Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • A manufacturer contacted me not too long ago to see if I had heard any news about one its local competitors. The reason he inquired is that he was seeing an influx of people from this competitor looking for jobs at his operation. While I hadn’t heard any news in this particular case, and I wasn’t much help, it reminded me of something said to me not too long ago. “If you can... more »
  • $700 billion. Or was it $700 trillion. It's way too big a number and too complicated an issue for me, but when I heard about plan to bail out Wall Street and theoretically save our economy, I couldn't help but wonder, "It would be nice if someone helped out struggling window and door companies that way." Of course, I know most business owners in this industry wouldn't want or expect the... more »
  • In its latest e-newsletter, NAHB is voicing its opposition to the “30 percent” solution that will be the focus of much discussion at next week’s International Code Council hearings. They are referring to proposed energy code changes designed to increase the efficiency of new homes by 30 percent more than those currently built. What interested me is that NAHB sees window... more »
  • Speaking at last week’s AAMA meeting, the DOE’s Marc LaFrance pointed to climate change concerns, our nation’s need to become more energy independent, tighter energy codes and changes in the Energy Star program and said, “All these things are moving forward together to move the industry from a double-paned package to pretty much a triple-paned package.” Those... more »
  • I guess some professions just run in the family. My uncle is a professional writer; in fact, his first book went on presale this month. We write about drastically different things—he covers sports with a particular affinity for “where are they now?” stories and I write about windows and doors, with a soft spot for specialty retailers—but we get on the phone every once... more »
  • John Swanson, editor/ associate publisher of Window & Door The International Builders’ Show Web site this year featured a little guy walking around and talking at the bottom of the screen. It was the first time I’d seen that feature, but I just visited Window City's site last week that also had two “hosts”... more »
  • Christina Lewellen, senior editor of Window & Door I can’t imagine most of us spent our childhoods dreaming of growing up to work in the window and door industry. I love hearing “how I stumbled into the industry and never left” stories at meetings and trade shows because we all have our own journey into the fenestration realm. The... more »
  • I visited with Four Seasons Sunrooms last week. The company reported recent success in picking up new dealers because of its “more complete” product line. Their new dealers like that they can buy from one source, and get more support as a result, yet satisfy more customers with different needs and different budgets. I can see why that would be appealing to many dealers. But I also... more »
  • John Swanson, editor/ associate publisher of Window & Door I visited with Four Seasons Sunrooms last week. The company reported recent success in picking up new dealers because of its “more complete” product line. Their new dealers like that they can buy from one source, and get more support as a result, yet satisfy more customers with... more »
  • John Swanson, editor/ associate publisher of Window & Door Talking to equipment suppliers for an upcoming article, they report, not surprisingly, that few window and door makers are expanding capacity these days. Yes, many are replacing old machines or upgrading existing lines, and a good number of manufacturers are re-tooling, but suppliers also note... more »