Vision, Views and Vistas – Marvin Architect Challenge “Best In Show” Winner Has It All

“Obviously windows and doors set the tone and character.  Here we wanted to create a romantic notion of a house, balancing the amount of glazing and wall surface to maintain character, but by the same token take advantage of the views and vistas. Marvin worked really well with us to create unique windows and door that we incorporated into this house.”    – Patrick Ahearn, Architect, 2014 Marvin Architect Challenge Best In Show Winner


2014 Marvin Architect Challenge Best In Show Winner – Shingle-Style Sanctuary

Quiet on the set! Architectural Digest recently created a pair of videos about the 2014 Marvin Architect Challenge Best In Show winning project “Shingle-Style Sanctuary.”

Terry Hills from Marvin Design Gallery by MHC did a great job as a representative for the Marvin brand, while winning architect Patrick Ahearn shared how Marvin helped him achieve his vision for the house. This beautiful project will also be highlighted in the October issue of Architectural Digest.

In the first video, Patrick discusses the details of the winning home’s design.

The second video takes a closer look at the challenges of—and solutions for—designing a waterfront home on Martha’s Vineyard.


We are proud to work with Patrick, our other Top Ten winners Michael Waters, Russ Tyson, and Mahdad Saniee, and all of the talented architects who participated in this year’s Marvin Architects Challenge.  You inspire us every day with your vision, passion and creativity!


Coastal Perspectives With Hastings Project Manager Betsy Ellery


When designing for New England coastal projects, architects can take advantage of beautiful surroundings and dramatic ocean views – but they also must take into account the special considerations that come with coastal construction. Achieving the desired results can mean navigating a complex landscape of building codes, product guidelines and weather concerns – all while managing client expectations for performance and aesthetics.

Hastings Project Manager Betsy Ellery shares her thoughts on why it’s so important for architects to be able to trust the team behind them when designing for the coast.

 “I spend a lot of time working with and talking to architects about their projects. In a coastal project, product selection is not just “can” and “can’t.”  It’s “should” and “shouldn’t.”  Some people choose to go against our recommendations – and that’s certainly their choice, but everyone involved from the architect to the builder to the owner needs to understand what the consequences of those choices might be. The good news is that there are many steps we can take to achieve the desired outcome for a project.

For me, a key factor in the successful outcome of an architectural project has always been trust. Architects know that they can trust their Hastings contacts as the resource they can rely on for answers. They trust our ethics and they trust our advice, and we take our position as their go-to experts very seriously. What I find is that most architects want to have a project that is rated for the coast – but sometimes we have to do a little work to get there. When they send me the project they are working on, the first questions are always the same. Where is the project located and what conditions do we need to account for? What are your expectations for performance? Are we talking an impact location or “just” a coastal one? Only when we have these questions answered do we then look at the overall project and the individual units. One of the first things we need to talk about is size limitations and mulling limitations. We also discuss living within the product guidelines when it comes to what is possible on the coast – taking the raw material of what the architect wants and adjusting it to meet the needs of the project.

It’s interesting to consider that years ago, we didn’t even think about asking about the location of a project. In the mid-late 90’s, Design Pressure wasn’t even a part of the conversation, but as more and more people build on the coast, now it definitely is. In addition, people’s expectations are different today. They expect their windows and doors to perform at a higher level – and a successful project is one that meets the customers’ expectations. However, the reality is that customers who choose to live on the coast must allow for certain weather conditions. One way we can help is by educating the homeowner that although a DP50 in extreme weather may leak a little, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the window itself is bad. 

It’s also important to consider the different priorities that can surround a project. For the architect, top priorities would be to ensure that the project falls within the building code, that everything performs as it should, and that the project achieves the desired aesthetics. So we help them achieve the look and the performance they need, and they’re happy. For Hastings at the distributor level, a top priority may be to ensure that our retailers are fully equipped to service their customers. The bottom line is always that we want the project to succeed. By choosing the correct product solution for the conditions, we will have a higher likelihood of achieving that success.”

At Hastings, we have a team of knowledgeable professionals who have collaborated on coastal projects for decades. Your sales representative and inside sales and support team are accessible throughout project planning. Consult with us early in the process so that we can work together to make recommendations that result in buildings that perform to their maximum potential on the coast.

