Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • 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 »
  • As in Samuel Beckett’s famous two-act play, “Waiting for Godot,” a lot of us must feel much like we’re waiting vainly for the arrival of some mysterious character to bring back happier days. True to the plot, while cruising through the statistics can dig up some positive areas to confirm a reasonable optimism, the overall economic picture remains largely inscrutable: Job... more »
  • The Energy Star program, as jointly managed by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, is a long-time benefactor of incentives and tax breaks. It is a success story hailed as reportedly saving American $28 billion in 2008 alone. With Energy Star’s subsidized popularity and resulting influence in the market, window manufacturers have had little choice but to... more »
  • At times during this long, slow economic recovery, I’ve felt like someone hit the “pause” button for the window and door industry. We’re gearing up and moving forward for a little while, and then things seem to stop. On page XX of this issue, we highlight the results of the annual market study prepared by Ducker Research for the American Architectural Manufacturers... more »