Window manufacturer opens expansion opportunity
When hotel guests look out the window of their high-rise accommodations, it’s unlikely that they’re thinking about how the glass was installed into the frame.
But it’s a big deal to Sparks-based ECO Windows LLC, a growing maker of energy-efficient, noise-insulating windows used in commercial buildings across the nation.
President Roman Masznicz explains:
The glass in most commercial buildings is installed into the frames from the outside, a process that requires scaffolding and the potential of weather-related headaches.
ECO Windows, meanwhile, are installed into the frames from the inside of the building. That allows glazing crews to move easily from one floor to the next, buttoning up the building against the elements.
That’s the sort of seemingly small consideration that allowed ECO Windows to survive the financial crisis and the accompanying collapse in construction.
The company now is positioning itself for growth with the acquisition of a 61,152-square-foot warehouse on Western Road in Panther Valley.
Masznicz says the company and its 40 employees expect to complete the move from ECO’s current leased space in Sparks by mid-summer.
With the expansion, Masznicz says the company will add two lines of residential windows — one for production-housing homes, the other for the custom-home markets.
That’s a big step for the company, which has focused on hotel and multi-family products since it was launched by Masznicz, a veteran of the windows business, in 2009.
Although hotel construction came to a near halt nationally about the time that Masznicz got into production, ECO Windows kept afloat with contracts for big hotel renovation projects in New York City, San Diego and elsewhere.
Even though sales doubled in 2013, following a similar sharp increase in 2012, Masznicz figures the company’s revenues are only catching up to the levels that would have been projected before the recession.
About 60 percent of its business is on the West Coast, but ECO Windows rarely works in Nevada.
The company’s PVC-and-steel windows, built job-by-job to meet the specifications of architects and general contractors, range from traditional fixed windows to architectural shapes such as trapezoids.
That wide catalog of options and custom designs, Masznicz says, helps keep ECO Windows differentiate itself from competitors who cut prices fiercely to win business in a commodity business.
“You can almost price their windows by the pound,” he says.
On the other hand Masznicz says the sales cycle generally is long for ECO Windows as it works first with architects, then contractors in a process that can run a couple of years.
ECO Windows purchased the Western Road building from the Hawley Trust. Dan Oster of NAI Alliance represented ECO Windows, while the NAI Alliance Industrial Properties Group represented the seller.
The unanimous approvals Wednesday came despite state leaders promising to tighten up requirements for Nevada’s tax abatements and incentives for future companies.