BUILDER's Top 40 Products of 2013

Thermawrap R5.0 introduces insulated housewrap as a new category of exterior continuous insulation. The installed cost may be up to 20 percent more than premium housewrap plus exterior rigid foam insulation, but the added energy efficiency improves ROI. An average home requires about 20 4-foot-by-40-foot rolls.

Chief Architect X6 supports the Mac platform in addition to Windows. Users can install the software on multiple computers—Mac or PC—with a single license, although only one iteration of the software can run at a time. Chief Architect X6 Premier sells for $2,695 and includes one year of training videos support, and upgrades.

The Ensemble Medley tub/shower uses a specially designed Dry-Block seal and channeled water containment system to prevent leaks. Made of the firm’s stain- and scratch-resistant, lightweight Vikrell material, the modular panels have tongue-and-groove interlocking joints that create a seamless look and watertight finish.

Icynene’s portfolio of light density open-cell and medium density closed-cell spray polyurethane foam solutions now includes a 100 percent water-blown medium density closed-cell spray foam. The firm says the technology in ProSeal Eco responds to growing demand for alternatives to potential ozone-depleting blowing agents.

The Mediterranean-inspired Turbinio pendants feature what the manufacturer calls a “cage-within-a-cage” design. The wrought-iron finish and enclosed candelabras create a rustic feel. The pendants are available in 4-light, 6-light, or 8-light options and come in either an antique bronze or black finish.

Milgard Moving Glass Wall Systems bridge indoor and outdoor living with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. With 12 size options in three- or four- panel configurations, the system is an accessible version of moving glass walls often seen in high-end homes, says the firm. In two low-E options, the product offers a weather-stripped structural interlock system.

Kwikset partnered with UniKey Technologies to develop the touch-sensitive Kevo deadbolt. Bluetooth technology communicates with an iPhone app and allows the deadbolt to lock and unlock with the touch of a finger. Multiple levels of encryption help with digital security. Those without smartphones can gain entry with an available key fob.

Compatible with all lamp types and simple to use, the Harmony Tru-Universal dimmer’s self-calibration feature solves the issues of flickering lamps and unsatisfactory light levels, says the manufacturer. The product also aims to extend lamp life and create energy savings for the user. A green LED assists with calibration.

These linear drains use architectural grade 100 percent stainless steel and feature channel drains in patterned grates that also are available in a sleek mirror polish finish. The drains come in four standard lengths—30 inch, 36 inch, 48 inch, and 60 inch—and are universally designed to fit standard 2-inch floor drains.

With a 7-inch-deep profile, the ultra-slim Revo series offers the thinnest AFUE-rated fireplaces ever made, says the firm. Designed for ease of installation, the units—capable of producing up to 24,000 BTUs—require no footprint or exterior chase. Direct vent technology ensures all exhaust gases are expelled outside the home.

This counter-depth refrigerator stands flush with adjacent countertops for a built-in look and offers 25 cubic feet of storage capacity. It also features LG’s unique door-in-door compartment, a magnetically sealed storage space that provides convenient access to commonly used items. The external ice and water dispenser uses the company's Slim SpacePlus ice system for more storage space and door bins. The appliance is Energy Star rated and comes with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty on its linear compressor.

This fully engineered façade system installs up to three times faster than traditional brickwork while providing ventilated rain screen assembly, according to the company. The Corium system is made up of genuine brick tiles designed to clip into the system's coated galvanized tray sections. The system can be mounted at any angle or overhead to create soffits and ceilings. At only 14 lbs. per square foot, the company claims the system offers lower overall wall costs than traditional brick. Corium is owned and developed by the Wienerberger Company, the world’s largest producer of brick materials.

The look of reclaimed wood has found its way to laminates with Armstrong Flooring's latest collection, Architectural Remnants.

The 24V UV Air Purifier with AirBright is one that installs within the HVAC ductwork, zapping mold spores and killing bacteria circulating through the system. In addition to the low-voltage UV light, Honeywell's odor-neutralizing AirBright component converts VOC's into CO2 before passing through the cooling unit, removing odors from cooking or pets.

Keeler Light Integrated Trim combines decorative hardware tiles and LED technology with traditional trims to produce unique accent lighting. The modular system has a myriad of applications, from crown moldings and backsplashes to stair railings and baseboards.

The first model to use condensing technology in a residential water heater tank, the High-Efficiency Condensing Power Direct Vent Water Heater exceeds Energy Star qualifications with a 0.80 EF. The unit costs only $19 a month to operate, the manufacturer says, and is available in both 38- and 48-gallon models. It also includes an integrated diagnostic system to facilitate service calls.

MSA says this is the world's first green protective hardhat manufactured from sugarcane. In addition to protecting your noggin, all V-Gard helmets carry a No. 2 plastic recycling symbol, which means they are readily recyclable. The helmets are produced from green high-density polyethylene, a biopolymer made from sugarcane-based ethanol. Polyethylene is a renewable resource because sugarcane growth exceeds the rate of harvest. By contrast, traditional hard hats are made from polymers derived from fossil fuels.

Bellawood says its Ultra-Strand product is crafted from fine bamboo fibers pressed together with a resin, which is why you won’t see the knuckling common to many bamboo products.

Eternal’s hybrid technology provides continuous hot water similar to its tankless counterparts, but also contains a 20-gallon reserve to support homes with high GPM requirements. The GU125T and GU160T can pump 125 and 160 gallons per hour, respectively, providing almost double the industry average of 83GPH at half the size of a traditional 50-gallon gas water heater. This eco-friendly product exceeds Energy Star with an energy factor of 0.94, runs on a ½” gas line, and is backed by a 12-year no leak warranty on the tank and a five-year warranty on parts, according to the company.

The Fresh Air solar-powered skylight opens and closes by remote control. The system requires no wiring, which ensures easy installation, according to the company. The solar panel incorporates a rain sensor for automatic closing, and works on cloudy days and in indirect sunlight. The product is eligible for a 30 percent federal tax deduction.

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