Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • Technology in the window and door industry generally advances in baby steps. Change—as we see in electronics or communications—generally isn’t radical. There’s not constant shifting we see in fashion or even food. I know the pace of change in our industry is sometimes frustrating to developers of new technologies who don’t understand why companies may be slow to... more »
  • Many years ago, the Building Officials & Code Administrators organization hosted a group of Eastern European code officials who were interested in learning about code administration in the U.S. After a month of observing code enforcement American style, they were asked their opinion of it. “Too democratic” was their response. There are many freedoms we who have lived in the U.S.... more »
  • One of the reasons working with the construction codes has held my interest for decades now is that there always seems to be a new challenge. Just about the time we start to figure something out–whether it be compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, three second gust or ultimate strength design wind speeds, terrorist resistant buildings, impact resistant windows or energy... more »
  • Anti-vinyl bias is again surfacing in the context of the ongoing evolution of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system—expressed in draft versions of LEED 2012, now known as LEED v4, the successor to LEED 2009. The USGBC was slated to vote on LEED 2012 on June 1, 2012, but after 22,000 responses poured in during the... more »
  • At the International Builders' Show in Orlando last February, I found myself querying numerous manufacturers on their biggest challenge. It was unanimously improper installations. This is not news, but verification of an age-old problem that continues to occur. It’s not out of control, but when a complaint arises, improper installations are usually the culprit. Why is this? If steps are... more »
  • Most economists–and many industry executives–see new construction increasing, with additional growth expected next year. Remodeling and replacement activity is also on the upswing, with even bigger gains expected for 2013. I've been on the cautious side regarding our current recovery, but I am becoming increasingly confident that things are really getting better for the window and... more »
  • How do we accomplish everything we need to do to keep our businesses on track and running smoothly? That’s a pretty big topic you could write volumes on. We use a number of strategies to keep our pipeline filled. Networking: There are lots of ways to network. The most important thing is to actually get out there and do it. We are members of a local Business Networking International, which... more »
  • When the economy is this precarious, every penny spent must be justified. Cost efficiency and a lean operating model becomes the Holy Grail for survival. The cost of joining and participating in a trade association must be weighed against other discretionary spending. But focusing on the cost is only half of the cost-benefit equation—never a good business practice. To fill in the rest of... more »
  • New demands and new materials mean constant change in the way windows and doors are made. The way we install our products has also changed in recent years. But the most rapid change we are seeing in the industry these days is probably coming in how we sell windows and doors. The internet has changed all our lives and today, it’s rapidly changing how we interact with customers and potential... more »
  • Those of us who have been involved in code development for an extended period of time have a saying–“The code is written in the hallways.” The saying reflects the more historic action of simply stopping one’s colleague in a hallway to have a discussion. It reflects the importance of seeking out, and obtaining, feedback on what one plans to present before it’s ever... more »