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The Talk

Achieve a Photo Finish for Architectural Aluminum

A few simple steps to protect finished architectural aluminum products on the jobsite can save you from a future headache and potentially expensive remedy.

Builders’ Show Returns to Orlando

Although some notable window and door manufacturers didn’t have a presence at the International Builders' Show this year, the show floor held no shortage of new products and ideas for residential fenestration professionals.

Embracing Continuous Improvement with the Right Technology

Some form of automation can be beneficial for anyone making windows and doors. And no matter your operation’s size, there’s likely a solution that can work for your shop floor.

How to Choose the Right Software System for Your Company : Part 2

Welcome back to the second part in a three-part blog series designed to help managers and glass/window/door company owners find the best software solution for their company. Today we’re going to cover creating a software vendor short list, and validating that list.

Get a Head Start on 2022 Sales

January is the right time for contractors to pay attention to developing their 2022 pipeline for new window and door projects. Here are some reasons why it’s time to start generating leads, and what steps to take now.

How to Offer Customers the Craftsman Design Trend

While homes made of individually handcrafted elements may not be accessible or desirable for every homeowner, manufacturers can incorporate elements of Craftsman design in their products.

How to Choose the Right Software System for Your Company

Choosing software for your business can be a daunting task, if not scary. There are many legitimate concerns. In an effort to help ease them, I will attempt to provide guidance in navigating software questions.

NFRC Discussions Will Continue in 2022

Opportunities to network consistently ranks as the most appreciated benefit for NFRC members, so we have expanded the ways to participate in 2022 and connect with colleagues across the industry and profession.

Strategically Expanding Your Color Palette

For fabricators, developing new color options to meet customers’ new aesthetic demands might sound like just another layer of complexity. But with the right technology, it doesn’t have to be.

Don’t Forget the Frame

Today’s residential windows, sliding and terrace doors, and other fenestration systems can help protect us from extreme temperatures and conserve natural resources. While high-performance glass often is the first component we see, it’s essential to remember the role of the frame itself.

3 Tools to Measure and Improve Window Sales

The following three foundational practices measure marketing performance data that will make sense for any contractor, whether you are optimizing within one channel or allocating investments across multiple lead generation strategies and channels.

Photovoltaic Glass: Benefits and Technologies to Bring it to Market

If buildings have windows or curtain walls made of PV glass, they could become vertical power plants and make a huge contribution to the decarbonization required to meet the climate challenge.

Energy Star Version 7.0: Reckoning with The Future of Performance

Energy performance is a marker that only moves forward, and it’s incumbent upon the fenestration industry to continue rising to the challenge.  

Connected Equipment and the Future of Manufacturing

Machinery isn’t exempt from the world’s shift to technology-based solutions. Ready or not, automation is the future of manufacturing. Companies today have no choice but to embrace Industry 4.0 in their manufacturing practices or run the risk of being left behind, according to leading industry…

Window Opening Control Devices and Safety Plans

Window Opening Control Devices (WOCDs) are allowed by building code to be installed on operable windows designated as emergency escape and rescue openings that comply with ASTM F2090, providing they do not encroach on the opening area dimensions required in the code.

Upgrades to FenStar Restore Confidence in Certification Program

NFRC restructured and added personnel, enacted changes to policies and procedures, and upgraded software. Each of these elements has improved the FenStar program.

Speak to the Next Generation of Manufacturers

How can manufacturers effectively reach young people and recruit them to the industry? This is a challenge the Manufacturing Institute has been working to address through Manufacturing Day, held annually on the first Friday in October. 

Classic Black Finishes Deliver Timeless Appeal

With aluminum windows and doors, you can offer a choice of either painted or anodized black finishes to help homeowners, designers and builders attain this design-driven look and achieve the desired, durable result.

Pressure-sensitive Adhesives in Window and Door Manufacturing

Pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes (PSA) are playing an increasingly important role in door and window manufacturing. Not only are they a valuable assembly aid, but they are also being used in technical bonding and barrier applications that enhance the performance and lifespan of the end product. 

Protect Your Company’s Future: Develop Your Managers Now

While viewing your employees’ potential and then developing them into future managers might seem simple at first, the day-to-day demands of our jobs and responsibilities get in the way. It’s much more difficult than you would expect to regularly take a step back and look at the long-term success of…

Warm as a Wall: An Introduction to Vacuum Insulating Glazing

For the fenestration industry and consumers, VIG would provide a lighter and longer-lasting alternative to high-efficiency triple-pane windows.

