Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • 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 »
  • Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I love a dealer with an angle. It’s tough to develop a focus, a niche, a personality for a business—so when I run across a really good angle, I’m definitely doing a little happy-column-dance. This month I’d like to introduce Windows Plus, a replacement retailer based in Northern Virginia. The dealer’s is a story like many... more »
  • With marketing dollars scarce in a slowing economy, it’s a very good time to take a fresh look at grass roots marketing referral techniques that won’t break the bank. Word-of- mouth or viral marketing has been growing and is even becoming more formalized with the formation three years ago of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Grounded on the proposition that people like to be... more »
  • We have often spoken of the “101” series of international window and door performance standards. The current version of this is AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S. 2/A440-08, which allows window and door products of different framing materials and operator types to be objectively and fairly assessed for structural performance in response to wind loading, air leakage and water penetration... more »