Those of you who don't make a habit of getting to the International Builders' Show should know that this is where the manufacturers unleash the big guns. Established names bring out a new product or three, and new companies looking to carve a niche reveal whole new categories of product, such as duct diapers.
This year's noticeable trends included an increased focus on making the garage as attractive and organized as the rest of the home, with beautiful high-end doors and full-scale storage solutions. Design and size options for front and patio entryways profilerated as well, with many window and door manufacturers releasing new "architectural" product lines. Appearance also matters to siding, trim and decking manufacturers, which showed better looking vinyl, PVC and fiber-cement products that more closely mimic the look of wood, stone and brick. "Smart" appliances continue to pop up in the kitchen and laundry room and are starting to spread throughout the home, with television technology being built into everything from bathtubs to windows.
What your customers will want depends on your market, of course, but looking at the new choices in this issue will help you help them find the answers.