Design Considerations for Hinge and Multislide Doors

We must apply the insights gathered from thermal simulations, consultants, design experts and energy advisors to develop the best possible solution. Drawing from all available information and innovation, you can engineer the optimal, holistic, high-performing hinge or multislide door.

Customer Communication Through the Sales Process and Beyond

Communicating with customers before, during and after the sales process can reduce callbacks, expensive replacements and dissatisfied customers.

NFRC Moves to a More Practical Condensation Rating

The newly approved Condensation Index (CI) allows the consumer, manufacturer, building owner or architect to find the fenestration product that best reduces the potential for condensation based on where that window, door or skylight will be in the U.S. or Canada. 

Achieve Business Goals Through Automation

As you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of any purchase for your business, search for knowledgeable industry professionals who can help guide you in your journey. Lean on them to help you clarify your requirements in order to expand and develop a business capable of tackling the challenges of…

The Power of Relationships Amidst a Supply Crisis

Whether it’s vinyl extrusions, screens, spacer technology or any other critical component in high-performance windows and doors, alignment with the right suppliers is one of the most important things manufacturers can do right now to ensure reliable supply channels.

Two Simple, but Not Easy, Priorities

There are two closely related leadership priorities that can help companies to recruit and retain employees, improve engagement and profitability, and keep workers safe. One: promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace; two: address racism and discriminatory practices on the job.

Big Doors, Big Problems

Big doors seem all the rage these days, with large residential doors offering a unique and often spectacular focal point to a home. However, with big doors, come big design problems.

A Refreshing Return to Business

The FGIA Virtual Summer Conference provided a detailed look at what's happening and what's to come in the fenestration and glazing space. 

What Are Google Web Stories, and Do You Need Them?

If you're getting great engagement with "stories" on social media, or if you have products and services that lend themselves to visual marketing, Google Web Stories might be the next online marketing frontier for your business.

Time to Reevaluate

Chances are very good that your company is currently experiencing either a raw materials shortage or difficulty hiring new employees. And there is no indication that either of these challenges will end soon. As is so often the case in business, it may be time to reevaluate and pivot, and here are a…

7 Areas Where Software Can Advance Your Business

The word “software” can be scary for any business, large or small. Every business is unique, but can still utilize off-the-shelf solutions that are slightly tailored to your company’s needs.

How Offering Payment Options Can Increase Your Leads, Close Rates and Project Sizes

Companies that offer payment options to their customers can increase leads by 50 percent, nearly double their close rate (assuming a 25 percent baseline), and increase project sizes by as much as 44 percent.

How to Travel Safely During COVID-19

As of this writing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has adjusted its health and safety guidance. Per the CDC, fully vaccinated people may resume domestic travel in the U.S. without testing before or after, or self-quarantining afterwards. The CDC recommends delaying travel until you…

Next-Gen Window Technology

The next generation of window, door and skylight technology will be done in a lab with the most up-to-date thermal performance measuring equipment and predictive performance analysis software.

How Proven Technologies Can Deliver Futuristic Performance

Increasingly high performance is an inevitability. Consumers won’t simply start compromising, nor will regulations go meaningfully backward. Developing the high-performance products to meet those demands requires high-performance technology—much of which already exists in some form today.

Logistics and Material Shortages in Hardware: One Supplier’s Story

Dan Gray, director of sales, Roto North America, sat down with Window + Door in February to discuss current supply chain challenges, logistical considerations and how to work through them.  

Enhance Worker Performance With Automation

Automation, at its core, is the reduction of human intervention during a given process, such as fabricating a window or flat glass. By employing automation, whether it is at the robot, machine or software level, we as an industry can enhance worker performance, while simultaneously freeing up…

3 Tools to Leverage Your Instagram Business Account

Having a robust social media presence is key to furthering awareness of your brand, gaining customer leads and getting more clicks to your website. However, as social media platforms change, so do their features. Specific to Instagram Business accounts, here are some tools you already have…

Explain Energy Efficiency to Close More Sales

The National Fenestration Rating Council is providing window, door and skylight retailers and salespeople with tools to help their customers understand the energy performance of the products they are buying.    

Can Houzz Help Manufacturers with Marketing?

