Latest Articles in Opening Remarks

  • As a candidate, President Obama promised "change." Although I don't necessarily think it came from the White House, "change" is now evident in the window and door industry. The change is being applauded by many. With the enactment of the stimulus package, there is now a real tax incentive for homeowners to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes. Manufacturers and... more »
  • Talk of the weak market, not surprisingly, dominated much of the conversation at last month's International Builders' Show. We'll feature a full report on the event in our next issue--and you can find extensive coverage on WindowandDoor.com now, but I thought I'd take advantage of this opportunity to highlight some of the positive developments that emerged at the show. The event always features a... more »
  • “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 »