Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • Nothing feels better to me than the beginning of summer. And from an industry perspective, it’s great to see things warming up a bit. With the spring came news that workers were returning to window and door plants, and I suspect many distributors and dealers brought back employees as business picked up in the office and in the field. Whether you attribute the increase in activity to normal... more »
  • It wasn’t the main topic, but customer satisfaction was a recurring subject of discussion at a focus group of custom and semi-custom home builders I moderated recently. Held in Las Vegas at the same time as the International Builders Show, the session revealed a shift in builder reliance upon manufacturers for “customer satisfaction,” as opposed to dealers and distributors. The... more »
  • The only constant in life is change. These include new ways of getting things done, such as the use of a smart phones to check our e-mails, or the use of a Web tools like GoToMeeting to facilitate the effectiveness of our conference calls. Many changes are made because progress in technology makes them possible and cost effective. More recently, however, the International Code Council ... more »
  • Impact resistance, water penetration, thermal performance mandates– even bomb blast resistance – are among the headline issues that have raised the bar on building performance in recent times. Building codes, industry standards development and both government and non-government rating programs have taken up the drumbeat for performance requirements that weren’t even thought... more »
  • If you have ever become lost or nervous in the midst of a presentation, you’re not alone. Giving presentations is a scary proposition for many people, but with a little practice and preparation, you can confidently deliver engaging, impactful, and insightful messages. The key to delivering a high impact presentation is to deliver the “right message to the right audience at the right... more »
  • I picked up a brilliant little phrase when I lived in the South that many subsequent years in Washington, D.C., and New York have yet to erase. To me, it is so much more appropriate than any of its proper English counterparts. Though I never mastered the Southern drawl, I love the phrase “fixin’ to.” As in picking up the phone to hear, “Honey, have you left for the store?... more »
  • President Barack Obama, in a January speech on energy and the economy, said “These are extraordinary times and it calls for swift and extraordinary action.” Translation—I am an astute enough politician to understand that the reason I have been elected as the president of the United States is that there are a whole lot of people out there who are unhappy with the situation, or... more »
  • As annual Window Safety Week–the first full week of April–rolls around, the industry highlights its focus on home safety, an important facet of window performance in addition to the usual concerns of green credentials, energy efficiency, wind and water intrusion, impact resistance and security. The problem: Young children are naturally curious and are attracted to an open window. Even... more »
  • As a candidate, President Obama promised "change." Although I don't necessarily think it came from the White House, "change" is now evident in the window and door industry. The change is being applauded by many. With the enactment of the stimulus package, there is now a real tax incentive for homeowners to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes. Manufacturers and... more »
  • In an effort to boost the sagging economy and further political agenda items, President Obama and Congress recently enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. One notable element of that legislation is the energy efficient home improvement tax credit. Under the Internal Revenue Service code, purchase of exterior windows and/or exterior doors that improve energy efficiency of... more »