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Virginia builder challenges homebuyers.

Remember the blind taste test comparisons featured on the Coke versus Pepsi television commercials years ago? Virginia builder Peter Neill has taken the "us versus them" challenge and made it work as a selling tool for his tract and custom homes.

As a second-generation builder, Peter Neill learned a great deal from his father, retired builder John Neill, president of Fairfield Classic Homes. One of the most important lessons he learned is to encourage homebuyers to compare his houses to others throughout the northern Virginia area.

"Our homes have a New England feel on the outside and wide open floor plans on the inside," says Peter Neill, president of Newport Classic Homes. "Low maintenance products that don't require a lot of upkeep are a huge element of these homes.

"I especially love showing prospective buyers all the `bells and whistles' of Weather Shield's Visions 2000[R] vinyl windows. All I have to do is demonstrate how they tilt out, then point out the thick, multi-chambered frame, and finally show how both the sash and frame are silicone-glazed to decrease water and air infiltration. Then I send potential homebuyers out to other area homes and challenge them to compare the windows. The results are always the same: the Weather Shield windows sell themselves."

Award-Winning Project

Neill's current project, in the Montclair Pointe development in Montclair, VA, has been awarded the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association's (NVBIA) 1997 "Finest for Family Living Award" in the category of detached single family homes priced between $250,000-$300,000. The 2,600 square-foot Bambridge model features 37 Weather Shield vinyl windows to increase the flow of light in the home.

The front of the home features brand leader Visions 2000[R] windows. To gain cost efficiencies, the sides and rear of the home include the Liteview vinyl window product line.

A series of open rooms on the first floor of the model feature architectural touches such as columns and bookcases to divide rooms. Casement, awning and single-and double-hung Weather Shield windows encourage an expansive amount of natural light throughout the three-bedroom home.

"Some window distributors slap together different window parts and put their name on the window," says Neill. "With Weather Shield, I know they extrude the uPVC and make all the parts themselves. There's quality in the Visions 2000[R] and Liteview product lines that I don't see with other companies."

Quality and Service

Along with the quality of the Weather Shield brand, Neill is sold on the service he receives from his dealer. "I've never seen a salesperson work harder than Scott Shafer of Washington Roofing Products," says Neill. "He's always there to help us unload window shipments, take care of any problems and support us 100%. That type of service is invaluable in today's building business."

Shafer, nominated by Neill for the NVBIA's "Outstanding Associate of the Year" award, feels that although vinyl windows sell as a commodity item in his area, Neill is changing that situation based on his value-added sales approach.

"We trained the sales people at Newport Classic Homes to understand the special features of Weather Shield windows," says Shafer. "As selling points for prospective buyers, it's important that builders know and understand the importance of fusion-welded comers on both the frame and sash, the lifetime warranties and multiple glazing and grille options.

"Peter, and every member of his team, really sell these special features. They're an ideal example of how a builder can make homebuyers, think twice about which vinyl windows are installed in their home."

For more information on Weather Shield Windows and Doors, call 1-800-477-6808, visit our Web site at or circle number 460.
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Title Annotation:Newport Classic Homes' marketing tool for custom homes
Date:Feb 1, 1998
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