Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • Long-range forecaster James Madden of Exacta Weather, a non-profit worldwide team of meteorologists, states that there is “a potentially record breaking U.S. winter for 2011-2012, with extremely cold temperatures and exceptional levels of snow." So, given that wallets and maxed-out credit cards have already been taking severe hits at the gas pump and grocery store, it would be wise to... more »
  • The International Code Council is finalizing the last of its 2012 International Codes. Final action on their existing codes, which include the International Building Code, International Residential Code and International Energy Conservation Code was completed in November 2010. This November. the organizationis taking final action on its two newest codes–the International Green Construction... more »
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineering Institute have updated ASCE/SEI 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures–the go-to technical reference for assigning maximum wind speeds to various U.S. localities and thus for determining fenestration design wind load and performance grade (PG) when using the North American Fenestration Standard. ASCE... more »
  • The opportunity to honor many of our industry’s innovators with the Crystal Achievement Awards makes our September issue one of the most gratifying to work on each year. It’s not just about recognizing the winners, however. Looking through all the nominations always reveals something about the direction we’re heading as an industry. This year it was evident that window and... more »
  • Older buildings, especially those located in our historic cities, provide significant opportunities for dealers, especially for companies that have seen dramatic decreases in their residential business. Considering the scale of the opportunity and the slow pace of the housing recovery, many dealers may be considering entering this niche. If you do, be careful. Commercial sales can represent a big... more »
  • “Be reasonable, do it my way.” Have you ever heard that expression? I have known individuals who will say it with a chuckle, as if to indicate they are, of course, only joking. But over time you come to realize they were not joking. For these individuals, their way is the only reasonable way, any other way is unreasonable, and therefore not to be considered and to be dismissed. This... more »
  • Though the overall economy has been officially out of recession for two years, it grew at an anemic 1.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter, down from 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010; and all segments are not recovering equally. The stars are aligned for a housing recovery, but economic clouds are hindering navigation. Yet, it remains a question of when, not if. “The spring... more »
  • The home improvement industry has come under close scrutiny for what some regulatory bodies are calling deceptive and misleading sales and employment practices. Unfortunately, many companies have already faced massive fines, penalties and legal fees. This column is designed to build awareness of some of the possible legal problems that dealers can encounter, as well as offer some cautions and... more »
  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision not to expand its lead paint rules in July was welcome news for the industry. The added costs of compliance to the existing Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rules were already having a negative impact on remodeling activity, and additional clearance testing requirements would have inflated those costs further. The costs and their impact on... more »
  • As many of you are probably aware, the International Code Council is developing an International Green Construction Code. The IgCC is designed to provide a “codified” document that can be adopted if a jurisdiction wishes to mandate green construction. The IgCC differs from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. LEEDS is intended for use on a voluntary, project by... more »