The pandemic has made digital marketing and sales a must for most companies, and resulted in many people investigating online platforms they had not used in the past. Recently, podcast hosts Zach Williams and Beth PopNikolov of the “Smarter Building Materials Marketing” podcast, sat down to address…

Make Work Cool Again

Although the skilled labor shortage is a long-discussed topic, it’s a conversation happening with renewed vigor, particularly as companies are experiencing record-high business and feeling the labor shortage more acutely as they struggle to keep up with demand.

Market Like You Mean It

Marketing is more than posting to Facebook once a week and doing some ads here and there. Marketing is every single way that you present your product and your business. So here's a checklist to get you started.

The Importance of Supply Chain Technology

The pandemic has increased the risk for every business with many experiencing shocks in both supply and demand. As factories continue operating through the pandemic and beyond, how will businesses navigate these wider risks, specifically with an eye toward supply chain resilience?

Leadership Means Having Strong Soft Skills, Too

In the FGIA Education Department, we talk about the labor shortage and continuing education all the time. But another integral facet of education that doesn’t always get as many headlines is the importance of leadership skills.

High-performing Windows and the Energy-efficient Home

The interactive Window Selection Tool is a way for manufacturers to list their products and reach energy savings-savvy consumers.

3 Tactics to Contend with Lengthy Lead Times

How to get products to customers in a timely manner despite the ongoing shortages of raw materials and labor.

An Optimistic Outlook for a Busy Industry

Last week’s FGIA Virtual Annual Conference was packed with information for the fenestration and glazing industries, and covered everything from economics to safety to design to codes and regulations, and more. Read on for some of the key residential takeaways from the event.

Upskilling: Training During a Pandemic

As a small business, how do you improve your services and better your skills/knowledge? You can employ a strategy called upskilling.

Launching LEAFF

The National Fenestration Rating Council’s Linear Energy Analysis for Fenestration (LEAFF) new simulation methodology aims to reduce the amount of time required to conduct simulation testing, streamline the certification process and empower manufacturers to advance the continuous improvement of…

3 Ways to Leverage YouTube for Your Business

Video lets you easily illustrate and bring to life the before-and-after transformation in a home when you install new doors and/or windows. YouTube can be the perfect place to promote that transformation to your target audience.

One Expectation for 2021: This Year Must be Better Than Last

While 2020 came to an end, the start of 2021 has not looked much different just yet―but I am remaining patient because, thanks to the breakthroughs happening worldwide in terms of vaccine distribution and therapeutics, the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel appears visible. This hopefully…

2020: A Point of Reflection

The pandemic has shifted our personal and professional lives in ways we could have never predicted. And yet as I think about the tremendous challenges we have faced, I also take heart in how our industry has pivoted to adapt and create more opportunities during such an unprecedented time.

Improve Plant Safety Through Control Measures

The Do’s and Don’ts of Glass Safety Task Group (IGMA TM-5000) is developing a comprehensive safety manual on glass handling that sets forth examples and suggestions for in-plant safety control measures.

Keeping Up with A Surprisingly Hot Housing Market

It’s been a roller coaster of a year by any measure. Now that we’re in the thick of autumn, one of the more surprising things we’re experiencing is the extremely hot housing market, which has driven up demand for windows and doors all across the country.

9 Things to Know on the Legislative and Regulatory Landscape

During GlassBuild Connect in September, Jeff Inks, vice president, advocacy, and Kevin McKenney, director of government affairs, both with the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, examined key issues facing Washington and the industry as a whole.

Take the 2021 Industry Pulse Survey

With such a yo-yo year almost in our rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead with Window + Door’s annual Industry Pulse survey. The survey takes stock of the current marketplace and paints a picture of what’s to come for all areas of the supply chain.

Software, Data Curation and Advanced Manufacturing

Among the pandemic’s many consequences is the adoption of digital tools, including software that enhances work in the office, factory and selling. Today’s software often is designed to integrate with hardware and machinery with the intent to streamline automation and interconnectivity.

