Coastal Population Holds Steady

The loss of life and property damage from two consecutively horrific hurricane seasons has highlighted the importance of special coastal building codes like DP 50 for windows. In fact the importance of these codes grows as more Americans invest in vacation and retirement homes in Atlantic and Gulf Coast states.

The population of these states is growing, but data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that there has been little net change in the percentage of Americans who live in coastal counties. The table above highlights this fact region-by-region.


Alcoa to Sell Exteriors Unit

Alcoa Corp. announced last month that it would put its $600 million Alcoa Home Exteriors business unit on the block in order to focus on other areas core to the parent company’s business.

“The Alcoa Home Exteriors business is a solid performer with good returns, but it no longer fits with our core global construction business portfolio,” said Alain Belda, Alcoa Chairman and CEO.

With products available in all 50 states, the unit manufactures and sells vinyl siding, soffit, fascia and trim as well as railing for decks. The company estimates that one in four vinyl-sided homes is adorned with its Alcoa or Mastic siding.

Kitchens & Baths

Appliance Shipments Surge

A February surge in domestic shipments of major home appliances should help make 2006 the best year on record for the appliance industry, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers predicted last month. According to the latest forecast issued by the Washington, D.C.-based AHAM, 2006 appliance shipments should total some 80.6 million units, up from the 79.1 million units shipped in 2005. The previous record year for appliances was 2004, when some 79.7 million domestic appliances were shipped, AHAM said (see chart below). Appliance shipments surged in February, rising 10.3 percent above the shipments of February 2005. Year-to-date shipments through February were running 8.8 percent over the same two-month period last year, AHAM added. The trade association forecast 2006 gains in cooking appliances, as well as kitchen cleanup, home laundry and food preservation products.

Cabinet and Vanity Sales

Sales of kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities rose 17.2 percent in February over sales in February 2005, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association said last month. According to the Reston, Va.-based KCMA, manufacturers participating in the association’s monthly “Trend of Business” survey reported that sales of stock cabinets rose 17.8 percent for the month, while semicustom cabinet sales were up 16.2 percent and custom cabinet sales increased 19.6 percent.