If you have questions about a coastal project, contact the Hastings team. Email or call your Hastings Sales Representative.


Betsy Ellery has been a Project Manager with A.W. Hastings since 1999. She works with architects and retailers throughout New England, recommending windows and doors for coastal environments including commercial, institutional, residential and historic projects.  

Coastal Perspectives: Seaside Renovation Project Profile

Homeowners with ocean views want products that will hold up against the elements and won’t detract from the scenery – all while adding beauty to their homes. When remodeling a home that has seen the tides come and go for over 100 years, high quality products that perform well in extreme environments are especially key to ensuring the structure’s continued longevity and aesthetic appeal.

Here’s a coastal success story that helps to illustrate the important role that the right products can play – a seaside renovation project that completely reworks an original century-old waterfront home in Gloucester, MA.  After convincing the homeowners that a renovation could provide more square footage and make better use of the budget than a tear-down and new construction, Architect Michael Szalaji focused on Atlantic Ocean views, the home’s classic architecture and New England tradition in his re-design of the interior layout.

Custom sized Marvin replacement windows and patio doors matched the original openings to maximize views of the Atlantic coastline. The simulated divided light features on all the Marvin products used maintained a classic look on the exterior while providing the necessary update to thermal and moisture protection that the coastal location requires.

For additional photos and project details view the full case study at


Coastal Perspectives with Ocean Alliance

Team members of the non-profit research organization Ocean Alliance are accustomed to working in the most challenging open water environments – making the best of whatever Mother Nature dishes up. When the organization made plans to transform the iconic Tarr & Wonson Paint Factory in Gloucester, MA into its new headquarters, seaside elements were once again cause for careful consideration.

CEO Iain Kerr also needed to preserve the history and aesthetics of a structure that held great meaning for the old New England town’s residents.  We spoke with Iain and builder Geoffrey Richon about the renovation process – and the key decisions that needed to be made along the way.

Ocean's Alliance 2013 - Websize-62

Iain Kerr is Vice President and CEO of Ocean Alliance, an organization dedicated to research and conservation of whales and the ocean. Learn more about Ocean Alliance on their website

Coastal Perspectives with Hastings Inside Service Manager Gerry Morin

Every homeowner should take steps to properly care for and maintain their windows and doors to ensure optimal performance and operation – and that’s especially important for homes on the coast! Hastings Inside Service Manager Gerry Morin shares some insight on what coastal homeowners can do to safeguard their window and door investment, and ensure they will be able to enjoy their beautiful views for years to come.


Why is window and door maintenance so important for coastal projects?

No matter where you live, your home is up against the elements. But when you live on the coast, your exposure is greater – and the impact adds up over time. Even on a beautiful day you can have sand blowing onto your patio door! And an average run-of-the-mill storm can have a big impact on coastal homes, because strong winds and driving rain can kick up sand debris and salt – affecting hardware and every part of the window. Bottom line, on the coast, it’s not “if” you’ll get water, but “when” – and as a homeowner, you need to be prepared.

The good news is that the potential negative impacts can be dramatically lessened with a few simple steps on the part of the homeowner.  Homeowners can also contract with a caretaker – especially if it is not their primary home and they’re not always there. Many of our Marvin customers with coastal homes contract with a caretaker to maintain or manage their maintenance program.

Can you address the myth of “maintenance free” windows and doors on the coast?  How do we overcome this perception?

There are few building products on the market that are truly “maintenance free.” The reason for maintenance is not just to keep the products looking good and clean – it’s to ensure optimal operation and prevent issues from developing down the road. Some homeowners are under the assumption that their products are maintenance free – and it’s just not the case.

That being said, we along with our retailers have a great opportunity for education – to help our coastal homeowners understand what needs to be done in terms of maintenance, and to head off any potential issues by helping them to plan properly. Our close partnerships with architects and builders provide the perfect conduit for homeowner education – and we work to leverage these relationships to ensure that the right information is in the homeowners’ hands.

Building awareness about how to take proper care of window and door products can happen on the front end of a project. During project planning, architects can help the client see how factors like window size or exposure can mean additional maintenance concerns.