How to Identify and Phase out Legacy Systems

With the pace of change in the technology industry today, systems that were once the latest, greatest thing for boosting productivity and performance can very quickly become a legacy system of the past. In an increasingly digital world, it’s often your software and systems that can make or break…

3 Reasons Manufacturers Should Take Advantage of Skinny Triples

Adoption of skinny triples has, so far, been slow, but that could change soon. With some new incentives in place that make skinny triples more attractive, and as finding ways to hit California’s thermal targets becomes mandatory, there’s a ripe opportunity for window and door manufacturers to take…

Why Connecting CNC and the Front office is a Value Driver

Many manufacturers already rely on software solutions to provide automation, control and accuracy across design, estimation and manufacture. When this software is linked to your CNC machine, it means a single-entry point for all data, from start to finish. No manual programming is required and…

Spotlight on Smart Hardware

Hardware manufacturers in 2020 are experiencing burgeoning demand for technologically advanced and hands-free hardware both as the world moves toward more automation and as touch-free options become necessary safety components in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

What B2B e-Commerce Is, and Why it Matters to You

The way we do things has shifted and with those shifts have come consistent improvements in convenience and efficiency. And let me tell you, the shift to B2B eCommerce probably delivers more benefits than any of those prior developments – and what’s more, it’s within reach of your business right…

As Hurricane Season Descends, Products, Education Can Help with Resilient Design Understanding

Hurricane season is upon us once again, which often spurs conversations around resilient design. GlassBuild Connect includes several impact-rated products and education sessions to help understand codes, installation challenges and plans.

4 Considerations for Managing Metrics During COVID-19

It is critical anyone in business measure the bottom line and ensure the company is operating in a profitable manner. Those that are just holding on or sitting idle have the biggest threat in a pandemic, because the future cannot be forecasted exactly with so many factors out of control.

At 2020’s Midpoint, Taking Stock of an Unprecedented Year

Thoughts on how manufacturing, automation, workforce challenges, and industry events have changed. Plus, comments on the resiliency of the industry.  

4 Branding Considerations for the Current Market

Kantar Media hosted a webinar series regarding COVID-19’s impact on the retail market. In the initial webinar, David Morcotte, SVP for Kantar, offered tips for how brands can respond and be upfront during this time.

A Year Without GlassBuild America 

I joined the NGA and Window + Door staff in September of 2014. My second day at my new job entailed watching GlassBuild America in Las Vegas come to life. I was coming in with more than a decade of trade shows under my belt, which gave me the experience to confidently step on the show floor, even…

Green Building Standard Update

Michelle Foster, VP, sustainability for Home Innovation Research Labs, provided an update on the 2020 National Green Building Standard. For those unfamiliar, the NGBS is a voluntary above code green certification program and is part of the ICC suite of I Codes. It offers alternative compliance for…

Passive House and Performance-based Building Codes

Passive House is all about energy modeling and meeting comfort, air quality and hygiene requirements. Rather than using a prescriptive approach to get to the end goal, Passive House requires the finished building meets certain standards.

Tech Provides Smart Solutions for the COVID-19 Workplace

Tech companies are developing several potential solutions for the enforcement of social distancing, as well as contact tracing for sick employees. 

Lack of Use = Loss of Use

Don’t let lack of use cause loss of use. While it may seem like common sense to those “in the know,” a simple instruction to consumers to open and close their windows once or twice per month benefits both manufacturers and consumers. 

In Search of the Ideal Large-Format Frame

While large-format windows and doors for residential spaces are an area of opportunity for manufacturers, this category also presents some challenges in terms of design and componentry.

Invest During Difficult Times

5 fundamental questions to consider when reevaluating goals and performance.

5 Steps Companies Can Take to Improve Their Financial Position in a Crisis

Business owners can take measures to improve their financial position and absorb financial shocks while limiting their impact on business.  

Take 3 Steps to Protect Your Business from the Coronavirus Pandemic

The three areas where business owners can concentrate their efforts are on education, anticipating supply chain issues, and marketing and sales activities. 

Are You a Top Manufacturer?

Window + Door’s annual Top Manufacturers list (formerly, the Top 100 Manufacturers) is an important benchmarking tool for the industry. In addition to the industry growth this study tracks, the Top Manufacturers report also aims to provide a general overview of window and door manufacturer health.

