Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • 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 »
  • Although it's counterintuitive to think about global warming when a hard winter besieges the upper Midwest, we in the fenestration industry ignore the implications of global warming at our peril–at least in the sense that doing so will likely hamstring our businesses. The human role in global warming is heavily debated, but the political role is hardly questionable. As a result, regulations... more »
  • There is a time for planting and encouraging growth. A time to plant seeds or young saplings, water and nurture them, so that the young plants increase in size and become strong. And there is a time for trimming the new growth back, to control the growth, and to protect the plant from becoming overwhelmed by the sheer size and weight of its own increase in volume. I am speaking, of course, about... more »
  • Window and door companies have been living in “energy efficiency land” for decades. I type “energy efficient” so many times in a month I might as well set a quick key function on my keyboard. Energy efficiency to us is like texting to teenagers—it’s in our blood, it’s what we do, it’s how we communicate with our BFFs. Well, snap, snap, people—... more »
  • Talk of the weak market, not surprisingly, dominated much of the conversation at last month's International Builders' Show. We'll feature a full report on the event in our next issue--and you can find extensive coverage on WindowandDoor.com now, but I thought I'd take advantage of this opportunity to highlight some of the positive developments that emerged at the show. The event always features a... more »
  • The last couple years have seen staggering decreases in building starts. It seems a generally benign “downturn” has progressed through a much-debated “recession,” with some fearful prospects of a “Depression” now on the minds of our pessimistic colleagues. While many economists doubt the potential for the economic downturn to stumble into a depression, the... more »
  • “Coming on the heels of unprecedented growth over the past decade,” the home improvement industry is in the midst of a “severe downturn,” says a new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. The study suggests that by the time a recovery begins, “the entire industry is expected to begin a marked transition on both the demand and supply... more »