Kitchens & Baths

Domestic shipments of major home appliances declined in July compared to the same month in 2005, but were still running nearly 5 percent ahead of last year’s total for the first seven months of the year, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers reported. According to the Washington, D.C.-based AHAM, appliance shipments totaled 5.73 million units in July, 3.4 percent below the total posted in July of 2005. However, shipments through the first seven months of 2006 were pegged at 49.7 million units, 4.9 percent above last year’s January-July total of 47.4 million units.According to AHAM’s latest forecast, issued last month, appliance shipments should achieve an all-time high of 81.9 million units this year. Additional growth, to 82.7 million units, is being projected for 2007 (see chart).

Cast polymer demand

U.S. demand for cast polymer is forecast to advance 4.1 percent per year, to 239 million sq. ft. by 2010, a new study predicts. The study — released last month by The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland, Ohio-based market research firm — said that gains will be driven primarily by the increasing use of cast polymers in nonresidential countertops. However, even in residential applications, cast polymers “will continue to gain market share at the expense of many other materials because of performance advantages, as well as their vast array of color and surface-texture options,” The Freedonia Group said.

The residential countertop market accounted for more than 65 percent of cast polymer demand in 2005. Demand for engineered stone is expected to register growth of 8.8 percent a year through 2010. Solid surface materials, expected to post “respectable gains,” will continue to account for the largest share of cast polymer volume sales, with a 43 percent market share. Aside from countertops, cast polymers are expected to be used in such applications as shower pans, bath accessories, sinks and drawer pulls, The Freedonia Group said.

Green Building

Survey Indicates Stronger Interest in Sustainable Construction Practices

A NAHB survey indicates that 2005 saw a 20 percent increase in the number of builders producing green, environmentally responsible homes. The study indicates that number will grow by another 30 percent this year. By 2010, the value of the residential green building marketplace is expected to boost its market share from $7.4 billion and 2 percent of housing starts last year to $19 billion to $38 billion and 5 to 10 percent of residential construction activity.

According to the survey results, the leading reason that builders are considering green is that “it’s the right thing to do,” said Harvey Bernstein with McGraw Hill, which co-sponsored the survey. Of those polled, 92 percent identified this factor as a very or somewhat important influence behind the decision to go green.

Other prominent influences include lowering life-cycle costs, such as energy efficiencies and productivity increases, 87 percent; staying ahead of the competition or expanding business with customers who are interested in green building, 82 percent; and limiting exposure to liability on such issues as water leaks and mold, 78 percent.

Obstacles remain, the survey showed. Starting costs and the lack of interest by consumers to pay additional costs for a green home are perceived as a barrier by 82 percent and 79 percent of firms surveyed, respectively. Also rated as important were educating the marketplace on green building concepts (by 79 percent) and revising codes, ordinances and regulations (72 percent). Only 39 percent said that the perception of green building as a fad and not something that is here to stay was a significant roadblock.


Andersen Buys Silver Line

Silver Line Building Products Corp. was purchased by Andersen Corp. June 30.

“This agreement marks an exciting milestone in the evolution of Silver Line. The resources that will be available to us as part of the Andersen enterprise will position us to meet our growth targets for the future,” said Kenneth Silverman, chairman and chief excutive officer of Silver Line. “After running a family-owned business for 59 years, we are proud to join another organization with a similar culture and rich history of success and caring.”

“We are very excited about this opportunity to expand our business into new market segments, especially via the leading vinyl manufacturer,” said Jim Humphrey, president and chief executive officer at Andersen Corporation.

Andersen plans to operate this business as a stand-alone subsidiary, with Ken Silverman leading his current management team.


Installation Training Announced

CertainTeed Corp.’s installation and education program has been retooled to accommodate the differing installation practices of contractors throughout the country.

The content, which provides window and patio door installation detail, is customized to emphasize the varying installation techniques of the Northwest/Mountain, Northeast, Southeast/Midwest, Southwest and South Central markets. Program manuals, tests and details can be found online at

Professionals who complete the online course will receive rewards including a personalized jobsite sign to help grow their businesses and co-op funding for local advertising. They will also receive a lead-generating, free listing on for homeowners to find skilled, local installers. In addition, CertainTeed will provide valuable tools for in-home presentations.

Industry professionals previously certified as Window Master Craftsmen are encouraged to take the revised online test so they may take advantage of the new program’s benefits.


NRCA Convention News

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) will hold its 120th Annual Convention at the Las Vegas Hilton March 5-8, 2007.

Online registration is available at For more information, contact Bennett Judson at (847) 299-9070, ext. 7513; e-mail; or visit


October 17-19

October 18
QR Top 500 & Master Design Awards Reception
Peninsula Chicago
Chicago, Ill.

October 19-21
The Remodeling Show
McCormick Place
Chicago, Ill.

February 7-10
International Builders’ Show
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Fla.