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A Rollercoaster of a Year

Business is booming amid a surprisingly strong housing market, yet supply challenges may loom

In March and April, it was almost unfathomable to think the housing industry would stand its ground through lockdowns, construction shutdowns and quarantines. However, during Connor Lokar’s macroeconomic update during GlassBuild Connect in September, he described the housing market as a very positive signal with “impressive single-family housing numbers.” Lokar anticipates housing to continue its upward trajectory and encouraged suppliers to prepare for higher demand through the coming year.  

That’s great news for those in our industry, and from what we hear, business is booming. Companies describe some of the best business conditions they’ve ever seen, period. In many cases, they have more than rebounded from unsettling and low times earlier this year. 

Although there doesn’t appear to be a shortage of work anytime soon, busy production lines paired with a shaky supply chain could create a different set of challenges: keeping your customer base.  

During the Home Improvement Research Institute virtual summit in September, Grant Farnsworth said that 45 percent of surveyed contractors indicated they used a new supplier within the past month—a notably high figure from the historical 10 to 20 percent range. “What customers need from you has changed and varies by customer and category,” Farnsworth said. “Understand what your customers need and shift how you deliver.”  

What are you doing to understand your customers’ needs in today’s climate?  

Maybe you need to leverage more digital strategies, such as video. See how one company used video to launch a new product earlier this year. Or, as executives advise, incorporate new software and digital technologies into your company.  

Perhaps it’s a matter of upping your communication. The Window + Door Awards shares stories of how those in our industry navigated the pandemic and tactics they used to not only survive the pandemic but, in many cases, thrive. There’s no doubt the coronavirus will continue affecting our world for the foreseeable future. The stories outlined on those pages may be an inspiration for how to pivot your own operations during a time when the environment could change at any given moment.   

We’ll be following the booming business conditions closely and the celebrations and challenges that come along with it. As I assume the editor role of Window + Door, my lines are always open and I encourage you to pick up the phone, 703/442-4890 x188, or send an email to, to share your story and best practices.


Laurie Cowin headshot

Laurie Cowin

Laurie Cowin is editor of Window + Door. Contact her at