Calculated Change

Do you feel technology is advancing too fast for you to keep up? Do you focus too much on how changing machines, software, and/or processes will disrupt your facility, and less on the future benefits of these changes? As technology continues to evolve and improve, these advancements promise to…

Trust, Market Optimism and Growing Framing Diversity

I’ve played window historian on this blog in the past, tracking specifically the way that vinyl has ascended over the decades from a mistrusted bargain material to the undisputed market leader. Why the shift? There have been material improvements, of course. Standards and certifications helped, too…

Hope After the Storm

With hurricanes predicted to worsen in the coming years, according to a study by Yale University, the resiliency conversation is more important to the building products industry than ever. Certainly, smart building practices and materials are paramount to the conversation, but even the strongest of…

Five Steps to a Comprehensive Social Media Strategy

Being social with consumers online helps potential customers see your company as one that is run by caring, accessible people, and that inspires trust that can lead to sales. Social media marketing is a must to compete online today. But, window and door companies without a comprehensive strategy…

Three big themes from the Builders’ Show

I was one of the approximately 90,000 attendees to descend on the Las Vegas convention center last week for the International Builders’ Show at Design and Construction Week. Here are my three big takeaways from IBS 2020. 

Live from IBS 2020

More than 1,400 manufacturers and suppliers are occupying 600,000 net square feet of exhibit space this week at the NAHB International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. Editor-in-chief Emily Thompson is live on scene, exploring the show floor and uncovering the latest products in the fenestration…

Intent and Awareness

You probably already know that search engine optimization and social media aren't optional in today's market. But do you know some of the most important considerations that go into home improvement marketing via these channels?  

Ringing in the New

Happy New Year, Window + Door readers. We’re ringing in the new decade with an all-new WindowandDoor.com, a project we’ve been working on throughout 2019.

New Design Challenges for Impact Windows as ICC Ramps up U-Factors

Since 1992, when Category 5 Hurricane Andrew brought devastation to many of Florida’s southern cities, the state has been fairly aggressive in maintaining a strong building code to prevent similar damage from happening again.

How to Win at Marketing

Last week, I wrote about how Brian Elias has the whole marketing arena figured out in our remodeling space. I also laid out the six functions that businesses need to figure out in order to thrive, noting that almost nobody figures out the marketing side of the business.

Six Keys to a Thriving Business

I’ve met exactly one marketing genius in the remodeling industry since I began specializing in remodeling marketing in 2005. His name is Brian Elias, the charismatic owner of Hansons Windows in Detroit. He’s built an impressive business somewhere in the neighborhood of $70 million a year—not by…

Chasing Daylight

For several years, I worked in an interior office with nothing but a buzzing fluorescent light to illuminate my space. After buckling down on a project for hours, I was always surprised when I emerged, looked out someone else’s window and saw it was snowing. Or storming.

Vinyl Trends

Little did I know when I started at Window & Door that the Pittsburgh area is jam-packed with manufacturers in the fenestration industry. In April, I was welcomed to two local-to-me plants. I visited Thermal Windows & Doors in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, which introduced vinyl windows to the…

Google My Business Page

Google My Business is a free online tool that is super easy to use and can help increase any business’s online marketing performance. Still, many companies have yet to claim their business profile on Google.

3 Tips to Capture Better Leads

Two weeks ago, I attended Professional Remodeler magazine’s Extreme Lead Generation conference. The Window & Door Dealers Alliance was proud to be a partner of this industry event focused on lead generation tools and tactics for home builders and professional remodelers.

SEO Misnomers

Regular readers know I remain a strong proponent of doing everything possible to make your window and door website rank as highly as possible in organic (unpaid) local search results. While pay-per-click advertising and other internet marketing techniques have gained traction in recent years, local…

Legal Protection in the Age of Digital Ad Agencies

Many companies rely on the expertise of internet marketing agencies for ad development, placement and intellectual property right protection. But, as recent experience with Facebook and “tailored” content has illustrated, internet advertising can also present a Wild West for the digital frontier.…

Audit Your Website Content to Ensure It’s Working for You

I’ve written it many times before, but it bears repeating: you can’t take advantage of everything online marketing can do for you if you don’t have great content on your website. Content is foundational to attracting website traffic, converting visitors into leads as well as achieving top-quality…

Instructions Not Included

I vividly remember the moment when it dawned on me that every single person—from the most successful business owners and CEOs to the janitor sweeping the floors, the attendant at the gas station and everyone in between—is making things up as they go along. For years, I assumed that, with rank and…

Actions to Improve and Protect Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn, the online professional networking tool, was a topic of two workshops I gave at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association 2017 National Fall Conference. Even if you’re not currently job-hunting, you should care about the state of your current LinkedIn profile. It’s always good…

Set the Tone

Despite the seemingly sophisticated path of our evolution as a modern civilization, there still exist men and women in the workplace who have either ignored, forgotten or altogether failed to learn how to treat one another.

