By Nigel F. Maynard. It's that time of year again--not the holiday season but the 2003 International Builders' Show. Being held at the Convention Center in Las Vegas from Jan. 21 to 24, the show is the largest annual construction industry exhibition in the world.
It's a place where building companies of all sizes can network with other firms from across the country, attend industry events, and learn a thing or two at the educational and business seminars. But who are we kidding--it has always been and always will be about the products. That's what the nearly 80,000 people from 95 countries attending the show want to see.
We've got the scoop. Assembled here are 20 must-see new introductions from companies you should highlight on your show map.
Island life: Bring the tropics home with the Savannah Collection, a line of light fixtures with a touch of island colonial flair. It includes wall sconces and chandeliers and features a pineapple-cut design to complement a growing trend toward island colonial style, the manufacturer says. All chandeliers feature scrolled arms with art glass and a burnished chestnut finish. Progress Lighting. 864-599-6000. www.progresslighting.com. Booth C6443.
Easy on: The Devonshire faucet offers traditional styling, but it has time- and money-saving features such as pre-assembled handles and valves and 22-inch flexible connections. Moreover, the faucet has an EZ Install feature so the majority of the installation occurs above the sink versus under the dark vanity or cabinet. Affordably priced, the faucet is available in various finishes and has complementary bath and shower components.
Kohler. 800-456-4537. www.kohler.com. Booth C4565. Armor all: DensArmor Interior Guard offers mold and mildew protection for interior walls, the maker says. The new drywall consists of a non-combustible gypsum core embedded with a coated glass mat on the back and a heavy-duty paper on the face. The manufacturer says the glass mat protects the stud cavity from moisture and resists the growth of mold and mildew. Georgia-Pacific. 404-652-4000. www.gp.com Booth C6247.
Ensemble cast: Ensemble shower receptors and wall surrounds are easy to install and are made from Vikrell, a composite of poly resin and fiberglass, and come in four lightweight modular pieces, providing a seamless and watertight
Photo: Courtesy Sterling
system that doesn't need caulking. The receptors are offered in 36-, 42-, 48-, and 60-inch configurations. Sterling. 800-783-7546. www.sterlingplumbing.com. Booth C4565.
Photo: Courtesy Contact Lumber
Frame up: This door frame is made from finger-jointed softwood on the inside but is wrapped in vinyl that has been printed to look and feel like wood veneer. Because the vinyl exterior can be finished in the same manner as fiberglass, builders can spec fiberglass doors. When stained with the same finish, both the door frame and the door will look like wood. Contact Lumber. 800-345-2232. www.contactlumber.com. Booth N275. Upper deck: Now you can match your railing to your composite decking with the new Ornamental Railing System. Similar to the manufacturer's line of decking products, the railing system is made from a formulation of pure plastic resins and wood flour. The product is easy to install and will not warp or bend like wood. It also offers the same maintenance-free benefits that composite decking offers. An ornamental railing, solid baluster, and railing accessories are available. TimberTech. 800-307-7780. www.timbertech.com. Booth N412.
Photo: Courtesy A&H
View points: Vinyl Designview windows feature a DP50 rating, which means they are ideal for coastal locations. The product features stainless steel hardware, 4 9/16-inch jambs, integral nailing fins, and double-pane 3/4-inch insulated glass. The line includes Series 40 single-hung and Series 45 double-hung styles. A&H. 866-229-7617. www.ahwindows.com. Booth S7530. Urethane ceiling: Available in 11 new styles, two-piece urethane ceiling medallions install in less than 10 minutes, the manufacturer says. The interlocking pieces install around existing fixtures so you can install the pieces without removing lights and ceiling fans. More than 10 design profiles are available in the collection. Style Solutions. 800-446-3040. www.stylesolutionsinc.com. Booth C5089.
Photo: Courtesy Senco
Spin control: The DS200-AC DuraSpin corded screwgun is capable of driving 50 collated screws before reloading. It drives screws from 1 inch to 2 inches in length and features an adjustable depth-of-drive for flush drive or countersink, an adjustable nosepiece, a comfort grip, and a built-in belt hook. It is available individually or in a kit with two spare drive bits, drywall and wood nose pieces, and a carrying case. Senco. 800-543-4596. www.senco.com. Booth C4309. Breaker breaker: StormBreaker Plus impact-resistant windows and patio doors are formed with a piece of polyvinyl butyral plastic sandwiched between two pieces of double-strength glass. The StormBreaker line is available in double-hung tilt, casement, awning, geometric, and picture window styles, as well as a garden door. The line also offers increased noise and solar control. Simonton. 800-542-9118. www.simonton.com. Booth C5089.
Door ways: You're only limited by your imagination with this new line of custom doors. That's because the company says its new manufacturing facility will be able to produce up to 600 custom doors per week. Select any type of wood on the market and choose the size, design, component makeup, and glass preference. Simpson. 800-952-4057. www.simpsondoor.com. Booth C5022.
