Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • When reviewing the news for the upcoming August issue of Window & Door, I was struck by the number of acquisitions that have taken place in our industry over the past 60 days. By my count, there have been at least 11 deals made since late May, among manufacturers and distributors alike. On a national level, there was Sierra Pacific Industries’ purchase of Hurd Windows and Doors. At the... more »
  • Recently, my 18-year-old son decided that the front door must be swollen—often the case in summer—and therefore just needed a good hard shove to open. Alas, the door was bolted shut, and all that gym work must have paid off, because he burst right in, breaking the interior molding in the process. (Strong as he might believe he is, the lock must have been pretty old and worn.) So, now... more »
  • Every business website should include a form visitors can use to provide contact information. For an ecommerce site, converting visitors into qualified leads is of paramount importance, and using a well-designed contact form is a primary aspect of that process. However, this strategy isn't limited to ecommerce sites at all; it's great for window and door businesses as well. The key is not to... more »
  • My first introduction to the glass industry was on the automotive side, where I quickly learned about the challenges associated with insurance claims. Retail auto glass shops struggled on a daily basis--and I imagine still do--to educate consumers that their choice of service provider was not limited to the auto glass company their insurance company recommended. It was a tough job. After all,... more »
  • Window types are often described by frame material first, and while no material can claim every advantage, each has it’s own strength and benefit. I guess that’s one way of saying there’s a good argument for every material, if it fits the application. I’m reminded of a replacement installation a few years ago where the replacement product frame material was just what the... more »
  • The nomination deadline for Window & Door's 2014 Crystal Achievement Awards is just around the corner, and we want to hear from you! Honoring outstanding achievements in window and door product technology, manufacturing and marketing, the awards will be presented in the September issue, in the following categories: Technology Most Innovative Window  Most Innovative Door  Most... more »
  • The green building movement has evolved rapidly over the last five or six years, from considerations solely about energy-efficiency and thermal performance, to the addition of sustainability and life-cycle concerns, and now to considerations of the health and environmental impacts of individual product ingredients. That final topic, the issue of disclosing what makes up building products, topped... more »
  • A big part of my job is helping local business owners understand how directly they're affected by what might seem like minor changes on the Internet landscape. For example, Google creating a new algorithm probably doesn't sound like a big deal on its face. Those search engine geeks are tweaking something again? So what? Google still looks like Google when I search for something. Why would an... more »
  • Recently I spoke with several successful dealers to glean some sales conversion strategies. I spent a long time talking with Brian Elias, owner of Hansons, which does nearly $60 million in window, door, roofing and siding sales—“in one of the worst markets in the country,” he says: “Detroit.” One of the things that Elias attributes to his success—99... more »
  • Full-frame replacement represented nearly half of my replacement business, and I replaced many windows without the help of manufacturer’s instructions for a variety of reasons: replacement instructions didn’t exist, the brick façade prevented access, there was no membrane behind the façade or I encountered a combination of these circumstances. I developed techniques to counter these... more »