Latest Articles in Legal

  • “The Replacements” is the name of a not-so-famous, but pretty funny film released in 2000 starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman. I thought of it when I started this column, my first actually focusing on the replacement window industry. By that, I mean those manufacturers and dealers who have traditionally sold replacement windows as their core business.  Selling to homeowners,... more »
  • It is unusual for the fenestration industry to fall within the scope of presidential action. It happened in February 2009 with President Obama’s signing of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus package. The law was designed to boost sales of energy efficient building envelope components, including windows and doors. The idea was to create jobs and reduce... more »
  • In an effort to boost the sagging economy and further political agenda items, President Obama and Congress recently enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. One notable element of that legislation is the energy efficient home improvement tax credit. Under the Internal Revenue Service code, purchase of exterior windows and/or exterior doors that improve energy efficiency of... more »
  • The last couple years have seen staggering decreases in building starts. It seems a generally benign “downturn” has progressed through a much-debated “recession,” with some fearful prospects of a “Depression” now on the minds of our pessimistic colleagues. While many economists doubt the potential for the economic downturn to stumble into a depression, the... more »
  • New 502-08 and 511-08 documents are good step toward the fair use of product tests in a forensic investigation
    For most companies the evaluation and processing of claims is one of those areas which can stand improvement; sometimes a lot of improvement. I assure you it is not uncommon to be good at window and door design, manufacture, sales and service; but be bad at handling claims. Even those that are fairly adept at handling those projects that have problems have been subjected to potential liability... more »
  • A minor variation in energy performance as manufacturers push the “state of the art” could create liability issues
    Federal preemption is probably not a concept many would associate with the fenestration industry. I suspect many readers have never even heard the term. It’s a concept, however, the industry should understand and promote. The underpinnings for the principle of federal preemption are found in the U.S. Constitution and the goal is the uniform regulation of matters of strong national interest... more »
  • Without question, a window and door manufacturer's most direct interaction with users of its products comes at the customer service and field servicelevels. Companies maintaining comprehensive customer service and warranty service programs routinely place employees in a position to address an owner, user or installer-each of whom is calling because he/she has a problem. The job of responding is... more »
  • The Legal Department
    We don’t need new laws; we just have to enforce the ones we have…” This line has been applied in innumerable ways to issues which have been the subject of a cry for more legislation. Sometimes, the furor results in old laws being enforced with new vigor. It’s good to know when that happens. We are seeing newly vigorous enforcement of an “old law” that has come... more »
  • Mulled windows are the darling of designers—“the introduction of light and the feeling of space”—you know what I mean. A proliferation of mulls done poorly, however, can represent an “Achilles’ heel” that can cause an otherwise vigorous company to falter. We have struggled with mulls through joinery and sealant concerns, education in the trades regarding... more »
  • On March 19, David Yancey of Homewood, CA, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court alleging that he was misled with respect to the performance and insulating qualities of the gas-filled Andersen windows purchased for installation in his home. He challenges representations as to both initial gas fill and gas retention and claims that NFRC ratings of his windows were inaccurate and... more »