The Talk

  • Are Customers Willing to Pay for More?

    Bits and pieces of bad news continue to linger in the industry, so I wanted to share something positive I see happening right across the street from where I live.  The apartment building there is in the midst of a window replacement and they appear to be doing the upgrade right. It's an older building that probably started with wood windows that ... more »
  • May 20, 2009
    THE TALK...

    What's your ease of doing business index?

    I was having coffee last week with the president of a window manufacturing company and we got to chatting about how difficult state regulations can sometimes make running a profitable business. There are some serious hoops to jump through, and then there's the issue of taxes. I'm not sure if it was the topic of conversation or the extra caffeine, but it's easy to get your heart pumping on a ... more »
  • May 12, 2009
    THE TALK... | Management

    Are You Getting to Know Your Elected Officials?

    House Majority Leader John Boehner visited Deceuninck North America this week. His district includes Monroe, Ohio, where the vinyl extruder is one of the largest employers, so he has good reasons to visit the company, learn more about its operations, and hear its concerns.This is the latest example of what appears to be a trend–our industry speaking up more to Washington officials. ... more »
  • Is the Market Confused?

    Well, I certainly admit to being confused. Last week, we heard rumors that manufacturers were telling customers that the IRS isn't requiring windows to meet the 30/30 criteria established in the stimulus package for tax credits.  As long as windows had a current Energy Star label, that was good enough to qualify.I was skeptical, but it turns out those manufacturers were ... more »
  • April 29, 2009
    THE TALK...

    Are You Safe?

    Lots of companies in this country got a warning letter from OSHA this week, nudging them to explore new ways to keep work-related injuries at bay. About 14,000 companies, including many in the window and door industry, received the notification that "workers in your establishment are being injured at a higher rate than in most other businesses in the country."The letter goes on to ... more »
  • April 22, 2009
    THE TALK... | Management

    Are You Celebrating Earth Day?

    Happy Earth Day. It's April 22 and millions of people will be marking the occasion by talking about the environment, global warming, recycling, and more. Many companies are marking the occasion too. What about your company? That's our poll question of the week.Why do I ask? I guess to see just how many window and door companies are truly embracing "green." Most companies in our ... more »
  • April 15, 2009
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Will 2009 Be Better than 2008?

    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 ... more »
  • April 8, 2009
    THE TALK...

    Ready for the Bad Guys?

    As an industry, we're lucky to have snagged a couple of gentlemen by the names of David Toney and Paul Gary. They're lawyers, but don't hold that against them. They've both made careers out of defending window manufacturers in court and, more importantly, trying to keep them out of legal pickles in the first place.Toney and Gary were at the Fenestration Manufacturers Association meeting last ... more »
  • April 1, 2009
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Have We Hit Bottom?

    Good news!  I am not one who generally uses exclamation points in my writing, but I am very pleased that WDweekly is able to report that window manufacturers like Simonton and Andersen are bringing back workers. This typically happens in the spring, but this year we couldn't help but wonder when and even if it would happen.These reports follow on the heels of Serious Materials ... more »
  • March 24, 2009
    THE TALK...

    Admit it... are you spending money?

    We're supposed to be stuffing $100 bills in our mattresses and stocking up on cans of beans and evaporated milk (or was it red wine?) to be stored in the basement, but my husband and I are spending money. Not a lot, mind you—I'm not that brave. I spent this past weekend ripping up the floor in my bathroom and dismantling a vanity that's likely older than my dad. And here's the ... more »