Latest Articles in Opening Remarks

  • “Coming on the heels of unprecedented growth over the past decade,” the home improvement industry is in the midst of a “severe downturn,” says a new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. The study suggests that by the time a recovery begins, “the entire industry is expected to begin a marked transition on both the demand and supply... more »
  • Few people in the window and door industry are sorry to say goodbye to 2008. We reported more than enough stories this year on plant closings, lay-offs, restructurings, and even complete shutdowns of companies. I just wish I could say I was starting the new year brimming with optimism. Current forecasts for the economy in general, and the new construction and home improvement markets, don’t... more »
  • Dan Glover, owner of River Valley Window & Door in Lake Havasu, Ariz., was part of a “state of the window and door industry” panel that spoke at GlassBuild America in September. His company was one of our 2007 Dealers of the Year. Serving builders in the new construction market, he enjoyed growth and success as more people flocked to that desert community. He has seen firsthand... more »
  • People have called me a cynic. And given today's economic environment, I am certainly a realist. A recent panel presentation held in conjunction with the Remodeling Show in Baltimore, however, gave me pause, and suggested to me that perhaps I should improve my attitude. The session, hosted by Ply-Gem Windows, featured window dealers enjoying increased sales despite the tough times. One key... more »
  • The past several months, I have been feeling bombarded with headlines about housing market woes, a lackluster economy and the rising costs of gas. Throw in the industry-specific reports of another window or door plant that's closed down, it can get depressing. When so many headlines are gloomy, it's a real pleasure to put the focus on new products and technologies that highlight creativity and... more »
  • Questions and concerns about a possible shift to triple-glazing have been floating around the industry ever since the Department of Energy issued its preliminary announcement about potential changes to the Energy Star Windows program. The new, more stringent U-factors DOE said it was considering for Northern climates in a couple years would be tough to meet with even the best double-glazed, gas-... more »
  • David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, sees new single-family home starts bottoming out by the end of the year, with a recovery beginning in 2009. He predicts the remodeling market will trail new construction, but it will begin to see improvement next year. Whether he's right or not, who knows, but I now have an answer to a question that's kept coming up... more »
  • Everybody loves the idea of solar power-and the idea is certainly not new. It's never generated much electricity within the window and door business, however. In 20-plus years in the industry, I can count the number of times solar energy has come up in conversation with window and door executives on one hand. There's good reason. We're a practical bunch. We know solar power-photovoltaic... more »
  • The green building movement is not only a focus of this issue, recent meetings of both the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association have featured much talk about the subject. It was also a big topic at the International Builders' Show, with many manufacturers talking about how their products could make a home green, and how they were green... more »
  • The Department of Energy is scheduled to release new, more stringent criteria for windows, doors and skylights that carry the Energy Star label this month. As we went to press, DOE was talking about three sets of new requirements, and while I don’t know what the numbers are, I can ask, “Are you ready?” And I’d like to focus that question on the longer term. The first set... more »