Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • There are some unique characters out there to be sure, but the window and door dealers I’ve met over the years usually possess a lively combination of energy, enthusiasm, intelligence and downright friendliness. Those traits typically bubble up to the surface with our Dealers of the Year recognition program. The stories of the companies and individuals we recognize as Dealers of the Year... more »
  • I bought a car last spring that was rated 29 mpg highway. Now conventional wisdom is a new car will never actually achieve the performance rating given. Those numbers are for comparison only and “actual mileage may vary.” So imagine my surprise when, after returning from a road trip this summer over which my average speed exceeded 50 mph, I learned that my gas mileage for that trip... more »
  • A large portion of our discussions about the industry in the recent past have had an economic component to them, as the recession has made budgets tighter and staffs thinner. Belt-tightening has caused a big slowdown in home starts and in construction projects which has lowered the demand for building products. This downturn has been difficult for manufacturers, but at the same time been good... more »
  • Window and door manufacturers carrying the Energy Star label on their products are “partners” with the Department of Energy. From a legal perspective, “partner” is a loaded moniker, but in the case of Energy Star, it may be more honorary than real. In a recently settled case, LG Electronics USA Inc. had sought an injunction against DOE for action related to some Energy... more »
  • Once again, Window & Door is honored to recognize in this issue significant innovations and achievements in window and door technology, manufacturing, and marketing with the Crystal Achievement Awards. Especially when there’s been so much bad news in the industry over the past few years, I can tell you it is a real pleasure to focus on the positive. Looking at our winners—and all... more »
  • My mother lives in a house that is over 100 years old. She chooses to live there because it is home. She also chooses to live there in part because the house is completely paid for, and has been for some time. But another reason she chooses to live there is the same reason she and my father choose to buy the house over 40 years ago–it’s a well built house in a good location. The... more »
  • Many of us in the window and door business would consider ourselves part of the home improvement industry. But what about the “home performance” industry? My guess is that a lot of us have probably never even heard that term. Home performance deserves our attention, however. Home performance contractors are energy efficient retrofitters. They don’t just sell siding or HVAC... more »
  • Prompted in part by concerns raised over excessive formaldehyde emissions within trailers supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Katrina-displaced New Orleans residents, Washington has moved to regulate formaldehyde content in wood composite products. A better understanding of carcinogenic properties has also added fuel to the regulatory fires. Because this essentially extends an... more »
  • After the May International Code Council Group A+ final action hearings, an AAMA member remarked to me, “I can’t remember the last time we had such a high rate of success at a code hearing.” I could. It was before energy conservation codes became as prominent as they are now. Codes were less a source of division within our industry. We were able to focus more on what we... more »
  • Although admittedly viewed through a rather hazy crystal ball, the national economy and the future of our industry can be projected with cautious optimism, so long as we are prepared to accept a “two steps forward, one step back” type of progress. At the midpoint of 2010, a look at the dashboard is encouraging: After shrinking 2.4 percent in 2009 (the most since 1946), gross domestic... more »