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Smaller Houses Mean Masonite Is Selling Fewer Doors


Tampa-based Masonite says a shift to smaller homes is having an impact on its door manufacturing business. 

Masonite analyzed floor plans from five of the nation’s top home builders. It found first-time buyers prefer smaller homes--about 2,500 square feet. A smaller house has fewer doors, and that means fewer sales for Masonite.

"The base in our data, which include different size home and some multi-family units, that put the average number of doors at about 19. We assumed 21 doors in the past for midsize home," CEO Fred Lynch told investors on a recent conference call. "So as builders continue to focus on and build entry-level homes that would present a buying headwind for us."

Tony Hair, President of Masonite's residential business, said the shift presents an opportunity.

“We are seeing both consumers' demand for more contemporary styles and more current products. And builders respond to that. So, even if there are fewer doors in a home we do see a demand for more on-trend styles,” Hair told investors. The company contiues to see strong demand from its architectural business, which makes doors for commerical buildings. 

Masonite is also consolidating its manufacturing, and recently closed factories in Largo and Tampa. Last year it broke ground on a new headquarters in Tampa's Ybor City.  Lynch, who has served as chief executive since 2007, steps down in June. Howard Heckes, who has been an executive at Valspar and Newell Brands, will become CEO. 

Bradley George was a Morning Edition host and reporter at WUSF until March 2022.
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