Front Range Commercial Windows & Doors, finds solutions to celebrate the past and today’s advancements
Square one. A blank slate. A fresh start.
For many, this is the preferred place to begin a project.But not Joe Morris.
Rather than starting from scratch, the window and door expert veers toward what already exists and the challenges of replacing and improving it. Lucky for him, he gets the opportunity to solve this type of puzzle every day as the CEO of Front Range Commercial Windows & Doors, LLC (FRC). And his company’s relationship with manufacturer Peerless Architectural Windows & Doors makes solutions easier to achieve.
Celebrating the Past
Morris’ fenestration firm, based in Golden, Colorado, specializes in historic replication window replacement. While it also tackles new construction projects, it’s the unique challenges of historic replication work that Morris is partial to.
“Most people don’t want to take on rehab work because they’re not sure if they can keep the air and water out,” says Morris. “We know that water is going to get in, and we design solutions for how to get it out so that it’s not a problem down the road.”
FRC’s peers have taken notice of its unique approach. “We’ve done it longer and better than anyone else,” Morris says. “And now other people are adopting the same types of systems and solutions in their own work.”
And in some cases, FRC’s clients have made it mandatory that the company’s creative solutions are implemented in subsequent window work, regardless of who completes it. Peerless Architectural Windows & Doors, a Kansas company that makes aluminum windows and doors, says partnering with FRC on historical projects—and more—has created a relationship that complements both companies’ strengths.
“We’re always looking for the next big thing—making things bigger, stronger, more energy-efficient, and doing so while replicating the beauty of the old but adding the technology of today,” says Autumn Dowell, marketing manager for Peerless. “The people at FRC truly care and take great pride in what they are doing. We love working with them because they stand behind their projects as much as we stand behind our products.”
The companies have been collaborating together since 2006.
That relationship has allowed the FRC team a chance to flex its ingenuity and embrace of technology and modern advancements.
A recent installation used in university housing allowed the pros to develop an energy-efficient system with sensors that automatically shuts off the heating or air conditioning system whenever the room’s windows are opened.
“We’ve done so many jobs and have worked with so many different vendors that we know how to find solutions,” Morris says. “Our team is always asking, ‘How can we solve it?’”
It’s often Peerless that can help FRC implement the solution. “We’ve built a strong relationship over the years,” Dowell says. “They know our products, and we know how they want to apply it.”
Those projects have included housing work at universities in Colorado and installations at the Fort Carson Army Base.
Peerless leaders are striving to be a world-class company that offers best-in-class products, so it makes sense that they would carefully vet who they work with. FRC is among the handful of companies that meet Peerless’ criteria for such partnerships, Dowell says. “We won’t work with just anyone,” she explains. “But FRC truly understands and appreciates our products and how they work best.”
FRC prides itself on its “can-do” approach and walks customers through all their fenestration needs—the design phase, bidding process, construction and closing. The team provides expertise for architectural design, consulting, procurement, installation and/or custom applications—including not only historic replication, but also high performance/energy efficiency, blast mitigations, acoustics and green solutions.
Finding Fixes on the Front End
FRC is also experienced in working closely with landmark and historic associations to secure permission and approval for rehab and restoration projects. Its solution-driven approach meets the complex demands of both architecture and construction professionals. Longstanding relationships with manufacturing partners allow FRC to match products, processes and performance to historic requirements.
FRC works in a variety of commercial settings to provide operable and fixed windows, storefront and curtain wall systems, and door and entry systems. Morris and his team coordinate drawings, design and installation in partnership with owners, architects, general contractors, manufacturers and suppliers.
He says that getting to know customers and helping them prioritize their needs—aesthetics, function, energy efficiency—from the outset makes the process smoother. That’s one of the main reasons an architect gets involved with the fenestration planning on the front end of every FRC project.
Plenty to Celebrate
Morris, who has been in the window and door industry for four decades, has been leading the team since 2014, when he purchased FRC from owners who were retiring from the company they founded in 2003.
Last year, FRC completed about $6 million in business and for the second straight year was named subcontractor of the year by the American Subcontractors Association of Colorado (ASAC).
That distinction is a motivating factor for FRC’s 17 employees, who include installers, estimators, project managers and one with a degree in architecture.
“Being recognized rewards the team and crew for their efforts and shows them how much they’re appreciated,” says Morris. “And now, it’s become a point of pride: This year’s team doesn’t want to be the one that breaks the streak. Our competitive spirit has kicked in.”
FRC’s involvement with ASAC extends beyond its annual honors, as Morris is a member of the group’s leadership team. He values the training and networking the association offers to its members and the industry as a whole.
As a way of supporting that group and encouraging young people considering the industry as a career path, Morris is working with ASAC on scholarships that will be awarded for the first time next spring.
The Paula Anzell-Morris Celebration of Life Scholarship is sponsored by ASAC and will provide two scholarships for Colorado residents who will be attending Colorado institutions and pursuing a construction track.
The $5,000 annual awards are named in honor of Morris’ wife, who passed away last year. The recipients, who will also be given memberships and assigned mentors through ASAC, are expected to get involved in the organization and give back in some way.
That requirement is a reflection of Paula Anzell-Morris’ legacy as an active member and mentor of both the National Association of Women in Construction and the American Subcontractors Association, Morris says.
He sees the scholarship as not only a way of paying tribute to his late wife, who was a co-owner of FRC, but also helping to shape the next generation of industry leaders and problem solvers.