At Simonton, a leading window producer, the business philosophy is to take a whole new point of view in making the best, energy-efficient product, according to Lorie Russo.
The goal for Simonton Windows® is more than making the best windows. The company also strives to make lasting impressions.And what could leave more of an impression than producing and delivering a window order within seven days – sometimes in as little as four days – of the request?
At Simonton, explains Communications Director Peggy Hayes, the mission is to be customer-service driven – before, during and after the sale is made. “We focus on relationships,” Hayes says. “The seven-day delivery is one of our strongest points. When you can custom-build and deliver a window order in seven days, that’s something. The majority are delivered in four days. That speed has really helped us to grow our business, along with our customers’ business.” And it also says a lot for a company that annually sells more than a million vinyl residential and light-commercial-building windows and patio doors, resulting in sales of more than $200 million.
Simonton, Hayes says, also has achieved its aims through its constant efforts at streamlining production through SMART manufacturing and continuous-improvement programs. “We have Super Service teams that are dedicated to individual customers, and that talk to the same customers all the time,” she explains.
With more demands placed on energy efficiency and energy conservation, Hayes says, Simonton more and more finds itself focusing on the basics of window design and manufacturing: safety, sound, security and solar. “We’re always testing our products for peak performance and conducting structural and thermal testing, along with tests for water and wind resistance,” she says.
Beginnings in Innovation
The company was founded in 1946 by Fred Simonton and his wife, Sybil. Then called Penn Vent Awning, it was located in Pennsboro, W.Va., and initially specialized in manufacturing aluminum awnings and marquees. But seeing a growing demand in aluminum products, the company patented several innovative products including the Penn Vent Aluminum Pan and Cover Awning.
The product line expanded through the years. In 1968, the company branched into the aluminum window and door market under the leadership of W. Sterling Simonton, the founders’ son. Leveraging existing capacities, Sterling Simonton designed two new aluminum window products, Thermo Boss and Energy Capp, whereupon window sales began to outpace awning sales. At the same time, the company launched its mission to produce and deliver a window order within 14 days.
Recognizing the superior performance of vinyl over aluminum, the company began to fabricate vinyl replacement windows in 1981. It also entered into a licensing agreement with CertainTeed Corporation, which launched a name change to Simonton Building Products Inc. In 1989, when Sterling Simonton retired, SBR, Inc., a holding company in West Virginia, purchased the company. In 1993, Simonton Building Products became Simonton Windows, and with an existing 100,000 square-foot plant, the company opened a second full-service facility in Harrisville, W.Va.
Through the 1990s, sales continued to soar with the addition of three production facilities in West Virginia, Illinois and California, making Simonton one of the largest and most respected vinyl window manufacturers in the country.
Windows of Opportunity
Among a host of window and door options, Simonton offers two premier vinyl-replacement lines, Impressions and Owens Corning Mosaic. “They’re both in their second full year and are top-of-the-line products,” Hayes says. “They are marketed by dealers directly to homeowners.”
Simonton Impressions® offers multiple features that ensure homeowners that they are getting the most structurally sound, energy-efficient windows and doors. Says Simonton President John Brunett, “Like all of our lines, the Simonton Impressions® family is engineered for superior performance, thermal efficiency and long-lasting beauty.”
The Impressions® 7500 windows feature a fusion-welded frame and sash, the Denny Clip™ pivot system for perfect sash alignment, a contoured lift rail and the triple-stepped Simonton Sill®. Flush-mounted Air Loks™ provide partial ventilation while a stainless steel, constant-force, three-quarter coil spring balance system provides a constant tension to hold the window open no matter what the position. These windows are available in many styles, including double-hung, slider, casement, garden window, patio door, picture, bay, bow and geometric. The 7500’s exterior features a coved design to blend with any architectural style. The windows are energy-efficient and durable, and require little maintenance.
A Super Sensor glass package is an option available on Simonton Impressions® 7500 windows, a feature that helps to create a secure, energy-efficient, safe and sound-deadening window. The package combines Low ESC/Argon-filled glass, warm-edge technology through the unique Super Spacer® spacing system and KeepSafe® laminated glass. Other notable benefits are that the PVB inner glass layer filters 98 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays and significantly reduces sound transmission.
Simonton also manufactures vinyl replacement and new-construction windows for Owens Corning, a world leader in high-performance glass fiber composites and building materials systems.
Among the company’s premier Mosaic™ line of 9500 windows is the Mosaic™ Hi-R glass, available on 9500 double-hung, slider and picture windows. The option combines three panes of glass, two Low ESC coatings, Super Spacer® and Krypton gas to create a super energy-efficient glass package. The features increase thermal properties and, as a result, help to keep the inside of a home more comfortable, regardless of outside temperature, says Christopher Burk, Simonton’s marketing manager of the Owens Corning window brand. Inside each window and patio door frame, multiple chambers create dead-air spaces that act as insulation and increase energy efficiency. In addition, unique spacer systems help to increase edge-of-glass temperatures. The Mosaic™ glass package combines a terrained solid silicone spacer and 1-inch double-strength, Low-ESC/Argon-filled glass to produce a superbly energy-efficient window.
Mosaic™ 9500 windows come in more than 15 styles, including double-hung, slider, casement, picture, geometric, bay and bow. Each is custom-sized and features a chamfered exterior frame with a slightly beveled edge to add an elegant exterior look. These windows come in four colors: white, tan, honey oak wood grain and amber oak wood grain.
