When it comes to window and door solutions in Tucson, few companies have the respect among builders, architects, and homeowners that Krausch Architectural Windows & Doors does.
The dealer has been installing windows and doors in the custom home and replacement window market in Arizona’s second-largest city since 1999, and it’s been selling, installing, and servicing Western Window Systems products almost since day one.
In fact, the two companies’ relationship has been so strong and fruitful over the years that Krausch Architectural Windows & Doors was named Western Window Systems’ “Top Southern Arizona Dealer” in 2009.
“We really began to work more closely together at the end of 2008, at the beginning of the recession,” says owner Phillip Krausch. “We had to work through the tough times knowing that we had to build relationships through better service and better pricing because builders seemed to be getting tired of other local dealers.”
Since then, an incredible word-of-mouth reputation has put Krausch at the forefront of the window and door business in Tucson, even as the housing industry has rebounded dramatically and numerous Johnny-come-latelies have entered the market.
“It’s been one of our biggest challenges,” Krausch says. “People see it as a growth industry, and they start coming in to lowball on jobs and not knowing what they’re doing. But we have more knowledge of the products we sell than do the competitors. And we are able to do a lot of large projects that other dealers might shy away from.”
Those large projects include a big portion of Krausch Architectural Windows & Doors’ business: custom homes in the Tucson area’s upscale neighborhoods. Krausch calls the city a unique market because so many of the custom homes his company works on are a buyer’s second or third home.
Window and doors sized for custom homes are another reason Krausch and Western Window Systems make a good fit for each other. Krausch’s showroom features full-size displays of the Western Window Systems large rolling panels of glass that have become so popular for custom homebuyers seeking a positive indoor-outdoor living experience.
“Customers like to come in and touch and feel the products,” says Krausch. “They come in to look at a 15-foot-by-10-foot pocketing multi-slide door, and there’s definitely a ‘wow’ factor. We’ve actually won jobs at higher prices than our competitors just by being able to show full-size displays of what we have.”
The Tucson native says it’s not always easy to work with manufacturers when it comes to the oversize doors and windows that many of his custom home clients seek. It’s in working with these products where Krausch and Western Window Systems have forged a unique partnership.
“A lot of manufacturers will say, ‘Oh, we can’t do that,’” says Krausch. “But working with Western Window Systems to make oversize pieces has helped us win a lot of jobs and has helped us grow in the market.
And the growth doesn’t have to stop there, Krausch says. As Western Window Systems continues to increase its footprint throughout the country, Krausch Architectural Windows & Doors is there to sell the company’s high-quality aluminum products. He notes that his firm has slowly expanded its business into the Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley, Grand Junction, Colorado, and even a half-million-dollar job (“all Western Window Systems products,” he says) in Laredo, Mexico. Doing work in Southern California also is on Krausch’s radar for the future.
Still, with just 15 employees, Krausch Architectural Windows & Doors is anything but a giant company, and if there’s glory to be had, the owner says, he likes to share it with his crew. “We like to treat employees like they’re part of a team, make them feel like they’re an asset to the business,” he says. “I always like to say, ‘We. Together. Not I, I, I.’”
Partnerships clearly are important to Phillip Krausch, whether they’re forged with his employees, with the Tucson builders and architects who send work his way, or with Western Window Systems, whose “can-do attitude” and easy accessibility to sales reps and executives alike he praises. He understands that it’s teamwork that fuels an operation like his because going it alone in a growing industry in a competitive market is a tough battle to fight. In other words, it’s already a lot of work, even with the strong relationships.
“We’re still basically a small business,” he says, “meaning you work every possible hour you can.”