Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • Most window and door manufacturers are interested in components that will give their products a higher end look, but most have to balance cost concerns as well. That's still true but hardware and extrusion suppliers at GlassBuild last week indicated more manufacturers are showing a real interest in adding components or developing complete new lines that offer an enhanced appearance... more »
  • The economic outlook, along with the outlook for window and door sales, isn't too bright. We've all seen the news. While I'm not kidding myself, I found some hope and encouragement, however, in the number of window and door manufacturers I saw walking the floor of GlassBuild America this week. So, when do you think we'll see growth in the window and door market? First half... more »
  • So who can tell me how to say “wish me luck” in Chinese? This weekend I leave for my very first trip to China. I’ll be visiting Suzhou and Shanghai, as I mentioned in my column this month, and while I’m dreading the plane ride, I’m really excited about the trip itself. The purpose of my visit is to learn about doing business in China; I’ll be meeting with many... more »
  • 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 »