Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • A minor variation in energy performance as manufacturers push the “state of the art” could create liability issues
    Federal preemption is probably not a concept many would associate with the fenestration industry. I suspect many readers have never even heard the term. It’s a concept, however, the industry should understand and promote. The underpinnings for the principle of federal preemption are found in the U.S. Constitution and the goal is the uniform regulation of matters of strong national interest... more »
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    Industry reputation and quality installs priority for Oregon retailer
    Keith Strand is working to hand over qualified installers to his competition. This is not exactly typical behavior for a replacement window dealer, but he figures that helping his competitors means helping the window and door industry. "We should all be talking to each other," says the owner of Strand's Window & Door based in the Portland, Ore. area. "We don't have to give... more »
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    A new vinyl window manufacturing system seeks to create "true one-piece flow."
    Most companies making vinyl windows follow the same basic manufacturing steps as 35 years ago. Lineals are optimized and cut into lengths. When the welding station operator is ready to assemble a particular unit, all four pieces are located and loaded one piece at a time into a welder. Sash and frames are then welded, cleaned and sent to glazing. There have been improvements to the process over... more »
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    Eventual market recovery, demand for triple glazing and continued efforts to reduce labor will spur more investments, suppliers predict
    Back in 2005 and 2006, window and door manufacturers were investing in new equipment and plants to expand capacity as the housing market boomed. With the housing bust of 2007 and 2008, things changed. Suppliers report that investments in new equipment are now down dramatically, but they also point out that spending has not come to a halt. Manufacturers continue to replace machines and upgrade... more »
  • An aggressive commitment to constant improvement in systems and procedures enables some manufacturers to thrive, even in tough times
    The decline in new home construction, combined with an anemic remodeling market, has created serious setbacks for many companies and the people who work-or worked-for them. Yet some window and door makers not only made money in 2007, they grew. Some expect no worse than flat sales for 2008. What separates these companies from those that are struggling, or already out of business? To get some... more »
  • The Legal Department
    We don’t need new laws; we just have to enforce the ones we have…” This line has been applied in innumerable ways to issues which have been the subject of a cry for more legislation. Sometimes, the furor results in old laws being enforced with new vigor. It’s good to know when that happens. We are seeing newly vigorous enforcement of an “old law” that has come... more »
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    Windows with Laminated Glass Provide Multiple Benefits Attractive to Homeowners
    Homeowners will do most anything to keep their family members and hard-earned possessions safe. They appreciate the enhanced aesthetics and lower utility bills that today’s attractive and energy-efficient windows offer, but a home that’s considered safe and secure gives them total peace of mind. Today, dealers can meet this need with replacement windows incorporating laminated glass... more »
  • You can hear the following from dealers and manufacturers all the time: “With all the electronic access to information today, why is the customer taking longer to buy?” or “We know they’re going to buy, we just don’t know when.” Today’s extended buying cycle is frustrating for sales and marketing people who don’t know how to adjust to it and deal... more »
  • It is important not to lose sight of the long term and fundamental strength in the residential housing market. Admittedly, it is difficult to see this silver lining through all the doom and gloom publicity about the housing slump. It can be even more difficult when we now hear talk of recession.  Maybe certain politicians are, for reasons of their own, saying we’re on the precipice of... more »
  • Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I love a dealer with an angle. It’s tough to develop a focus, a niche, a personality for a business—so when I run across a really good angle, I’m definitely doing a little happy-column-dance. This month I’d like to introduce Windows Plus, a replacement retailer based in Northern Virginia. The dealer’s is a story like many... more »