Windows 101: The Basics and Beyond – Anatomy of a Double Hung: Part 2

Windows 101: The Basics and Beyond is a new educational video series produced by A.W. Hastings, and designed to help homeowners understand fundamental terminology and concepts about windows.

In the third segment,”Anatomy of a Double Hung: Part 2,” homeowners can learn about the parts and structure on the “inside” of a double hung, along with sill details and styles.

Watch for more videos coming soon!

Windows 101: The Basics and Beyond – Anatomy of a Double Hung: Part 1

Windows 101: The Basics and Beyond is a new educational video series produced by A.W. Hastings and designed to help homeowners understand fundamental terminology and concepts about windows.

In the second segment,”Anatomy of a Double Hung: Part 1,” homeowners can learn about parts and structure on the “outside” of a double hung window, along with popular casing styles and options.

In our next installment, “Anatomy of a Double Hung – Part 2″, we’ll learn about parts on the “inside” of a double hung, as well as sill details and styles. By sharing this series, you can help homeowners become more knowledgable before making their next window purchase!

2014 Marvin Remodelers Summit – Revisited!

Hastings’ Integrity Products Consultant Ben Brockett shares his thoughts on the importance of the Marvin Remodelers Summit – an annual event in Warroad, MN at the Marvin factory that gives remodeling contractors the opportunity to step back and focus on the growth of their business.

I am guessing that many of us who have been to Warroad before might wonder what is so special about the Remodelers Summit. After all, isn’t this just “another” builder trip to Warroad? I never understood the context of this event (notice I didn’t call it a trip) until I had the chance to host it for the first time 5 or so years ago.

In the best terms that I can come up with for it, this is a business meeting/networking opportunity for remodeling contractors from all over the country. Yes, we sit in the different product rooms and learn about what makes Marvin and Integrity products special and we take a short plant tour but the great value I see in this event comes from not what is planned, but rather the relationships that are facilitated. I will try and explain.

2014 Rem Summit 3

Remodelers Summit Attendees get a close look at Marvin.

The Remodelers Summit gives independent remodeling contractors the opportunity to step away from their “regular routine” for a few days and reflect upon their own business. The primary message is not about Warroad and Marvin/Integrity Windows and Doors. Attendees are led through a series of discussions by Shawn McCadden, a published industry expert, about what it means to be a remodeling contractor today. Shawn started into the remodeling business as a laborer for the remodeling company that his father owned. He then branched out into owning his own business which he then sold, and has now become a trusted advisor and business coach for many remodeling companies across the country. To learn more about Shawn please visit this link to his website. http://www.shawnmccadden.com/

2014 Rem Summit 2

Industry expert Shawn McCadden leads a session for Summit attendees.

To me “self discovery” is a good term for what Shawn is able to bring about as he presents and asks questions during a series of discussions. These discussions have names such as “Remodeling your Company to Last – Today and Into the Future”, “Seven Keys to Differentiation for Remodeling Companies” and “Growing Your Business – What is the Next Step?”

One of my favorite segments is titled “Show me the Money – Where did all the Money Go?” During this segment Shawn challenges the group to think about how much money they really need to cover expenses and turn a profit – the capital that will allow them to grow their business. For most remodeling contractors this exercise is “sobering” as many discover that they perhaps didn’t have a good of a grasp on the financial side of their business as they felt they did. He also challenges them to use products of better quality, pointing out that while that may also cost more, the profit dollars on using these products is greater with the same amount of labor needed to install them. “Eye opening” is the phrase that was heard used by many.

The networking portion of this event is equally important. By the end of the first day you will see contractors from Connecticut exchanging business cards and contact information with those from Maine and vice versa. People who 12 hours ago met for the first time, playing pool together or sharing a story. If you think about it, Warroad becomes the conduit for this all to occur. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say, “I feel very lucky to have been chosen to attend this” or “Wow, I have a renewed sense of direction after today.” Just in the first few days I received emails from our guests this year and wanted to share one with you.

