Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • In a recent cartoon, a mother first offered her daughter a T-shirt made out of recycled cotton, then her son sandals soled with recycled tire treads. The punch line was one sibling observing to the other that perhaps they should have been more specific when they told their mom they wanted to wear something green for St. Patrick's Day. These days it seems that everyone is jumping on the "... more »
  • Given numerous well-publicized issues and events over recent years-the 2004-2005 hurricanes, mold from building envelope leakage, high energy costs and terrorist bomb threats-state and international building codes, industry standards and a variety of other rating programs have been steadily raising the performance bar for windows and doors. The primary focus has been on energy efficiency, impact... more »
  • Without question, a window and door manufacturer's most direct interaction with users of its products comes at the customer service and field servicelevels. Companies maintaining comprehensive customer service and warranty service programs routinely place employees in a position to address an owner, user or installer-each of whom is calling because he/she has a problem. The job of responding is... more »
  • I'm a bad bedtime negotiator. My two- and four-year-old girls know their bedtime, know the routine and know the two-books-each rule. When my husband finishes the books, he gives them a smooch, turns off the light and chipper little voices call out, "Good night daddy" as he closes the door. When I shut the final book and reach for the light, the ballistic fits ensue. I deserve the... more »
  • David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, sees new single-family home starts bottoming out by the end of the year, with a recovery beginning in 2009. He predicts the remodeling market will trail new construction, but it will begin to see improvement next year. Whether he's right or not, who knows, but I now have an answer to a question that's kept coming up... more »
  • While defining and meeting codes for window and door performance are clearly important, especially in areas subject to extreme conditions such as water penetration due to hurricane wind-driven rains, the practical realities of "bang for the buck" have to be considered. How much cost and hassle-in the form of performance testing and documentation-is justified by the degree of protection... more »
  • There is a small, independent coffee shop near my house that I frequent enough to have had a latte named for me. There's a young lady named Brittany who works the after-school shift, and I would argue that she serves as physical proof that there is hope for this country. Hope because she can't sit still. When she's not steaming milk or brewing espresso, she busies herself sweeping, wiping down... more »
  • Imagine you are sitting at home this evening and you hear the wind start to howl outside your door. You look out the window and see tree branches bending under the force of the wind. Your neighbor's trash can goes rolling on down the street. How you react to this might depend upon where you live. If you live in the Midwest, as I do, and the sky is sort of a funny shade of green, you head for the... more »
  • Everybody loves the idea of solar power-and the idea is certainly not new. It's never generated much electricity within the window and door business, however. In 20-plus years in the industry, I can count the number of times solar energy has come up in conversation with window and door executives on one hand. There's good reason. We're a practical bunch. We know solar power-photovoltaic... more »
  • You have had an aneurysm break in the back of your brain, between your brain and your skull. We are going to send you to the University of Colorado Hospital, where they will treat you." I stared at the Denver airport paramedic who had said this to me, trying to absorb it. My first thought, of course, was, "I can't go to the hospital; I am going to miss my flight." They did send me... more »