The Talk

  • How Important is Facebook?

    I tip my hat to MI Windows this week for its impressive product launch strategy. As we highlight in this week's news, MI is supporting its new product using today’s latest technology—including iPad apps and a strong Facebook presence—to help its customers sell more windows in an efficient way.This impressive marketing approach is just one of many ways companies are using ... more »
  • Is It Time for Solar?

    This week, I received an announcement from American Vision Solar about a new program for homeowners.  It caught my eye because the Southern California company is also a window dealer. Another reason it caught my eye is that it followed on the heels of a news report last week about Lowe's Home Improvement entering the solar business.Obviously solar has been capturing more attention in the ... more »
  • Will the Tornadoes Affect Codes?

    We have seen some unbelievable images coming across the news wires following the devastating tornadoes in Missouri this week.  Those storms follow on the heels of an equally destructive tornadoes in Alabama, as well as other storms across the country. Some window and door companies were directly impacted, including Lincoln Windows in Wisconsin, and our hearts certainly go out to all of ... more »
  • Will You Help Enforce the EPA Rules?

    Many in the industry have problems with the EPA's lead paint rules. But I've also heard many argue that if the laws are in the books, they need to be enforced. WDDA representatives were in Washington just yesterday making the argument that enforcement of current regulations need to begin before EPA expands its those requirements further.Well, it doesn't mean the EPA doesn't want to move ... more »
  • Are We Channel Blurring?

    I love this phrase: “channel blurring.”Thank you Home Channel News for a very interesting article on the mix-and-match happening in retail channels. This “channel blurring” can be seen in Home Depots selling household cleaning supplies, the article points out, or traditional hardware stores selling pet supplies.The strategy behind such efforts is that when shoppers are ... more »
  • Is There Life in Remodeling and Replacement?

    Sure, there were concerns about a tax credit hangover in the replacement and remodeling market as the year began, but most industry folks I talked to were talking positively about 2011. It might not be a gangbuster year, but I got the sense that most window and door manufacturers and dealers in this segment were looking for growth.Unfortunately, we've been getting mixed signals of late. On the ... more »
  • April 26, 2011
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Does PowerSaver Strike the Right Balance?

    Some interesting news this week from HUD and DOE. In the Obama Administration's continuing efforts to encourage energy efficient upgrades to the nation’s residential housing stock, the PowerSaver lending program is now open for business.In a nutshell, homeowners with decent credit and some equity in their homes are eligible to seek low-interest loans for up to $25,000 to complete ... more »
  • April 14, 2011
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Could Energy Efficiency Lose Some Momentum?

    The Pennsylvania legislature may be pushing back against the rising energy efficiency tide. According to a recent article, a bill is moving forward there that will make it extremely difficult to tighten the state energy code, because, environmentalists say, builders will have virtual veto power.Through the years, there has always been resistance to higher energy efficiency standards. ... more »
  • April 13, 2011
    THE TALK...

    Are "Sting Homes" Fair?

    I came across an interesting story this week coming out of New Jersey. State and consumer affairs organizations there decided enough was enough when it came to local home improvement contractors operating outside the realm of state laws and operating requirements.Officials organized a “sting house” to solicit bids for various types of repair and improvement projects, calling to the ... more »
  • Have You Heard of a Home Energy Score?

    Window & Door Dealers Alliance members are heading to Department of Energy offices in Washington, D.C., today to learn about the Home Energy Score program. In the pilot phase in a number of places around the country, the program uses specially-trained assessors who walk through homes and input information into a program that outputs a score card with a 1 to 10 energy efficiency rating ... more »