Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • 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 »
  • With inflation rising and home equity threatened by declining property values and limited credit availability, homeowners are shopping harder before buying. And, according to a Roper study on global consumer buying traits, Americans continue to be among the most price-conscious shoppers in the world. The international consumer research firm claims that 73 percent of Americans are out to "... more »
  • The green building movement is not only a focus of this issue, recent meetings of both the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association have featured much talk about the subject. It was also a big topic at the International Builders' Show, with many manufacturers talking about how their products could make a home green, and how they were green... more »
  • National Window Safety Week, scheduled for April 23-29, focuses on family safety by educating caregivers about taking a balanced approach to window safety, considering both the danger of children falling from windows and the benefits of windows as emergency fire exits. This education event is organized by the National Safety Council's Window Safety Task Force, an industry coalition comprised of... more »
  • The Legal Department
    We don’t need new laws; we just have to enforce the ones we have…” This line has been applied in innumerable ways to issues which have been the subject of a cry for more legislation. Sometimes, the furor results in old laws being enforced with new vigor. It’s good to know when that happens. We are seeing newly vigorous enforcement of an “old law” that has come... more »
  • The Department of Energy is scheduled to release new, more stringent criteria for windows, doors and skylights that carry the Energy Star label this month. As we went to press, DOE was talking about three sets of new requirements, and while I don’t know what the numbers are, I can ask, “Are you ready?” And I’d like to focus that question on the longer term. The first set... more »
  • You can hear the following from dealers and manufacturers all the time: “With all the electronic access to information today, why is the customer taking longer to buy?” or “We know they’re going to buy, we just don’t know when.” Today’s extended buying cycle is frustrating for sales and marketing people who don’t know how to adjust to it and deal... more »
  • It is important not to lose sight of the long term and fundamental strength in the residential housing market. Admittedly, it is difficult to see this silver lining through all the doom and gloom publicity about the housing slump. It can be even more difficult when we now hear talk of recession.  Maybe certain politicians are, for reasons of their own, saying we’re on the precipice of... more »