Metal Doors, Sash, Frames, Molding, and Trim

SIC 3442

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

Companies in this industry are engaged primarily in manufacturing ferrous and nonferrous metal doors, sash, window and door frames and screens, molding, and trim. Establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing metal covered wood doors, windows, sash, door frames, molding, and trim are classified in SIC 2431: Millwork.

Industry Snapshot

The metal doors, sash, frames, molding, and trim industry is extremely competitive, with a low profit margin. Companies in this industry are generally small and independent with fewer than 50 employees, and most have 20 or fewer employees.

Valued at $12.58 billion in 2008, the industry's product share is divided into six areas. These areas are metal doors and frames, except storm doors; metal window sash and frames, except storm sash; metal molding and trim and store fronts; metal combination screen, storm sash, and storm doors; metal window and door screens and metal weather strip; and metal doors, sash, and trim, not specified by kind.

Background and Development

U.S. demand for windows and doors reached approximately $26 billion by 2000. Maintenance for older houses helped increase sales of windows and doors 4.7 percent annually in the late 1990s. More energy-efficient products and regulations, coupled with a lack of timber, resulted in the highest demand increase for vinyl or plastic products, although wood windows and doors still made up more than 56 percent of sales through 2000. Sales of metal doors and windows were slow because of the lack of insulation of metal products.

Anything involved in the building industry, whether commercial or residential, has an effect on this industry. When housing is up, sales are up, and vice versa. In addition to new construction, home remodeling and maintenance trends, such as adding skylights, columns, and stairs, affect the industry. Thus, the industry thrived during the mid-2000s while the U.S. housing industry peaked at over two million new housing starts annually but suffered when the market collapsed in 2009 following a banking crisis, and new housing starts fell to historic lows.

Current Conditions

In 2009, according to industry statistics, there were 2,141 companies (down from 2,548 the previous year) within this industry engaged in manufacturing ferrous and nonferrous metal doors, sash, window and door frames and screens, molding, and trim. Together, these companies employed 80,608 workers, down nearly 10,000 from 2008. There were 382 metal door, sash, and trim companies within this category, or 17.8 percent of the combined industry market share, employing 18,257 workers. States with the highest concentration were Florida with 14.8 percent, California with 10.9 percent, and Texas with 9.2 percent. Other significant states included New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Despite the ongoing housing slump suppressing the overall industry, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or the $787 billion federal economic stimulus plan, was intended to stimulate industry growth. Under the plan, homeowners received a tax credit with the purchase of energy star-rated efficient windows and doors through 2011. Industry watchers suggested new residential construction and home remodeling was on target to climb at an annual compounded rate of seven percent from 2008 to 2013.

Industry Leaders

Some of the industry leaders were Atrium Companies Inc. of Dallas, Texas, with $600 million in 2009 sales; Drew Industries Inc. of White Plains, New York, with $397.8 million in 2009 sales; and Traco of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, with $120.2 million in 2007 sales. Another industry leader was International Aluminum Corp. of Monterey Park, California, which was acquired by Genstar Capital of San Francisco in 2007.

Jeld-Wen Inc. of Klamath Falls, Oregon, was also one of the biggest door and window makers in the world. In 2008, Jeld-Wen posted sales of an estimated $2.9 billion and employed an estimated 20,000 workers. Jeld-Wen was renowned for its tactic of buying out a company, dismissing all its employees, and rehiring them at lower wages in the name of creating efficiencies. While this strategy might make sense from a corporate perspective, the workers viewed the action as unfair and cutthroat, prioritizing profits over providing a living wage. In 1998, when Jeld-Wen acquired an Oshkosh, Wisconsin, door and window manufacturing plant run by Morgan Products Ltd. for the prior 128 years, it cut all jobs and rehired workers at wages as much as $2.70 per hour lower, with no signed labor agreement and without health care benefits. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 1363 picketed the plant in response.

Workforce

Employment levels grew slightly in the early 1980s but were flat between 1986 and 1988. In 1982, the industry employed about 66,300, with 47,600 of those being production workers. Thirteen years later, this industry, combined with the sheet metal work and ornamental and architectural metal products industries, had 213,820 employees. By the late 2000s, employment was practically cut in half with 90,942 workers.

Workers are paid poorly in this industry compared to average pay in all manufacturing industries combined. In 1996, the average hourly wage was $9.73, compared to the $12.40 average hourly wage for all manufacturing workers. In 2005, the average hourly wage was $15.02. Other comparative ratios indicate this industry ranks below the manufacturing average in terms of value added, cost, shipments, and investment per establishment, employee, and production worker. In fact, in terms of investment, this industry ranks more than two-thirds below the average manufacturing industry.

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