Other products by Simonton include the StormBreaker series vinyl replacement windows, which meet the stringent certification requirements of Dade County, Fla. To receive the approval, says Simonton Brand Manager William Lazor, the windows had to perform at a high level for window load and water resistance. All of the tests were required to take place in a Metro-Dade-approved laboratory. The StormBreaker windows have several options, including full screen, many shades of tinted glass and a variety of grid designs.
Prism® by Simonton is a line of versatile vinyl replacement windows and patio doors. These are manufactured exclusively for Norandex® and come in four design packages: Platinum, Ultra-Gold, Gold and Bronze. Features include a stainless steel, constant-force spring balance system, a tilt-in/lift-out sash and the unique Intercept® spacer system. All of these windows are energy-efficient and come with many features, including an insulating glass unit; multiple, integrated weather seals; and multichambered profiles, which all help to lower utility bills.
Reflections® is sold through independent building-supply distributors. The replacement line includes the 5100 and 5500 series, with many design options and state-of-the-art thermal technology. The 5500 series comes in several unique geometric shapes, including half-rounds, quarter-rounds, eyebrows, octagons and trapezoids, and have the same energy-efficient features as Simonton’s other high-quality lines. The 5100 series offers the high-quality extras of the 5500 on a mechanically fastened frame with a fusion-welded sash.
ProFinish®, a line of vinyl new-construction windows and patio doors, offers builders and contractors major installation benefits. The line uses the latest in warm-edge technology; the windows are constructed from only premium vinyl that will never pit, peel or chalk. The line’s cornerstone is the ProFinish® Double Hung. The beveled exterior, combined with the fusion-welded miter-cut frame and sash, ensures squareness and provides structural integrity. A triple-chambered, compound-cut sill also enhances structural stability, and the 10-degree slope provides quick water drainage even in driving rains.
Recently, the company signed an agreement with METALLON Inc.™ to develop a line of window products featuring its revolutionary METALLON finishes. The line includes both replacement and new construction windows in a variety of shapes and styles, and will feature several METALLON metal coatings and finishings. The coating is more than 95 percent metal, and is adhered to surfaces using a cold-spray application process. The result is a unique metal look on virtually any surface, including wood, polyurethane, vinyl and aluminum. The new line is targeted to luxury and custom homebuilders and architects.
Simonton’s garden window is a one-piece unit custom-sized in the factory to fit any home. This unique window is the ideal place for plants or to showcase white pionite laminate or wood veneer in either oak or birch that can be stained or painted to match your home’s interior. In addition, a strong, polished, clear glass shelf adds to the garden window’s beauty as well as functionality.
Simonton also offers vinyl replacement and new-construction patio doors. These replacement doors are produced with adjustable, corrosion-resistant rollers and a stainless steel cap that allow the sash to open and close smoothly for the life of the door, while the adjustable screen rollers ensure that the screen will operate as effectively. The screen frames are made extra-durable with foam filling and steel reinforcing bars at all four corners. The doors include 3/4-inch tempered glass and an Intercept® spacer system for premium thermal performance.
For Owens Corning, Simonton also produces Owens Corning Luminess™ 250 windows, constructed of long-lasting vinyl. Multichambered profiles enhance both the strength and thermal performance. Each thermally superior, dual-pane IG unit has features to increase existing energy-efficient properties, and an integral overlapping and interlocking meeting rail with dual weather stripping to decrease air infiltration.
The Owens Corning Luminess™ 400 for new homes is easy to install and boasts virtually unlimited style options, dependable construction and state-of-the-art energy efficiency. Its frame depth makes the line easily compatible with most exteriors, including wood, brick and vinyl siding. The 400 comes with an extruded J-channel and has a nailing fin with prepunched holes, making installation simple.
Owens Corning’s unique line of garden windows is made of durable vinyl and is structurally sound. A fusion-welded frame and sash increase the strength of the window while the tip IG unit, designed at a constant 35-degree slope, is tempered for breakage resistance. The design includes a 11/4-inch head and seat board with a 3/8-inch adjustable, polished-edge glass shelf, both of which provide plenty of room for displays.
Owens Corning vinyl patio doors are comprised of several innovative features, including adjustable, corrosion-resistant rollers and a stainless steel cap that allow the sash to open and close smoothly for the life of the door; while adjustable screen rollers ensure that the screen will operate just as effectively. All patio doors feature a sloped threshold that prevents water and dirt from accumulating in the sill during heavy rains and storms.
The Star of Efficiency
A front runner in the window manufacturing business, Simonton is a strong believer in making its product energy-efficient. The company participates in Energy Star, an independent federal government program establishing a set of guidelines to recognize the energy efficiency of a multitude of products for the home-building industry. “Studies show that over 40 percent of the annual energy budget of a home is consumed by windows and doors,” says Lazor. “Windows and doors labeled compliant with Energy Star guidelines are 40 percent more efficient than products manufactured to meet common building-code guidelines. That translates into big savings. Products bearing the Energy Star label are saving companies about $1 billion a year.”
The company plans to continue to build on its hallmarks of superior quality, outstanding customer service and delivery of made-to-order windows in seven days or less under normal business conditions. With corporate headquarters in Parkersburg, W.Va., and manufacturing facilities in West Virginia, Illinois and California, the company’s employees are dedicated to setting new industry standards in manufacturing excellence, superior delivery and unmatched customer service and support.