When people in the home building industry converge on Las Vegas next month for the International Builders’ Show (IBS), they’ll have a few other things on their minds—the economy, the slots, deciding whether to see a show featuring Lance Burton or one with David Copperfield.

But if history is any guide, they’ll mostly be thinking about what kinds of new products manufacturers have in store for them at this year’s show. Simply put, the new products are the best reasons to come to the show every year.

So what will there be to see in a time when research and development budgets have dwindled? Have no fear; manufacturers, like Lance and David, have a few tricks up their sleeves. Despite the recession, some companies have managed to work up some brand-new introductions and produce major modifications to existing popular lines of products.

For example, as more builders pursue light-commercial work, Boise Cascade is introducing two new deep I-joists that are suitable for such applications. Phantom Screens has redesigned its original Executive retractable screen to come up with a unit that’s smaller but flexible enough to fit a range of interior and exterior openings up to 10 feet wide. Overhead Door has created a chain-drive Legacy 800 garage-door opener that is quiet, powerful enough for heavy doors, and simple to install.

Once again, products that promote conservation, energy efficiency, and environmental friendliness will be front and center at the show. Among the many highlights, Quikrete will introduce Green Concrete Mix, which contains 50 percent recycled material, including recycled aggregates, fly ash, and slag cement. CertainTeed will now manufacture its CedarBoards insulated siding with 60 percent recycled scrap collected from jobsites and installers. And Marvin Windows and Doors is offering LoE3-366 high-performance glazing on its Integrity line of windows and doors to help keep heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer.

Of course, no one is suggesting you skip the shows on The Strip or shun the many fine educational sessions that will be offered at IBS. Come for the lights, the food, and the fountains at the Bellagio, but spend some time checking out the many cool products that can help you build a better house.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Las Vegas, NV.