An Argument for Give and Get

In his book “When,” Daniel Pink discusses the importance of timing events from the matter of their substance, or the what. Whether the timing is good or bad depends on one’s awareness of the current surroundings, and on a perspective gleaned from experience and instigated by an instinct for future…

Key Machinery Financing Tips to Make the Most of Trade Shows

Trade shows are a key place for machinery purchasing. For attendees looking to buy, it’s important to get prepared now to secure financing and make a wise purchase. If you’re prepared ahead of time, you’re able to make a better deal at the show and secure what you need in an environment when…

Force Majeure Clauses: The Basics

A force majeure (French for superior force) clause allows parties to alter their obligations in times of crises. The clause relieves the affected party from liability for not fulfilling its contractual obligations when unforeseen circumstances beyond that party’s control happen. Force majeure…

Google Puts Mobile First

For some time now, Window & Door has covered how the mobile experience of a website is just as critical as that on a desktop computer. As mobile devices have increasingly become the main way potential customers search for products and services, it is imperative that a site's design and…

The Ongoing Importance of Certified Products

If you think back to the formative years of vinyl windows in the U.S., we had our share of performance challenges to overcome. Particularly in hot climates like Florida or Arizona, weathering and yellowing due to high temperatures and UV exposure were major issues that caused some significant…

Ongoing Optimism

You don’t have to wander far to hear positive sentiments about the immediate future of our industry. For instance, Window & Door’s 2018 Industry Pulse notes that the majority of manufacturers, suppliers and dealers expect sales to increase throughout the year. Meanwhile, the Pulse reported that…

What Job Needs to be Done?

Window and door dealers are a product-focused bunch—and why wouldn’t we be? Manufacturer training and new innovative products are important parts of our world. We have to know how products will perform, compare and behave. However, this focus can lead us astray, causing us to ask the wrong…

Video Introductions

Video is not a fad. It is no longer a “nice-to-have” addition to your business. Video is highly relevant now and it is the key to the future. Consider that, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2016–2021, “every second, a million minutes of video content will…

Window Safety Week

Window Safety Week, held next week, is observed to heighten the awareness of what parents and caregivers should do to help keep their family and visitors safer from the risks of window falls or injuries in their home, as well as how they can use their windows for emergency escape and rescue…

Writing Content Headlines

I realize that, as fenestration dealers and manufacturers, you are not in the business of writing headlines, but in the business of providing excellent window and door products and services. Regardless, in this digital age, all businesses must focus strongly on how they market themselves online.…

Coming Up for Air

The economy is hot, construction is healthier than it has been for many years, and window and door dealers are running faster than ever. This business activity is welcome—most of us remember the vacuum sound that started in 2007-2008 and continued for years. So yes—bring it! However, many of the…

Branded

In the early stages of any industry, innovation is active. The winners are those who tightly integrate design, production, sales and marketing. Take the auto industry as an example: because the products (cars) were not quite good enough and needed constant improvement, proprietary integration…

Fishing for Customers

Not long ago, I was on a call with a potential client who was lamenting the fact that he didn’t have enough leads in his business. “Once I get in front of them, we can close the sale,” he told me. “But getting in front of them—that is the issue.” Some variation on that theme is one of the three…

Warranties Requiring Specific Parts or Service

Windows, doors and skylights sometimes fall under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act’s definition of consumer goods, and other times they do not. Magnuson-Moss is a federal statutory scheme that mandates certain requirements for written warranties. It provides, in part, that the “warrantor” (party…

What’s USMCA Got to Do with It?

Last week, the Window & Door Manufacturers Association brought together industry stakeholders and members of Congress, agency leaders and political strategists for its signature policymaking event. The lineup of speakers included representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Politico, the…

Blogging for Search Marketing: How Long, How Often, How to Do It

Regular readers of my articles know I have a one-word answer for any small business looking to improve search engine optimization: content. It's really that simple. Yes, you can do many other things to improve your window and door website's SEO, but nothing matters more than content. Many say…

Energy Star Reform Act

In the recent months, there have been several opportunities for Energy Star partners to have their voices heard. In May of 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency invited public comment on existing regulations pursuant to Executive Order 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agency. In October…

Industry 4.0 is Here

Last week, I attended Glass Processing Automation Days in San Antonio. Organized by FeneTech and supported by the National Glass Association, the event is focused on the glass side of our world. But there was still a ton of great information about integrating automation that applies directly to our…