Because contractors are closer to the homeowner, at the end of the building process they are in a great position to show them around and point out what will need to be done for maintenance. Some contractors will even offer the maintenance service, which makes things even easier.

As the direct connection from manufacturer to homeowner, retailers have the opportunity to ensure that the end user gets the maintenance information they need. Ultimately this benefits the retailer since they are the ones who are getting the calls.

You suggest that a homeowner make a point of regular home inspections.  What should they be on the lookout for?

Yes, the biggest thing is for the homeowner or property caretaker to inspect the product regularly, on a semi-annual basis, and if you are right on the ocean, every quarter. Examine the windows and doors from the outside and inside – more frequently on the exterior. Often when we get a service call, it’s for something that’s been going on for months, and the problem has grown more serious over time.

For wood products, homeowners need to look for cracks or areas in the casing where the wood has peeling paint. If it needs painting, paint it!   Check fiberglass products for visible problems like any cracks or separations. Generally inspect the components for any corrosion, and check out the hardware and lubricate it as necessary.

Wash and clean the exterior of your house on a regular basis. Power washing is especially important in coastal environments. All materials, even vinyl, need to be cleaned when you live on the coast. Salt alone can do damage, and abrasion from sand can also cause problems. And it’s not only the window itself that should be inspected – it’s what’s around the window. Check the caulking, trim work, exterior shading systems, and shutters.

You can generally see when something is wrong. If you do spot a problem, the best thing to do is to take pictures and call in an expert such as your retailer.

What other basic steps can coastal homeowners take to ensure the longevity and proper operation of their windows?

I think there are three steps that every homeowner should take when it comes to window maintenance. First, review the owner’s manual. Understand the functions, and learn how to clean and take care of the product. Involve your retailer and your builder. Next, establish an inspection schedule – not only for your windows and doors, but all around your house. After every major storm you should do a walk-around, looking for hanging gutters, loose shingles, tree damage, etc. And finally, when you see that something is wrong, do something about it! I’ve had people say to me, “Oh, six or seven years ago, I noticed this problem, and I’ve have been watching it, but haven’t done anything about it.” That’s when you start to get into major repairs. I always encourage homeowners to take action early. Take pictures, share the information – get some help.

Establish a routine of cleaning and inspecting your windows – inside and out!

Why do you think that window maintenance is often not high on a homeowner’s to-do list?

Architects are focused on the best design, and builders are focused on getting the house project built according to the plans. Homeowners are thinking of the beauty of the home as a whole. The subject of maintenance often just doesn’t come up until something happens. The ultimate responsibility for that maintenance conversation should be shared among all of the stakeholders in the project. The architect, builder and retailer need to provide the information and present it a way that is clear – and homeowners need to be seeking the information and asking questions. And by the way, the first question should be: Do I have the right windows for this project?

I believe that all of us in the distribution channel have a part to play when it comes to educating about the importance of preventative maintenance and upkeep for windows and doors on the coast. With the right level of involvement and a shared responsibility in ensuring that the proper information is in the homeowner’s hands, we can reduce callbacks and ensure that the customer will be happy with the product for a long time.

Marvin Owners manual Integrity Owners Manual Infinity Owners Manual
Marvin Owners Manual Integrity Owners Manual Infinity Owners Manual

Gerry Morin

Gerry Morin is an Inside Service Manager at A.W. Hastings. He has worked at Hastings since 1999.

Coastal Perspectives: Willard Beach Project Profile

Homeowners on the coast are looking for products that will hold up against hot sun, salt spray, flying sand, and driving rain. When it’s time to build or remodel, a high performance, durable window is the key to ensuring the longevity of a seaside home.

A recent project in coastal Maine demonstrates how Integrity’s Ultrex Fiberglass windows were used to transform a home while protecting it from the elements and maximizing ocean views.

Willard Beach

This home near Willard Beach, Portland, ME makes use of the many benefits of Integrity All Ultrex and Wood-Ultrex windows and doors. Given the home’s close proximity to the water, the building materials used had to withstand harsh coastal conditions including driving rain, strong winds, high humidity, salt air and more. Ultrex Fiberglass resists harsh corrosives, remains stable in extreme temperatures, and expands at nearly the same rate as glass, resulting in windows that keep their seal and don’t leak.

