I am sure my list is not actually famous, but as has become customary when attending various events I usually bring you my top insights and experiences from industry gatherings. So following are some of the things that really caught my eye this week at the International Builders’ Show, as well as conversations of interest.

My conversation with two CEOs. It’s always interesting to talk to David Petratis, president and CEO, Quanex Building Products. He told me everyone who comes by the booth naturally asks, “How’s business? “There are slivers of light,” he tells them. “There is more optimism and more opportunity. 2011 was the lowest level of window production and we will exceed that.”

“2012 will be better due in part to a rise in multi-family,” he adds. “Consumer savings is up. Consumption of inventory is moving.”

He seems to echo what others are saying and as the industry would love a big slice of the pie they will take the slivers.

I also always enjoy talking to Filip Geeraert, president and CEO of Deceuninck North America, and in our latest conversation he hinted at a very innovative product to be introduced at a spring trade show.

“We are launching a new product at AIA that will blow the industry away from a structural and thermal point of view—and it will be dual-pane,” he says.

“Customers will always want innovation,” he adds, and it is the company’s focus to fill that need.

The style I heard about most. Introductions and a focus of Craftsman style doors was definitely evident at each door company I visited. Representatives of these companies all told me the same thing—you don’t need a Craftsman style house to have this type of door.

Homeowners are “mixing and matching” more than ever.

The computer trend I heard about most. No news flash here that more and more companies are moving toward tablet applications, but a phrase I heard several times was “we are working on getting all our salespeople armed with an iPad,” or “our salespeople are moving toward tablets. and they want the information to be instantly updated.” So if you are not moving in this direction, it is something you will want to consider.

The trend that was reiterated. When I attended the GlassBuild America show last September I mentioned that more and more residential companies are expanding into light commercial applications, and this could be found at IBS also.

Bayer exhibited here, and “People are coming by and asking how they can expand into light commercial type applications,” said Harry George, manager, new markets.

Here and there. It is always interesting to attend industry events and meet new people and I met a woman from Australian window company who was here to research the U.S. window options proving that it truly is the “International” Builders’ Show.

Two Jeld-Wen employees smile for the camera.

Photo gallery. So it’s only three photos, and two of them are from the same company but I thought they were interesting enough to share.

First, to the two gentlemen in the Jeld-Wen booth who wanted me to snap their photo, you probably didn’t think this would end up anywhere but you never know the power a photographer holds.

The award for the product I most want in my home goes to Jeld-Wen for its authentic pantry door. Yes there are others I would love to own, from the spacious front doors found around the show floor to the sliding wall systems, but I just loved this door. So if anyone knows my husband, pass it on.
Finally, my boss wanted me to stop by the Panasonic booth as Mike Holmes, host of HGTV’s Holmes on Holmes, would be there. So never one to not listen I stopped by and told him about our magazine and how one of the things we write about is lead paint as I have heard him talk about this subject. He asked me, “Who are the ones that get it? “The kids,” I answered. “That’s right, the kids. Keep writing it, Tara.” He wants the industry to stay informed and wants to prevent lead poisoning and seems to believe that adherence to the EPA regulations is important. So it was a pretty interesting visit after all. You know what they say: “The boss is always right.”
I want this door.
Me and Mike Holmes. For someone relucant to go I certainly am smiling.


  1. Tara … super blog and congratulations on getting to meet and talk with Mike Holmes who probably does more positive work on behalf of legitimate contractors everywhere than he realizes. Keep up the GREAT work. Lyle

  2. Thanks for providing us loyal readers of your blog with some great insights on the International Builders Show Tara. Your report from the IBS is the next best thing to being there… In fact I probably would not have gotten the same info attending the show as I did reading your blog.

  3. Tara – So glad to read your report – especially love the Photo Gallery. I have some incriminating photos of industry folks as well and was very impressed with the fact that Mike Holmes seems just as genuine in person as he is on TV.

  4. Tara – I always enjoy your industry function articles.
    Great reading!

  5. Tara – being one of said JELD-WEN folks, I feel privileged to have made it big time. Thanks for the great blog and we are very happy you liked the door. Keep up your efforts.

  6. Thanks to everyone for your comments. P.S. I did tell my husband about my blog so we will see about that door ……

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