Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • Mulled windows are the darling of designers—“the introduction of light and the feeling of space”—you know what I mean. A proliferation of mulls done poorly, however, can represent an “Achilles’ heel” that can cause an otherwise vigorous company to falter. We have struggled with mulls through joinery and sealant concerns, education in the trades regarding... more »
  • There. I did it. I’ve been meaning to do it for a year or more but I finally got around to clicking my way through a series of reservations and itineraries. I’d like to think that my inspiration is more goodwill than sheer curiosity, but regardless of the motive—I’m going to tour New Orleans. I want to know how business is going and how the rebuilding effort is progressing... more »
  • Over the years, I’ve heard many people say, “We offer the complete package…,” talking about their companies’ products and services. No matter what they’re offering, whether they were a manufacturer, distributor or dealer, that could have been true, and could still be true, depending on the market or customers they serve. Still for many window and door... more »
  • On March 19, David Yancey of Homewood, CA, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court alleging that he was misled with respect to the performance and insulating qualities of the gas-filled Andersen windows purchased for installation in his home. He challenges representations as to both initial gas fill and gas retention and claims that NFRC ratings of his windows were inaccurate and... more »
  •   I may have a new favorite pastime. It’s window shopping—but not the girlie kind where one would drool over an obscenely expensive pair of shoes or purse from the wrong side of a piece of security glass. I’m talking about shopping for actual fill-a-hole-in-your-house windows. And my dealer of choice for this obsession, which is likely to last as long as a New Year... more »
  • Settling into a relaxing evening at home with my family recently, I heard the unmistakable sound of breaking glass from another room. I rushed to the den to find the oldest of my three children (also known as my husband), standing next to a window, with a sheepish grin on his face. He had tossed a ball, it hit my favorite cast-iron candlesticks sitting on the sill, and you can finish the rest... more »
  • Another International Builders’ Show has come and gone. It’s by no means some new trend, but what struck me particularly this year was that the lists of new features and options rattled off to me as I talked to window and door manufacturers in Orlando all seemed very long. Of course, my take on the show is different from the average attendee’s. When I walk into a display, I... more »
  • Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great,” makes the point that it’s easy enough to identify what separates a good organization or company from a bad one. We can see examples of good vs. bad companies in all tiers of our industry—manufacturers who don’t deliver on time versus ones that do, dealers who don’t return customers’ calls versus those who do. But... more »
  • The first car I remember riding around in was a Vista Cruiser. My dad was an Oldsmobile guy, and over the years as I grew up, we had a Delta 88 and a Cutlass. At some point, the family added a second small car—a used Fiat. That was followed up by a Datsun, and my parents have been driving Japanese ever since. I think they’re on their fourth Camry now—and if my dad yearns for... more »
  • Used properly, a hammer can build shelter for people in need. Used improperly, the same hammer can be a blunt instrument of destruction. It is given that our world involves more and more standards. This requires more and more controls against misuse. We are getting the standards; I am concerned we are not getting the controls. Let’s agree that industry standards help the fenestration... more »