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Freedonia predicts stark recovery for windows and doors

BY HBSDealer Staff

According to World Windows & Doors, a new study from The Freedonia Group, global demand for windows and doors is expected to reach $223 billion in annual revenue in 2017, a 7.1% change that is in stark contrast to its growth during the 2007-2012 period.

The company said in a statement that the recovery would be spearheaded by several developed countries, most notably China, which maintained the world’s largest window and door market in 2012 and is expected to make up 36% of total global demand in 2017. This is due in part to burgeoning incomes and home sizes in the country.

The United States, which saw declines in the market during the recession, is also expected to see gains of 10% or more annually through 2017. Europe’s recovery will parallel that of the United States but will not be as dramatic.

The report found that gains in developing areas will also contribute to growth, most notably in the Africa/Mideast and South America. The company noted that these regions will see a less exxagerated growth rate because they were less impacted by the global financial crisis and are thus starting from a higher base level in 2012.

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Kitchen of the week embraces smart storage

BY HBSDealer Staff

Thanks to its creative handling of storage space, Charlotte-area custom home builder New Old, LLC gained the national kitchen of the week spotlight at Cultivate.com for the week of June 26 – July 3. 

Homeowner, designer and builder Mary Ludemann was responsible for the innovative storage ideas that initially caught the site’s attention. Ludemann’s team whipped up a cottage kitchen layout out of a basic tract home design, showcasing New Old’s innovative approach to remodeling.

"I wanted to incorporate vintage details but focus on function and storage so the kitchen would meet my family’s needs, and I think we accomplished that," she said.

Cultivate.com is an kitchen inspiration site produced by Williams-Sonoma.

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NRF, NLBMDA weigh in on ACA Employer Mandate delay

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Department of Treasury has decided to delay much-contested employer provisions of the Affordable Care Act until Jan. 1, 2015, giving businesses more time to adjust to the requirements without incurring penalties. As a result of the delay, businesses with greater than 50 employees will have one more year before the coverage mandate kicks in, by which time the administration intends to streamline reporting requirements. Reactions, which were plentiful, ranged from gratitude to criticism.

The National Retail Federation issued a statement from VP and employee benefits policy counsel Neil Trautwein applauding the administration’s decision.

"We commend the Administration’s wise move to delay the employer reporting and penalty obligations under the Affordable Care Act," said Trautwein. "This one year delay will provide employers and businesses more time to update their health care coverage without arbitrary punishment."

Meanwhile, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association expressed concern that the delay would foster greater confusion regarding individual penalties taking effect next year.

"If an employer is not required to provide coverage until 2015, how can you assess penalties on individuals if they do not have coverage?" said a statement issued by NLBMDA. "And in that case, you are asking for complications if you "waive" the penalty for individuals who work for a large employer but not for other individuals."

The NRF had previously advocated for this delay in the interest of protecting small business owners and creating greater flexibility in the community.

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