Latest Articles in Markets & Trends

  • Traditionally, when I heard the word "weatherization," it meant caulking some gaps and adding some insulation, not replacing windows or doors. That could be changing. The Department of Energy sees payback in getting more homes and buildings retrofitted with super-efficient products and is promoting a new high-volume purchase program for R-5 windows and high-performance storms. ... more »
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    ERP system alone is not enough to ensure "customer delight"
    Going the Extra Mile Excellence in Customer Service Feldco Factory Direct Des Plaines, Ill.    With additional locations, Feldco has invested in a customized ERP system to help manage the details, but the management team knows that true customer satisfaction comes from employees dedicated to promoting "customer delight." Feldco has figured out that the best... more »
  • More than 100 years old, Marling continues to look for growth opportunities
    Overall Excellance LEADERSHIP SERVING PROFESSIONALS  Marling Lumber Co. Janesville, Wis. Business cycles don’t make the Marling Lumber leadership nervous. Now run by the fourth and fifth generation of the Marling family, the company has survived recessions and booms, expansions and even devastating fires. So while most of its competitors are struggling to keep the doors open,... more »
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    Sticking to core values took discipline and a total company overhaul
    LEADERSHIP SERVING HOMEOWNERS   Power Windows & Siding Brookhaven, Pa. Like many companies, Power Windows & Siding started out small. Adam and Jeff Kaliner, cousins, started the company fresh out of the college scene, doing all of the marketing, estimating and sales calls out of a two-bedroom apartment. For 15 years, the company grew about 20 percent per year and continued... more »
  • As strange as it was to watch the Republic Window & Door story unfold last year, seeing the coverage Rich Gillman’s arrest and the charges being brought against him is even stranger. Not that I was particularly well acquainted with him, but I had met him a number of times over the years and had cordial conversations with him. I specifically recall listening to him offer some sound input... more »
  • According to the NAHB Research Center, two major trends have emerged in today's weak new construction market. Builders continue to strive to (1) reduce new home production costs and (2) increase value to homebuyers. Pointing to its 2009 Annual Builder Practices Survey, conducted early this year, the organization suggests that builders see bathrooms as one of the key areas to increase perceived... more »
  • 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 »