How Not to Write for SEO in 2018

For more than a decade, search engine optimization has been the headline topic for businesses trying to boost their website rankings. But the SEO techniques that worked 15 years ago do not work now, and many of them can actually diminish organic search rankings on major search engines (such as…

The Resiliency of Construction

As the housing market crashed in 2008, I was in the early days of my career in construction-related publishing. Despite entering the workforce—and the construction-related workforce at that—at arguably one of the most tumultuous times possible, I somehow weathered the Great Recession with my job…

Social Media Trends to Put into Practice in 2018

According to James Mulvey, senior social media strategist, Hootsuite, there are three main challenges for businesses utilizing social media in 2018. They are: the continuing decline of unpaid, organic reach; keeping pace with social network innovation; and validating the worth of existing…

The Ban on Gating Reviews … and what to do instead

Last year, Google declared that if it discovered any “review gating” by businesses after April 12, 2018, any reviews posted after that date could be eradicated. Review gating is when companies put together a system that gets potential reviewers to reveal whether they want to post a positive or…

A Trendy Showroom

I’m sure you’ve experienced a customer who says they want their home to ‘have a more modern feel,’ then goes on to describe a classic window or door. So, what does the customer really want? Here is an opportunity to provide something of value: professional advice about trends that will enhance the…

Lack of Code Enforcement Worsens Impact of Maria in Puerto Rico

One of our member companies recently reached out to our staff to gain some insight on the lack of building code enforcement in Puerto Rico. The member told us the problem existed before the hurricane but is worse now. He also expressed frustration over competing with other companies that regularly…

Create Warmer Leads Faster

Do you know where any particular client enters into your sales funnel? Are they at the bottom, moments away from a buying decision? Or are they further up the funnel, where they are gathering data and information in order to make a go/no go decision for their project? Understanding where your…

The Opportunity for Women in Fenestration

This week is the National Association of Women in Construction’s Women in Construction Week, an annual event the first week of March that aims to promote women as a viable component of the industry. Although women comprise about 47 percent of the total U.S. workforce, construction is made up of…

Comprehensive Content

The path to the top of local search rankings used to be so much easier—professionally written content wasn’t a necessity. And, frankly, content didn’t even really need to be all that great. Getting ranked in local search was as simple as posting copy packed with a ton of keywords about a particular…

Trade Show Faux Pas

The editorial staff at Window & Door is excited to head to Las Vegas next week for GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo, where the who’s who of fenestration professionals will gather for the biggest event for the industry. In addition to tips on how to navigate the show floor…

Application Versatility with New Door Designs

The combination of indoor and outdoor living spaces within the high-end residential market has been trending for a few years now. Large openings, made possible by oversized residential windows and doors, have attracted many a homebuilder and renovator. Just check recent pages of Window & Door…

The Innovation Imperative

I really enjoyed the recent blog written by American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s Rich Rinka. In it, he retraces some of the most important evolutions of the window industry over the past few decades, from when significant heat loss in American homes was just “accepted as the nature of…

How to Dispose of Unwanted Inventory… and Do Good

Many manufacturers, distributors and window and door retailers face an ongoing challenge: disposing of surplus inventory. Many practice discounting, liquidating and auctioning unwanted merchandise, but this labor-intensive work can yield little profit.  Another idea is to donate products to…

5 Elements Behind the Best-Made Windows, Doors and Skylights

A home’s windows, doors and skylights exist for a number of reasons—to provide ingress and egress, sunlight and fresh air are some of the most obvious. But today’s savvy homeowners want more than just some panes of glass to let light in, or a panel that swings open to allow entry. Modern consumers…

Continued Opportunity in Color

A few weeks ago, I returned from International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas—where there had been a bit of snow, as you might have heard. Wild weather aside, IBS coincides with the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show to make up Design & Construction Week, and it’s always a nice snapshot of the…

PPC and SEO

Pay-per-click advertising campaigns—in particular, Google’s PPC ads—offer a lot of benefits to window and door retailers. Many love the cost-effectiveness, as well as how PPC ads display the company prominently at the top of search engine results pages. The fact that PPC advertisers can tweak ad…

Continued Opportunity for Impact Windows

Hurricane Florence has dominated headlines this week and last, as the powerful storm brought a major surge and heavy rains to the Carolinas and beyond. With significant flooding affecting the areas, recovery crews have their work cut out for them.

