This post, written by Mark, originally appeared in Door and Window Market Magazine:
An educated consumer is my best friend. The homeowner who understands the options is more likely to make good decisions when purchasing new doors and windows. But comparing differences in doors and windows can be confusing.
The door and window industry likes to complicate and confuse data that should make it easy for consumers to compare one product to another. I invest as much time as needed to educate my clients and enable them to compare because I am confident when they do I will become their choice for new doors and windows.
I often use easy-to-understand analogies to simplify the process.
As one example, I compare design pressure ratings to crash test ratings for automobiles. Crash test ratings measure an automobile’s ability to keep the occupants safe in an accident. Design pressure ratings measure a door and window’s ability to keep your home safe when Mother Nature crashes into it and your home’s occupants and belongings safe when an intruder attempts to break-in.
- · Design pressure ratings are clearly labeled on every window manufactured;
- · They are independently tested, so they are a true comparison;
- · Design pressure ratings truly allow clients to compare a door or window’s ability to resist air infiltration, water penetration, forced entry and also provide data about a window’s overall strength; and
- · They truly affect price, too. A window with a higher design pressure rating not only protects us better from Mother Nature and intruders, it also costs more to manufacture and, consequently, the installed price must be higher.
I believe design pressure ratings are too important to a client’s overall and long-term to keep secret.
The design pressure rating should be explained to the consumer and shared every step of the decision-making process. End-consumers need to be given the opportunity to know the difference between windows and make their own decisions. The decisions they make about the design pressure rating of their new window will impact their own household’s safety, security and defense from bad weather. Here are a few ways I help my clients become aware of the design pressure ratings of the windows I offer:
- I use signage to label the rating for each door and window displayed in my showroom;
- I review the ratings of available doors and windows with my clients at their homes; and
- I clearly state the design pressure rating of door and window selections on the contract.
These ratings should not be confidential information. They allow clients to compare door and window products honestly and make the choice that is right for them. I hope we as an industry start to do a better job of educating consumers and allowing them to compare products so they are. When we do, we may all make true friends—educated consumers who are happier with their new door and window purchasing decisions.