10 things that makes readers say ‘Tell us more’

Move over, David Letterman.

The king of “Top 10 lists” has nothing on Rural Builder!

Readers of Rural Builder, without even knowing that they were doing it, contributed to assembling the year’s list of Top 10 Products from among items in the pages of the magazine in 2008.

Each time readers circle Reader Service Card numbers requesting more information on products or services listed in the magazine pages, they are also marking ballots that end up tabulated by editors as the year’s “Top 10.” By tracking those responses, editors can see which products have done a good job of sparking interest.

So here are the Top 10 from 2008. In case you missed them the first time, it’s another chance to circle the numbers and learn more about what’s been burning up the pages of New Products, Product Profiles and Rural Builder Innovations sections each month.

Fi-Foil Company
M-Shield Reflective Insulation is a paperless insulation for furred-out masonry walls that reduces problems associated with mold and mildew by eliminating cellulose. M-Shield also manages moisture because of its perforated and breathable design. Costing 30 percent less than foam board, it’s cost effective because of adequate thermal performance on R-value and low cost per R-value.

Royal Wood
Four new additions to the Wrap n’ Snap Column Wrap Line and a new post cap are among the new products introduced by Royal Wood. Products include a fluted column wrap, raised panel column wrap, recessed panel column wrap and tapered column wrap. A new line of newel post caps also joins the lineup.

Abatron Inc.
When a garage looks more like a bat cave than an extension of a home, Abatron’s garage floor coatings can help. The new 6-minute DVD, “Garage Floor Coatings,” gives  step-by-step instructions on surface conditions and preparation, crack repair and coating application. Abatron coatings improve appearance and also improve the level of light, cleanliness and resistance  and resistance to harmful salts, chemicals and abrasion. Abatron products include a wide choice of coating colors and textures, non-fuming etching compounds, degreasers, crack repair compounds and application tools.

Panel Pro Manufacturing

Make straight, safe cuts on the jobsite with a panel saw that fits onto the back of the truck or trailer. Panel Pro accurately cuts a 4 x 8 panel to size without having to use those old sawhorses, hand saws and chalk lines.

Innovative Lighting
PAR LED light bulbs from Innovative Lighting of Roland, Iowa, bring the advantages of LED Lighting into homes and businesses. Designed for use in can fixtures, they promise to eliminate frequent bulb changes. White bulbs, rated at 50,000 hours or up to 40 years in a typical home, operate at 120 volts AC and draw a tenth of the power of incandescent bulbs. There’s no filament to break; they are cool to touch and fit standard E26 U.S. light sockets.

Fabral Solar SSR
A standing seam metal roof that harvests energy from the sun, Solar SSR is a green solution for metal roofing applications. The photovoltaic, state-of-the-art, thin-film solar laminate produces electricity when exposed to sunlight. The flexibility and durability of these laminates makes them ideal for metal roofs, where expansion, contraction and curving are considerations. Unlike polycrystalline photocells that are heavy and fragile, no roof  penetrations and no additional structural supports are required. Laminates can be walked on. The panel/laminate bond is proven to withstand winds of 160 mpg. Solar SSR offers a ROI of 10 years or less and a 29-year warranty.


A completely pre-packaged system for residential solar water heating, all components of the solar water heating system are preassembled for quick “plug and play” installation. Installation usually takes one or two days. Once installed, the solar hot water system provides as much as 70 percent of the user’s domestic hot water needs, greatly reducing the home’s CO2 emissions by approximately 30 percent. Heliodyne is available in all 50 states.

Wrisco Industries
The company’s Elite insulated structural wall and roof panels are composed of two outer skins of aluminum, wood, gypsum, non-asbestos, fiber reinforced cement board or other materials, laminated to expanded polystyrene core. Panels are 2 to 8 inches thick, 48 inches wide and up to 30 feet long. A 3-inch thick panel has R-value of 18. Elite holds seven patents on panel-to-panel joinery and ancillary aluminum and steel connecting extrusions, thermal or non-thermal.  Buildings up to 30 feet wide require no framing and can be easily expanded or modified after construction. The majority of Elite products meet Florida building code requirements. With distribution in the U.S. and Canada, Wrisco plants are located in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas.

Icynene Inc.

Icynene is an open-cell spray foam insulation and air barrier system that expands to fill all cavities in the walls, ceilings, attics and floors. Icynene provides improved energy efficiency, advanced moisture control and healthy indoor air quality in one step. Containing no HFCs or PBCEs, Icynene is 100 percent water-blown. It does not off-gas over time, maintaining its original R-value for the life of the building while making the building healthier, quieter and more energy efficient.

New Concept Louvers
New Concept is a manufacturer of virtually maintenance-free cupolas and louvers that come in most shapes, sizes and nearly 500 colors. Cupolas are perfect when used for ventilation. Windowed models add a beautiful touch to finish any roofline and can be ordered with a light kit and finial or weathervane to top them off. The company also offers dormer vents, gable end and soffit louvers to help get the air flow the roof requires. Products come in both stock and custom sizes. RB

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