Decorative Post Caps and Trim Add some personality to your custom deck with our expanded selection of post accessories provides the elegance of metal without the unwanted side effect of corrosion. Also available is a complete line of coated PVC post accessories — decorative post caps, solar post caps and post trims in five metallic finishes: Antique Brown, Antique Copper, Antique Gray, Antique Gold and Patina. All coordinate with 4″ x 4″ post sleeves.
New products and finishes broaden your choices in cellular PVC trim.
6″ and 8″ Fiber Cement Skirtboard Manufactured with a unique beveled lap that automatically sets the first course for fiber cement siding installation, cellular PVC skirtboard can come into direct contact with the ground or concrete. Skirtboard ensures that fiber cement is installed at 6″ minimum clearance above the finished grade and can be used as a transition board between shakes and lap siding. With its patent-pending DualStart™ design, it’s reversible and flippable to either TrueTexture™ woodgrain or smooth finish. Skirtboard is available in 12′ lengths, 1″ and 5/4″ thicknesses, and 6″ and 8″ widths.
4″ J-pocket Trimboard with Cut-out Available in smooth/smooth or woodgrain/smooth texture, this new window trim features a cut-out that allows trimboards to lie flush around windows and doors with built-in nail flanges, taking the work out of making perfect miter cuts at the corners.
Column Wraps Square column wraps come pre-cut, pre-mitered, and pre-assembled to easily wrap around existing load-bearing 4″x 4″ or 6″ x 6″ porch posts to create a low-maintenance porch column. Available 8″ x 8″ and 10″ x 10″ square, the 9′ wraps come in a smooth finish and coordinate with any EverNew® vinyl or composite railing system. Choose from either Classic or Estate cap/base trim sets.
Satin Finish Profiles Our great profiles are now available with an enhanced satin finish that allows for improved paintability. The current glossy profiles will be phased out during the first quarter of 2012.
Beadboard with TightLap™ Featuring both a larger lap and traditional groove, the new Beadboard with TightLap™ delivers faster installation and a tight fit for better hold and a larger concealed nailing area. The 2TL is 1/2″ x 6″ x 18′, while the 3TL measures 1/2″ x 8-1/2″ x 18′. Both sizes feature a reversible smooth surface with two attractive repeat patterns.
New products and services for 2012.
Enhanced CertainTeed ColorMax® Stains will be available from all fiber cement manufacturing facilities. The three-layer ColorMax system includes our exclusive FiberTect® primer/sealer for protection against moisture, ColorMax base coat to further enhance resistance to weather and ColorMax semi-transparent coat that enhances the deep, natural grain pattern of WeatherBoards to create the rich look of stained wood.
ColorMax® Stains are available on:
- Perfection Shingles
- Random Square Straight Edge Shakes (7″ exposure)
- Random Square Staggered Edge Shakes
- 6-1/4″, 7-1/4″, and 8-1/4″ Lap Siding
- 12″ and 16″ Solid and Perforated Soffit
- 5/4″ trim in 4″ x 12′ and 6″ x 12′
Lap siding is offered in full and half units. Shapes, soffits and trim are offered in full and micro units.
In addition, we are adding four of our most popular CertainTeed vinyl siding colors to our Custom Color program: Pacific Blue, Cypress, Flagstone and Forrest.
The New Year brings new colors and products.
Seagrass is the newest “It” color, and we’re offering it in our most popular panels and accessories:
- Cedar Impressions® Shakes and all Vinyl Carpentry® accessories for Cedar Impressions
- Monogram® panels and all Vinyl Carpentry accessories for Monogram
- T 3-1/3″ InvisiVent® Soffit and Vertical Siding
- Universal Soffit and Vertical Siding: T-4″ solid and fully vented soffit
Is It Time For A New Look?
National Kitchen and Bath Association Reports Trends for 2010 Results are in from a recent survey of designers conducted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association to reveal the key design trends for 2010 NKBA News Release January 13, 2010
Hackettstown, N.J., Jan. 12, 2010 — The results are in from a recent survey of designers conducted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) to reveal the key design trends for 2010. The results of the NKBA 2010 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Survey confirmed the continuation of a number of existing trends in the marketplace, but also uncovered others that indicate shifts in the direction that kitchen and bath style will take this year. Below are 2010’s seven kitchen trends and four bath trends.