Hi Ben,

Just wanted to express my thanks to you and the rest of the crew at A.W. Hastings for the chance to attend the Remodelers Summit in Warroad. I have attended several similar seminars but the ability for the contractors to network and share views on new products building practices and experiences set this one far apart from the rest. As a builder/contractor/business owner the summit gave me a substantial investment in the future of our company and I walked away knowing our company is stronger because of it.

After listening to Shawn’s presentation I was able to see a new direction my business plan needed to take. I believe most of the contractors that attended the summit are much like me, we have become business owners not necessarily by choice but the natural progression has brought us to it. Shawn gave us a “tool box” full of essential information to make it to the next level and operate more professionally. It was an eye opening experience and he deserves high praise.

I was also able to see first hand the pride Marvin puts not only in its products but also the pride it has in the community of Warroad. The Marvin product line is always expanding and it has continued to be a company I enjoy buying products from. The fact they are willing to bring us to tour their facility and organize this type of Summit makes me believe they care, not only about their products but how they are represented by us, the contractor. I came away feeling even more confident that if I were to sell a Marvin product to my customer it was the right choice.

Again, many thanks to you, John and Chris for a great experience! 

Greg Briggs
Broadcove Builders – Maine 

I hope that in the future when you hear me speak about the Remodelers Summit with deep conviction, this will help you to understand why I believe so strongly in it and the value it has for the remodeling contractor.

Thanks to entire Hastings sales team for finding a quality group of attendees and to Hastings’ John Morey, Chris Eldredge and Mary Paquette for your roles in making this year the best Remodelers Summit I have ever attended.

Ben BrockettBen Brockett
Integrity Products Consultant
A.W. Hastings

The Sales Process: A Different Point of View: Part 2

Read “A Different Point of View: Part 1” here.

Would it be fair to say that when approaching a consumer during the sales process your focus is on figuring out what it is that will motivate them to buy from you? You have a short window of opportunity to give them as much information as possible to influence their decision, so you are eager to tell them about the many different features of our product lines, our quality installation or your company¹s sterling reputation. Unfortunately, your eagerness can all too easily come across as “feature-dumping.” Soon, you’ve given the customer a huge amount of information — but what have you learned about them? Have you asked them about their project, their needs, their thoughts on what they are looking for?

There are two outcomes that take place as a result of our presentation: the customer buys or they don’t buy. We spend a lot of time trying to figure how to sell to them. For a moment, let’s focus on why consumers don’t buy.

(Find reasons 1-5 on why consumers don’t buy in “A Different Point of View: Part 1“)

installing_dh

6. Lack of Options Available with Most Replacement Windows

Problem: Another reason that consumers don’t buy vinyl windows is because of the lack of options that are offered. Generally you may have a couple of color options and faux wood interiors (wood grain tape). These options leave much to be desired for the customer looking for a traditional, streamlined window.

Solution: Make sure the customer communicates to you their idea of a perfect window solution. A major advantage of selling the Marvin/Integrity line of windows is that we really can offer the perfect solution. It is easy to distance yourself from the pack by sharing the plethora of options we offer.

7. Lack of Trust of the Industry

Problem: Many homeowners are wary of selecting a contractor to work on their home. Have you ever heard any of these complaints? “They took my deposit and never finished the work,” “They started the job but kept leaving to do other work,” “What should have been a two day job took 2 weeks,” “I’ve been trying to get service but they never call me back,” or “I need parts for my window but the manufacturer is out of business.”

Solution: Make sure to point out that you represent more than an 800 number or a PO Box. You are a brick and mortar location with history, that is easy to find and willing to honor any and all service agreements. You are selling piece of mind. Don’t forget to mention Marvin’s 100 year history, another source of comfort. Marvin/Integrity retailers  only work with professional contractors or their own on-staff installers, and they will work consistently and quickly to stay on schedule and for the least disruption for the homeowner.

8. Our Lack of Understanding Their Goals

Problem: You can never afford to presume that you know what the customer wants. The only one qualified to know this is the consumer. Each customer has different hot buttons. Some only care about looks, for some it is the price and for others it may be service. One of our biggest mistakes is selling what you like, not what the customer wants or needs.

