Latest Articles in Markets & Trends

  • The weak economy has created tremendous challenges in  the window and door market over the past three years. From an editor's perspective, I still have a hard time believing how much bad news we've had to report. It's more than I have ever seen in 25 years covering this industry. Of course not all the news has been bad, and we continue to look for the good.  Amid all the stories of... more »
  • I recently came across 5 Ways to Build Affordable, Energy Star-Rated Houses, an article on BuilderOnline that highlights strategies used by a South Carolina builder.  "The company upgraded its windows to low-E high-performance units, but it reduced the number of windows it uses, which reduces costs," the report notes. Over the past several months, I've also heard a couple window... more »
  • The Cash for Clunkers program is in the headlines this week, as it's proven to be so successful among the consumers, the government has run our of money for it. Tax credits for energy efficient windows and doors haven't drawn the same attention, but we see in this week's Simonton headline that the $1,500 credit available to homeowners has had a positive impact on that company and its workers.... more »
  • Product development advances despite weak market and installation issues attract more focus
    Despite challenging economic conditions, suppliers say the impact-rated market is continuing to improve thanks to manufacturers’ R&D efforts. Mother Nature doesn’t care that the economy is a mess. Hurricanes do not decrease proportionally with the country’s GDP. In fact, as the 2009 hurricane and tropical storm season kicked off in June, the National Oceanic and... more »
  • The U.S. has long been the single largest window and door market in the world, but apparently that's changing. According to a new Freedonia Group report highlighted in this week's news, China will surpass us in the next few years. I guess that isn't a shocker. Given the population alone, it makes sense, and with the stories we've heard for years about China's growth and its increasing stature as... more »
  • Residential product shipments expected to decline once again in 2009, with gradual upturn beginning in 2010
    Continuing on the downward trend that started in 2006, window sales are expected to drop another 23 percent this year, according to a new report from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Window & Door Manufacturers Association. Although stimulus programs on both the new construction and remodeling/replacement side may have an impact, the latest study... more »
  • When the economy turns and the tide of red ink finally ebbs, the predominant color in a resurgent construction and remodeling market is very likely to be green. On the commercial side, the U.S. green building market is accelerating at a dramatic rate, says McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Outlook 2009: Trends Driving Change report, released last November at the Greenbuild Conference. The... more »
  • It wasn’t the main topic, but customer satisfaction was a recurring subject of discussion at a focus group of custom and semi-custom home builders I moderated recently. Held in Las Vegas at the same time as the International Builders Show, the session revealed a shift in builder reliance upon manufacturers for “customer satisfaction,” as opposed to dealers and distributors. The... more »
  • Meeting higher standards will be essential to success
    From higher energy performance standards to continued consolidation, to moving past its reputation as the "cheap" window option, Window & Door looks at the 10 trends likely to shape the vinyl industry moving forward. Agree with the 30/30 provisions or not, you have to admit the stimulus bill sure pulled the window and door industry out of its economic coma. Manufacturers,... more »
  • News from Ply Gem this week that it’s consolidating some of its operations serves as a reminder that the road to recovery for this industry is going to be long. While there have been, to use President Barack Obama’s words, “glimmers of hope,” there are still segments of our business that remain weak. Some companies have reported gains already this year, but others no doubt... more »