Milgard Develops Whitepaper on Ease-of-use and Innovation in Housing Products

< Return to Press Room

TACOMA, Wash. (October, 17 2008) – Milgard Windows & Doors introduces Innovation Key to Ease-of-Use and Accessibility, a whitepaper highlighting key elements in the housing market concerning the aging population and those with arthritis. The paper also addresses the steps being taken to meet this growing demand, and the role Milgard Windows & Doors' products play in meeting those needs.

The baby boomer generation has had significant economic impact for decades. With another boomer turning 60 every eight seconds, the demand for products and solutions to help them age in place and improve the accessibility of their homes increases. To that end, a major focus of manufacturers in recent years is developing products that assist this aging population as they transition to the next phase of their lives.

Dissecting the boomer generation even more, residents over the age of 50 are the fastest growing segment of the housing market, and are a wealthier, more active group than past generations. Research also shows that only five percent of people over age 65 live in nursing homes, preferring instead to age in place as well as live safely, independently and comfortably regardless of age or agility level. Two key takeaways are that boomers seek products that help them enjoy their homes and make for easy living, but youthful boomers do not want products that appear geared for senior citizens or the elderly.

Arthritis Foundation, Industrial Designers Society of America Recognizes Milgard

The Arthritis Foundation's Ease-of-Use Commendation is a program that recognizes manufacturers who design user-friendly products that are easily accessible for people with functional limitations due to the effects of arthritis.

"Performing even the most simple tasks, like securing a window, can be extremely difficult when someone has arthritis," said Scott Walters, group vice president for corporate relations with the Arthritis Foundation. "By awarding the Ease-of-Use Commendation for innovative designs, we hope to encourage manufacturers to think universally when developing products. If a product is easy to use for people with arthritis and other physical challenges, it will be easier for all consumers."

Milgard submitted several Tuscany™ and Montecito™ Series windows, with the patent-pending SmartTouch™ lock, to be reviewed by the Arthritis Foundation. The lock was designed to engage with simple, one-touch operation when opening and closing, as well as locking and unlocking the window, making it easy to operate for people of all ages - even if people are restricted in their daily lives due to arthritis. As a result of the testing, Milgard received the Ease-of-Use Commendation.

Available on Tuscany and Montecito Series windows, the lock's low maintenance and durable features further exemplify the ease-of-use aspect of Milgard windows.

More than just baby boomers can experience the accessibility and ease-of-use of Milgard products. Other features of some Milgard windows and doors that meet Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines include:

  • Easy roto operating force on hardware
  • Simple operation on lever lock handles
  • Optional electronic operators on casements, awnings, and skylights
  • Low sill options on windows
  • Wide width options on patio doors

In addition to receiving the Ease-of-Use Commendation, the SmartTouch lock also earned a 2008 Bronze International Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America and BusinessWeek. The co-sponsored award is a celebration of the year's most innovative and exciting products and is routinely recognized as one the world's most prestigious design competitions.

"Milgard's strives to provide solutions for consumers that require low to no maintenance that in turn make for easy living. We are thrilled to be recognized by both the Arthritis Foundation and the Industrial Designers Society of America for our achievements with the SmartTouch lock," said Maureen Faccia, Director of Marketing for Milgard.

Download the PDF

Milgard Windows & Doors Celebrating 50 Years

In 2012, Milgard Windows & Doors is celebrating 50 years of quality, ease of use, durability, energy efficiency and value.

About Milgard Windows & Doors

Milgard Windows & Doors, a Masco company based in Tacoma, Wash., offers a full line of wood, aluminum, vinyl and fiberglass windows and patio doors for builders, dealers and homeowners, all backed by a Full Lifetime Warranty, including parts and labor. The company has been recognized for manufacturing the nation's highest quality vinyl windows six times in a yearly survey sponsored by Hanley-Wood Inc., publishers of Builder magazine. Milgard has over 3,700 dealer locations nationwide. For more information, visit or call 1.800.MILGARD.

About Masco Corporation

Headquartered in Taylor, Mich., Masco Corporation (NYSE: MAS) is one of the world's largest manufacturers of brand-name consumer products for the home and family. Masco is also a leading provider of services that include the installation of insulation and other building products. For more information, visit or call 313-274-7400.

About the Arthritis Foundation® Ease-of-Use Program

The Arthritis Foundation created a program to encourage manufacturers to design user-friendly products and packaging. Manufacturers submit their product for testing by an independent lab experienced in the design and evaluation of products that are accessible to people with functional limitations due to the effects of arthritis. More information is available at

About IDEA and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)

The IDEA program, co-sponsored by BusinessWeek and IDSA, is a celebration of the most innovative and exciting product and product concept designs of the year, and fosters business and public understanding about the impact of industrial design excellence on the quality of life and the economy. The IDSA is the voice of industrial design, committed to advancing the profession through education, information, community and advocacy. For more information, visit

Press Contact Info

If you are a press member looking for product information, photography or would like to order a press kit, please contact us.

If you are a customer looking for product service information or would like to contact a local Milgard sales office, please contact Milgard Customer Service at 1.800.MILGARD (1-800-645-4273) or via the contact us form.

Answer Center


Need help?

Contact Us Find a Dealer Help Me Choose Help Me Budget