Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • A look inside Ply Gem Canada’s manufacturing process
    Right: “To optimize space, we combined two stations into one, with rotating and squaring functionality in the same rack,” Dave Bamford, production supervisor, explains. “[This enables] the operator to install panels on both sides without moving from his present position.” (All images courtesy of Ply Gem.) The story rings true for most all fenestration manufacturers: the... more »
  • With an emphasis on net zero, where does fenestration go from here?
    About 50 years ago, there were essentially only two window framing materials to choose from for residential buildings: wood and mill-finish aluminum, typically with single-pane glass. My childhood home near Milwaukee was like a lot of other homes that were built following World War II. Despite my father’s best attempts to add “storm windows” (read: putty glazed, ¼-inch... more »
  • Setting standards for innovations to come
    It appears that the future of windows and doors will involve the confluence of technologies that previously have had little to do with fenestration products. Some examples of improved fenestration functionality being conceptually introduced around the industry involve automatic operation of fenestration products, as well as integrated security, locking and alarm systems. There are also plans for... more »
  • As WDDA’s associate director of industry and member engagement, I have the opportunity to visit window and door dealers across the country and learn about their businesses, their challenges and their needs.  With several states and showrooms behind me, I’ve come across some common challenges and concerns facing retail window and door dealers. I’m also learning what dealers... more »
  • The 10 commandments of home show success
    When we take time to plan for the future, we set ourselves up to get a leg up on our competition. There are a few places in the home retail sales business where future planning can save big bucks. Home shows are one of them. Home shows can be a great source of leads, can help increase local brand awareness with both homeowners and fellow home professionals, and can even be a source of camaraderie... more »
  • Written limited warranties and energy performance
    Written limited warranties are exceptionally good tools for defining the expectations of buyers and sellers regarding a product up-front. However, manufacturers and sellers should be aware that, despite the express terms and limitations of the written warranty, in other words, representations or statements concerning a product which are made outside the confines of the warranty (e.g. product... more »
  • Top window installation mistakes
    Example of an installation mistake in a building under construction in which flashing is only at the head and jambs. (Image by Kaitlyn Rinka.) Installation is the determining factor of whether the performance designed into a window is realized in actual service. Even the best-designed and thoroughly tested product can fail if improperly installed.  Experience shows that there are avoidable... more »
  • One path to success is trial and error
    Window and door dealers are invited to join Madeleine MacRae, along with a roomful of their peers, for Window & Door Dealer Day, held Sept. 13, 2018, at the Encore at Wynn. The author will participate as a moderator for a group discussion about marketing and will additionally present a general session, The Truth about Trial and Error. Register at wddalliance.org/window-door-dealer-day.html.... more »
  • Preventative maintenance makes (dollars and) sense
    One of the most glaring issues I see among manufacturers in our industry is the lack of consistent, thorough preventative maintenance programs. We’ve all heard some variation of the phrase, “I can’t let maintenance have the machine; we have windows to make!” This view that maintenance gets in the way of production is more common than most of us would like to admit. But the... more »
  • Gearing up for the networking event of the year
    SEPTEMBER 13 Encore at Wynn | Las Vegas SCHEDULE OF EVENTS*  8:00-8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast 8:30-9:00 a.m. Introductions and Icebreaker 9:00-10:15 a.m. Keynote: Build Depth and Create a Succession Plan in 8 Steps 10:15-10:45 a.m. Networking Break 10:45-11:30 a.m. Dealer to Dealer Discussion: Workforce Development 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.... more »