Latest Articles in From the Field

  • During a replacement installation, the installer is likely the only trade on the job, and he or she controls the quality of the finished project. But the existing condition of the structure, fenestration or components can limit installers’ ability to do their job properly if conditions won’t accommodate good installation practices. To make matters worse, industry instructions for many... more »
  • Fenestration performance complaints in new home construction can be frustrating, costly and time-consuming to fix. Should a performance issue arise with the installation, the installers are the ones called in to address the problem. A reliable installer will own up to the issue and resolve it. That being said, I need to pose this question: Is the fenestration installer solely responsible for the... more »
  • In my last column I asked, “Will the replacement industry, as it is today, work for tomorrow?” I wasn’t referring to energy and performance standards; clearly, those will continue to advance. Instead, I was referring to the actual replacement process itself. Replacement, as we know it, consists of either installing a replacement product or exchanging a full frame. Both of these... more »
  • Fenestration technology has advanced dramatically in recent years―mostly to the consumer’s benefit―in the form of thermal, structural and sound-deadening performance, and aesthetic improvements. Revised new construction installation practices have been developed and adopted as well. All of these are welcome advances, but this fenestration evolution also presents challenges to the... more »
  • Here are a few of my personal gems: Ordering a 24-inch width when I meant to order a 2/4 width Ordering a one-over-one double-hung when I should have ordered a full view picture window Ordering equal sash when I should have ordered cottage sash Ordering the default hardware color when it should have been a color option. How can mistakes like these occur when I aim to be meticulous with the... more »
  • Job site efficiency results in faster, higher quality―and ultimately more profitable―installations. However, achieving high levels of efficiency is by no means automatic. It takes a dedicated effort to assess and develop productive work habits. Perfect efficiency is unattainable, but continuous improvement offers great returns. Workflow is a key component to job site efficiency. Specifically,... more »
  • The grey tabby was perched in the rough opening as I returned to the room carrying the new window. Unaware of a house cat I asked it, “Do you live here?” His only reply was a blank stare. He had no collar ID, and I couldn’t reach the homeowner to ask if the cat was a resident or just a visitor. This dilemma quickly turned into a vision of a panicked homeowner quizzing me,... more »
  • As an industry, we recognize the value of a proper installation. As manufacturers and dealers, we are reminded of this when we are called to address a field problem–and we’ve all had our share. Callbacks take time and valuable resources. Sometimes, an improper installation can even reflect badly on a brand. Manufacturers go to great lengths to define and promote proper installation... 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 »