legend Series is made of cellular polyvinyl chloride, a relatively new material for the window and door industry. This material looks like wood, is paintable like wood and can be installed like a wood window. However, unlike wood that is not properly maintained, the cellular PVC material does not rot, warp, crack, well or stick. Also, it carries a 25-year warranty — the longest in the industry, according to Winter.
“Windsor was one of the first window companies to utilize this material on all exterior components of our Legend double-hung line,” says Winter. “We now have the longest track record in successfully manufacturing this line and in sales growth. These two things combined have helped us lead the market in the use of alternate and low-maintenance materials for windows.”
In addition to The Pinnacle Series and Legend Series, the company manufactures the Next Dimension Series, a complete line of vinyl windows and doors. Windsor’s attention to design and craftsmanship is evident through details like beveled, multi-chamber extrusions; interior drainage systems; durable, easy-to-operate hardware; and the best in insulated, high-performance glass. “Our vinyl products differentiate themselves from others in the marketplace by offering a design that replicates the traditional look of a wood window,” says Winter.
In its continuing efforts to focus on building low-maintenance products that are easy to install and aesthetically pleasing, Windsor is broadening its use of alternative materials. “Our primed-wood Pinnacle Series window products are gradually incorporating more and more cellular PVC and other no-rot components on the exterior to protect it from the elements and make it a longer-lasting wood window,” says Winter. “We recently introduced a No-Nail® brick mold that allows a builder to install a finished product in less time. These are a few examples on how we are designing products that are beautiful, easy to operate, require low maintenance and offer a great value.”
The window and door marketplace is a fiercely competitive environment. But while some manufacturers have come and gone, Windsor clearly has staying power. The company’s tag line — “It’s a win/win…any way you look at it” — embodies Windsor’s commitment to quality products and customer service in an effort to help its customers grow their business.
“Windsor’s mission is to provide exceptional service and products to our customers,” says Winter. “We know that the only way we can grow as a company is to help our customers grow. So, with that in mind, we will continue to provide well-designed, well-built, low-maintenance products that are beautiful and are a great value.”