There is a distinction between products that have a rating for air, water, structural and thermal performance and those that have not attained this status. Fenestration products have been tested by independent testing agencies (AAMA, WDMA) to certify the performance ratings they stipulate. [see window label]. These products often have design or hardware components that enable them to attain higher performance ratings. These can include, advanced bulb weatherstrip, adjustable hinges, reinforced frames and self-weeping sills/thresholds. Generally, these advanced components and higher testing standards affect the overall cost of the product; however, they also last longer and out perform “shop built” ones.
“Shop Built” products are not subjected to same strict testing processes, yet can still provide excellent value for homeowners to consider for use in their home. Lumber yards or door wholesalers purchase individual components and assemble them in their own shops, instead of being assembled at the manufacturing facility. This allows for greater flexibility and customization without the increased cost associated with fenestration testing. Products from Tucker Door & Trim, our door wholesaler, would fall into this category. They purchase components from Rogue Valley, Plastpro, Western Reflections (door glass inserts) and others manufacturers to assemble high quality exterior doors, interior doors and front entrances. See the high quality products offered by Tucker Door & Trim at [www.tuckerdoor.com]
With fenestration testing, products cannot change components without having to recertify the product, as it may change the performance result. Shop built windows & doors can utilize various components & parts with more variety and customization to meet customer’s needs. Testing the multitude of different configurations would be very costly and reduce their value they provide to the industry.
“Shop built” products can have very good performance and life spans and should be considered when selecting which products to use in your home.