Photo: Courtesy Hy-Lite
Block party: Exterior door acrylic block inserts come in a standard size of four blocks wide and 11 blocks long. The one-piece doorlights are designed to fit 1 3/4-inch-thick doors. Acrylic block interior door inserts, fixed and operable windows, shower surrounds, radius block walls, and partitions also are available. Hy-Lite. 800-827-3691. www.hylite.com. Booth C5188. Windbreaker: StormPlus wood ultimate double-hung windows are certified to withstand positive and negative wind forces exceeding 120 mph, the company says. The window features storm clips to secure the sash during violent weather conditions, insulating energy-efficient glazing, one-handed tilt levers, and slot-and-tenon corner construction. Marvin. 888-537-8266. www.marvin.com. Booth C5265.
Photo: Courtesy Harrington Brass Works
Victor Victorian: Available in a wall- or tub-mount style, this Victorian tub/shower set features white porcelain handles and a handheld shower spray, but it also has a thermostatic fitting that allows homeowners to set the water temperature to prevent scalding. The set, shown in a polished nickel finish, is ideal for clawfoot tubs and older style tub designs. Harrington Brass Works. 201-818-1300. www.harringtonbrassworks.com. Check program for location. Extreme conditions: Available in insulated glass or polycarbonate plastic in curb-mount or self-flashing models, Extreme Weather impact-rated skylights are certified for use in Florida's Dade County. The firm manufactures two glass styles, three polycarbonate styles, one tubular design, and the Spyder Multi-Tube system, which positions up to four tubes from a single roof opening. Sun-Tek. 800-334-5854. www.sun-tek.com. Booth N3270.
Design maker: DesignCAD 3D Max Plus provides complete 2D and 3D modeling capabilities. The software has 14 dimension commands; modeling tools, including solid subtraction and interference checking; and more than 1,000 symbols. Drawings can be imported from and exported to DWG, DXF, VRML, JPG, and HPGL. Upperspace. 800-223-3223. www.upperspace.com. Booth N2519.
Photo: Courtesy DeWalt
Level headed: The manufacturer says the DW077, 18-volt cordless rotary laser is accurate to 1/8 of an inch per 100 feet, and, for added accuracy, it has a shut-off mechanism that automatically stops the laser if the unit is bumped out of plumb or level. It is also waterproof and shock resistant. DeWalt. 800-433-9258. www.dewalt.com. Booth C5423. The replacements: Replacement Series windows are built to order and can be installed in homes with any type of exterior. The windows are available in many styles. Frame material options include vinyl, aluminum, wood, and fiberglass. Milgard. 800-645-4273. www.milgard.com. Booth C4822.
Photo: Courtesy AZEK Timberboards
Strong bond: Designed to bond PVC to PVC, this cellular PVC cement is stronger than the PVC itself, so joints won't open and trim pieces will maintain a finished look. The product sets up in about five minutes and reaches full bonding strength after 24 hours. It can be used with the company's trimboards, sheet, beadboard, and cornerboard products. AZEK Timberboards. 866-549-6900. www.azek.com. Booth S8305.
Crack the Books
Want a combo MBA, law degree, and psychology degree with an emphasis on home building? Get to class.
Before the show opens and the class bells ring for more than 200 seminars, the NAHB's new University of Housing will hold 10 one- and two-day seminars at the convention facilities. New topics include risk management/insurance, family-owned businesses, and trends research.
Here are our picks for cool new (and some old standbys) you should consider:
*Architectural Copyright Law: Current Trends and Traps. Builders have been hit with multi-million dollar judgements for copyright infringement of building plans. Find out how to avoid problems.
*Certified Aging in Place Specialist Program Overview. This new program certifies those who build for people to stay where they are as they age. Learn about the variety of home modifications designed especially to help seniors stay at home rather than being forced into assisted living.
*Build Faster Build Smarter. The Modular Answer educates builders about faster, better construction in a controlled environment. Modular construction allows builders to construct components in a factory environment for delivery and assembly at the building site. Such construction protects many building materials from outdoor exposure, reduces site vandalism, and speeds up cycle time.
*Creating Development Opportunities in Nontraditional Partnerships. Going it alone isn't always the smartest way to get houses put up. Nonprofits, governments, and quasi-government entities can be partners in successful developments.
*Construction as an E-Business: Profiting in the New Economy. Learn about the opportunities in the "invigorating, intoxicating, innovative journey" of the 21st century economy.
*Career Trends in Residential Construction. Grow your own opportunities and attract new blood in your company with this seminar's tips.
*Ten Strategies to Maximize Through Options and Phasing. Avoid leaving money on the table. Do you know how to display options and sell them profitably? How many homes do you build in each construction phase? How soon do you raise the price? Learn the answers in this program.
*Fifty Key Design Ideas and Details That Work: A Design Superstore. Back by popular demand this standing-room-only seminar helps builders stay on the cutting edge.
*Green Building Success Stories and Mainstream Green Building Tips. What products are green? Who has been successful at building environmentally sensitive and sustainable communities? Learn their secrets.
*Concepts in Practice: Building "Net Zero" Energy Homes. See case studies and learn who is buying these low-energy-use homes.
Plan your schedules in advance at the "Virtual Trade Show" at www.BuildersShow.com/VTS, where you can access electronic press kits from exhibitors as well as meeting and seminar schedules.
What better way to learn about the building business than to see innovative building techniques and products displayed in a show home. BUILDER's HomeDestinations at Southern Highlands show home and The New American Home will be open for tours at the show. Consult your program at the show.