A Clear Choice

BY BRIAN SHERMAN

AccentsMuhlerVer2Image1

For 20 years, through times of boom and bust, Muhler has polished its sterling reputation for selling and installing high-quality products and following up with unmatched customer service. But despite two decades of dominance in the local window and door market, Muhler is not a name recognized by most Charleston residents.

Chief executive officer Dan Mahoney would like that to change.

“We’re a top-notch company,” he says, “but people only know us for a fraction of the services we provide.”

Mahoney points out that Muhler has both a strong commercial presence—its products are common in Lowcountry storefronts, auto dealerships, banks, government buildings, hospitals and even at the Boeing facility in North Charleston—and an equally strong residential one.

In its new construction division, Muhler deals with builders and contractors, helping them choose the proper doors and windows based on quality, budget and compliance with government standards and regulations. In fact, Muhler has sold more windows on Kiawah Island than any other company and supplied windows for the majority of multi-family projects built in the Charleston area in the past few years.

“You can’t sell to builders and homeowners for that period of time unless you’re good and dependable at what you do,” Mahoney says.

AccentsMuhlerVer2Image2
AccentsMuhlerVer2Image3
AccentsMuhlerVer2Image4

Underscoring that point, Mahoney says two-thirds of its residential work comes from referrals from satisfied customers.

“When people are looking for quality, dependability, integrity and honesty, Muhler is the place they go,” he asserts. “Some people see us as strictly high-end, which is wrong. We’re very competitive as far as price goes. What people really want to know is where they can get great windows from someone they trust.”

With the population of the tri-county area expected to increase by 200,000 or more in the next decade, the residential building and renovation industries are certain to boom. Muhler, which survived the economic downturn that began in 2007, is primed to take advantage of what will be a healthy demand for its products and services, including windows, doors, sunrooms and storm protection. Mahoney points out that, on the residential side, Muhler can replace windows on all types of houses, from a modest three-bedroom home on James Island to a lavish mansion on Kiawah. He adds that the company’s relationship with customers doesn’t end once the windows are installed.

“People want a company that will be there to take care of their needs,” he says. “Someone who comes in here for four replacement windows is dealing with a company that sells millions of dollars worth of windows. Whether you need four windows or 4,000, you’re dealing with the same company and the same expertise.”

He adds that Muhler maintains its own service department, sending its service crews to resolve a variety of problems, even for consumers who purchased their windows from the company’s competitors.

Muhler’s employees have a wealth of experience in the window and door industry. Mahoney adds that the average worker has been with the company for more than 10 years.

“It’s a very complicated industry. It’s easy to be fooled, confused and taken advantage of,” Mahoney says. “It’s not just a piece of wood with glass in it. You want a professional who knows the industry and will be there when you need them.”

A family-owned company, Muhler sells windows in the United States and abroad, and Mahoney says that the company is involved in multi-million-dollar projects in the Caribbean.”

“We’ve been around 20 years in a very competitive industry, and we’re still in business,” he says. “That has to say something.”

Brian Sherman is a Charleston-based writer.