Alvio-U.S. has introduced windows and doors from Greece that offer hurricane resistance,
high thermal ratings and bulletproof options.
By Mark Lawton,
A Long Island contractor has introduced Alvio-U.S., a Greek window and door company, to New York and Miami-Dade County and aims to expand sales throughout North America.
Joe Tilton, owner of JCD Management in Hauppauge, N.Y., got connected to Alvio while doing high-rise building work in Westchester County, N.Y. He immediately saw the potential for the U.S. market.
“Energy loss, sun infiltration and climate-controlled homes have definitely changed the [U.S.] window and door industry,” Tilton says. “Europe has always been ahead of the curve on energy efficiency. Here in the U.S. a lot of counties and townships have been working to conform with building homes to a higher energy standard. That market has definitely been catching up [with the European market].”
Two years ago, Tilton became a part owner of Alvio Systems in Greece and now has the North American distributorship. While Alvio-U.S. is its own company, JCD Management does all the installation of Alvio doors and windows in the United States.
“There are a lot of little things you have to know to install them properly,” Tilton says. “We sent a few men over [to Greece] to learn the process. We’re not allowing any contractors to install the product.”
Tilton mostly works in the greater New York City area but also has started selling Alvio-U.S. products in Arizona and southwest Florida.
Alvio-U.S. products have a number of advantages over other windows and doors, Tilton says. “Their frames and glass really supersede a lot of things we have in the U.S.,” he notes. “We can keep our prices points pretty comparable to many of the products in the U.S.”
Those include high thermal ratings. “We have a lot of different glass options,” Tilton says. “We can change the thermal characteristics. For example, up north in the U.S. where the temperature swings are great, we can design a window by raising and lowering the ratings with different glass configurations. We can change the sun infiltration that comes into a house.”
Such window configurations can also reduce sound from the outside. “If you are in a high-traffic area, we can kill the sound almost to zero,” Tilton says.
The windows come in numerous colors for interior and exterior frames along with tints and finishes that won’t show fingerprints or dirt. The windows are rated to resist hurricane-strength winds and are even available with bulletproof glass and frames.
“There was a time when we didn’t have any hurricane-rated windows at all,” Tilton says. “The last four or five years, we’ve firmed up on that. A lot of places within one mile of water, they want hurricane-rated windows and doors.”
Tilton says it can be challenging to introduce a new product. “There are a lot of things available to clients,” he says. “It’s hard to convince someone to buy a new products even though it might be far superior. Other products have a name for themselves that people are familiar with. Another challenge is trying to explain the product to the client. For instance, what thermal values will mean to them and ease of maintenance.”
Still, he is pleased with sales. “We’ve been working with several architects and homeowners,” Tilton says. “Once they see Alvio-U.S. product, they like it. It gets their attention and interest.”