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.
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 things,” to California’s goal of all new residential buildings becoming energy neutral by 2020.
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 charity, also known as product philanthropy or gifts-in-kind donations. This practice has financial advantages, too, thanks to a little-known tax break in IRC Section 170(e) (3).
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 want to: minimize the costs of heating and cooling their homes; increase daylighting; stay green; be protected from the elements; add an element of beauty and style; and ensure a long-lasting product. All of this, while staying within their budget.
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 current home industry.
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 copy on the fly and make it go live almost immediately is also a plus.
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.
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 the life of the manufacturer? The answer is that it can be any—but a well-written warranty will define how lifetime is measured.
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.
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.