It is pretty cool to see how things have changed over the years within the window construction business, Mark Hutson explained. Window materials, sizes, glass tints, everything has improved and changed over the years, keeping Hutson busy as the General Manager at Terry’s Discount Windows & More LLC.
Hutson joined owners Terry and Julie Keelen in 2010, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience within the industry. After graduating from Landmark Christian School in Michigan City (which is no longer there) he went straight to working in the backroom of a company called Design Center. There he started off building and installing windows and kitchens, until his manager asked him if he would be interested in sales.
“My dad was a carpenter when I was younger so I was looking for a job and saw the ad,” he said. “I have been doing it ever since.”
Now, at Terry’s, Hutson is the go-to guy. He runs between 10 to 12 in home sales appointments a week, plus runs out to any projects where issues or questions arise. He goes out to take final measurements before jobs begin and oversees the work is being done, wearing many different hats each day, he said.
For Hutson, he enjoys selling the windows and overseeing the installation process, but the best part is meeting new people, and stepping into new houses.
“I’m always curious about houses,” he said. “Have you ever gone down the historical part of town and think, “Man, I would love to see the inside of that house?’”
“Well, I’ll tell you that I have been in about 80 percent of those houses,” he added.
Hutson enjoys studying the architecture of the house, seeing how each house is laid out differently.
From when he built his own home in Rolling Prairie in 1998 until now, Hutson said the changes of window materials are just mind-blowing. Windows are now made to be as energy-efficient as possible, letting in less heat and sunlight and overall, have a better fit inside the house.
His house was built strong enough for his and his wife’s five children, plus 34 foster children that they have had in their home over the years. He has three biological boys, two of which recently graduated from college, and one at Valpo University. He also has two adopted sons.
Hutson came from a huge family with eight original brothers and sisters. The first two were girls and the other six were boys, he said. His father has 19 grandkids, with the first two girls and the other 17 boys.
“I thought we needed to adopt a girl,” he said. “My wife and I ended up fostering a girl and adopting a boy, whose sibling was mentally handicapped.”
They have been fostering kids for the last 17 years, helping each one in any way they needed. The Hutsons and their children have been very involved in their church and local events. He and his wife have taken some time off from fostering for the last two years, and have spent their time traveling and camping throughout the area.
“We like to camp and see the sights,” he said. “We will stop and check out antique stores and pawn shops just to see if we can find something good.”
The Hutsons are both from La Porte County, and both from large families who spend a lot of time with each other.
When he entered Terry’s Discount Windows, that same family-focused mentality was clear and familiar.
“We are like brothers and sisters,” he said. “I joke and call Julie my mother, even though she is four years younger…”
It is a nice, family-oriented business, where everyone, both staff and customers, feel at home.
Come by and meet Mark and the rest of the Terry’s Discount Windows family! They are located at 1153 Marsh Street, Suite A, directly behind the Valpo Harley Davidson Dealership. Or to learn more about Terry’s Discount Windows & More, click here to visit their website.