Fenestration Canada: April 2015

Looking west, east and in between
Skip Maclean
March 23, 2015
By Skip Maclean
2014 was a very good but challenging business year for most B.C. manufacturers. Many west-coast fenestration manufacturers had to diligently wrestle with and come to grips with the new building code, NAFS, local bylaws and new energy codes. British Columbia
appears to be further along the path of code application than many other areas across the country. There are lessons to be learned from their efforts, which is why the upcoming AGM in Vancouver is so timely. Attending the AGM will provide an excellent opportunity to learn from their trials and tribulations and discuss all that is fenestration.

FenBC and Terry Adamson (Westeck Windows) in particular have been supportive of national efforts and have collaborated on many of the initiatives put forth recently. Many of these initiatives have resulted in solid information and guidelines which can be found on our website, fenestrationcanada.ca.

Alberta and Saskatchewan continue to be on the forefront of growth in Canada, but the recent drop in oil prices presents a challenge few considered a year ago. The weakness of the Canadian dollar along with the surging U.S. economy may provide opportunities for the export of fenestration products to our U.S. neighbours.

Manitoba continues to be the most stable and predictable sector in all the country and is well represented by Fenestration Manitoba. Last year’s AGM held in Winnipeg exposed the strength and diversity of local fenestration manufacturing and its continued leadership on the development of window and door innovation and technology.

Ontario, with Toronto’s ongoing construction boom that seems to defy logic, continues on a strong trend. Ontario’s diverse manufacturing base may allow the province’s manufacturing sector to take advantage of the lower dollar and enjoy increased gains in export trade. Job creation and overall prosperity should translate into increased renovation spending.

Changing energy ratings zones, possible glass shortages and rising prices may present challenges to sales growth in 2015. Many fenestration manufacturers seem to be positioning higher end products and services to entice the homeowner into upgrading their homes. A renewed interest in installation procedures seems to be garnering the attention of many window and door professionals.

Quebec Fenestration interests are well represented by the AVFQ. Executive vice-president Gilbert Lemay and president Marc Bilodeau continue to provide support to the national association as many Quebec manufacturers enjoy membership at both levels. A recent winter meeting was extremely well attended and we would like to thank all for the warm reception provided for Robert Rivard, Fenestration Canada executive director. Quebec’s manufacturing sector is faced with many of the same challenges, but renovation spending has been aided by the current provincial tax credit for fenestration replacement.

Atlantic Canada remains steady yet unspectacular in growth. Many fabricators work diligently to bring their products to current code levels; some of the most severe in the country.

The Windows Seminar produced by BuildAbility and sponsored by Fenestration Canada will be held March 31 in Thornhill, Ont. The seminar, headed by our very own technical guru, Jeff Baker of WestLab, will inform and educate all stakeholders regarding code, application and regulation of fenestration products. For more information visit buildability.ca.

A survey sent to all exhibitors and attendees conducted after the close of Windoor North America 2014 provided the show committee and association directors with positive feedback. New Windoor show committee chair, Rick Pries of Veka Canada, and members of the show committee are actively involved in the production of this year’s version of Windoor which will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Nov. 3 to 5. Save the dates and mark your calendars.

Skip Maclean is president of Fenestration Canada. He is business development manager for Tru-Tech Doors and has over 40 years’ experience in the window and door industry.

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