- Traditional is the New Contemporary
Traditional will continue as the most popular kitchen design style in 2010, with contemporary following closely behind, while the Shaker style is seeing a surprisingly strong resurgence. Shades of whites and off-whites will be the most common kitchen colors in 2010, while brown, beige, and bone hues will also be popular.
- Cherry on Top
Cherry will remain the most popular wood for kitchen cabinetry, followed closely by maple, while alder increases in use. As for the finishes placed on those cabinets, medium natural, dark natural, glazed, and white painted will all be common. Other colors of painted cabinetry and light natural finishes are in decline, however, as are distressed finishes.
- Floored by Tile
Ceramic and porcelain tile, as well as natural stone tile, remain popular kitchen flooring options, but hardwood will dominate the kitchen landscape more than ever in 2010. For countertops, granite continues to be the most popular option, but quartz will nearly catch up in popularity. For backsplashes, ceramic or porcelain tile and glass will serve as the primary materials.
- Flexible Faucets
Standard kitchen faucets will become less standard in 2010 in favor of more convenient models. Pull-out faucets continue to increase their market dominance, while pot filler faucets will also become more prevalent. Kitchen faucets will most often be finished in brushed nickel, followed by stainless steel, satin nickel, and — surprisingly — polished chrome.
- Undercounter Refrigeration
French door and freezer-bottom are the two most popular styles of refrigerators, and side-by-side refrigerators remain a popular option. A surprising trend is the extent to which undercounter refrigerator drawers are being used in the latest kitchen designs. Perhaps even more surprising is that undercounter wine refrigerators have been recently specified by half of kitchen designers.
- A Range of Cooking Options
The tried-and-true range continues to serve as the workhorse for cooking, although the combination of a cooktop and wall oven is beginning to overtake it. Gas will maintain its position as the most popular type of cooktop over electric, although induction cooking continues to gain in popularity due to its energy efficiency.
Standard dishwashers, with the traditional door that pulls from the top down, will once again be easily the most common type in 2010. However, an increasing number of dishwasher drawers will be installed in kitchens this year for their convenience and their ability to wash small loads of dishes in each drawer, thereby saving water and electricity.
- In With the Old, Out with the New
Traditional will be the most popular design style in bathrooms in 2010, as contemporary designs will be a distant second, followed by the Shaker style as an even more distant third. Beiges and bones will be the most common colors used in bathrooms, followed by whites and off-whites, and then by browns, indicating a somewhat subdued color palette this year.
- Ceramic and Granite
Ceramic and porcelain tile will be the dominant flooring materials in bathrooms this year, while natural stone will continue to prove popular as well. Though increasingly popular in kitchens, hardwood flooring won’t become common in bathrooms in 2010. For vanity tops, granite will remain king, with quartz and marble also proving popular options.
- Simple Fixtures
Perhaps more than ever, the most common color for fixtures will be white. Bisque and off-white will be the only other fixture colors at all common in new or remodeled bathroom. For sinks, simple undermount models will be most popular, followed by integrated sink tops, drop-in sinks, vessel sinks, and pedestal sinks.
- A Nickel for Every Finish
Faucet finishes in the bathroom are similar to those used in current kitchen designs, with brushed nickel continuing to lead the way in 2010. Polished chrome and satin nickel will also be incorporated into many bathrooms, just as they had been throughout 2009. These faucet finishes will be followed by bronze and stainless steel.
About the National Kitchen & Bath Association
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is a non-profit trade association with nearly 40,000 members that has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry for more than 45 years. NKBA.org provides consumers with an inspiration gallery of award-winning kitchen and bath designs, as well as articles, tips, an extensive glossary of remodeling terms, and illustrations and explanations of planning guidelines. At NKBA.org, consumers can also find certified kitchen and bath professionals in their areas, submit questions to NKBA experts, and order the free NKBA Kitchen & Bath Workbook.
Our primary service areas are Sussex County Delaware and Worcester County in Maryland. The cities we most frequently serve include Ocean View, Bethany Beach, Millville, Fenwick Island, West Fenwick, Selbyville, Frankford, Dagsboro, Millsboro, Long Neck, Rehoboth, Dewey Beach, Lewes, Harbeson, Georgetown, Milford, Slaughter Beach, Milton, Greenwood, Bridgeville, Seaford, Laurel, Delmar, Salisbury, Pittsville, Berlin, Ocean Pines, West Ocean City, and Ocean City. We also serve Kent County Delaware, Wicomico County Maryland, and Talbot County Maryland.
