The Talk

  • November 28, 2007
    THE TALK...

    If you were going to the polls today, which candidate would you vote for?

    A little over a month from now, the first official votes will be cast in the 2008 presidential campaign. So, not to let CNN, the Wall Street Journal, NBC, the New York Times, etc., etc., have all the fun, I’ve decided it's time for WDweekly to do the first ever window and door industry presidential poll. I can’t promise it will be as meaningful as the other polls—heck, ... more »
  • November 21, 2007
    THE TALK...

    In 2008, I expect new product launches and innovation in the window and door industry...

    Seriously—is it already Thanksgiving? The older I get, the faster the years seem to fly by. Magazine cycles are even worse—I just spent the last two weeks collecting insights from folks in all areas of our industry in preparation for our January 2008 forecast issue. On a personal level, it's tough to talk about next year before I've even enjoyed my Thanksgiving Day turkey-and-pie ... more »
  • November 14, 2007
    THE TALK...

    Are things getting better for "independents" in the window and door business?

    Greg Brooks, a consultant to the lumber and building materials field, suggested at the recent AMD convention and exhibition that things are looking up for “independents.” Economies of scale have not added up for big companies to an advantage, he says, pointing to, among other things, the fact that in most markets, locals are effectively competing with Home Depot on price. Brooks ... more »
  • November 7, 2007
    THE TALK...

    Have your plans for the International Builders' Show changed for 2008?

    Numerous exhibitors at the AMD show were buzzing about Fortune Brands’ decision to pull its companies—including Therma-Tru Doors—out of the 2008 International Builders’ Show. I heard unconfirmed rumors that other companies—including a big window manufacturer—had dropped out or were considering dropping out too. News like that reinforces what most of us know ... more »
  • October 31, 2007
    THE TALK...

    In my opinion, the "Silicon Valley" of the window and door industry is...

    This week, I want you to go out of order. Before I taint you with the following information, take the poll to the left, then come back and read the rest. Ok—you voted, right? A news story (see The Outside View...) announcing some continuing good news for tintable glass developer Sage Electrochromics explains how the emerging supplier has set up shop in Faribault, Minn. Sage’s CEO, ... more »
  • October 24, 2007
    THE TALK...

    Twenty years from now, windows, doors and skylights will...

    What will homes look like in the future, and what kind of products will they demand from our industry? Last week, the mall in Washington, D.C., offered a preview, with teams from 20 universities worldwide building solar-powered homes for the Solar Decathlon, sponsored by the Department of Energy. Lorin Hancock, with our sister publication Glass Magazine, reported on the event in their ... more »
  • October 17, 2007
    THE TALK...

    In the future, fiberglass will...

    A bit of a surprise at last week’s Remodeling Show was the fact that relatively few vinyl windows were on display. They were there, sure, but not at a level that reflects their number one market share position. That’s been true for steel entry doors for several years now. Even though they still account for more than half the residential entry door market, manufacturers don’t ... more »
  • October 10, 2007
    THE TALK...

    When it comes to my actual window or door installation experience...

    Today, ladies and gentlemen, is the day for some serious truth telling. Get ready to fess up—I’ll start the confessional. For all the mouthing off I do about windows and doors all day, every day, I’ve never actually put a fenestration product in a hole. I’ve seen many, many products being made. I’ve even bought my fair share of replacement products and happily ... more »
  • October 3, 2007
    THE TALK...

    How does your company celebrate Halloween?

    “What should I be for Halloween?” It’s October now, and if you’re like me and have kids, that question has probably popped up around your house already. Of course, we all know Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore, and I know our home office at the National Glass Association in Virginia isn’t the only place of business where employees come to work dressed up ... more »
  • September 26, 2007
    THE TALK...

    Is the window and door market splitting into high- and low-end segments, with little in between?

    Last week, I had the privilege to speak at a gathering of Pella’s engineering team. The group’s focus was innovation, and the list of speakers included an interesting guy—Paul Leinberger. A marketing and branding guru, Leinberger said that innovation is no longer a competitive edge, but a consumer expectation. To get noticed at all, he suggested, companies need to be ... more »