Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • 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 »
  • We start out this year on challenging economic footing and, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably about sick of hearing about it. But just when I reach for the mouse or the remote to avoid yet another report on the state of our economy, I take pause to remind myself that pilots check a lot of gauges before they decide to land a plane. Making business decisions without reliable... more »
  • If you think you have done all you can to deal with the challenges of the current economic conditions, ask yourself if you have made an architectural sales call in the past few months. If your answer is no, then you are not taking advantage of very valuable opportunities in your market. There is no audience better suited to help a window and door salesperson during these times than an architect.... more »
  • There has been a lot of press lately about federal bailout programs. I don’t think any U.S. citizen would disagree that our economy could certainly use a shot in the arm. But as all of us have the right to ask, I can’t help but wondering to what extent should the government be involved in regulating trade? The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 allocates $700 billion for use... more »
  • Few people in the window and door industry are sorry to say goodbye to 2008. We reported more than enough stories this year on plant closings, lay-offs, restructurings, and even complete shutdowns of companies. I just wish I could say I was starting the new year brimming with optimism. Current forecasts for the economy in general, and the new construction and home improvement markets, don’t... more »
  • My one prediction for the International Code Council final action hearings that took place in Minneapolis in September was that they were going to be quite lively— particularly with regards to the energy code discussions. There were 27 public comments that dealt with maximum U-factors for residential construction, and another 18 for maximum SHGC, also for residential construction. The hope... more »
  • Dan Glover, owner of River Valley Window & Door in Lake Havasu, Ariz., was part of a “state of the window and door industry” panel that spoke at GlassBuild America in September. His company was one of our 2007 Dealers of the Year. Serving builders in the new construction market, he enjoyed growth and success as more people flocked to that desert community. He has seen firsthand... more »