Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Despite unified industry pleas to delay implementation based on training bottlenecks and the poor timing of adding yet another speed bump to an ailing industry’s road to recovery, the Environmental Protection Agency decided to go live with its new Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule on April 22, 2010. The new measure (40 CFR § 745.85) requires renovation work that disturbs more... more »
  • Selling windows and doors in today’s economy is hard. The replacement window business has remained comparatively strong, but selling directly to consumers is stil a challenge. Not only is it difficult to sell products in an economy where housing prices have plummeted and homeowners are spending more conservatively, but consumers are more skeptical and always looking for a “deal.... more »
  • When I first started covering this industry, European profile extruders were still in the midst of their first push into the North American market. Vinyl had a relatively small market share, limited largely to a few replacement products, and the European suppliers saw huge opportunities. Those opportunities weren’t realized quickly, however. One of the main reasons was the tilt/turn product... more »
  • The first several months of 2010 represented somewhat of an industry first. As the Environmental Protection Agency’s new lead renovation, repair and painting rule was set to go in effect, window and door manufacturers and dealers—along with others from the building products and construction industry—went to Washington, D.C., en masse to make their case. Instead of its typical... more »
  • As some of you are probably aware, the International Code Council final action hearings on its Group A+ (non-energy) related proposals took place in May 2010 in Dallas.  What you may not have been aware of is that the final action on some of these proposals had already been determined well before the Dallas hearings began. Although the result was not finalized until the vote was taken on... more »
  • I am one of those people who tend to not do well when I have a lot of things coming at me at the same time. I am not good at juggling–whether it be trying to keep balls in the air or making sure I don’t miss something when I have multiple business or personal responsibilities. This is why I tend to focus my attention primarily on what the International Code Council is doing. From time... more »