Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • I have heard from many folks in the industry in the last year or so who contend that plenty of homeowners are staying put in their existing homes rather than moving along the traditional path of starter home to family home to downsized home. It makes sense, given the current environment and the fact that consumer confidence continues to be wobbly at best. This week, I came across this article... more »
  • When I saw this week's news from UL that it's now working on its sustainability standards for windows and doors what struck me most is the fact that we've had so few "green" headlines of late. With tax credits, Home Star and R-5, energy efficiency shows no signs of going away, but I started wondering if concerns about recycled content or certified forests were on the wane? I thought I'd... more »
  • We see some interesting news this week in the window and door industry that focuses on branding. First, we see the resurgence of the Stanley brand in the door arena. That should be a name brand many homeowners remember from years ago. But what really got my attention was the Kathy Ireland backing of Window World products. Who would have thought? I guess it shouldn't be surprising... more »
  • "Do Europeans Really Make the Best Windows?" Fine Homebuilding asks that question in its latest issue. The article’s not available online, but I had a look at the piece, which pitted seven different European wood window products against five Canadian fiberglass window products, Serious Materials' fiberglass window and Paradigm Window Solutions' vinyl window. Those choices can be... more »
  • Home Star took another step forward last week. I can’t say I’ve heard a lot of enthusiastic endorsements of the program from our industry, but there seems to be general support. Given the current state of our market, it’s hard to argue against a program that could stimulate more window and door sales. Home Star comes with some baggage, however. It’s not clear what criteria... more »
  • This week, my hat's off to Replacement Contractor editor Jim Cory for a fabulous topic worthy of some Talk... In his recent article, he explores how some home improvement companies have shifted the way they approach installation. He highlights how some companies used to use all in-house employees to install products and now they've shifted to using some subcontractors—often with... more »
  • I think most people who know me well would categorize me as a pretty upbeat person. I'm quite optimistic and I look for the upside and growth opportunities in not-so-fun situations, including the rocky economic road we've traveled the last couple of years. Chipper attitude and all, I will admit that even I was pleasantly surprised when I digested the Ducker statistical report, sponsored by... more »
  • Newsweek blogger Rana Foroohar offered an interesting piece this week summarizing some key findings in a study about what drives global manufacturing competitiveness. Released by the Council on Competitiveness, the research asked 400 CEOs of top manufacturing companies what makes them competitive. Now, before you go looking at the blog, I want you to vote in this week's poll so we can get a... more »
  • With Fourth of July coming up, we're at the halfway point for 2010.  While unbridled optimism is hard to find, most people in the industry I talk to say things are getting better.  I thought it would be a good time to see where we're at.  So this week's poll question asks how you expect your 2010 will compare with 2009.  Of course I'd like to hear from you.  What do you... more »
  • We've been hitting on a lot of heavy, industry-related topics lately, so I thought I'd offer up a lighter poll this week. Hey, it's summer. We've earned a more fun-lovin' Talk Topic. So here goes: What are you doing for a summer vacation this year? C'mon, email me. I really want to know. This AP report notes that most of America is scaling back—taking longer car rides and... more »