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Builder-turned syndicated columnist Tim Carter looks back via the Spokane Spokesman-Review as he approaches the 25th anniversary of his "Ask the Builder" column. He's seen a lot.

One thing I’ve discovered is that it sometimes pays to wait before you buy a brand new product that hits the marketplace. An example is composite decking. I’ll never forget when this product made its debut. Homeowners swooned over it. However, it took nearly 20 years for the composite deck industry to finally figure out how to make a fantastic product that will last and looks great.

I witnessed the painful growing pains of low-flush toilets. Government regulations forced manufacturers to create toilets that used far less water than ones that had worked so well for decades and decades. Most of the new toilets wouldn’t flush right. It took years for some engineers in the industry to finally figure out how to get less than two gallons of water to create a powerful flush.

Technology has also overtaken the home building and remodeling industry like an army of steamrollers. Some argue the changes are for the better, and some (like my wife) despise them. I constantly test new products around my own home, and Kathy hates the recessed LED light over our kitchen island that has a speaker in it. The speaker can play music from my smartphone via Bluetooth. Kathy feels the speaker is also snooping in our conversations.

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