Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • 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 »
  • Christina Lewellen, senior editor of Window & Door I have a feeling that with our lovely housing market in its current state, price negotiations between you and your customers or you and your suppliers have become even trickier than they were in the past. So my question this week is whether you’re finding that you can hold your own in pricing talks... more »
  • Christina Lewellen, senior editor of Window & Door Ok, so if you’re not a huge fan of Ben Stein, just ignore the picture and focus instead on the message. In this blog, he shares a personal experience about some disappointing customer service and makes a valid point about willingness to work. Sure, we’re in an economic downturn, but... more »
  • John Swanson, editor/ associate publisher of Window & Door Speaking at the Home Improvement Research Institute’s spring conference last week, Kermit Baker, director of the remodeling futures program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, suggested that remodelers can do better in these difficult economic times by... more »
  • Christina Lewellen, senior editor of Window & Door Do you buy products for their warranties? I have to admit that, with the exception of my cars, I really don’t (my dad would be so disappointed if he knew!). In fact, I tend to be leery of warranties because I figure there’s probably enough legalese in them to eliminate some or most of my... more »