Volume 14, Issue 8- October 2013

From The Publisher

Canada and U.S.: Role Reversals?
by Tara Taffera

It was so refreshing to walk the trade show floor in Atlanta in September, and hear that the U.S. housing starts are on the way up. Optimism reigned and that was truly great to see (for all the news from the show visit dwmmag.com and see page 18).

Yet on day two of the show, my balloon full of optimism became slightly deflated. Why? Canada.

The first supplier with whom I spoke mentioned that, while housing in the U.S. is finally headed in the right direction, Canada is starting to falter. I was disheartened to hear that but moved on, hoping it was a temporary blip. Then I heard it a second, then third, time.

“We didn’t have a slump like you,” said Pierre Charbonneau, director of marketing for Evotech Industrial Coatings, based in Quebec. “But now for us, this year, new housing is down.”

While the U.S. was in its downturn, it appeared the Canadian market was hanging on. So now is it a role reversal of sorts? If this is indeed the case, even in only a few regions, what can this market do to survive—as many companies here were able to do?

Differentiate. We’ve heard it so many times it may sound cliché, but it’s not. It’s a factor that has allowed many U.S. companies to remain while others have shut their doors. Whether it’s the use of emerging materials, such as fiberglass, (see page 18), or taking advantage of the passive-house concept, opportunities are available.

Energy Star. As in the U.S., Canada has revised its program and made it more stringent as well. It now represents the top tier of the market, and companies wanting to climb another rung can take part in the Most Efficient program (see page 22).

Compare Notes. Talk to your U.S. counterparts and find out what can help you navigate these bumps in the road. Network with them at various industry events such as Win-door North America to be held November 12-14 in Toronto. Look for products that can help you stand out from the rest. Learn from a noted economist what the future holds for Canadian housing.

I look forward to seeing you there! Look for us in booth #1302.


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