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All About Lead Time in the Windows and Doors Industry

October 22nd, 2021, 10:15 AM

The window and door industry is ever-changing. With the rise of new technologies, including fiberglass and vinyl, the industry has seen a lot of change over the years. One thing that hasn't changed much in recent history is the manufacturing lead time for windows and doors. Manufacturing and production lead time refer to how long it takes for a company to get materials from their supplier, then ship them out to you once they're ordered or made if you buy stock items directly from them. 

This post will explain what production lead time means and why it's important for homeowners, builders, contractors, and manufacturers alike.

What is "lead time" and why is it important?

Windows and doors are a major component of any home. They provide protection from the weather, noise, and insects. But what is lead time? Manufacturing lead time is how long it takes to produce your new windows or doors once you have ordered them. This can vary greatly depending on whether you order custom or standard size items, what materials they are made of, and the industry for which they are being installed. 

Production and manufacturing lead time is a crucial metric for any business. It assists the company in predicting sales, making operations efficient, and improving customer satisfaction. However, it would be tough to improve production lead times in the absence of a proper inventory management system, efficient production process, and the right suppliers.

In addition to projects and manufacturing, lead time can also be applied to decision-making. Any stage of a project's life cycle can be referred to as "lead time" by project leaders and manufacturing managers. 

A manufacturer's lead times are important to consider since they might directly or indirectly impact you. A good example of a direct impact would be production times for a manufacturer that needs to ship products across the country.

 construction worker moving window frame

What are the types of lead time?

When it comes to manufacturing and production lead time, there are a lot of factors that can affect the project. Understanding what type of production and manufacturing lead time you have will go a long way in determining how best to plan your production schedule. 

The top five causes for delays in production are late payment, difficulties with financing projects by the contractor/manufacturer; slow decision making, and approval process related to the procurement of materials or design documents.

There are four main types of lead time in window and door manufacturing:

  1. Processing Time - the window or door is processed by a window and door manufacturer. It is also called production time or window and door manufacturing lead time. 
  1. Transportation Time - Window and door manufacturers need to ship the window or door from their production facility to another location, such as a construction site. 
  1. Decision-Making Time - this is when project managers make decisions in the window and door manufacturing process. 
  1. Waiting Time - this window and door lead time is associated with the window or door being in storage or waiting for processing at a window and door manufacturer.

The window manufacturing industry is filled with competition. This means that window manufacturers need to produce products in the shortest amount of time possible so they can keep their clientele satisfied. Timely delivery window and door manufacturing lead times help window manufacturers maintain a successful window and door business.

How much window or door production lead time do you need?

To determine your window and door production requirements, you'll have to know how long it takes your window and door manufacturer to produce windows and doors.

The window and door manufacturing industry doesn't have a set window or door lead time that all companies abide by, although there are standards or guidelines for this to be achieved. One major issue is that window and door makers work within different market segments - meaning they produce custom products for the construction industry rather than standard window and door sizes.

Regarding window and door lead time, there are some guidelines to follow:

  • Standard window and door production lead time is typically 1-2 weeks after the window or door has been ordered. 
  • Custom window and door production times will vary depending on the size and material window and doors are made out of. Factors such as window and door size, window and door manufacturer, window and door material type, window and door industry segment, window frame sizes, window frame colors, window frame material types, internal glazing materials, and external glazing materials can affect the production lead time. Standard lead times for custom window production are typically 3-5 weeks, with additional window lead time required for window and door color choices.
  • Lead times for window and door installation vary depending on the window frame sizes, window frame colors, window frame material types, internal glazing materials, and external glazing materials. A rough guideline is that standard window and door installation can take up to 1-2 weeks, with window and door installation taking up to 2-3 weeks for custom window and door projects.

The window and door production lead time will depend on the window or door you need. This is why every window and door project requires a window and door manufacturer that can meet your needs, whatever they may be.

How Hodges excels in lead time in the industry

When it comes to choosing your next window or door, don't settle for anything less than perfect. Hodges Windows and Doors offers some of the best products on the market today at prices that won't break your budget.

Hodges Windows and Doors is the premier D.C. area window company. We're committed to providing our customers with high-quality products and services that exceed their expectations. Our team of experts will help you find exactly what you need when you need it. We offer a wide range of options including custom windows, doors, shutters, blinds, and more! You can count on us to provide expert installation so your home looks its very best.