Solution: Take the time and ask questions such as “when it’s all said and done what do you hope to accomplish by installing new windows?” Then, listen to the answers. Offer a solution you think fits what the customers wants.

9. Price

Problem: Some consumers have a general idea of what they think a window should cost. Where do they get these ideas from? Maybe it’s from Uncle Louie who bought windows twenty years ago, an advertisement for a low price window or they may have had estimates from other companies. Once you allow the customer to compare your price without comparing products you lose…

Solution:  Be confident and don’t be afraid of our pricing. You need to understand that we are selling quality, experience, and longevity along with a window. Remove quality and the price goes down, lessen the experience and the price goes down, buy a product from a start up and the price goes down. Most reasonable customers will understand that there’s a price to pay for all of our features and benefits. You need to be able to transfer your belief in your company and products to the customer and once you do that it becomes easier for them to justify price.

10. Lack of Trust in The Sales Rep

Problem: Consumers need to believe you are sincere, knowledgeable and truthful. How many of us have walked away from a purchase because we didn’t like or trust the sales rep?

Solution: Ask questions relating to their projects and listen to what they are saying. Be honest when offering a solution and make sure it good for the customer and not just for you. Give them 100% of your attention and treat them like you would want to be treated if you were about to spend $10,000.

By simply understanding why consumers don’t buy and addressing these concerns, you will simplify your sales process. Remember, the best time to handle an objection is before it arises. And the best time to build trust and make a positive impression is within the first few minutes of meeting someone. Show you care about finding the right solutions to make the homeowner’s visions come to life – and you’ll have a better chance of closing the sale!

Harry Fanolis March 2014 - websize-5.jpgHarry Fanolis
Market Development
A.W. Hastings

1950s Cape Remodeled for a Growing Family

The owners of this 1950s Cape were looking to remodel their home to better fit their growing family and fit in with the established architectural style of their “Old Hill” neighborhood. Integrity windows and patio doors were used to increase energy efficiency and add natural lighting throughout the home. Learn more about this remodel and the architect responsible for the beautiful transformation in the video below.

This project was also featured in a blog post on July 22, 2013 – 1950′s Cape Gets a Makeover with Integrity Windows.

See more project profiles and case studies on awhastings.com/project-profiles

Installing Windows? Reach for your installation instructions BEFORE reaching for your level and hammer

Installation Photos - powerpoint size-72Let’s face it, when it comes to installing building products like windows and doors, often we install them without really reading the instructions that the manufacturer provides. Sometimes those instructions don’t even make it out of the wrapper. After all, it takes time to read through them and figure everything out. And, I’ve heard it said many times, if you installed one window and it worked properly, you can install all other windows the same way, right? Well, the truth is you might get lucky using this logic for a while, but eventually, odds are you will run into a “leaker” and end up in a tough spot. This usually means a “call back” which costs time and money to fix.

Here are some facts to consider: Window manufacturers build their windows using materials and assembly techniques specific to their products. They are all different. Once built, the products are tested for performance (their ability to resist external forces like air and water infiltration). Further, this testing is done with the window installed in a wall using a very specific installation method that the manufacturer knows works best with their product. The manufacturer then documents what was done along the way. So, those instructions that come with your new product are really a very well thought out, step by step, tested, installation method that the manufacturer knows, if followed, will provide for the best long-term operation and performance of their window. In short, this means a window that operates properly and keeps air and water outside the building where it belongs. Isn’t that what we want?

Armed with this knowledge, you can now install your next house load of windows feeling confident that if you follow what the manufacturer has documented in their installation instructions, it will work, and you won’t end up getting that call from an unhappy customer during the next hard wind/rain storm that their window is leaking. You can rest easy!

So the next time you unpack those brand new windows and are tempted to reach for the level and hammer and get right to work, pause and reach for the installation instructions first. It may be the best time you spend on your job site today.

