Wallside Windows’ investment in new technology isn’t just good for the customer -- it’s also a boon to the state’s economy.
For proof, look no further than FlexScreen. At Wallside, we’ve installed these flexible, customer-friendly screens with all double hung and sliding windows since March 2016. The resulting business has been so significant that, when FlexScreen was looking to open a factory in the midwest, Michigan was a logical choice.
About 15 employees work at the Rockwood, Michigan factory that opened in the first quarter of 2019. FlexScreen President Joe Altieri sees the number growing to 30 or 35 by the end of this year.
“Wallside is our bedrock customer,” Altieri said.“They were buying FlexScreen, but we were shipping from another facility.”
Screens were making their way from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and, later, from South Dakota.
“When we wanted to open a plant in the Ohio Valley, Wallside was a great customer for us to start with, and they appreciate the fact that we’re now local,” Altieri said.
FlexScreen is a new take on an old product.
Traditional screen “technology is literally a hundred years old,” Altieri said. “It’s kind of a holdout from when aluminum windows (were standard). When the industry went to vinyl windows like Wallside uses, there wasn’t a solution. You can’t have vinyl that does what a screen does. It’s not strong enough.”
And aluminum screens were easily damaged.
“Painted aluminum is a terrible substrate to make a screen out of,” Altieri said. “It bends. It scratches. That was the original reason FlexScreen was invented -- to get over the damage issues manufacturers had with screens.”
About one out of every 25 aluminum screens produced have to be remade before a homeowner is happy, Altieri said. But it’s not just ease of production -- FlexScreen has many advantages. The screen flexes and fits into a window pocket, making them simple to use and increasing sightlines. Windows with FlexScreen typically have an additional square foot of sightline around the perimeter of the window compared to windows with aluminum screens.
Also, our installers and customers no longer have to worry about the color of the frames
“Our screen, because it hides in the screen pocket, there’s no color matching at all,” Altieri said. “We don’t have to have tons of different color screens that we’re offering. We just sell black rectangles. That’s it.”
The benefits combine to provide great value to homeowners and the results are evident in FlexScreen’s success. The screens have been in production for four years, and the Michigan factory marks FlexScreen’s fourth manufacturing location.
“We’re growing very fast,” Altieri said. “It’s one of those American dream things, birthed out of my garage in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.”
If you’d like to experience FlexScreen for yourself, call 1-800-521-7800 or click here to schedule your free estimate today.