Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • 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 »
  • Seaway Manufacturing, an Erie, Pa., based window manufacturer, reports it offered the EPA lead paint  training classes to 36 installers from its dealer network in January, with 24 currently signed up for a February session.  Other manufacturers, no doubt, have offered similar training programs. Many window and door dealers have pursued the soon-to-be-required training through other... more »
  • I'm a mom, so there are moments that pop up from time to time, from which I have no choice but to accept that I'm getting older. One such case in point this past weekend: After watching the first few days of the Vancouver Olympics, my 6-year-old daughter was wandering around the house singing, "We Are The World." She raised an eyebrow and told me I was "kind of old" when I... more »
  • Filing away materials I collected last month at the International Builders' Show, I came across a press release about a survey of 55+ home buyers, conducted by the National Association of Home Builders and Metropolitan Life.  What caught my eye in the survey was the fact that among 36 features these consumers were asked to rate as "important" in their puchase decision for a new... more »