Installation Photos - powerpoint size-80

Marvin and Integrity Windows and Doors make it easy for you to get the installation instructions you need. They come with the product, and you can find them online at these links for Marvin and Integrity). I also encourage you to check out our brand new window installation video series.  Let us know how we can help!

Marshall BaserMarshall Baser
Market Development Manager
A.W. Hastings

Not Just Another Insert Window …..

As you may already know, Integrity Windows & Doors released for sale the Wood-Ultrex Insert Double Hung on December 16th of last year.

This much anticipated release continues Marvin’s “Best in Class” approach to product and market development. The continued strength of the residential remodeling and replacement market has been well documented, and this exciting product will help all of us to capture “our” share of the insert replacement business.

If you are like me you may have thought “well it’s about time” or “what took so long”? After all Marvin knows how to make an insert replacement window. True enough, we aren’t the first to have an insert replacement double hung or for that matter the only ones to offer one but to my knowledge we are one of very few to offer a fiberglass insert double hung.

Let’s not forget the long term performance benefits we have come to learn that Ultrex fiberglass provides. The technology that Marvin owns with Tecton Products remains at the top of the industry with regard to complex thin wall fiberglass pultrusion technology. Our fit & finish is second to no one else who is using fiberglass. In case you missed it, the patented acrylic capping resin system used on Integrity Window & Door components was recently certified to meet the AAMA 624-10 specification, making them the only manufacturer in our industry that does.

I for one am happy that Integrity took the time to incorporate much of the “voice of the customer” feedback into the design of our new insert double hung. Here are a few of the highlights:

1. New sill design allows for more of the bottom rail to be visible on the interior which gives the insert a more traditional appearance. They also added the option of a sash lift.

2. A color matched extension to the exterior bottom rail has been added which improves upon our aesthetics from the exterior.

3. Our sizing capability has been greatly expanded. Integrity will make Wood-Ultrex Insert Double Hungs smaller and larger than our current full frame product. Up to 54″ x 84″, incredible. All sizes come certified for performance by the WDMA.

4. The interior check rail/accent ledge has been reconfigured with the depth of the accent ledge overhang reduced by more than half. As a matter of fact this change has already been adopted into the full frame product.

If it sounds like I am excited, it’s because I am. In my opinion the product planning team did a great job.

Ultrex fiberglass, certified exterior coating system, industry leading performance, aesthetic improvements all in a consistent two week lead time – doesn’t sound like just another insert window to me. Check it out!

Ben BrockettBen Brockett
Product Specialist
A.W. Hastings Co.

Integrity Wood-Ultrex Insert Double Hung

Our customers have asked for it – and Integrity Windows and Doors has delivered with its new Wood-Ultrex Insert Double Hung! The frame-in-frame design is precision built to the unique window opening, allowing for a clean replacement without disturbing the existing interior or exterior trim of the home. Rich pine interiors are complemented by Ultrex® pultruded fiberglass exteriors and a wide array of options for superior performance and durability that blend seamlessly with the home design.  Hastings Product Specialist Ben Brockett shares more about this key addition to the Integrity product line.

Transforming the Home of New York State’s Oldest Newspaper

The Poughkeepsie Journal was founded in 1785 and is the oldest newspaper in New York state, third oldest in the country. The Journal operates out of a fieldstone Colonial Revival building that was built in 1941. After buying the building in 2009, new owners sought to maintain the historical integrity of the building, but they were also looking for low long-term maintenance costs. Marvin windows were selected to replace both the original single pane windows and the newer, but poorly matched windows.

Read more about why Marvin windows were chosen and what the final solution entailed at awhastings.com.

Historical Renovation with a Repeat Customer

Kim Fleischer purchased an old brick home built in 1841 in the early 80’s and as part of the extensive renovations, updated the windows with Marvin. Now, after 30 years, she decided to go back to Windows & Doors By Brownell to use Marvin windows once again. Learn more about this custom window project that included custom pre-finish interior paint, custom trim detail, and the problem solving skills from Windows & Doors By Brownell in the video below.