Rural Builder editors receive a mountain of mail and email each day, and most of it goes directly into our circular file — the trash can. But every so often we receive a new product release or catalog that really catches our eye, and when published in the magazine it catches our readers’ eyes, too. We can tell which products are most popular by the reader responses they receive, a figure tabulated by the number of times readers circle their number on the reader service cards bound into each issue.
What follows are the 10 products that drew the highest number of reader responses from 2006, and one more chance to circle that reader service card and receive more information, in case you missed out the first time.
The Wisconsin company, using its patented insulated half-log technology, offers an engineered butt-and-pass insulated corner system in its product line. Comparable to all H&L Half-Logs, the advantages of the new corners over solid logs include an overall 30 percent price savings and 80 percent less product weight. The Half-Log is an engineered wood product that combines pre-finished siding, insulation, and sheathing into one application step. The product line includes four sizes: 10, 12, 14, and 16 inches in diameter.
Timber Treatment Technology
TimberSIL is an environmentally-friendly, non-toxic lumber treatment that not only replaces the copper, chromium, and arsenic-based preservatives that were used in the past, but it also compares to them in the areas of leaching, corrosion, and toxicity. While straight borates are known as a safe alternative for wood preservation, the manufacturer says its barrier protection does not leave a residue and its characteristics are not limited.
The TimberSIL formulation and barrier process locks in its wood protection benefits by using a micro-manufacturing technique that forms a protective barrier of amorphous glass, penetrating and protecting the wood. This eliminates leaching problems associated with borates and other preservatives, while at the same time creating a whole new set of benefits. Across the board — retention life, safety, protection of the wood, breadth of applications, and more — TimberSIL’s features and benefits rival ACQ, CA, and straight borates.
Producers of the company’s fiber panels say the product can save builders as much as 25 percent in materials and 50 percent in construction time compared to conventional construction. Load bearing insulating fiber concrete fiberboards replace traditional wood frame construction and sheet rock or cement blocks for exterior and interior walls in home building and light construction. The company says the fiber walls are termite-proof, fire and mold resistant, can withstand 120 mph-plus wind forces, and possess soundproofing and insulating properties. The fiberboards are available in 2×8 panels and can be drilled, cut, nailed into, and adhered to like traditional wood.
The Pennsylvania company offers a wide variety of metal cladding products, including: vertical panels, such as the Dutch Seam, Field-Lok, and PC Snap-On profiles; metal shingles — Advanta is a simulated dimensional shingle, CastleTop is a diamond-shaped flat metal tile, and PermaShake panels simulate the look of wood-grained shingles; the InSpire solar wall system provides heat during daylight hours to keep livestock comfortable, and can be used for crop drying.
The FlameSpec Safety Board Wall System includes the SoundStop interior sound-deadening board, SturdyBrace structural exterior sheeting, and Premium Sheathing insulating external fiberboard. The fiberboard products are rated ASTM E-84, Class A for surface burning characteristics. FlameSpec Safety Board panels weigh approximately 60 percent less than gypsum products, cut with a knife, and are installer friendly. Manufacturer Knight-Celotex says professional carpenters will prefer the product’s clean surface compared to that of fiberglass surfaces. SturdyBrace Flame Spec meets national codes for structural integrity, serves as an effective moisture barrier, offers R-value of 1.2 — nearly triple Type X exterior gypsum products — is price stable, and reduces outside-in noise issues. FlameSpec Premium Sheathing offers these benefits but is not rated as a structural sheathing.
Trimax Building Products
The Illinois company designs and manufactures plastic lumber products for a variety of residential, commercial, and municipal applications. Made from patented processes utilizing 100 percent recycled HDPE, Trimax is an environmentally friendly alternative to wood products.
Solar Save roofing tiles are a photovoltaic residential and commercial roofing solution. The tiles are designed to blend seamlessly with the colors and edge profiles of most commonly used cement tiles. Unlike competitive products, Solar Save roofing tiles can be walked on, are available in colors, and can be installed safely by professional roofing contractors. The integrated product can be used with in-house electrical support equipment, and carries a single-source warranty for the complete system. It has a snow load capacity of more than 200 pounds per square foot, and a wind load rating of 125 mph. The tiles are designed to be easy to install.
Rapid Response is the industry’s first branded
sprinkler system designed specifically for homes. More than 90 percent of home fires are controlled or extinguished by the operation of just one sprinkler. With the Rapid Response system, fire and water damage are reduced by 95 percent, and homeowner insurance rates can be reduced by as much as 15 percent. Tyco says the sprinklers are affordable, typically 1 to 1.5 percent the cost of new home construction. Sprinklers come in a wide range of colors that will fit any home decor or design.
The new SteelMaster Carport can withstand wind loads of 150 mph and handle snow loads up to 55 psf. Utilizing patented arched roof technology, each structure is custom designed to manage the harshest environments.
The TF System is a vertical ICF designed for both above and below grade use in residential and commercial construction. Components are manufactured from high-density expanded polystyrene and recycled PVC or galvanized steel. The system requires minimal bracing on the outside corners only — no 2x4s nailed to footings, no uprights every 4 to 8 feet, no walers, and no ladder bracing at the top. The system has only one splice cut per wall, with no cutting through wires, metal, or plastic. The vertically-oriented design allows builders to erect walls up to 12 feet high without the use of scaffolding. It provides access to the inside wall cavity. n