Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • “This is going to be a big one,” the retired fire official from New Jersey said. “This thing is huge, and the states it’s going to hit aren’t used to being hit by this kind of storm.” He pointed to an image of the Hurricane Sandy weather system on his laptop screen, dubbed “Frankenstorm” due to the combination of storms that had spawned it and its... more »
  • An economic uptick might be on the horizon for the window and door industry, with many economists projecting positive growth for 2013 and beyond, as the 2012 election recedes into history. At least, as Kermit Baker, chief economist for the American Institute of Architects, says: “We can’t use the election excuse anymore for delaying decisions.” In general―barring the usual... more »
  • Successful projects result from careful communication between the salesperson, client and installer. This communication is necessary because, initially, all three have different perspectives. Of course, there is a common goal: a quality product, properly installed, in a reasonable timeframe, at a fair price for all. To reach that goal, all perspectives should be considered, including the... more »
  • New housing starts are expected to be up nearly 20 percent in 2013, and it's anticipated remodeling and replacement will see double-digit growth rates in the first and second quarter. Ten years ago, that would have made window and door executives giddy about the year ahead. I’m not looking for giddy now. The past six years have been rough on most of our businesses. Dysfunction in Washington... more »
  • 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 »