Project Highlights

Name: Willard Beach
Location: Portland, Me
Project Type: Remodel
Building Type: Residential
Product Series: All Ultrex® & Wood-Ultrex®
Product Type(s): Casement, Awning, & Inswing French door
Architect: Kaplan Thompson
Builder: The Thaxter Company

For additional photos and project details view the full case study at

Coastal Perspectives With Meteorologist Adam Strzempko

“Even though it is expected to be a more active season than normal there is really no way to tell what storms will make landfall.” – Adam Strzempko, WWLP-22News Weekend Meteorologist 

When it comes to coastal design and construction, weather will have a huge effect on the long-term performance of a project.  While damaging weather is a four-season concern, on the coast it’s often hurricanes that grab the majority of the headlines. With the 2013 hurricane season now underway, homeowners on the Atlantic coast should anticipate another active hurricane season this year.

The prediction for 2013 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is that the season (June 1 – November 30) will be “above normal and possibly extremely active.”

Americans living along the eastern seaboard and the Gulf Coast should take steps now to make sure they are prepared should a major hurricane strike – that means food, water and batteries to last three days, a communication plan so friends and family can find you, an up-to-date insurance plan, and the ability to secure your property.

We checked in with meteorologist Adam Strzempko of WWLP-22News in Springfield, MA for his perspective on what coastal residents might expect from this year, and for his opinion on how they can manage through the season.


  • Meteorologists are predicting that the 2013 Hurricane Season will be an active one. How many hurricanes are expected to  make landfall this year, and why do you think this year will be more active than average? 

It is forecast to be a more active hurricane season than normal. NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher). These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

Even though it is expected to be more a more active season than normal there is really no way to tell what storms will make landfall. That can really only be determined once the storm forms and then looking at what weather systems will affect its path at that time.

This hurricane season is expected to be so active because of warmer than average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Also an El Niño, which often helps to suppress hurricane formation, is not expected to develop.

  • What advice would you have for hurricane preparedness for people who live on the coast – both in general, and when a hurricane strike is imminent? Should someone prepare differently depending on the “rating” of the storm?

People living along the coast should have a plan ready. To protect your property, storm shutters are a good idea or boarding up windows ahead of an approaching storm. Whether you should evacuate will depend on how close you are to the coast. People right along the shoreline should really consider evacuating for just about any category storm. A Tropical Storm or even a Category 1 hurricane can cause considerable storm surge if it comes in at high tide. If a hurricane is a category 3 through 5 people even near the coast should move inland due to storm surge that could move in several miles in some cases.

  • How are changing weather patterns impacting New England coastal environments? What changes most concern you in terms of coastal living? 

Changing weather patterns do seem to be having an effect on the New England coastal environment. Between tropical storms and hurricanes and intense Nor’easters in the spring, fall and winter we continue to see considerable beach erosion along the New England coastline. The most concerning thing I am seeing are homes that are becoming uninhabitable because the erosion is making the ground they were built on unsafe. It’s also worrisome to see how the erosion has changed the way some of our beaches used to look like.

  • What kind of tools do meteorologists have at their disposal when it comes to hurricane predictions?

When it comes to forecasting hurricanes we have quite a bit now at our disposal. There are numerous computer models that help forecast the path of a hurricane. There are new satellites that give us a much better view of the storm and what is actually going on inside it. There are also hurricane planes with the latest technology that fly into the storms to give us an even better idea of what is happening inside the hurricane.

  • Knowing what you do about the weather conditions that can affect coastal areas, if you were building a house on the coast, are there any specific steps you would take to safeguard your home? 

If I was to build a house on the coast I think the one thing I would do, and what I see a lot of people doing and it seems to help out, is to raise the house or build it on stilts. In some of the recent storms this seems to have helped save a number of homes that would otherwise have been flooded or even washed away when the storm surge came in. I believe some states have changed their building codes and are requiring homes to be built this way depending on how close they are to the water. Also if I were to have a house on the coast I would make sure it had storm shutters.

