Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • While driving through central Illinois recently, I was struck by the beauty of a wind turbine farm. The vanes of the turbines responded to the movement of the wind over the open plains with grace and dignity, providing a visual indication of the wind’s movement that cannot otherwise be seen. The wind is like electricity and God–the primary evidence of its existence is in its effects.... more »
  • There is an adage that goes something like this: What you don't know won't hurt you. Well, I'm not sure how true that is. It leaves an awful lot to chance. And as businessmen and women, we independent window and door dealers can't afford to leave too much to chance— especially in this economy. One perfect example of the dangers of leaving something to chance is the Department of Energy... more »
  • It may not be for the best of reasons, but the storm clouds over the housing market may have a silver lining in the form of a brighter outlook for home remodeling and window replacement. Researchers surmise that, in the context of the depressed number of new housing starts, a significant increase in remodeling activity is reflecting a shift toward reinvesting in existing homes over building new... more »
  • We focus on style in this issue, and personally, I think it’s something many people in our industry need to do more often. Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of great looking products out there, but sometimes I think many of us let ourselves get too caught up in the numbers. The numbers are important. Whether it’s a certain U-factor or DP rating, if it’s required, it... more »
  • In the January/February issue, this column summarized what were considered at the time to be the finalized requirements for the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, based on the 2010 ICC Group B- final action hearings which dealt with the IECC and the International Residential Code, among others. It turns out the decisions made during those hearings weren’t so final. Three appeals... more »
  • Last May, a three-year-old boy fell from a third-story window at a Connecticut apartment after pushing out a screen. The very next day in a nearby town a two-year-old boy fell from a third-floor apartment window after a screen became dislodged. Both toddlers died. Also last May, a three-year-old Petaluma, Calif., boy was critically injured when falling from a second-story window after the screen... more »
  • In January, President Obama announced support of a new Better Buildings Initiative—targeted at commercial projects—and expressed his support once again for Home Star, the program that would provide homeowners with government rebates for energy efficient home upgrades. Given the change in Congress, I honestly don’t know how much potential there is for such programs. I certainly... more »
  • The 2012 editions of the International Building Code, the International Residential Code and International Energy Conservation Code will soon be available. The target date for the publication of the 2012 editions of these code books by ICC is May 2011. An earlier date than in the past, the purpose of publishing the 2012 editions in May 2011 is twofold. One is to correspond with Building Safety... more »
  • Adding clearance testing to EPA lead paint regulations
    As if 2010 wasn’t challenging enough dealing with a stagnant economy, window and door dealers and remodeling contractors also had to comply with new government-mandated lead-based paint regulations. Many of us took classes, learned the proper techniques for working around lead-based paint, cleaning procedures and disposing of the debris. On some jobs it wasn’t too bad. Others were... more »
  • Prior to the International Code Council final action hearings in October 2010, indications were that the energy conservation provisions of the 2012 International Codes might contain more than one set of prescriptive values for fenestration. Specifically, during the initial ICC code development hearings in Baltimore in 2009, one set of energy performance criteria was approved for residential... more »