Function meets style
Options abound with custom windows and doorsBy Damaine Vonada
Windows do more than bring light into your home. They provide views of your neighborhood, connect the indoors with the outdoors and accent your home’s architecture.
Marvin Windows and Doors, headquartered in Minnesota, is a family business whose expertise dates back to 1939. Today the company is the world’s largest premier manufacturer of made-to-order windows and patio-style doors, and its signature brand — Marvin Windows and Doors — is known for wood and clad wood products that can be completely customized.
The company umbrella also encompasses two newer brand — Integrity from Marvin Windows and Doors, which features Ultrex fiberglass products; and Infinity from Marvin Replacement Windows, which uses Ultrex to simulate wood windows
Marvin brand windows typically are installed in upscale new homes. However, they’re also used as replacement windows in many mid-range houses, according to Brett Boyum, vice president of marketing for Marvin Windows and Doors. Aside from being a good insulator, wood looks rich. Marvin choices vary from standards like pine and cherry to more unusual black walnut and mahogany. Exterior aluminum cladding is also available in several colors and finishes.
Ultrex is a patented, protruded fiberglass that does not expand or contract in extreme temperatures. Ultrex windows in both lines come in light and dark fade-proof colors. If a homeowner needs to match siding or roofing, they also can be painted. In addition to aesthetics, Boyum reminds homeowners to consider performance because replacement windows should be energy efficient and keep the house comfortable. “The materials in Marvin products meet or exceed most Energy Star requirements,” he notes.
Joe Klink, corporate relations director at ProVia, says that value is an important consideration when selecting new windows and doors. “ProVia products are not inexpensive, but they’re high value because of their quality and features,” says Klink. “You may pay more upfront, but you’ll have less hassle later.”
ProVia makes exterior doors, replacement windows, vinyl siding and manufactured stone. Operated by the Mullet family, ProVia began in 1977 and its building materials now are distributed nationwide. “ProVia’s manufacturing process is set up for customization,” Klink says. “If you walked through one of their plants, you’d be hard pressed to find two doors that look alike.”
Besides steel and fiberglass entrance doors, ProVia makes aluminum storm doors and vinyl, steel and fiberglass patio doors. “Provia’s Legacy Steel entry door is our flagship product,” Klink says. “It has heavy 20-gauge steel and a mechanical interlock system for extra strength.”
ProVia’s website has tools geared to homeowners’ four main motivations for replacing exterior doors — beauty, durability, security and energy efficiency. “If beauty is their reason,” Klink says, “people can go to the ‘Design It’ tab and upload a photo of their home to create a new door.” Anyone interested in durability or security can access features and specifications tabs, while the “Energy Star” tab calculates the thermal performance of ProVia’s door and window components.
ProVia’s vinyl window products also deliver energy efficiency and eye-catching design options. “Window performance is all about the U-factor,” Klink says. “The lower the number, the better.” Measuring heat conduction, the U-factor indicates a window’s overall energy efficiency, which can even be affected the kind of gas used in double-pane windows. “Krypton gas insulates better than argon.”