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I must tell you that Mark Russow and everyone at The Hodges Window Company are nothing less than a great representative/distributor for your company and we will not hesitate to recommend both companies to our friends and family.

Debbie P.
Manassas, VA
Window and Door Installation

Thank you so much for fixing my window today! Thank you for coming even though these windows aren't yours......No wonder the management office here thinks you guys can do anything and are the most helpful window company around.

Kim T.
McLean, Virginia
Window Repair

We enjoyed meeting with Brian Whitehouse and were impressed with his ability to explain our options, always respecting our wishes and never annoying us with hard-sell tactics...It was such a pleasure to deal with people who know their job and do it well.

Sara R.
Falls Church, Virginia
Window and Door Installation

The whole process from initial meeting to installation was painless and quite surprisingly, a lot less expensive than we thought it would be... Thanks again for taking such good care of us. If anyone I know is looking for new windows, I will certainly recommend your company.

Carol B.
McLean, Virginia
New Window Installation

We love our new door. The installation work was timely, quick and well-done.

Mary Ann M.
Arlington, VA
Door Installation

I am so pleased with my windows, your installers and staff. I would indeed recommend your company to anyone and everyone. They were quick, efficient and very polite.

Betty L.
Fairfax, VA
Window Installation

Your guys did a great job. The temperature in the house is up by 3 degrees and the heat pump is running half as much.

Larry C.
Gainesville, Virginia
Window Installation

The installer, who I think was Tom Langworthy, did excellent work. He was respectful of our space and cleaned up after himself. He always conducted himself in a professional manner. He seems highly competent and he engenders confidence in his workmanship.

James B.
Washington, DC
Window Installation

We are so very, very happy (once again!) with the Hodges Company....this is the third time we have had a project completed, and each time we've been so pleased.

Valerie Soroka
Arlington, VA
Door Installation

I think they did a very good job. I will go back to them in a heartbeat.

Karen L.
Arlington, VA
Window and Door Replacement

The deck door is fabulous and the installation is super!!! I love how wide it is, and how easily it opens and it actually locks! thank you for the expert product and installation.

Kevin J.
Springfield, Virginia
Door Installation

Before, we could never keep up with the cold. Now we just turn the heat on, and it stays in the building. Complaints are way down, and we're very happy.

Rev. Davies K.
Falls Church, Virginia
Window Installation

Tom is definitely a master craftsman and did an excellent job. Just want you and the company to know that both Tom and Larry did an outstanding job and we are very pleased with the results.

Dave H.
Arlington, VA
Window Installation

All in all a really fantastic company - they've been in business a long time and it shows based on how they treat the costumer. Am planning to do windows next year, and they will be my first phone call.

Ian W.
North Potomac, MD
Door Installation

Throughout the entire process - from our first meeting to the on-going daily supervision - by you of the job, the professionalism, the quality of the products, and the workmanship was outstanding.

David & Rosemary P
Vienna, Virginia
Window and Door Installation

We will definitely be using Hodges again when we look to replace some windows in our house

Daniel Q.
Woodbridge, VA
Door Installation

Everything was excellent. The salesman offered good advice and provided examples of how the end result would look. Hodges' workers arrived on time and worked quickly. The lead installer was quite knowledgeable as well, so the job was done neatly and without incident.

James G.
Vienna, Virginia
Window and Door Installation

I wouldn't deal with anyone else. Working with Hodges, I know I can get anything I want, and my imagination can run wild.

Arlington, Virginia
Window and Door Installation

Hodges had very knowledge salespeople, highly skilled installation crews, and the product lives up to expectations. You can't ask for better than that.

Richard N.
Ashburn Village, Virginia
Door Installation

Your craftsmanship made all the difference, and it was nice getting to know you. We hope to hire you again.

Nany & Harry B.
Chevy Chase, MD
Windows and Door Installation

I want you to know that your two colleagues who installed the windows did an outstanding job...Jean and I could not be more pleased.

Ted B.
Washington, D.C.
Window Installation

I just wanted to express my appreciation to the team your company sent to install a few doors and repair windows in our house. They were professional, caring, cooperative and extremely courteous. They are a major asset to your company. On the whole, our experience with the Hodges Company has been very positive and we happily recommend your services to others.

Mary V.
Bethesda, Maryland
Door Installation and Window Repair

I couldn't be more pleased with both my windows and the installation and now "on a clear day I can see forever". If you would like to use me as a reference I would be more than happy to cooperate.

Elizabeth H.
Arlington, Virginia
Window Installation