Through the Looking Glass
A look at windows and doors heading into 2024

A Coastal Windows employee works at the company’s Waipahu facility.     COURTESY COASTAL WINDOWS

Pam Barrett

Ian Wilson

John Repasky Jr.

Trends come and go — and the windows and doors sector isn’t immune to these shifts.

With 2023 drawing to a close, Building Industry Hawaii reached out to industry experts for their takes on current trends and what they anticipate over the year ahead.


When it comes to aesthetics, Coastal Windows Marketing Director Pam Barrett says there is “increased demand from customers for a wider range of styles, sizes, colors, finishes and functionality.” This has been keeping manufacturers and suppliers on their toes as they try to expand their selections to meet these growing needs.

“Wood is making a reappearance, which is exciting,” says Ian Wilson, Door and Millwork program manager at HPM Building Supply. “Depending on the type of wood and the finish used, wood can transform a home’s interior in a variety of ways. [Wood] can last a lifetime [with proper maintenance] and [can] be customized over the years with paints, stains and carvings.”

John Repasky Jr., president at Tradewind Hawaii Inc., reports a growing demand for “larger glass units with minimal frames,” and, in contrast to Wilson’s observations, a rise in “more aluminum-framed glass products, compared to a market that was dominated with wood-framed glass products.”


However, everyone seems to agree that customers up and down the supply chain — whether homeowners, designers or contractors — all desire products that are low-maintenance, sustainable and energy-efficient.

These low-maintenance designs, Repasky says, increasingly include “expansive window and door wall systems to meld their inside-to-outside living environment.”

Wilson has also seen a rise in demand for lift-and-slide doors, which are not only “visually stunning,” due in part to their larger glass panels, but also boast ease-of-use and “provide a superior seal when in the locked position, ideal for keeping out the elements and providing added security,” he says.

Barrett sees demand for energy-consciousness manifesting in calls for locally-sourced polyvinyl chloride (PVC) windows, which are environmentally friendly and don’t emit toxins.

“Vinyl is [a] superior, energy-efficient material that doesn’t break down or deteriorate like other materials,” says Barrett, which allows for products to remain in place for decades.

Additionally, Low-E (low emissivity) coatings on windows contribute to lower air conditioning costs by limiting the amount of solar heat allowed into a space. Low-E coatings can also help protect fabrics, carpets and other surfaces from fading due to ultraviolet rays.


Another perennial concern among customers is safety and security, whether from extreme weather conditions or property crime. The lift-and-slide doors highlighted by Wilson provide a top-quality seal to keep out the elements, as well as keep in air-conditioned air, saving on energy costs.

Meanwhile, impact-resistant windows and doors stand up to high winds and debris, including those seen in hurricane conditions. The same products can also provide enhanced security against intruders and vandals.

“Impact-rated windows have the added benefit of reducing outside noise, making for a quieter environment inside your home or business,” says Barrett.

Perhaps the most surprising trend in this sector is the rise of smart technologies. While being able to open windows and doors with the push of a button is not a new advancement, it remains an appealing feature.

Paired with the rise of smart tech and the ubiquity of Wi-Fi connectivity, homeowners can now open, close and lock doors and windows with an app on a mobile device from anywhere in the world, as opposed to a keypad affixed to a wall.

Barrett cautions, however, that the industry needs to keep up with technological advances in order to make them more commonplace.

“The motors need to be strong enough to handle the weight of today’s larger, heavier window and door units [and] the Wi-Fi connectivity needs to be one uniform system to be able to communicate with other smart-home components,” she says.

Sustainable products that are energy-efficient, durable, convenient — and good-looking, too?

The outlook for the new year looks bright, indeed.

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