Throughout the summer, other professionals will share their thoughts and experiences with us on the many factors that come into play in coastal living and construction.  In the meantime, if you have questions about a coastal project, contact the Hastings team. Email or call your Hastings Sales Representative.

WebBio-AdamStrzempko_20100924095628_320_240Adam Strzempko is the Weekend Meteorologist for WWLP-22News in Springfield, MA.  Adam has been keeping viewers informed and safe for 15 years, and enjoys the challenge of predicting New England’s changeable weather patterns. 

Coastal Perspectives With Architect Michael McKinley

“All attention is directed to the shoreline now – people will continue to build right on the ocean no matter what happens. But that’s where our clients are. The terrain has changed – it’s a whole new world out there.” – Michael McKinley, Michael McKinley and Associates, LLC

When designing coastal projects, today’s architects must navigate a complex and changing landscape of codes and regulations, minimizing risk and managing their clients’ expectations for coastal living along the way. We caught up with Stonington, Connecticut Architect Michael McKinley, who specializes in designing exceptional coastal homes in New England communities, to learn more about how he achieves success for his coastal clients.

Front with hedge

  • What are the three most important things to look at when you begin a coastal project?

First, we look at the regulatory issues including FEMA regulations and local codes and ordinances. If these are not addressed, the rest doesn’t matter. Then, we view the property from the water, thinking about the home’s image from all angles. It’s interesting that the client often considers the water side to be the “front,” but in reality, coastal homes have two “fronts,” one of which is the water side. A lot of the images we put forth are from the land, but some of the most impressive are from the water – and you never see that from a car. That character of the water side is important. And finally, we consider the materials that go into a project, in terms of the weather conditions that a coastal location may face.

  • Talk to us about “working from the outside in” as you describe it on your website.

It’s about the way that the coastal residence gracefully transitions from outside to inside. The more gradual and eventful that transition is, the richer the architecture is. We draw our floor plan with the entire site in mind, working with critical exterior features including trees, landscapes and views, and then transitioning to the inside, with all season rooms and porches offering a “skirt” to the main structure.

  • What do you consider about windows and doors as they relate to interior design? Does this become complex when paired with performance requirements?

Yes, the relationship between interior design and exterior performance requires a lot of thought. Part of the reason it is complex is the industry-wide condition where Design Pressure ratings restrict product size choice.

Aesthetically, the double hung window is the window of choice for most of our clients. Sometimes, that means Casement and Awning windows are ruled out even though they offer a better Design Pressure rating than a double hung, and would be the best window style from strictly a performance perspective.

Additionally, it takes some effort to design a 6,000-square foot house just using double hung windows – but the orchestration of light and elements of the windows is the level of work that people pay us for. We want to develop musicality and scale windows to the exterior and to the interior. It’s easy to pick the windows and put them in – but harder to achieve the discipline and sense of balance on the interior that we look for in our projects.

We usually draw using Marvin window sizes, and then we readjust when we work with our local retailer. We often have a conversation where we go back and get feedback on what was drawn, and then get the recommendation on what should be done to meet the performance needs of the house within the product offerings.

  • What window and door trend are you seeing most for your coastal clients?

Right now Lift and Slide doors are the rage for my clients. We are using these in most of our coastal projects, not necessarily opening up directly to the outside, but opening onto porches or all season rooms. It’s a way to embrace indoor-outdoor living, even in a relatively modest house.

  • What is the greatest challenge when designing in these environments?

This comes back to the regulatory codes.  For example, Stonington, CT and Rhode Island have recognized coastal residential land as a natural resource (even though it is not state-owned).  These areas have imposed some stiff height limits on buildings so that there aren’t four-story buildings disturbing the imagery of the coastline and slope to water, respecting people who live inland. We run into some rigorous height limits – in Stonington, it’s 24’, which is a short two-story home. When you are talking about larger homes, this has led to a different way of thinking.

There are some communities that are less regulated in the height of the ridge and thus you can build four stories up. Then you get into this sort of vertical aesthetic and it’s a different conversation. The changing scale of the house means that some of your other expectations must change. There are all sorts of local extremes to deal  with.

