Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • Builders seeing an uptick in demand are finding it hard to find workers, according to a recent CNBC report. With new home construction down for so long, many people have moved on to other industries.  Of course, the window and door business has been down for some time, and I suspect many of us can name people who've moved onto other industries. So are we or will we see the same problem... more »
  • Last week, the Republicans gathered in Florida, and made their case for the election of Mitt Romney and a new direction for our government.  This week, the Democrats are in North Carolina for their convention, making the argument that President Obama deserves another four years to continue building on the limited recovery to date. So, with everyone in a political mood, I thought it was time... more »
  • Recently, the NAHB Research Center released its 2011 Annual Builder Practices Survey, which showed that bells and whistles in building products and home designs are making a comeback. “While the market has not yet returned to its pre-recession fixation with extravagance, signs are emerging of a resurgent demand for high-end finish materials in some product categories,” says Ed Hudson... more »
  • I've heard them called "inside storms" and "interior insulating panels" and they've been around in one form or another for many years. Some type of frame is put around a glazing panel–usually plastic–and is then attached to the inside of a window to improve energy performance, reduce drafts, and increase comfort. In this week's news, we have Indow Window, a... more »
  • Residential electricity prices have increased by more than 42 percent since 2002, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute. High electricity costs mean energy efficiency is more important than ever to homeowners, as well as remodelers who think green can significantly help their customers save on utility bills for years to come. Many homes are improperly prepared for the elements,... more »
  • With many housing markets across the country gaining traction, buyers and sellers are adjusting their expectations. With more consumers getting off the fence in order to take advantage of lower home prices and historically-low interest rates, real estate agents are advising clients to position themselves for success. For buyers, this might mean getting financial ducks in a row. For sellers, it... more »
  • A Bloomberg.com recent article suggests Gen-Yers are opting for iPads over cars.  "Smartphones, laptops and tablet devices compete for their dollars and are higher priorities than vehicle purchases," one automotive consultant reports. Detroit is concerned that this trend may reduce annual vehicle sales for the long-term. “It’s no longer a foregone conclusion that we... more »
  • We knew the day was coming—the Environmental Protection Agency recently released its draft proposal for the future of the Energy Star program for windows, doors and skylights last week. With a plan that calls for changes to take effect in January 2014, the draft includes U-factor requirements that may  lessen the need for manufacturers to pursue triple-glazed products to carry the... more »
  • Last week, I received press releases from Milgard and Windsor, each announcing the availability of building information modeling (BIM) files for certain window and door lines offered by the manufacturers.  These weren't the first of such announcements I've received by any means, but the fact that I recieved two in one week made me wonder about the role of BIM in the... more »
  • The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for July, released just this week, saw a pretty significant jump—the largest jump in builder confidence in nearly a decade. Up six points, builder confidence for the newly-built, single-family housing market reached 35 points in July—the highest point since March of 2007. While this is a step in the right... more »