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End to Low Construction Prices Seen New data shows jump in diesel, copper and brass mill products that could lead to price increases News Release January 4, 2010 HousingZone.com
New federal data released today showing sharp increases in the prices of key construction materials like diesel, copper and brass mill shapes likely foreshadow future increases in construction costs, the Associated General Contractors of America announced today. The new November producer price index (PPI) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provide the strongest indication yet that construction prices are heading up, the association noted.
“Public agencies and private owners contemplating construction projects should treat today’s figures as a warning shot,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Prices for many materials have stopped falling and are poised for increases.”
Simonson noted that the producer price index for inputs to construction industries, a weighted average of all materials used by contractors, had fallen 2.3 percent over the past 12 months but was flat over the past three months and rose 0.6 percent from October to November alone.
He added that there have been significant one- and three-month increases in the price indexes for diesel fuel (up 6.3 percent over one month and 6.4 percent over three months), copper and brass mill shapes (+4.6 percent and +11.3 percent), steel mill products (-1.6 percent and +4.1 percent), aluminum mill shapes (0 and +1.3 percent) and insulation materials (+0.3 percent and +0.6 percent).
“All of these items had dropped in price compared to a year ago but the declines have bottomed out or reversed,” Simonson pointed out. “More increases are likely soon, as the dollar loses value and construction picks up in key foreign markets.”
Simonson added that major steel mills have already announced January price increases for construction products. He cautioned owners that have been holding back in the hopes of getting still lower prices that they should go ahead with projects now, while materials costs are low and skilled contractors are plentiful.
“There could be major price spikes and fewer contractors bidding on projects over the next few months,” Simonson concluded.
Expansion of Home Buyer Tax Credit Moves Closer to Senate Vote
Income limits, buyer eligibility expected to increase
By Pat Curry, HouzingZone.com Contributing Editor October 30, 2009 HousingZone
Update Nov. 3, 2009: RealEstateEconomyWatch.com reports that after two weeks of delay, the Senate last night (Tues., Nov. 2) cleared the way to pass a seven month extension and expansion of the tax credit for homebuyers. By an 85 to 2 roll call vote, the Senate voted to cut off debate on a package of measures that includes the homebuyer credit, making it virtually certain that the legislation will reach President Obama for his signature this week.
The U.S. Senate appears to have agreed on a plan to extend the first-time home buyer tax credit and expand a reduced version of it to move-up buyers as well.
With barely a month left before the current tax credit expires, the proposal would provide a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers and up to $6,500 for move-up buyers who sign a contract to buy a home on or before April 30, 2010. Move-up buyers are eligible “so long as the home they are leaving has been used as their principal residence for five years or more,” according to Sheridan Watson, press officer for Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), a vocal proponent of the home buyer tax credit.
The income limits for both first-time and move-up buyers would be increased to $125,000 for an individual and $225,000 for couples filing a joint return. The cost of the house can’t be more than $800,000.
“That probably covers two-thirds to 75 percent of the move-up buyer market,” says Robert Dietz, assistant vice president for tax and policy issues at the National Association of Home Builders.
To be eligible for the credit, buyers would need to complete the sale by June 30. Purchases made in 2010 could be claimed on the buyer’s 2009 tax return. Home buyers would not have to repay the credit as long as they live in the house for three years after the purchase date. There are exceptions for members of the military serving overseas.
Responding to reports of suspected fraud among individuals who have claimed the tax credit, the proposal also requires the taxpayer claiming the credit to attach the HUD-1 settlement statement to their return and gives the IRS greater oversight during processing returns instead of having to wait for an audit to question the claim.
It has not yet been determined if the proposal will be presented as an amendment to the bill to extend unemployment benefits or as a stand-alone measure.
“In terms of the political prospects, who knows?” Dietz says. “I can’t forecast how it would go down. In the last 36 hours, it’s looked like it was moving forward, then it stopped. It’s been very chaotic.”
With Senate approval, the bill then needs to clear the House of Representatives, where previous home-buyer tax credit legislation has faced stiff opposition. This time, however, there is substantial support in the House from leadership in both parties.
Walt Molony, spokesman for the National Association of Realtors, says his organization’s lobbyists say they expect the House to move quickly on the bill. “The expectations are that essentially identical language would go through the House to send a bill quickly to the president,” he says.
