Latest Articles in Industry Watch

  • It may not be for the best of reasons, but the storm clouds over the housing market may have a silver lining in the form of a brighter outlook for home remodeling and window replacement. Researchers surmise that, in the context of the depressed number of new housing starts, a significant increase in remodeling activity is reflecting a shift toward reinvesting in existing homes over building new... more »
  • Last May, a three-year-old boy fell from a third-story window at a Connecticut apartment after pushing out a screen. The very next day in a nearby town a two-year-old boy fell from a third-floor apartment window after a screen became dislodged. Both toddlers died. Also last May, a three-year-old Petaluma, Calif., boy was critically injured when falling from a second-story window after the screen... more »
  • Looking toward 2011, we observe an economy rife with mixed signals, but with a difference. Most of the mixed signals are in terms of how big and how fast the recovery will be – not whether further declines of varying depth are in the offing. McGraw-Hill Construction expects the economy to grow at a lackluster annual rate of 2.5 percent, but avoiding another recession. Among the mixed... more »
  • A large portion of our discussions about the industry in the recent past have had an economic component to them, as the recession has made budgets tighter and staffs thinner. Belt-tightening has caused a big slowdown in home starts and in construction projects which has lowered the demand for building products. This downturn has been difficult for manufacturers, but at the same time been good... more »
  • Prompted in part by concerns raised over excessive formaldehyde emissions within trailers supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Katrina-displaced New Orleans residents, Washington has moved to regulate formaldehyde content in wood composite products. A better understanding of carcinogenic properties has also added fuel to the regulatory fires. Because this essentially extends an... more »
  • Although admittedly viewed through a rather hazy crystal ball, the national economy and the future of our industry can be projected with cautious optimism, so long as we are prepared to accept a “two steps forward, one step back” type of progress. At the midpoint of 2010, a look at the dashboard is encouraging: After shrinking 2.4 percent in 2009 (the most since 1946), gross domestic... more »
  • Although admittedly viewed through a rather hazy crystal ball, the national economy and the future of our industry can be projected with cautious optimism, so long as we are prepared to accept a “two steps forward, one step back” type of progress. At the midpoint of 2010, a look at the dashboard is encouraging: After shrinking 2.4 percent in 2009 (the most since 1946), gross domestic... more »
  • Despite unified industry pleas to delay implementation based on training bottlenecks and the poor timing of adding yet another speed bump to an ailing industry’s road to recovery, the Environmental Protection Agency decided to go live with its new Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule on April 22, 2010. The new measure (40 CFR § 745.85) requires renovation work that disturbs more... more »
  • It appears that the other shoe in the Energy Star program for windows, doors and skylights as adopted in April 2009 is poised to drop. On the heels of the March 31, 2010 implementation deadline for transitioning to the newly upgraded requirements, the “Phase Two” tightening of criteria–originally slated for 2012 or 2013–is now folded into a more comprehensive and... more »
  • As the winter weather slowly gives way to spring, the weary window industry is indeed looking longingly at a new construction season in hopes of seeing a renewal of our markets. Homeowners are looking afresh at their windows, too–but as a means to finally open stuffy homes to balmy breezes and birdcalls after a season of winter captivity. It is this time of year, as warmer weather... more »