Latest Articles in January/February 2017

  • Invest in tools that upsell window performance
    It's crucial for dealers to use the available space to its full potential, all with the sale in mind, according to Window & Door Dealer Days panelists. (Image courtesy of Franklin Window & Door) For window and door dealers, the showroom—its location, layout, design and usefulness—is key to every sale. And, central to any great showroom is its appeal to the customer.... more »
  • Balancing power on the backs of manufacturers
    In a recent installment of Industry Watch, we examined how the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule has unnecessarily hamstrung many contractors and increased costs without proven benefit to public health. Turns out, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In the last year, the outgoing administration has focused on what it sees as flaws in the labor market, forcing the pace of labor... more »
  • Americans fiercely value the right to individual opinions and beliefs, and our entrepreneurial spirit has been credited to this very characteristic. However, when it comes to the development of regulations for the built environment, let’s just say compliance would be a whole lot easier if, at least once in a while, everyone could agree on one best approach. Of course, that doesn’t... more »
  • Eight tips to contend the weather
    As I write this column from the comfort of my home, I occasionally glance out at the house under construction next door. The framers, bundled up from the fierce wind in hoodies and coveralls, brush snow off a stack of lumber. Just two days ago they were wearing shorts, enjoying the sunlight as they started in on the construction. Yet today they seem to march on, as always. The postman’s... more »
  • Consolidation Accelerates in Fenestration
    Manufacturers of fenestration products are seeing an open door to an active mergers and acquisitions market, if the last 18 months are a barometer, as the pace of consolidation accelerates. Industry buyers are aggressively competing alongside private equity firms with a number of assets trading hands in recent months. Headwaters announced the acquisition of Krestmark Industries in August.... more »
  • Strength through Uncertainty
    As tradition has it, we enter a New Year by taking stock of what 2016 had to offer in order to assess what’s to come. This year’s annual Industry Pulse report is a bit of an anomaly, however, considering the recent election. Note that the survey ran just after Election Day through the end of November, when emotions were still running very high. Those reactions will have some bearing... more »
  • Did 2016 live up to expectations? Here is a quick look at how 2016 projections from last year’s Industry Pulse survey actually played out.
    Sales* While the numbers for 2016 still indicate overall industry health, they are slightly off from the success seen in 2015. *Data reflects all respondents, including suppliers, manufacturers and dealers from the 2015 Industry Pulse survey and the 2016 Industry Pulse survey. Products* Manufacturers launched more products than they anticipated in 2016, while dealers’ projections were... more »
  • Labor and hiring continues to be a huge topic for the fenestration industry as much as the construction industry at large. As the market improves, each segment struggles to keep up with increased volume on a tight staff. According to a recent Houzz report, nearly four in five remodelers and design-build firms report moderate to severe labor shortages of skilled trades and general laborers. Half... more »
  • Vinyl still leads in windows; wide-open entries steal the conversation
    62% of survey participants said they offered new products in 2016; the same percentage will add new products in 2017 Product innovation is still a big priority across all segments of the industry. As designs turn more toward custom, manufacturers are managing a larger number of SKUs and seeing the new challenges this creates in the supply chain. Equipment and component suppliers have stepped up... more »
  • 2016 sales lag slightly from 2015; manufacturers optimistic about 2017
    According to the Industry Pulse survey, 66 percent of respondents reported that 2016 met or exceeded projections. Though still a strong showing, this figure is down about 15 percent from the same statistics from last year’s survey, where nearly 80 percent reported that sales were at or above expectations. The respondents that reported a decrease in sales attributed the loss to distractions... more »