The Talk

  • March 23, 2010
    THE TALK... | Products

    Will Tilt-and-Turn Windows Gain Market Share in North America?

    Coming to you from Germany this week, I’m walking the aisles of Fensterbau looking for new technologies that could make their way to North America. Of course one thing I’m seeing a lot of is tilt-and-turn windows. The standard in Germany and popular in many other countries around the world, tilt-and-turns remain a niche product in North America.When I first started covering this ... more »
  • March 16, 2010
    THE TALK...

    Should Lead Rule Be Delayed?

    We're going to keep it simple this week. Sometimes we all deserve a break with a nice, easy yes-or-no question, so here it is: Should the EPA delay implementing the new rules for handling lead paint dust during renovations?We've asked in previous weeks if you were aware of the rules, if you were trained on the rules, if you were ready for the start date. But I want you to look beyond your ... more »
  • March 9, 2010
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Where Do You See Window & Door Prices Going?

    “Given expected growth in world industrial demand over the next several years, particularly China, building materials prices will tend to rise faster than general inflation,” predicts Bernard Markstein, a senior economist with the National Association of Home Builders.  He made those comments in an article in Nation's Building News looking at recent price hikes in lumber, ... more »
  • March 2, 2010
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Homestar: What the Doctor Ordered?

    President Obama released information yesterday about his widely-anticipated "Homestar" program, giving the window and door industry what could be another significant shot in the arm for sales products delivering energy efficient upgrades.While all the details will come out in the next week or so with the official Senate bill, and further permutations are likely as legislation then ... more »
  • February 24, 2010
    THE TALK... | Operations

    What's Your Status on New EPA Rules?

    Seaway Manufacturing, an Erie, Pa., based window manufacturer, reports it offered the EPA lead paint  training classes to 36 installers from its dealer network in January, with 24 currently signed up for a February session.  Other manufacturers, no doubt, have offered similar training programs. Many window and door dealers have pursued the soon-to-be-required training through other ... more »
  • February 16, 2010
    THE TALK...

    Are You Helping Haiti?

    I'm a mom, so there are moments that pop up from time to time, from which I have no choice but to accept that I'm getting older. One such case in point this past weekend: After watching the first few days of the Vancouver Olympics, my 6-year-old daughter was wandering around the house singing, "We Are The World."She raised an eyebrow and told me I was "kind of old" when I ... more »
  • February 5, 2010
    THE TALK... | Design & Performance

    Are We User-Friendly?

    Filing away materials I collected last month at the International Builders' Show, I came across a press release about a survey of 55+ home buyers, conducted by the National Association of Home Builders and Metropolitan Life.  What caught my eye in the survey was the fact that among 36 features these consumers were asked to rate as "important" in their puchase decision for a new ... more »
  • February 2, 2010
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    Do You Do Demographics?

    Given the not-so-great Great Recession, we're used to looking at and crunching a lot of numbers. We watch housing data and consumer confidence indexes. We keep a close eye on our bottom line and keep our fingers crossed for the top line.And lately we see some glimmers of hope. Not big rays at this point, but small glimmers peeking through. While some companies are, I'm sure, still locked-down ... more »
  • January 24, 2010
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    Do You Tweet?

    Along with the many products on display last week in Las Vegas, I couldn't help but notice the number of signs in various displays exhorting attendees to "Follow us on Twitter."  One manufacturer noted to me they were celebrating their first anniversary of "tweets."  There was no shortage of Facebook mentions too.  It's clear social media is being used by ... more »
  • January 20, 2010
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    What Kind of Growth Do You See Ahead?

    "We're looking for 20 percent growth this year." That's what one window manufacturer told me yesterday as I made the rounds at the International Builders' Show.  It was a refreshing change from the conversations I heard a year ago when a mood of doom and gloom was more prevalent.Now I've heard numerous reports, most specifically from those focused on the replacement window ... more »