If the bill passes as it’s now proposed, Molony says it may be enough to stabilize the housing market. The benefit from the tax credit will be seen more quickly for existing-home sales than for new-home sales, Molony says, because builders have pulled back from housing starts to focus on standing inventory and because of continued difficulties in securing construction financing. However, with the expanded credit, NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, projects new-home sales of 509,000 for 2010, which would be a 26.5 percent increase over NAR’s new home sales projections for 2009.
“We’re revising our forecast right now,” he says. “With an extension to more buyers through the middle of next year, this will be sufficient to get us to a self-sustaining market and stabilizing home prices.”
Housing Stall Continues, But Recovery to Resume
September new residential construction report disappoints, but housing recovery should continue, says Jim Haughey
Jim Haughey, Chief Economist, Reed Construction Data October 20, 2009 HousingZone.com
At 590,000, September housing starts remained at the June-August level, according to today’s U.S. Census Bureau and U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development new residential construction report. At 573,000, September housing permits remained at the June-August level.
This stall in the housing recovery was expected. The initial recovery surge was jump started by federal pump priming in the housing and consumer markets. Without additional federal housing or consumer subsidies, the subsidies can not push housing starts higher. And housing permits and starts will slip lower when the subsidies expire later this year unless there are fundamental improvements in economic conditions. Reed Construction Data still expects enough improvement in income and confidence later to year to offset expiring subsidies and to resume the housing recovery.
Without legislative changes, the $8,000 first-time-home-buyer tax credit expires in six weeks. There may be a burst of October-November homes sales from this program, but the impact on housing starts is now largely over. A variety of state and federal foreclosure moratoriums are now expiring, which will put hundreds of thousands of homes back on the foreclosure track. Also, many of the 100,000-plus homeowners who got federally subsidized mortgage adjustments will fail to keep up payments during the three-month probation period and will soon return to the foreclosure track.
But these negative headwinds will be offset by fundamental improvements in the economic environment in the housing market. The improvements include rising household wealth, consumer confidence, home prices in an increasing number of housing markets and inflation-adjusted income -– all coming from the self-correcting cyclical mechanisms in the economy.
Falling prices, rising exports and double digit annual growth in manufacturing are keeping real income rising slowly even as nominal income continues to decline. The wealth impact on spending will be increasingly significant in the next six months of recovery just as it was when the economy was declining. With a considerable lag, households spent about 5 percent of additions to wealth, once they are perceived to be permanent. Consumers now believe that the recent small rise in home prices and large rises in equities prices are sustainable trends and will boost spending slightly.
The housing recovery will resume in a few months. Single-family housing will be the fastest growing construction market in 2010. But the level of housing starts will remained depressed below the underlying demographic trend for several more years.
TRADING IN TOXINS; The tainted Chinese drywall scourge has spotlighted flaws in the U.S. legal system
TRADING IN TOXINS; The tainted Chinese drywall scourge has spotlighted flaws in the U.S. legal system that leave consumers without protections or recompense
By Rebecca Mowbray, Business writer Housingzone.com
fter making the painful discovery that many of the homes his company built on the north shore after Hurricane Katrina were filled with tainted Chinese drywall, Sunrise Homes President Larry Kornman decided to try building houses entirely out of North American products.
With his company’s reputation damaged and customers worried about both their health and their home values in the face of an uphill battle to be compensated for their losses, the move seemed to be the best way to protect everyone involved.
But Kornman quickly discovered it was impossible. The United States now depends so heavily on goods imported from China that he couldn’t get the materials he needed.
“It was frustrating,” said Kornman, who continues to ask suppliers about the origin of products and opts for non-Chinese options whenever he can.
The drywall, which is believed to emit sulfuric gases that corrode metal wiring, plumbing and fixtures and give people headaches and respiratory problems, has exposed shortcomings in the U.S. legal system that leave consumers with few assurances of safety and little financial recourse if products fail.
International trade agreements treat health and safety standards as barriers to commerce, and make it possible for manufacturers to hawk products that fall short of the importing country’s standards. Meanwhile, foreign companies that sell products in U.S. markets aren’t required to participate in litigation in American courts, and even if they did, there’s no means of enforcing U.S. legal judgments against them.
As a result, many of the foreign companies named in the consolidated Chinese drywall litigation in New Orleans are expected to blow off the proceedings, as illustrated Sept. 24 when U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon held manufacturer Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. in contempt of court for failing to respond. Others, such as the German company Knauf Gips, have argued that the proper venue is the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
“I think American consumers would be shocked that someone can make billions by selling drywall here but have none of the responsibility,” said Allan Kanner, president of the Louisiana Association for Justice, an association of plaintiffs’ attorneys.
