Impressions from the Builders Show

Jan 24th, 2011

There are two primary reasons that most people attend the International Builders Show – products and people. My primary focus at IBS is talking to people. This gives me a chance to hear from the trenches impressions of what is happening in the market. The tone of conversations this year was decidedly more positive than [...]

Inside the Associated Materials Acquisition

Sep 14th, 2010

On September 8, the definitive agreement by which Hellman & Friedman LLC, a private equity firm, will acquire Associated Materials Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of exterior building products, was announced. Its various holdings included Alside and Gentek. The total price paid for Associated Materials was $1.48 billion, when accounting for the cash to be [...]

Volume Window Purchase Conference

Aug 24th, 2010

The U.S. Department of Energy will host a two-day conference on the Highly-Insulating (R-5) Windows and Low-e Storm Windows Volume Purchase Program on September 22 and 23 in Chicago, Ill. The Volume Purchase Program was designed to help buyers of windows and manufacturers of windows by encouraging the growth of a market for the most [...]

What Recent Acquisitions Mean for the Industry

Jul 6th, 2010

A spate of recent transactions, along with several others that are progressing toward completion, has helped bring the number of door and window merger and acquisition transactions closer to our previous expectations. The most recent is the acquisition of Loewen by VKR Holding of Denmark, the parent company of Velux Skylights. This purchase was a [...]

What Ever Happened to Capitulation?

Jun 14th, 2010

If you’ve read my research over the last few years, you’ve seen the concept of capitulation discussed a number of times. I realized recently that I failed to finish the story of capitulation as it pertains to the downturn in the residential building products industry. For those of you not familiar with this concept, capitulation [...]

Benchmark Survey Helps Manufacturers Navigate Challenges

May 3rd, 2010

Spring marks not only the start of the busy season for most door and window manufacturers, but the time each year when we conduct our annual Window & Door Industry Benchmark Survey. This survey is exclusively for manufacturers of residential or commercial entry doors, windows, interior doors, overhead doors and skylights, as well as sunrooms. [...]

Living with Lead Rules

Apr 12th, 2010

When I spoke on January 26 at a meeting of the Northeast Window and Door Association, I was asked of the likely impact of the new EPA lead rules. I have to confess that, as recently as that date, I was completely unaware of the pending rules. The problem is that many manufacturers were also [...]

Foreclosures and the Outlook for the First Half of 2010

Feb 22nd, 2010

Several housing market analysts predict that there will be another seven million foreclosures over the next few years. While that may sound like a dire prediction, the effect of these foreclosures may not be as extreme as a first glance would indicate. Fewer newly built homes are being added to the inventory of existing homes. [...]

Pre-Builders’ Show Thoughts

Jan 18th, 2010

This week marks the beginning of the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, which is always an exciting event for the industry. Not only is the Builders Show the biggest industry-related event of the year, it’s a chance to see new products and catch up with old friends. The other aspect of attending the Builders’ [...]

Volume Purchase Program: Music to our Ears

Dec 1st, 2009

I had a conversation recently with a consultant working on the Department of Energy (DOE) Highly Insulating (R-5) Window and low-E Storm Window Volume Purchase Program.  The purpose of this program is to facilitate volume purchases of highly energy efficient windows.  The U-factor equivalent of an R-5 is .2, significantly lower than the .3 U-factor [...]