Keeping consumers safe, warm and dry is at the top of the residential construction industry's priority list right now. New types of housewrap, foundation wrap, vapor barriers, sealants and sheathing all tout their increased ability to keep out moisture and keep down homeowners' utility bills.
Nearly every window and door manufacturer is adding to or introducing an impact-resistant line of products. Safety features help to prevent intruder break-ins. Composite materials — in siding, fencing, roofing and decking, plus windows and doors — help protect against water intrusion.
Which is not to say that anybody is ignoring good looks. Consumers will have richer, broader color palettes to choose from in tiles, countertops and cabinetry finishes. Transitional-style fixtures and cabinets blend Old World looks with new school function.
Best of all, some of the new products will help you work smarter, sell more and save money. Many of the year's major innovations will be introduced January 11–14 at the International Builders' Show. We'll continue to feature the best throughout the year. Enjoy the show!
DuPont Tyvek ThermaWrap is the first insulating breather membrane designed specifically to help provide better protection against moisture and mold — with higher ultraviolet resistance than conventional building paper. As a low-E surface, Tyvek ThermaWrap helps increase the R-value of insulation for greater comfort and better energy efficiency throughout the year.
Crossville introduces Color Blox Mosaics, 3-inch-square porcelain tiles that are ¼-inch thick and dot-mounted. They come in 20 colors and were designed to coordinate with Color Blox, the company's large-unit tile. Color Blox is available in multiple sizes and trim pieces.
Jenn-Air's new slide-in ranges include completely re-engineered downdraft and updraft gas models; a Euro-style, stainless steel, dual-fuel model; and a sleek "Gas on Glass" look. A new convection element improves heat distribution and airflow.
Twenty percent larger to provide more water coverage, the new ShowHouse by Moen Waterhill showerhead features Immersion Rainshower technology that offers pressurized water delivery by channeling water, then releasing it in a straight, steady stream that envelops the entire body.
As the eyebrow arch gains popularity, Wellborn Cabinet is introducing the Madison Arch door style, featuring detailed, door-and-drawer front edges with a solid wood, raised center panel. Shown in Espresso and Mocha Crème finishes, it is a full-overlay, maple door style and will be available in five standard and 17 specialty finishes in the Premier and WoodCraft Series.
The Merillat Classic Somerton Hill door offers six glazed finishes. On maple wood: Artisan Bronze (brown/toffee), Venetian Fresco (brown/natural) and Blond Tuscany (white/toffee). On cherry wood: Frosted Café (white/cider), Spiced Cognac (brown/cider) and Ebony Mist (black/paprika).
The MultiChoice Universal Valve from Delta Faucet offers three function options: single-function pressure balance, dual-function pressure balance and a new dual-function thermostatic valve cartridge. The tub/shower valve works with existing Delta trim packages and makes upgrades easy.
Artisan Roofing Products, a James Hardie company, introduces Artisan Shake, a lightweight concrete roofing product with a random wood grain pattern. When installed to manufacturer specifications, it is a Class A, noncombustible fire-rated material. It weighs less than 540 pounds per square, and carries a 30-year transferable warranty.
Tendura's tongue-and-groove porch flooring now features a spacer bead on the plank's tongue, which automatically creates the required expansion joints. Available in both the TenduraPlank Classic and the Solids Collection, the beaded tongue eliminates the need to stop and add an expansion joint. The product comes in 8-, 10-, 12-, 14-, or 16-foot lengths and is pre-drilled 8 inches on center.
Fypon adds ten styles of urethane window shutters in pre-primed and wood grain stainable versions. Plank panel shutters (in two- and three-panel and diagonal V-styles) have been introduced in wood grain stainable versions. White louvered solid panel and louvered slatted shutters come in seven styles.
Owens Corning Cultured Brick thin brick veneers now come in nine colors, including Horton Bay, High Desert, Bucks County and Chardonnay. The ½-inch-thick Cultured Brick can be installed indoors or out, without the expense of additional foundation support. The product is also noncombustible and can be used for fireplaces.
CraneBoard Board & Batten vertical siding from Crane Performance Siding features a double 10-inch design that replicates the look of cedar siding. Its interlocking panels protect the home from air infiltration and wind-driven rain.
Using a new color-streaking process, TimberTech Earthwood planks replicate the look of a tropical hardwood. Made from a patented formulation of pure plastic resins and high-quality wood flour, Earthwood deck planks and fascia now are available in tropical walnut.
The ScapeVIEW Series 6000 basement window completes Bilco Company's ScapeWEL Window Well System. The assembly consists of a pour-in-place buck and a snap-in window unit. The buck is reinforced for strength and incorporates weather-stripping. The window is rated for the highest level of forced-entry resistance.
Raynor RiverPointe wood carriage house doors offer the architectural detail and elegance of Raynor's high-end American Rivers Collection custom wood doors, but at a more affordable price point. There are four models: the one-piece swing-up, the swing-out, the side-accordion and the bi-fold.
Plastpro's PF Frames poly-fiber doorframe system combines the strength and convenience of wood with enhanced properties that make it moisture-, rot-, and insect-resistant. The PF Frames system can be machined in the same way as traditional wood frames.
Vetter Windows & Doors introduces an aluminum-clad, full-radius-top French patio door. Available for custom order in 5- to 6-foot widths and heights up to 10 feet, the door comes in out-swing, in-swing and center-hinged styles with several interior wood options: Clear natural pine is standard, while alder, oak, maple, cherry or mahogany are upgrades.
StaySafe impact-resistant windows from Peachtree Doors & Windows meet wind-borne debris codes. A layer of polyvinyl butyral between two panes of glass is designed to withstand extreme force. The laminated glass blocks more UV rays and sound waves than standard insulated glass.
The PGT Industries line of WinGuard Series 500 impact-resistant windows and doors with vinyl frames now includes a horizontal roller and casement window. The single-hung model has been redesigned to be more aesthetically pleasing, and the entire series now includes a 1-inch ogee muntin with simulated divided light.