Latest Articles in Legal

  • As you potentially look to expand your staff in response to improving market conditions, it’s time for some quick reminders about the risks associated with hiring and training new employees, and using independent contractors. Skilled Employees Proper fenestration installation requires employees who are the right fit for your company. When it’s time to bring someone on board, don... more »
  • If you sell your window or door products in one of the growing number of states with a “Notice and Opportunity to Cure” or “Right of Repair” statute, you need a plan in the event you receive a defect notice relating to your product. These statutes require that homeowners and builders—as well as subcontractors and suppliers—have the opportunity to resolve any... more »
  • The Energy Star program, as jointly managed by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, is a long-time benefactor of incentives and tax breaks. It is a success story hailed as reportedly saving American $28 billion in 2008 alone. With Energy Star’s subsidized popularity and resulting influence in the market, window manufacturers have had little choice but to... more »
  • It has long been an aspect of the law that when a seller says something about its product to induce sale, it needs to be a fair representation or liability can result. This type of claim can be frustrating for the seller. The consumer keeps the product, which appears to be working fine, but he or she sues for economic damage claiming to have been misled. The potential for such situations grows... more »
  • If your company is in the business of buying and reselling building products, including doors and windows or components, manufactured by an offshore entity, what happens if a lawsuit is brought relating to those products? As a “seller,” your company is a serious target. “But, we did not make it, we just resold it” is not an adequate defense. Companies need to understand... more »
  • Something's in the air. Years of increasing fenestration product thermal performance requirements–more recently coupled with on-again, off-again financial stimuli directed to improving “whole house” energy performance–is elevating air infiltration to a new level.  Air infiltration could potentially join water penetration as a major source for legal claims against... more »
  • Window and door manufacturers carrying the Energy Star label on their products are “partners” with the Department of Energy. From a legal perspective, “partner” is a loaded moniker, but in the case of Energy Star, it may be more honorary than real. In a recently settled case, LG Electronics USA Inc. had sought an injunction against DOE for action related to some Energy... more »
  • Selling windows and doors in today’s economy is hard. The replacement window business has remained comparatively strong, but selling directly to consumers is stil a challenge. Not only is it difficult to sell products in an economy where housing prices have plummeted and homeowners are spending more conservatively, but consumers are more skeptical and always looking for a “deal.... more »
  • Let’s put down the plastic sheeting, hazardous materials bags, and personal protective equipment and, just for a moment, pick up our contracts. Much has been written about the EPA lead paint requirements that went into effect April 22. Like all construction trades, the window and door industry has been working to figure out and meet the new EPA rules covering work in pre-1978 buildings.... more »
  • With this industry segment increasingly in the limelight, the press of legal issues will grow
    In 2000, Keanu Reeves (as quarterback “Falco”) and Gene Hackman (as the Coach of the Washington Sentinels) starred in “The Replacements,” a not-so-famous but pretty funny film that came to my mind in preparing my first article focused on the replacement window industry. I don’t mean companies who have some replacement window lines. I mean those manufacturers and... more »