Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • The up-and-coming workforce is digitally native, thinks globally, is easily bored, craves attention, acts socially and is work-ethic challenged. That's  according to Eric Chester, a consultant focused on helping companies understand and getting the most out of "Generation Why" employees and keynote speaker at this week's AAMA conference. Hiring new workers and developing new talent... more »
  • News emerged recently that Penguin Windows, one of the largest home improvement companies in the country and a past Window & Door Dealer of the Year, swiftly and unexpectedly closed down its corporate headquarters and drastically downsized its operations. A company official attributed the move to market weakness, according to at least one local press report, but it's hard not to think... more »
  • Personally, I thought HomeStar was dead.  And given our current Congress, it may be, but President Obama brought it up again last week. Re-emphasizing his commitment to energy efficiency, he said would push for the initiative as part of his his next proposed budget.  I know there are a lot mixed industry feelings on HomeStar.  Some people like the idea of incentivizing homeowners... more »
  • Monday's announcement that Quanex was acquiring Edgetech was a bit of a surprise on its own, but it also comes on the heels of four other industry acquisitions announced during the first month of 2011.  For those of you not keeping track, Hurd has also acquired Superseal, a local investor group bought Fen-Tech, a French company acquired Lapco in Quebec and a private equity firm acquired... more »
  • Every once in a while, we step outside of the realm of window and door-related topics to explore something that gives us a feel for our readers. Given that I'm not much of a football fan, I thought that would make me the best one (for impartiality's sake) to ask the question of the hour—Packers or Steelers? Now I will admit that I'll be cheering for the Packers by default. My... more »
  • Window and door manufacturers touted R-5 efficiency, HVHZ impact resistance and a host of other performance attributes at last week's International Builders' Show. Walking the floor and talking to exhibitors, however, I sensed an increasing emphasis on design issues. In talking to exhibitors, styles and colors seemed to trump Energy Star. I think I heard more people say things like "... more »
  • It's official. We're in the new year and the $1,500 tax credit is over. As we've reported in recent weeks, many manufacturers and dealers saw quite a rush in the last few weeks of the year as homeowners scrambled to get their window and door upgrade projects done in time to claim the incentive on their taxes. As 2010 wrapped up, we also heard rumblings from window and door companies that the... more »
  • Builder Magazine recently ran an article looking at 10 design trends for 2011.  It suggests we can expect more homes that are simpler and smaller. Green remains strong, and is expected to become even more important when it comes to interior finishes (note Kolbe's new offering in Recent Introductions this week). One material that's predicted to see gains is glass–not in windows and... more »
  • It's been a tough year for many businesses and individuals, no doubt, but it's an even tougher landscape for the charities and nonprofit organizations aiming to help those in need. This holiday season, I keep hearing and reading about how charities are struggling to collect the funds and other donations they need to fulfill their missions. This article, for example, points out that even if your... more »
  • For many years now, I have wrapped up the year by asking our WDweekly readers about their companies' resolutions for the coming year. Last year and the few before that painted a similar picture—most folks were just hoping to make it through the year alive and kickin'. Are we more hopeful and confident this year?  We'll stick with tradition and ask you to weigh in on your company's... more »