Garage Doors Make Splash at IBS

© 2006 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 2006
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 42-45

Garage Doors Make Splash at IBS
The 2006 International Builders’ Show
Orlando, Fla.
Jan. 11-14, 2006

By Tom Wadsworth

In the 1990s, you’d typically see only a half dozen of the largest garage door and opener manufacturers at the International Builders’ Show.

Why? I’m sure that cost had a lot to do with it. Booth space at the Builders’ Show has always been expensive. Only the largest manufacturers with national distribution would pay the price to exhibit at this huge show.

Besides that, most builders of the 1990s viewed all garage doors as basically the same. It was a rare builder who could actually tell the difference between one steel raised-panel garage door and another.

So, back then, the big manufacturers came to the show to increase awareness of their brands. Garage doors were just one, and a minor one, of the 300+ product categories displayed at IBS.

That Was Then …

But times have changed. This year, about 15 different garage door brands were displayed at the 2006 International Builders’ Show in Orlando. And, with few exceptions, each booth had something new, unique, and attractive to display.

In 2005 and 2006, Overhead Door and Wayne-Dalton expanded their exposure by posting signage at high-traffic locations in the convention center. Their efforts also succeeded in drawing attention to garage doors in general.

Gathering Buzz

Immediately after the show, on Sunday, Jan. 15, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a feature story that attempted to identify the top ten topics gathering buzz at IBS 2006. Ranking number three on their list was the garage and garage doors.

Let me say that again. The garage and garage doors ranked number three on the list.

Susan Fornoff, the Chronicle reporter who wrote the story, noted how garages are larger, with finished interiors, and how they often “double as front door.”

“To that end,” she writes, “garage door makers are getting fancy, and even pretty.” She then quotes a California builder who says he is “looking for a supplier to provide special (garage) doors. We’d go to $4,000 for a really great door.”

Are you paying attention? He says he’d pay $4,000 for a really great door.

Well, some “really great doors” were on display at this year’s show. Since most door dealers don’t typically attend the Builders’ Show, here’s a quick photo tour of some of our industry’s exhibits at the IBS 2006.

Photos and captions:
YEAH, IT’S A BIG DEAL: With more than 1.5 million square feet of exhibit space and more than 1,600 exhibitors, IBS is the largest residential construction show in the world.

JAM-PACKED: The 2006 show attracted a record crowd of 105,262, eclipsing last year’s mark of 104,112. Next year’s show will again be held in Orlando, Feb. 7-10, 2007.

EXPANDING PRESENCE: Overhead Door made a big splash at the show with a spacious new two-story booth.

FINE SIGNS: A huge Overhead Door ribbon banner at the front entrance helped to pique interest in garage doors.

GOOD-BYE TO PLAIN VANILLA: Wayne-Dalton aggressively promoted the idea of “saying good-bye to the plain vanilla garage door” with signs in high-traffic locations.

FIBERGLASS IS BACK: Several models of the new 9800 fiberglass-clad garage door attracted the interest of the media and builders. The doors are pinch resistant and are available in heights of seven or eight feet and in widths of eight, nine, 16, or 18 feet.

RIDING THE WAVE: Wayne-Dalton’s use of Z-Wave wireless technology was also featured at the TecHOMExpo. The Z-Wave alliance includes more than 125 home and computer industry companies.

FIRST-TIMER: A-tech, a wholesale distributor, brought its garage door products to the show for the first time, sporting a large booth. The exhibit included full-door displays from Martin Door and FrenchPorte, marking A-tech’s new distribution agreements with these companies.

THE NEXT LOGICAL PROGRESSION: With so many doors now featuring wrought iron exterior hardware, why not wrought iron windows? Clopay introduced several new wrought iron window designs. The panes are made of UV-protected acrylic and carry a 10-year limited warranty.

MATCHED SET: Designer Doors announced a new line of economy-priced matching garage and walk-through doors.

FINISHED: The newest product at Amarr’s large booth was its insulated version of the Classica Collection steel carriage-house doors. This 3-section door now offers 24-gauge exterior steel skin, 2" polyurethane insulation, and a 27-gauge interior steel skin for an R-value of 13.35.

C’EST MAGNIFIQUE: The A-tech exhibit included a FrenchPorte door, a sectional aluminum garage door that now “hides” the horizontal section joints (which are not pinch protected). The company says its translucent frosted polycarbonate panes are “virtually unbreakable.”

AND GARAGE DOORS: Jeld-Wen, the major manufacturer of doors and windows, devoted more space to its wood composite garage doors with a polystyrene core. In 2005, the firm signed agreements with Amarr and Safe-Way to distribute Jeld-Wen garage doors.

TAYLORWOOD: Taylor Building Products, not present at IBS in recent years, was a new addition to the garage door exhibitors at IBS 2006. Pictured: Tom Seymour, president, explains the details of the Taylorwood pre-finished wood-grained steel garage door.

RANKED #1: Windsor Republic displayed several of its new carriage-house door designs and touted its good reputation with builders.

AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVE: Raynor introduced RiverPointe, an “affordable alternative” to its higher-end American Rivers Collection custom wood doors.

Amarr Garage Doors
C.H.I. Overhead Doors
Clopay Building Products
Designer Doors
Marantec America
Martin Garage Doors
Overhead Door
Summit Door
Taylor Building Products
Windsor Republic Doors