Tradition & Values

Founded as a country carpenter's workshop in 1880 and still family-run today, our company has a varied and exciting history. This tradition is still close to our hearts today, it shapes us and at the same time keeps us constantly developing.

Tradition und Werte - Sorpetaler Geschichte
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Sorpetaler. Where we come from.

1880: Founding father Hermann Nolte discovers his talent for carpentry.

We had our beginnings in 1880 as a country carpenter's workshop. Founding father Hermann Nolte took care of all kinds of wooden components - from chairs and cabinets to windows and doors. All this happened as a sideline, because mainly farming was practiced. But carpentry became more and more important as time went by. This can be seen well from old records.

1929: The first Appelhans takes over and expands the village carpenter's workshop.

In 1929, he handed over the carpentry to his son-in-law Eduard Appelhans, who remained true to the classic carpentry trade.

Eduard Appelhans (Mitte) mit Sohn Hubert und Gesellen um 1955

1949: Wooden windows are the order of the day. Hubert brings back orders from the Ruhr region - on his moped. The business in Sauerland grows.

In 1949, his son Hubert Appelhans took over the workshop and slowly initiated a change. As enterprising as he was - it is said that he regularly rode his motor scooter to the Ruhr area and brought back full order books - he significantly expanded the radius of the carpenter's workshop. In the process, he landed many orders for windows and doors in cities like Dortmund and Bochum, which had been badly affected by the war. At some point he finally decided: If I want to be really good, I have to focus. And so he paved the way for the development of the Appelhans joinery into Sorpetaler Fensterbau. Due to strong growth, Hubert decided to build a new large production hall on a greenfield site in the mid-1970s - where production still takes place today.

Sorpetaler-Fensterbau-Geschichte Hubert-Appelhans-1
Sorpetaler-Fensterbau-Geschichte Hubert-Appelhans-2

1984: The economy collapses, Sorpetaler is on the verge of insolvency. The whole family pitched in, the company was restructured and reorganized.

It was a difficult time. After large investments, the construction of the new factory building in 1974 and a change in the business model to supplying carpenters, there was an economic slump. Sorpetaler entered a tangible crisis. Eduard Appelhans decided to step in at the age of 24 and turn the business around - together with his brother Norbert and several other siblings and their partners.

Eduard-Appelhans IT-Geschichte

Everyone pitched in to give Sorpetaler a new future. The tour de force succeeded. The company was realigned and put on a secure financial footing. In 1991, Eduard Appelhans took over the management. The product range, production and sales were innovatively rethought and brought up to speed. A very successful period followed. In 1999, further investments were made: the new office building was constructed. An innovative project at that time as a timber frame construction with 3 floors - at that time unique in the German region Northrhine-Westphalia.

2009: Investment in new CNC machine as the heart of IT-supported window production

After another massive slump in the construction industry starting in the year 2000 and a decline in the market in Germany from more than 20 million window units to about 11 million window units (2005), the company continued with major investments after difficult years in 2009: A completely new, state-of-the-art and flexible CNC window production line was purchased. Now it was possible to produce window systems in the construction depths 68, 78 and also 90 mm - no matter whether for old buildings, new buildings or also for special windows such as the constantly further developed Sorpetaler sliding window.

2017: Departure into the digital world. Another generation change begins.

Stefan Appelhans has also been on board since 2017. He was initially responsible for digital before taking over sales management. Since October 2021, he has been Managing Director of Sorpetaler alongside his father Eduard Appelhans.

Sorpetaler-Fensterbau Geschichte Stefan-Appelhans-1
Sorpetaler-Fensterbau Geschichte Stefan-Appelhans-2