  • What are some of the methods you employ in your design in order to minimize risk to the home (such as reinforcement for storms, etc)?

When it comes to risk management, a considerable number of precautions are mandated – and these standards grow and change every day.  In the face of these regulations and coastal realities, sometimes we need to counsel our clients that although we can build something, we may need to modify the plans to minimize the risk and to reduce the potential for workmanship or materials failure. For example, adding flashing and “mini-roofs” over windows is a great way to minimize risk.  And most doors are so protected now that we can focus more on the aesthetics.

  • How do you manage expectations when working with clients in complex coastal environments?

From an environment perspective, their vision and expectations really have to be managed when it comes to product, design and site.

On the coast, people are buying into a complex, highly regulated environment – but they don’t read FEMA regulations every day. So helping clients to develop realistic expectations is probably the most important issue when working on coastal projects.

  • As part of doing business on the coast, you offer a service called “Coastal Property Analysis”. Tell us more about this.

We developed this service that attempts to answer questions about how the proposed site will influence the build and design process.  It’s basically a careful examination of the feasibility of the site.

There are big questions that we can answer with this analysis – and to do that, we pull in resources from the locality and site engineering as needed. It’s not expensive, but it’s well worth the effort. With a designer’s approach to the site, we ask technical questions and put it in a report, providing value to the end-user. We talk about realistic options, cost, time for approval – and we subsequently build the buyer’s confidence in the purchase.  Even when our analysis tells us that the site will not be feasible, we find that the prospective homeowners are very grateful to have the information.

  • How do local codes affect your work?

It is always necessary for us to look at local codes. We have state building codes, and we have locality-specific FEMA regulations. However, the municipality itself can require even more, and they often do. It’s important when working in different communities to find out what is specifically required. Window protection is a good example. In coastal Connecticut, we have two communities next to each other. One requires impact windows and the one next door does not – it allows other forms of wind protection.

So when you consider the huge market in renovations out there on the coast, a careful understanding of and adherence to local codes is essential.

  • Are there supplemental services you look for from vendors?

We’ve had our best luck working with our local retailer, because as distributors of a variety of products, the retailer has a service that covers windows, framing, roofs, walls and waterproofing. We can have one meeting and get an idea about all of that. It’s a one-point process with them – over the last few years it has developed quite nicely. It is difficult for us to develop relationships with multiple different types of vendors.

  • What can a window and door retailer provide to help you with the coastal project process?

Support in specifying. A good window and door representative is part of the design process. When we get into complicated Lift and Slide door specifications, we’re not as familiar with that and we don’t want to find out later that there was a better way to do it.  We need the shop drawings and the ability to refine the specs. That’s huge – otherwise you’ll end up with just an “average” window and door project.

Throughout the summer, other coastal building professionals will share their thoughts and experiences with us.  In the meantime, if you have questions about a coastal project, contact the Hastings team. Email or call your Hastings Sales Representative.

Michael McKinleyMichael McKinley is Principal Architect for Michael McKinley and Associates in the seaside village of Stonington, CT.  Registered and licensed in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Florida, Michael specializes in residential design that is sensitive to the coastline.

Coastal Perspectives with Keenan Burns, Hastings Executive VP and COO

Summer is just around the corner, which means coastal communities throughout New England are coming to life as part-time residents prepare their homes for the season and year-round residents take on warm weather building projects. This market activity provides window and door sales opportunities for retailers, so it’s a good time to talk about Coastal Solutions from Hastings and Marvin.


Because projects in these areas often involve some level of complexity related to issues such as changing codes and weather patterns, or design trends that call for large expanses of glass, Hastings recognizes that we can help our retailers take advantage of the opportunity in these markets. This approach to coastal opportunities is unique in the marketplace. We are not simply offering a portfolio of high quality products, we are offering decades of problem-solving experience, customer service and technical support along with it.

As part of our partnership, the resources of our inside and outside teams are available to our retail network throughout the coastal design and build process. Our collective knowledge and experience is available to retailers and their trade customers at every point of a project. We approach these opportunities collaboratively with a commitment to providing our own brand of excellent customer service. Our goal is to help meet the demands of complex coastal projects and encourage maximum performance of Marvin and Integrity windows and doors on the coast for the long term.

