Quality for a Lifetime

Duraco Window Industries

Duraco Window Industries designs, manufactures, and installs high quality windows and doors. The Canadian company has been leading the industry since 1965 with its innovative quality product and top notch customer service.

“We were the first company in Canada – and maybe in North America – to build a fully fusion welded PVC window,” reports Owner and President Matthew Guberman. Early innovations like these gave the business a strong foothold in the marketplace, and the team continues to roll out leading edge designs and high quality products to this day.

Duraco runs a state of the art 60 000 square foot manufacturing facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ninety percent of the windows and doors produced there are used in renovations on private homes or multifamily dwellings. Wherever the company’s products are used, their superior quality sets them apart. The secret, Mr. Guberman says, is in the details. “With a PVC window or door, it is a combination of lots of little things that sets your product apart from others in terms of quality.” The team has a laundry list of specifics, but it boils down to “a very heavy duty frame and top quality components throughout.”

For example, Duraco windows are built using a remarkably heavy length of extrusion. This is significant because the cost of that extrusion is based on its weight. Many competitors, therefore, try to cut costs by using an extrusion that is “as light as possible,” Mr. Guberman says. Duraco, on the other hand, is willing to invest the expense and effort into the highest quality parts, including a heavier than standard frame. “That is one thing that people who work installing PVC notice right away when they pick up our product,” Mr. Guberman reports. “It is very sturdy and heavy. We start with a heavier frame.” Creating a solid, well fashioned window is particularly important to Duraco’s customers because the bulk of them live on the prairie in Western Canada. “It is a severe climate,” Mr. Guberman points out. Extra care and quality components are crucial to stand up to the weather there, and details like triple glazing and heavy duty hardware make a real difference.

Duraco is so confident in the quality of its products that the company offers a full lifetime warranty on all of its windows and doors. The team carefully considered the financial pros and cons before making the commitment, and pulled service records for the previous ten years, analyzing how much the cost of repairs would likely set them back in the future. The research revealed that the company’s products are so well built that the cost of future repairs would be minimal. “In order to offer a lifetime warranty, you better put the quality into the manufacturing stages or you are going to have a lot of cost down the road,” Mr. Guberman points out. Because Duraco has done just that, providing a full lifetime warranty on all its products has been an easily affordable undertaking for the company.

The company also develops its own products and constantly strives to provide the market with the most relevant and up to date solutions. However, in such a well-established industry there is rarely the “eureka moment” that comes with a brand new invention, Mr. Guberman points out; there is only so much that can be done to improve on the company’s already high quality windows. But Duraco is determined to supply the best windows possible, so the team refuses to settle for status quo – even when status quo is pretty darn close to perfect already.

When developing new product, the team looks for a specific need in the market and then works to fit that need. Typically, product innovations are driven by a change in the building code. Feedback from repair workers and installers also helps to identify any areas in need of improvement. “A lot of our product development stems from the field,” Mr. Guberman reports. Employees who work with the product in the field attend weekly meetings to discuss product issues and provide feedback. The ideas presented at these meetings are then evaluated by the product development team and acted upon, if appropriate.

One recent Duraco innovation is an entry door with an increased water tightness rating. The development was spurred on by a change in the building code, which requires new construction to meet a more rigorous water tightness requirement. The new building code doesn’t actually apply to renovations, which is the area in which the company primarily operates, but Duraco wanted to develop a better door and prepare for the future anyway. “We want to be on the leading edge,” Mr. Guberman explains. Another new Duraco product is a hopper window specifically designed to meet existing fire codes. Most older homes have small basement windows that slide to the side, Mr. Guberman explains, and when homeowners want to convert an area of the basement into a bedroom, these windows don’t open wide enough to meet the current fire codes. To remedy this problem, the team developed a high quality window that swings open like an awning, creating enough room for escape in the event of a fire.

Creating leading edge, high quality product has certainly been key to Duraco’s ongoing success, but customer service has been just as important, Mr. Guberman says. “It’s a huge thing. It’s a big reason for our success and our growth.” Everyone is afraid of experiencing a renovation nightmare, he points out. “They even have entire shows about that on T.V. now… There is a lot of worry and trepidation.” Duraco makes it a priority to reassure customers and to walk them through every step of the installation process. “We try to make that experience as smooth and as pleasant as possible from start to finish. That’s our focus.”

A crucial component of Duraco’s customer service is communication. “I really believe that good customer service is about proactive communication,” Mr. Guberman says. The team keeps the customer abreast of what’s happening from day one, maintaining close contact all the way through until installation is complete. This communication is particularly important because of the long delay that typically takes place between a customer submitting his or her deposit and the actual installation of the product. “They are waiting probably six weeks,” Mr. Guberman explains. “It is a long time, and you really want them to feel comfortable. That is why we take the opportunity to communicate with them several times during that six week period. So they know what is going on and when things are going to be ready.”

Duraco employees are always ready to respond to a customer over the phone, as well as by email or in writing, and every customer receives a personal thank you letter from Mr. Guberman after making a purchase. Letters giving updates soon follow, including a crucial notice that provideses all the information the customer needs to know before the installation takes place. “They get a letter from us that details everything that is going to happen next – from when we’ll be calling you, to what’s going to happen on the day of the install and what we need you to do to prepare for our arrival.” As a result, customers know what to expect from start to finish.

Duraco also uses its own employees for the entire installation process, so the company has complete control over customer service and quality. “We have our own guys instead of subcontractors,” Mr. Guberman reports, “which is very uncommon in the industry.” As a result, Duraco is able to oversee the crew’s training and certification to ensure that every worker is at the top of his or her game. In addition, the company has the control to remedy the problems that will occasionally occur despite the best precautions. “If we do make a mistake, we are absolutely sure to get there, communicate what we are going to do, and fix it on a timely basis,” Mr. Guberman insists.

Duraco’s ongoing commitment to the customer – and to producing a superior product – has kept the company ahead for nearly half a century. And the team is eager to continue this support and dedication far into the future. “Down the road, one year from now, ten years from now, if you have any issues whatsoever, one call to Duraco and we will take care of it,” Mr. Guberman says. At Duraco, providing the highest quality windows and doors is a lifetime commitment.

December 11, 2017, 2:16 AM EST