Business Profile

Old Town Windows and Doors

By Bob Tagert


Old Town Windows and Doors


Business Profile - Gary NatovitzThis month’s Business Profile is about a relative newcomer to Old Town, but one who brings a wealth of knowledge and energy to our fair city. Gary Natovitz, already successful in business, decided to work with the best and begin to sell windows and doors. His plan was simple – base 50% of his business in an environment where they could dictate what products could be sold, and partner with a creative, visionary manufacturer that provided product, as well as ancillary products that could be sold in non-restrictive adjacent markets.

They checked around for the most advantageous area and settled on Old Town Alexandria, and decided that Marvin Windows and Doors was the best product available. Marvin provided Old Town Windows and Doors the most versatile and highest quality products available – they covered all needs required. Marvin had traditional wood and clad products, new construction fiberglass/wood products and fiberglass replacements.

Why Marvin? Just south of the Canadian border, nestled next to Lake of the Woods, sits the small town of Warroad, Minnesota, home to Marvin Windows and Doors – the world’s largest manufacturer of made-to-order wood window and door products. Heralded throughout the world as an industry leader, Marvin is known for its craftsmanship and rich legacy of producing high-quality and innovative products that are a result of the talents and entrepreneurial spirit of the people who work there.

Natovitz had established his primary market and had their sources lined up. Marvin had always shown a true sense of loyalty to its clients and the dealers that represented the products. Natovitz then set his resources towards working with the city of Alexandria to systemize and simplify the rule for replacing windows and doors in the historic district. As the only non-council member invited to participate in these meetings the “Old Town Guy’s” expertise was used to help streamline the selection process of manufacturers that could meet the strict guidelines imposed by the city. After considerable time and resistance, guidelines were enacted based on the ideas and recommendations that were presented by Natovitz. Simultaneous to these efforts a relationship was established with the local distributor of Marvin products. With his twenty years of knowledge, the company now boasted of almost 100 years of experience in the business. Their credibility was not questioned and a mutually beneficial partnership was formed.

Business Profile ExteriorOld Town Windows and Doors strives to be the best Marvin dealership in the DC Metro area. With the solidifying of their customer base in Old Town and the adjacent jurisdictions, they are poised for even more explosive expansion. They have overhauled their showroom – located at 631 South Patrick Street – and added a nice coat of green paint to the building which has increased their visibility. They also have a new website and revamped their marketing campaign.

In addition to expanding their market, Old Town Windows and Doors is already hard at work on improving their staff’s knowledge and training, and boosting efficiency within the organization. Their service team recently made the trek to Warroad for a 3-day training session on proper installation and servicing of Marvin products and is now disseminating all of their knowledge to the rest of the company.

I had the opportunity to talk with Gary Natovitz. Here is a no nonsense personality…straight to the point and clearly has the knowledge to back up the talk. This is a guy you want on your side. Understanding the rigid standards for architecture in the historic district of Old Town, I asked Gary what percentage of windows need replacement now or in the near future. His guess was about 80%. The process must be intense realizing that a lot of the window casings are no where near square anymore in these old homes.

When asked what is the best product to use, i.e. wood, wood/fiberglass, fiberglass or vinyl: his response was “whatever is better for that particular house…they are all different.” “Wood doesn’t conduct heat and cold and keeps its shape better while fiberglass is ten times stronger than wood.”

Business Profile interiorHistoric projects can be challenging from matching unusual grilles or ornate exterior trim to fitting those windows into openings that may have shifted over the years. When selecting a historically appropriate window or door, it is important to choose a product that will meet, and even exceed, the local Board of Architectural Review standards. Choosing a product that is less than satisfactory can be costly and cause major delays in your project schedule and that means more money out of your pocket.

Visit their showroom and check them out. If you need windows or doors, they are there for you. These are the kind of guys who work very hard so that they can play just as hard…I like that concept!


Old Town Windows and Doors

631 South Patrick Street

Old Town Alexandria


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