Latest Articles in FEATURE ARTICLE

  • The emphasis must be on service, say two vinyl window manufacturers experienced in the game
    The business of installing replacement windows is evolving as the line between a manufacturer’s role and a dealer’s role continues to get blurrier. Some vinyl window manufacturers started with or grew into a business model that includes installing its own products. And, over the years, numerous window dealers—particularly in the replacement market—have decided that in... more »
  • Considerations for choosing a window system able to meet requirements and appeal to consumers
    Consumer interest in impact windows and patio doors continues to grow. This trend—spurred on by changes to building codes and demands by insurers—has given manufacturers of all sizes the impetus to launch their own lines of impact products. But what should a vinyl window and door maker take into consideration before doing so? For a window or door to be called an impact-resistant... more »
  • Being proactive provides more options and helps align the long-term interests of the owner with the long-term direction of the company
    Too often, business owners spend their time working in the business rather than on the business. When the time comes to transition—whether that means turn the company over to the next generation, seeking new investors or selling altogether—they’re shocked at the amount of work involved. Moreover, these business owners generally leave themselves too few options and don’t... more »
  • More customers are demanding it, but ask some questions before jumping in
    Why installed sales? This question opens up a host of separate issues regarding installation services for doors and windows—both for builders/contractors and remodeling/retrofit applications. Indeed, why would a dealer, distributor or manufacturer decide to assume the mantle of responsibility to provide installation of a product, versus simply selling that same product to the customer? The... more »
  • With new manufacturing plant in Tennessee, 140-year-old door maker continues family tradition of continued, steady growth
    The landscape of the interior door business has changed dramatically over the last 20 years or so. With its 140-year history, Steves & Sons has clearly learned to adapt and thrive with change. Dating back to the pioneer days of Texas, the San Antonio-based company has evolved from a frontier lumberyard to one of the largest interior door manufacturers in the United States. And while... more »
  • Glass coatings blocking UV rays offer new way to differentiate window lines
    Homes are developing their own personalities. From exotic hardwood floors to intensely-colored walls and luxurious fabrics and furnishings, today’s dwelling is a reflection of its owner’s style and taste. As such, a home’s interior has taken on greater significance. More than shelter, a house serves as family center, entertainment destination and cozy, creative cocoon. A... more »
  • There are pitfalls in business combinations, but when executed properly, integration can add substantially to the bottom line
    Economic and industry-specific issues continue to weigh heavy on building materials companies, and many builders are asking for price reductions. To maintain prices and generate profits during a prolonged market slow-down, anxious suppliers, manufacturers and distributors are considering business integration. Integration, as a business strategy, is nothing new. Many antitrust laws,... more »
  • Adding laminated glass can significantly enhance a window’s acoustic performance
    For anyone exposed to the hustle and bustle of congested urban or suburban life—from traffic to construction to airport noise to all manner of human activity—the need to keep loud noises outside of one’s living or working area is understood. More window manufacturers today are recognizing this need and looking at how their products can address it. The following is a... more »
  • Window manufacturers and retailers adding entry doors to round out product offering and increase sales
    Entry doors, unfortunately, may have a bad reputation among “window” people. They may be perceived as difficult to order, tricky to install and perhaps too costly a product to roll into a window order. But, traditional window retailers and even manufacturers are taking a second look at entry doors as a potential profit center. Not offering a “whole house” package,... more »
  • New study sees growth slowing to 3.3 percent per year
    Window and door demand in the United States will increase 3.3 percent annually through 2010 to $36.5 billion, according to a new study from the Freedonia Group Inc. The annual growth rate represents a deceleration from the 2000-2005 period, attributed largely to a sharp drop in single-family housing construction from the strong pace of recent years. “We’re not quite at the bottom yet... more »