Photo Credit: HOPPE
Homeowners, manufactures, remodelers, architects and everyone else who effect change in the homes where people live—and increasingly, work—everyday are keeping an eye on trends. This helps optimize space for its intended purpose while simultaneously maximizing its comfort, utility and enjoyment.
Today, we’ll look at three trends that are shaping (literally!) residential hardware this year and beyond.
Bigger is Better
Whether we’re talking doors or windows, the top trend for the season is summed up in a few small words: bigger, taller, wider and larger!
Historically, large doors have been seen as a status symbol of great wealth and prosperity and only seen gracing the entrances to the most ostentatious and upscale homes. For years, manufacturers thought that 8-foot tall doors would be biggest they would deal with in the general residential market. Then 10-foot tall doors … then 12-foot … and now it is an increasingly common sight to see 14-foot tall doors on even suburban tract homes.
“Architects and builders are listening well to the demands of homeowners to incorporate more visibility and obtain more utility from their windows and doors,” said Rick Lipski of HOPPE North America Inc. “The industry is responding creatively with new designs that incorporate strong materials to enable larger designs.”
Lipski noted that as windows get bigger and bigger their role is evolving as well. “Traditionally, doors were usually the largest feature in a space, but since windows are getting larger—sometimes incorporating an entire wall, they are now, by necessity becoming functionally doors,” he said.
A good example is the introduction of multi-slide patio doors with frames that have cleaner, sharper lines, which are intended to not distract, but augment the aesthetics of the view and bridge the gap between the interior and exterior. There are designs that incorporate several individual floor-to-ceiling panels that can slip into a side wall for a completely unobstructed view.
Michelle Nissen, VP of Product Management at AmesburyTruth said, “As people spend more time at home the desire for more natural light continues to be desired, this is further expanding to the need for larger windows. The design and performance of the hardware system play a critical role in supporting the larger windows, requiring increased weight carrying capacity and enhanced operating force to support ease of use. This is in addition to ensuring the hardware designs are sleeker, supporting better sightlines.”
Photo Credit: Amesbury Truth
Minimal, Functional, Hidden
It is interesting to note that as windows and doors follow the trend of getting bigger, the hardware is getting smaller, sleeker and more minimalistic. Homeowners want tall and wide windows, but increasingly thin stiles and rails.
Hardware is becoming sleeker, such as sliding door handles that are more elongated with sharper edges and cleaner lines so they can blend in better. They may even disappear altogether with folding hardware that is completely flush to the frame.
The hottest finish right now is unquestionably black, which highlights the desire to make the already unobtrusive frame components and hardware fade out of sight and out of mind to accentuate the view.
With these new design elements, Nissen said it is increasingly important to balance affordability with performance. “Material costs continue to be on the rise, at the same time there is a desire for higher performance products for enhanced security, increased energy efficiency, and improved ease of use, she said. “Finding the right hardware solution that balances performance with affordability is important, especially as we see home prices on the rise.”
Photo Credit: HOPPE
One thing that has not changed is the importance of security. What has is how homeowners go about ensuring security without sacrificing the aesthetic they are seeking to achieve.
Electronics have enabled visible security hardware to shrink in size, while actually increasing effectiveness. Windows and doors can incorporate tiny cameras, motion sensors and monitoring systems to tell you if the windows or door is open. Locking hardware can include hardwired or wireless and Bluetooth locking systems that remotely control multipoint locking mechanisms to easily, yet securely control access from anywhere.
All this incredible security is following in lockstep with the trend such that unless homeowners want a large camera for “guests” to know they are on video, most of the hardware needed can be essentially invisible.
Photo Credit: Amesbury Truth
Understand the benefits of window, door and skylight certification and how certified products can enhance your projects.
View our list of window, door, and skylight manufacturers.
The Understanding Window, Door & Skylight Certification webinar is designed to help architects and remodelers understand the benefits of window, door and skylight certification and how certified products can enhance their projects.
Find window, door, and skylight manufacturers.