What’s in a Lifetime?

The duration of a manufacturer warranty is generally defined either as lifetime or a period of time (e.g. a 10-year warranty). Have you ever stopped to consider what “Lifetime Warranty” means? Lifetime of what? Is lifetime measured by the life of the product, of the person owning the product, or…

Exit Stage Right

It is no secret that current owners of window and door dealerships are predominantly folks closer to retirement than to the starting line of their careers. It is also no secret these owners know a lot about the business, and they continue to be hard-charging salespeople and managers.  But there is…

The Continued Evolution of Residential Comfort

I had the opportunity to attend the American Institute of Architects annual conference in New York City this summer. From my perspective, it was a great, busy show, with big names from around the industry, international attendees and a good energy overall. At the event, I noticed that talk about…

Now Trending

Early last month, I and several other members from the Quanex team attended the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, both for some good weather and to get a sense for how the industry is feeling at the outset of a new year. My takeaway: Many building and construction professionals are abuzz…

Stop a Scam Before it Starts

Recently, an employee of one of the Window & Door Dealers Alliance member companies received the following email message: Hi. I would like to know if you have 59.5 in. x 47.5 in. Right-Hand Sliding Low-E Argon Glass Vinyl Windows In Stock ?If Not Can It be Ordered ? I will like to know the…

What Market Consolidation Could Mean in 2019

As we roll into the new year, here’s a question I’ve pondered recently: what kind of window and door market will we see emerge after some significant consolidation throughout 2018? Just a year ago, following a flurry of 2017 mergers and acquisitions, Window & Door forecasted 2018 to be an “open…

Is a Modular “Disruption” on the Horizon?

“Disruption” is something we’ve seen happen to a lot of industries over the past decade or so. Video rental chains got disrupted by Netflix. Taxi companies got disrupted by Uber and Lyft. Newspapers got disrupted by the internet and blogs (like the one you’re reading right now). What’s the next…

Three Design Trends to Watch for in 2019

As we enter the new year and homeowners begin to think about the home projects they’ll tackle in 2019, it’s important to plan for the trends that may take hold in the coming months. New materials, styles and features are already emerging among popular photos on Houzz that will impact the…

4 Tips for Better Communication

Every now and then, a situation arises where there is an issue with a window or door that is not covered by the product warranty, but the manufacturer determines it should give a little extra to resolve the issue. Where that occurs, manufacturers may decide to go ahead and offer to fix the issue…

Navigating Installation Variables, Part 3

Looking at a common window mounting type as an example—i.e. those with a mounting flange—AAMA 2400, Standard Practice for Installation of Windows with a Mounting Flange in Wood Frame Construction for Low Wind/Water Exposure, recommends a process for applying flashing and sealing materials to…

No Compromising on Form, Fit and Function for Screens

Screens are important, but most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them until they either don’t have them, or until their screens don’t work properly.

7 Considerations for Drafting a Noncompete Agreement

While not new, noncompete agreements remain a source of dispute because both the workforce and terms within the agreement are continuously evolving. 

Making Smart Investments in the Future of Glass

Thin or "skinny" triples use a very thin, nonstructural center lite, allow the use of a single spacer, and create no significant weight changes compared with standard dual-pane IGs. Window suppliers can drop skinny triple units into existing framing designs with little or no change in the frame and…

Navigating Installation Variables, Part 2

Last month, we began this column mini-series on installation by describing the two most common wall types with respect to the configuration of their water resistive barrier—surface barrier and membrane/drainage systems—and introduced the two most common types of windows with regard to their…

Trade Secrets

A trade secret involves confidential information that provides (or will provide) economic benefit or advantage to a business that would be lost if it were misappropriated or disseminated to the public. State and federal laws include various remedies that provide businesses ways to protect the value…

The Window for Organic Reach on Facebook Is Mostly Closed

Organic reach on Facebook—that is, how much of your target audience sees "free" social posts—is now simply dismal. As a percentage, it's hovering in the low single digits, often as low as just 1 percent. That means only a few (often literally only three or four people) see your window and door…

The Biophilia Trend

Keeping your finger on the pulse of modern home design trends is important if you’re in the window and door industry. So where are people’s heads these days? I wasn’t too surprised to see that “window walls” were one of the top picks in a recent Houzz trends piece. While the write-up credits…