Every Monday, major news outlets report the box office stats from the weekend movies. And why not? People are curious about what movies raked in the viewers (and the box office dollars), which tanked, and which ended up somewhere in the middle.
Similarly, BUILDER staffers write about more than 300 products each year, and we too want to know which ones captured the attention of our readers. (We suspect you do as well.) Luckily, our data on reader requests indicates which products have been the most popular during the year. It's an enjoyable exercise and an educational one, providing a snapshot of readers' product priorities and interests at a specific point in time.
For example, many news reports this year have suggested that builders, remodelers and contractors are preoccupied with all things green, from sustainable construction to products that save energy or water.
Our list of reader-requested product information confirms this, with a roundup that includes a kitchen cabinet made from plantation-grown hardwood, a countertop created with 50% recycled paper and wood fiber, a window that meets the new stimulus bill criteria for a 30% tax credit, a compact fluorescent light bulb that looks like a standard incandescent, and a fireplace that burns ethanol.
(In previous years, foam insulation and tankless water heaters have dominated the top 10.)
Curious? See for yourself below, as BUILDER reveals the 10 most popular products for 2009 based on readers’ requests, as of Nov. 27, 2009.
10. May 2009 Andersen Windows
Open Wide: The 400 Series casement window can be outfitted with a variety of glazing options such as Low-E4 or Low-E4 SmartSun to achieve a U-factor of 0.28 and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.21. Each window has a pine or primed interior and a low-maintenance exterior cladding that comes in four colors. A variety of art glass, grille patterns, and screens are available. Andersen Corp. 800-426-4261. www.andersenwindows.com.
9. March 2009 Kohler Co.
Karbon Copy: Picture this baby in a loft kitchen or condo. Drawing inspiration from lighting and construction equipment, the manufacturer designed the Karbon articulating faucet to be highly versatile. The lightweight unit uses a combination of brass and carbon-fiber composite tubing and offers four joints that allow the spout to assume many positions. It uses ceramic disks and comes in polished chrome or vibrant stainless steel. Kohler. 800-456-4537. www.kohler.com.
8. March 2009 Lutron Electronics Co.
RadioRA-SR is a wire-less control solution for single-room applications. Ideal for TV rooms and master bedrooms, the system allows homeowners to control lights, shades, or drapes from a universal remote or home automation system using radio frequency technology. It’s ideal for both new construction and remodeling projects. Cost: $850. Lutron Electronics Co. 888-588-7661. www.lutron.com.
7. March 2009 Armstrong Cabinets
Door Store: Cabinets aren’t just about the doors and the finish. Home buyers want to put things in them—lots of things. This manufacturer offers a variety of storage options with its Elements line. The collection incorporates storage for cutting boards, small appliances, and cleaning implements. Shown: the ChefCenter in Calibra plantation hardwood. Armstrong World Industries. 800-527-5903. www.armstrong.com.
6. March 2009 Trend USA
Liberty is a collection of colorful transparent glass mosaic tiles from Miami-based Trend USA. Made from hand-cut glass, the tiles are produced in a variety of compatible shapes and assembled on a sheet measuring roughly 12 inches by 10 inches. The line is produced in seven colors. Cost: $45 per square foot.
Trend USA. 866-508-7363. www.trendgroup-usa.com.
5. March 2009 GE Appliances
Two for One: The Profile convection wall oven looks like one unit but is actually a double that allows homeowners to cook two dishes at two temperatures at the same time. Measuring 30 inches, the oven provides room to roast a 22-pound turkey in the 2.8-cubic-foot lower oven and the rest of the meal in the 2.2-cubic-foot upper section. GE Consumer & Industrial. 502-423-7710. www.ge.com.
4. March 2009 GE Lighting
This Energy Smart bulb looks like an incandescent, but it’s really a compact fluorescent in disguise. The 15-watt unit has the appearance, size, and fit of a traditional bulb and has the equivalent output of 60 watts. It’s guaranteed for five years based on four hours of daily use. Cost: $5.99 to $7.99.
GE Consumer & Industrial. 502-423-7710. www.ge.com.
3. March 2009 The Fire Co.
Inspired by designs from the 1960s, the Retro indoor/outdoor fireplace has classic rounded corners and a tube design that fits a variety of architectural styles. Measuring 35 inches high and 35 inches wide, the ethanol-burning unit has a fiberglass surround, stainless steel firebox, and glass wind screen. It comes in eight vivid colors. Cost: $3,500. EcoSmart. 310-914-3335. www.ecosmartfire.com.
2. March 2009 Klip Biotechnologies
Paper Chase: Instead of the obvious granite or marble, try EcoTop surfacing instead. The product is made from a blend of 50 percent post-consumer recycled paper and 50 percent wood fiber (including bamboo fiber), and bound with water-based copolymer resin. It comes in standard and custom colors. KlipTech. 253-507-4622. www.kliptech.com.
1. March 2009 Timberlake Cabinetry
Warm Fronts: Sonoma cherry Bordeaux satisfies the trend for clean, contemporary design but does so in a warm, Shaker-style look that fits a transitional space. The line features adjustable concealed hinges, full-depth drawers, and 3/4-inch-thick plywood veneer boxes and shelves. Drawers are made with dovetail joints. Timberlake Cabinetry. 800-967-9674. www.timberlake.com.