Innovative Ideas from the 2008 International Builders’ Show
By: Danny Lipford
The 2008 International Builders’ Show featured some amazing new tools and innovative products for your home. Here’s a look at some of the best new products we found.
The latest caulking from PolySeamSeal, called Ever Bright, is formulated to resist the growth of mold and mildew for up to five years.
Expanding on its Bella Stone line, Crane Performance Siding has introduced matching architectural columns in simulated stone.
The new deck and railing systems from Trex are made of PVC, which is more scratch and stain resistant than most composite materials. Fiberglass door manufacturer Plastpro has introduced a line of prefinished vinyl wainscoting also made from PVC.
Gladiator Garage Works has everything you need for the perfect home workshop including cabinets, baskets, bins, bicycle storage clamps, and snap together flooring squares.
Amana refrigerators have some cool new features including a soft drink can dispenser built into the door, and erasable message boards that allow you to write directly on the door of the refrigerator.
Generac Power Systems has introduced a low cost 20 kilowatt standby generator along with a load center that allows new homes to be prewired for auxiliary power.
The Kwikset SmartSeries deadbolt locks can be reprogrammed to fit different keys. Other locks in the series use fingerprints or a programmable keypad to gain access.
Research conducted by Merillat cabinets identified four basic types of kitchen users and designed specific styles and features to fit each group. To find out which group you belong, take the Merillat style quiz.
Dow Styrofoam SIS structural insulated sheathing acts as sheathing, insulation, and a vapor barrier all in one, reducing both material and labor costs in new construction.
The new line of Delta faucets with Diamond Seal Technology prevent metal in the faucet from coming in contact with the water and use a diamond embedded ceramic disk to remove contaminants like lead from the water. This also prevents mineral buildup, allowing the faucet to last up to ten times longer than the industry standard.
Quikrete PowerLoc Jointing Sand is a polymer based sand mix that’s perfect for filling cracks between patio pavers. Simply mist with water when you’re finish to set it in place. It doesn’t wash out like plain sand or crack like cement based products.
A turn of the crank allows the Lifetime fold-up utility trailer to contract to less than half its width for easy storage when not in use.
Louisiana Pacific has developed a line of laminated lumber called Solid Start LSL (Laminated Strand Lumber) which is more stable and can span longer distances than solid lumber.
Broan-NuTone has introduced a new bathroom vent fan that includes a built-in heater with an adjustable vent so you can direct the heat exactly where you want it. They’ve also come up with the first Energy Star rated stove vent hood in the U.S. which incorporates an energy efficient fan with a special fluorescent light whose color spectrum gives the perfect lighting for cooking.
Porcelain Stone tile manufacturer Crossville has introduced a line of colorful decorator tiles called Building Blox that are designed by renowned architect Robert A. M. Stern. Stronger than granite, Porcelain Stone resist scratching, stains, and fading.
Sherwin-Williams Resilience exterior latex paint can resist dew and rain in only two hours, half the time of ordinary paint. That’s something you’ll really appreciate the next time the clouds start rolling in when you’re painting outside.
JELD-WEN Windows & Doors has taken the innovative approach of embedding magnets in screen frames and window casings to hold them in place. Their MAG-Lock window locking system also uses magnets to automatically lock the window every time it’s closed. The wooden components of JELD-WEN products are pressure treated with AuraLast to prevent decay, termite infestation, and water absorption.
Ridgid’s Max Select cordless tools are duel voltage and can be powered with either 18 volt or 24 volt batteries. The line includes seven different tools, from circular saws to hand planers.
The latest Ryobi cordless tools use Lithium Ion batteries which are 20% lighter, run twice as long, and hold a charge four times longer then regular rechargeable batteries. They can also be used interchangeably with existing Ryobi cordless tools.
Other Tips From This Episode
While chucking a paint mixer in your drill makes fast work of mixing paint, it can also make a real mess if you’re not careful. To keep the paint in the can where it belongs, drill a hole in the top of a lid and insert the mixer through it. Hammer the lid on the can, attach the drill, and mix to your heart’s content.
This innovative deadbolt lock from Kwikset uses advanced technology that uses your fingerprint to gain access. Up to 50 different users can be programmed into the system with a traditional key available for backup. The SmartScan lock can provide continuous or temporary access, or restrict access to specific times. The Kwikset SmartScan is available at The Home Depot.
Stone Countertop Alternatives
I’d like granite in my kitchen, but it’s not in my budget, is there a cheaper alternative? -Angela from Little Rock
Some of the new plastic laminate countertops can mimic the look of natural stone at a much lower price. Made by various manufacturers and known as honed, etched, or textured, they not only look like stone but feel like it as well. At 50% to 65% less than stone, you can have the look you want while your budget remains intact.