Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • Good deals can be found at auctions, but some homework and on-site inspection are key
    Is it more economical to refurbish an existing piece of equipment, buy something used or purchase a new machine with the specific features needed? That question comes up frequently these days—often spurred by an upcoming auction. Unfortunately, equipment auctions have been all too common with the closing of many window and door operations over the past few years. On the surface, low-... more »
  • Let’s put down the plastic sheeting, hazardous materials bags, and personal protective equipment and, just for a moment, pick up our contracts. Much has been written about the EPA lead paint requirements that went into effect April 22. Like all construction trades, the window and door industry has been working to figure out and meet the new EPA rules covering work in pre-1978 buildings.... more »
  • Tomorrow, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. While there's no doubt we've all become increasingly environmentally conscious as companies and consumers, I think there tends to be a little extra "umph" in the marketing department when Earth Day rolls around.  Some in the window and door industry see Earth Day as a chance to communicate about their efforts to be... more »
  • Seaway Manufacturing, an Erie, Pa., based window manufacturer, reports it offered the EPA lead paint  training classes to 36 installers from its dealer network in January, with 24 currently signed up for a February session.  Other manufacturers, no doubt, have offered similar training programs. Many window and door dealers have pursued the soon-to-be-required training through other... more »
  • Given the not-so-great Great Recession, we're used to looking at and crunching a lot of numbers. We watch housing data and consumer confidence indexes. We keep a close eye on our bottom line and keep our fingers crossed for the top line. And lately we see some glimmers of hope. Not big rays at this point, but small glimmers peeking through. While some companies are, I'm sure, still locked-down in... more »
  • “The Replacements” is the name of a not-so-famous, but pretty funny film released in 2000 starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman. I thought of it when I started this column, my first actually focusing on the replacement window industry. By that, I mean those manufacturers and dealers who have traditionally sold replacement windows as their core business.  Selling to homeowners,... more »
  • Along with the many products on display last week in Las Vegas, I couldn't help but notice the number of signs in various displays exhorting attendees to "Follow us on Twitter."  One manufacturer noted to me they were celebrating their first anniversary of "tweets."  There was no shortage of Facebook mentions too.   It's clear social media is being used by more... more »
  • We’ve been doing The Talk for a couple of years now, and what I’m really loving about the feedback lately is that on the topics to which we cycle around to annually, we’re starting to paint a year-to-year picture of the industry’s mood. So while there’s a lot going on right now—not the least of which is the status of the health care reform bills and soon-to-be-... more »
  • Because we didn't have enough to keep us on our toes next year, the window and door industry has yet another challenge on its hands. A challenge, I'm expecting, that may catch more than a few companies off guard. I'm talking about the lead paint handling rules slated to go into effect in April 2010 that would apply to all companies doing replacement projects in homes built before 1978. We report... more »
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    Training and certification on lead-safe practices will be required for work on pre-1978 homes
    In April 2010, new Environmental Protection Agency rules go into effect requiring that contractors "take the proper precautions to work lead-safe, including minimizing the dust, containing the work area, and conducting a thorough cleanup to reduce the potential exposure associated with disturbing lead-based paint." The rules will affect companies doing window and door replacements, and... more »