Latest Articles in Legal

  • 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 »
  • “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 »