John Swanson, editor/associate publisher of Window & Door
Sure, there were concerns about a tax credit hangover in the
replacement and remodeling market as the year began, but most industry
folks I talked to were talking positively about 2011. It might not be a
gangbuster year, but I got the sense that most window and door
manufacturers and dealers in this segment were looking for growth.
Unfortunately, we've been getting mixed signals of late. On the positive side, NAHB's Remodeling Market Index is at its highest level in four years. BuildFax,
which recently launched its own index of remodeling activity, said
February 2011 was 20 percent stronger than February 2010. It was also
the 20th straight month of improving numbers.
Center for Housing Studies pulled back on its projections for growth in
remodeling spending, however. "Given all the economic uncertainty that
we’re seeing nationally, the home improvement recovery is expected to be
rocky," said Eric S. Belsky, managing director, in the center's latest release. Hanley Wood also joined in recently with a less than rosy report that remodeling activity declined for the first quarter of 2011.
what are you expecting now? Will replacement and remodeling sales grow
at your company in 2011? That's our poll question of the week. And,
of course, I'd like to hear from you. What's the recent upsurge in gas
prices going to do? What about the seemingly endless stalemate on
dealing with the federal deficit? Will the end of Osama bin Laden
provide a jolt of optimism? Post your comment or email me and share your thoughts.