Consumers aren’t the only ones who are upset. American builders, drywall distributors and importers also are furious that the manufacturers are beyond legal reach.
David Loeb, an attorney for the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans, said it’s unfair that foreign manufacturers don’t have to spend money upholding the same standards that American companies do.
“What I find absolutely outrageous is that the Chinese manufacturer can make product to no standards, they don’t pay anything like the wages or the insurance that an American manufacturer has, and they can bring product into the United States. And when it hurts someone, they can say, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t have any liability.’ There’s something really wrong with that,” Loeb said. “You could bankrupt every builder, every installer, every distributor of this drywall, and you still wouldn’t have a drop in the bucket to compensate these people.”
— Pushing accountability —
With estimates of $3 billion of damage in Louisiana and as many as 40,000 households nationwide facing financial ruin because of toxic homes they can’t afford to fix, members of Congress, officials at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the parties to the national litigation in New Orleans are scrambling to find ways to hold about 20 foreign drywall manufacturers accountable.
A bill in the U.S. Senate, the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act of 2009, sponsored by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., would require foreign companies doing business in the United States to agree to participate in litigation in U.S. courts. However, the bill does not go as far as requiring overseas companies to pay U.S. legal judgments.
Another tool that groups such as the Consumer Federation of America think could help limit defective or dangerous foreign products would be to require overseas manufacturers to post bonds when they sell products in the United States so consumers could collect against them in the event of problems. Import bonding is a component of the Food and Product Responsibility Act of 2007 legislation that Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, plans to re-introduce this fall.
Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division, said the problem of dangerous products from overseas goes beyond the U.S. court system to the nation’s international trade agreements, which view health, safety and environmental standards as trade barriers rather than consumer protections.
Trade agreements generally require nations to abide by international standards, rather than the health and safety standards of the country that receives the goods, leading to a race to the bottom. Meanwhile, the volume of trade has skyrocketed with international accords, but systems for inspecting a small sample of goods are stuck in the 1970s, when most products were manufactured domestically. All of that adds up to a problem when you’re dealing with a country like China, where few domestic safety standards exist, Wallach said.
“Under both domestic law and trade agreements, there is very little protection for consumer health and safety,” Wallach said. “These agreements largely constrain U.S. consumers.”
— ‘Everything’s on the table’ —
Despite all the problems with products imported from China in recent years, such as tainted toothpaste, pet food and lead-paint toys, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said the Chinese drywall might be the worst.
Unlike consumer goods that can be thrown out if they are found to be defective, Chinese drywall has been incorporated into homes, where the damage is spiraling. And the toothpaste, pet food and toys ultimately concerned American corporations that had subcontracted with foreign manufacturers, so the lines of responsibility and ability to do product recalls were easier.
For these reasons, Scott Wolfson, director of the office of information and public affairs at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said Chinese drywall has quickly become the largest investigation now under way at the agency, and is one of the largest inquiries in the organization’s 36-year history.
“I want to make sure that all of your readers know that the CPSC, and all of our federal partners, are working tirelessly to produce answers and solutions to affected families in Louisiana and many other states,” Wolfson said. “There’s a broad spectrum of approaches that can be taken here, and everything’s on the table.”
The safety commission is working with the Chinese government and its two sister agencies in China, and has added drywall to the agenda of a biannual safety conference with the Chinese government and manufacturers set for mid-October in Beijing.
Over the summer the safety panel brought two Chinese building materials experts to the United States to inspect homes in Florida and in the New Orleans area and share what they know. Last month five technical experts from the United States visited mines and factories in China to discover what’s wrong with the products.
Meanwhile, scientists are studying the results of in-home tests by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a well-known engineering firm is conducting air-sampling studies, a California laboratory is working on what’s in the drywall and what the health consequences could be, and a Massachusetts lab is investigating corrosion and its effects on fire risks in homes. Results from some of these studies could be available by the end of this month.
“Our dialogue with China is multifaceted. We’re looking at the entire stream of commerce,” Wolfson said. “We know we have a problem, but we still need to get to the heart of the matter, and that involves getting scientists to the heart of the matter.”
Once those studies are in, Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao, R-New Orleans, plans to introduce legislation to create a fund to compensate homeowners and ultimately find a way to make the Chinese government reimburse U.S. taxpayers for the bailout. “It’s a much bigger problem than anyone anticipated,” Cao said.