Latest Articles in Legal

  • 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 »
  • 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 »