It’s no surprise that when [DWM] editors looked at web stats to gather its top five stories of the year that supply chain issues—lumber specifically—were among the most read. Perhaps surprising, however, was that a [DWM] blog was the number one story. Then again, when you look at the topic (pricing) the surprise wanes a bit.

1. Pricing Shifts: Blogger Ed Kalaher’s look at the The Great COVID Pricing Shift back in February stated, “In the past 27 months, I have seen most every window manufacturer in the nation raise prices—three times over, at least. Further, what have historically been increases of 5% or less, have been 5%, 10% and even more.” But he didn’t just lament those spikes—he gave practical advice on how companies could adapt.

2. Legal Battles: Court cases always attract attention, and no case received more notice, both inside and outside of fenestration, than the battle among Jeld-Wen and Steves and Sons, over Jeld-Wen’s Towanda, Pa.-based manufacturing plant. The case, dating back to 2016, related to claims that Jeld-Wen’s acquisition of Craftmaster International (CMI) in 2012 violated antitrust provisions. The trial followed an action filed in 2016 by fellow door manufacturer Steves and Sons Inc., alleging damages on six counts, including violations of numerous sections of the Clayton Antitrust Act.

In August, Jeld-Wen opted to forgo any further appeal of a court order requiring divesture of the plant.

3. Housing Forecast: When the National Association Home Builders outlined its forecast for housing and remodeling in February, readers wanted to hear their predictions. After all, demand was at an all-time high, with homeowners working remotely and checking those pesky home improvement projects off their list. Door and window companies wanted to know how long demand would continue.

4. Supply Chain Challenges: When members of the door, moulding and millwork industries gathered virtually in March to talk about the current state of the market, a few themes reigned supreme. Door sales were robust, companies were busy serving current customers, rather than looking for or taking on new ones, and there were huge challenges in material availability, particularly lumber. This is all happened while companies reported record setting 2020 sales and positive predictions for 2021, with a dose of uncertainty thrown in. Members of the Moulding and Millwork Producers Association (MMPA) engaged in productive discussions over how to handle it all.

5. Lumber Crisis: Speaking of supply chain (see number four), a cohort of construction-related organizations sent a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo in March, urging Commerce to examine the supply chain for lumber. With lumber prices increasing by more than 180% and prices for oriented strand board (OSB) nearly tripling, “We respectfully request that your office examine the lumber supply chain, identify the causes for high prices and supply constraints, and seek immediate remedies that will increase production,” the group implored.

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