There are many ways that Hastings can work with you on complex coastal window and door projects, including:

  • Pre and post sale site visits
  • Project needs assessments
  • Verification of local code compliance
  • Design Performance recommendations
  • Consultations to integrate aesthetic intent with product performance
  • Real-time telephone installation guidance or on-site training

I’m excited not only about the great opportunities that are out there in coastal markets, but also about the role that Marvin and Hastings can play to help bring your projects to fruition. I encourage you to connect with our team early on in the process so that we can help achieve the best possible results for your upcoming coastal projects.

Wishing you a strong building season,

Keenan Burns, Executive VP and COO


Coastal Perspectives With Hastings Sales Rep Vin Andrews


The New England coastline offers unforgettable views and a relaxed lifestyle that draws people to live there, resulting in construction opportunities. However, sometimes these projects are complex, requiring special consideration of the project site and coastal environment. The good news is, with the right product mix and careful evaluation, the coastal market offers huge potential for retailers and their customers. Recently, we caught up with Vin Andrews, Hastings’ Retail Business Development Manager in Rhode Island, for a closer look at some key points to consider when working on coastal projects.

Q – When it comes to coastal building, which are more stringent – building codes or insurance company requirements?

A – Building codes are meant to establish minimum standards for a structure. In certain areas, insurance company requirements supersede codes, exceeding local specifications.  For example, in Wind-borne Debris Regions, the building code allows for the use of impact glazing, shutters or 7/16” plywood panels for storm reinforcement. In the same area, in order to qualify for coverage, an insurance company may require a homeowner to use a 5/8” pressure treated plywood panel instead.

Aside from these code requirements, there are other methods of protection that are often used on homes including motorized shutter systems and coated fabric panels, which are meant to reduce damage to windows and doors from flying debris during storms. In my experience, these products are much easier to use and store on-site than plywood panels. I recommend the use of these types of solutions as a supplement to Marvin’s products when used on the coast.

– What role does design pressure play in a coastal construction project?  And what are some other project considerations? 

–  Today’s changing weather patterns are forcing code changes in our coastal regions. Now more than ever you need to choose window and doors based on a more comprehensive criteria that includes performance.  I once had someone say to me before a presentation, “Don’t bring up Design Pressure, it’s too complicated and you’ll lose the audience.” The truth is, understanding Design Pressure, why you need it, and how to calculate it is critical to every project located in coastal areas or Wind-borne Debris Regions. Because choosing products that meet the correct performance rating in your area is the key to maximum performance of the building.

 Also, careful consideration should go into the topography and exposure of a project. Elevation changes could influence product performance needs and should be factored into window and door selection.  For example, the performance needs of a house on a bluff overlooking the ocean are greater because it could experience a higher wind velocity due to where it is sited on the building lot, especially during storms.  Many coastal project plans require the keen eye of an engineer to make calculations that ensure code compliance and site considerations. 

Q – Are there any special steps that should be taken when it comes time to install windows in a coastal project?  

A – Well, a house in a high wind or impact zone definitely require alternative installation methods.  These methods may include using screws through the jamb and/or structural installation brackets. To ensure ideal installation, proper flashing and consideration of structural mulling assemblies are also important. 

Q. Do you have anything else you would like to share? 

A –  Yes. The bottom line is that you should always take the time to do the research and weigh the factors that impact a successful coastal construction project.  Ask lots of questions. The end result is a happy homeowner and potential future business opportunity. That’s always worth it.

At Hastings, we have a team of knowledgeable professionals who have collaborated on coastal projects for decades. Your sales representative and inside sales and support team are accessible throughout project planning. Consult with us early in the process so that we can work together to make recommendations that result in buildings that perform to their maximum potential on the coast.

Throughout the summer, other coastal building professionals will share their thoughts and experiences with us.  In the meantime, if you have questions about a coastal project, contact the Hastings team. Email or call your Hastings Sales Representative.

Vin 2013

Vin Andrews is Hastings Retail Business Development Manager for the state of Rhode Island and parts of Southeastern Massachusetts. He has over two decades of experience recommending windows and doors for coastal environments including commercial, institutional, residential and historic projects.