Happy New Year: A Look at the Top Stories of 2016December 29th, 2016 by Trey Barrineau
It’s been another busy year in the door and window industry, with lawsuits, plant takeovers and hilarious celebrity encounters generating headlines. With that in mind, here are the stories that saw the most web traffic on DWM in 2016.
1. Simonton Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit
A story from late October focused on a class-action lawsuit from a group of homeowners who say Simonton Windows distributed substandard windows.
The suit was filed on October 17, 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota against Simonton Building Products LLC, formerly known as Simonton Building Products Inc., and other related companies. It alleges breach of warranty, design defect, failure to warn, fraud, liability, negligence, product liability and unjust enrichment.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs say the insulated glass windows have shown defects early on, including internal condensation, corrosion of the metallic films and/or improper glass preparation leading to visible finger prints and smudges. The suit says the plaintiffs suffered inconvenience, aggravation, loss of use of their windows and/or other damages.
2. Aluminum Window Maker Says Vinyl is Dangerous; Industry Groups Push Back
This story from late April sparked a strong response from the door and window industry. A South Florida manufacturer of aluminum windows put out a press release saying that vinyl should be phased out of fenestration products because it’s dangerous for homeowners and the environment — despite the material’s widespread use in construction, healthcare and municipal water systems.
“I find it amazing that these outlandish statements still persist in 2016 with all the efforts that the vinyl industry, EPA and other government agencies have undertaken to make vinyl windows and hundreds of other vinyl products safe for consumers,” Dick Doyle, president and CEO of the Vinyl Institute, told DWM in response to the press release. “Vinyl is the material of choice for our nation’s drinking water systems, it is used to maintain our nation’s blood supply, and vinyl windows and doors help maintain energy-efficient homes.”
3. Beyonce, Jay Z and a Soft-Lite Salesman Go to a Basketball Game …
Probably the year’s funniest story. During June’s NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, a photographer snapped pop superstar Beyonce shooting some “serious side eye” at Soft-Lite Windows sales manager Steve Cespedes, according to Entertainment Weekly. What happened next? A huge celebrity had some fun with her public persona, and a social-media tsunami ensued.
4. Power Home Remodeling Settles Phone-Solicitation Lawsuit
In October, Power Home Remodeling Group agreed to pay $5.2 million to settle a class action lawsuit over unsolicited automated phone calls. U.S. District Judge Mark Kearney of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania approved the agreement. The judge’s decision notes that the company has already changed its business practices regarding calls to cellphones.
5. Venezuela Takes Over Guardian’s Glass Factory
While it didn’t get the most traffic, DWM’s coverage of Venezuela’s socialist government taking over Guardian Industries’ float glass plant in late July generated a lot of discussion in the industry.
DWM‘s in-depth follow-up coverage was also popular with readers in 2016.
A First: NAHB Endorses Congressional Candidates
In October, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) finalized its list of 137 congressional candidates that it thinks will help boost housing in the U.S. The association announced in September that it would be working with its state and local home builders associations to coordinate announcing the endorsements. It was the first-ever list of officially approved candidates in the NAHB’s 74-year history.
Soft-Lite Windows Sold to Harvey Building Products
On December 19, Harvey Building Products, based in Waltham, Mass., announced that it has acquired Soft-Lite Windows, headquartered in Streetsboro, Ohio. Both companies manufacture windows, while Harvey also distributes siding, roofing, decking and many other building materials.
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