Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • This week, I feel some positive vibes in the air. This is probably the most upbeat WDweekly we've published in a couple of years—newly-reorganized companies, new programs at existing companies, a new facility, and some pretty upbeat economic reports coming across the wire. Who are you and what have you done with my economic crisis?? Perhaps it's seasonal, or a bit of a coincidence, but I'd... more »
  • This week's WDweekly suggests our industry is getting more colorful. One of our news items this week focuses on Soft-Lite, which has been promoting color options on its vinyl windows and doors for some time, but also seems to be part of a growing trend. Over the past year or so, a growing number of manufacturers have added new color and finish options or capabilities. Much of the activity is in... more »
  • Tomorrow, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. While there's no doubt we've all become increasingly environmentally conscious as companies and consumers, I think there tends to be a little extra "umph" in the marketing department when Earth Day rolls around.  Some in the window and door industry see Earth Day as a chance to communicate about their efforts to be... more »
  • I work with a guy who went ga-ga over the new Apple iPad. He had one in his hands within a day or two of its release, and I have a feeling he probably does just about everything but shower with it. Sure, he's a cutting-edge IT guy, but he asserts that he can accomplish just about everything he needs to do–busines and personal–on his iPad. So, in a similar vein, I have to give kudos... more »
  • Last week, I asked about the impact of the DOE's R-5 window program.  One possible effect the program could have–which no one mentioned specifically, but which I have wondered about since DOE first announced it–was a possible shift away from the industry's usual use of U-factors to R-values.  U-factors, as long as NFRC has been around, has been the standard way to rate the... more »
  • Last year, the Department of Energy announced the launch of the R-5 windows and low-E storm windows volume purchase program, designed to find buyers for highly insulated windows and match them with manufacturers that would offer such products at an affordable price. Checking the DOE Web site this week to see if they had announced which companies had been accepted for the program, I learned they... more »
  • Coming to you from Germany this week, I’m walking the aisles of Fensterbau looking for new technologies that could make their way to North America. Of course one thing I’m seeing a lot of is tilt-and-turn windows. The standard in Germany and popular in many other countries around the world, tilt-and-turns remain a niche product in North America. When I first started covering this... more »
  • We're going to keep it simple this week. Sometimes we all deserve a break with a nice, easy yes-or-no question, so here it is: Should the EPA delay implementing the new rules for handling lead paint dust during renovations? We've asked in previous weeks if you were aware of the rules, if you were trained on the rules, if you were ready for the start date. But I want you to look beyond your... more »
  • “Given expected growth in world industrial demand over the next several years, particularly China, building materials prices will tend to rise faster than general inflation,” predicts Bernard Markstein, a senior economist with the National Association of Home Builders.  He made those comments in an article in Nation's Building News looking at recent price hikes in lumber,... more »
  • President Obama released information yesterday about his widely-anticipated "Homestar" program, giving the window and door industry what could be another significant shot in the arm for sales products delivering energy efficient upgrades. While all the details will come out in the next week or so with the official Senate bill, and further permutations are likely as legislation then... more »