We traveled to the 2006 International Builders’ Show to check out innovative new products for your home, from heating and insulation to kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures.
Exterior Home Products
- Roof Underlayment: Grace Ice and Water Shield roof underlayment actually adheres to the roof decking to help protect roofs if the shingles blow off during a storm.
- Moisture Resistant Housewrap: The weather resistant barrier from Valéron Films has a textured surface that allows any moisture trapped behind the siding to escape.
- Self Cleaning Fiber Cement Siding: This fiber cement siding from Nichiha comes in a number of patterns from traditional lap siding to those that mimic the look of stone or brick. A layer of silica is built into the finish so the siding actually cleans itself every time it rains.
- Board & Batten Vinyl Siding: This solid core vinyl siding from Crane gives the look of real wood board and batten siding with the low maintenance of vinyl siding.
- Window Protection: Transparent hurricane panels from GE are made from Lexan to prevent window damage during a storm while allowing light into your home. Impact resistant glass windows, such as Simonton’s StormBreaker and Anderson’s SilverLine, can increase security and keep flying debris out of your home. Pittsburgh Corning has introduced a line of impact resistant glass blocks. Acrylic glass blocks from Hy-Lite and window glass from Guardian help keep out the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays and heat.
- Safe room: The DuPont Storm Room incorporates a layer of Kevlar and has a sturdy steel door to protect your family from tornadoes, hurricanes, or intruders.
- Multiple Showerheads: WaterTile multi-showerheads from Kohler can be incorporated into the wall or ceiling.
- Home Steam Bath: For the ultimate in bathroom luxury, consider adding a steam bath and towel warmers from Mr. Steam.
- Stain Resistant Shower Glass: ShowerGuard glass from Guardian is specially sealed during manufacturing to protect the glass from hard water stains and soap film to keep your shower looking good.
- Shower Control Valves: MultiChoice Universal shower control valves from Delta allow you to change the way the shower valve looks and functions without having to redo the plumbing.
- Faucets: Delta touch and hands free faucets allow you to turn the water on and off simply by touching the faucet or placing items under it. To make using filtered water easier, Moen has introduced a faucet with outlets for both regular and filtered water in a single spout.
- Cooking: The recirculating vent hood from Gaggenau mounts on the countertop for use with built-in cooktops. The Velos SpeedCook Oven from Whirlpool combines a microwave and convection oven to grill, bake, broil, and steam food fast.
- Dishwashers: The new GE dishwasher has the controls hidden from sight on top of the door. It also allows you to pour an entire bottle of dishwashing liquid in at once for use over time without refilling.
Laundry Room Products
- Clothes Washer: This top loading washer from Whirlpool has a glass lid that allows you to see what’s inside and a flat wash plate to increase capacity.
- Clothes Dryer: The matching Whirlpool dryer also has a glass door, increased capacity, and reduced drying time.
- Fireplaces: With a $50,000 price tag, the Aqueon fireplace by Heat & Glo isn’t for everyone, but the contemporary look and “water burning” technology make it unique. It uses electrolysis to break water down into hydrogen and oxygen to create a clean burning fireplace.
- Radiant Heating: Radiant heating under floors is a great way to keep your house warm. Electric radiant heating systems from Danfoss and Honeywell have incorporated radiant heating cables into a thin mat that can be easily cut to size and installed underneath any finished floor. Warmboard has simplified installation of water based radiant heat by combining the subfloor and radiant panel with precut channels for heating pipes and an aluminum coating to distribute the heat.
- Foam Insulation: Closed cell foam insulation from Honeywell doesn’t absorb water and can increase the structural strength of exterior walls. Foam insulation from Icynene and BioBased is eco-friendly and doesn’t emit harmful gases.
High Tech Home Products
- Attic Storage Lift: The SpaceLift attic storage system takes the heavy lifting out of storing items in your attic and getting them back down with a lifting load of up to 200 pounds.
- Wireless Control: Z-Wave technology allows you to control everything from lighting to heating and cooling wirelessly for added convenience and security.
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Installing Flooring Under Door Jambs
When installing new flooring, the door jambs often need to be cut at the bottom to slide the flooring underneath. To do this turn a piece of the new flooring over next to the door jamb to avoid scratching it. Place a handsaw on top of the flooring and cut through the door jamb, holding the saw flat on the flooring. Use a chisel or screwdriver to pry out the cut jamb so the flooring can slip underneath. (Watch Video)
Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
ODL Enclosed Door Blinds
Enclosed blinds for doors from ODL are easy to install by do-it-yourselfers, and they can be retrofitted to fit existing glass entry doors. They’re available for both half and full glass doors. ODL enclosed blinds are low maintenance, energy efficient, and reduce harmful UV rays while providing privacy for your home. ODL enclosed blinds are available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)
Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Using Wood Ash in Gardens
The ashes from burning wood in your fireplace or wood stove contain both potassium and phosphorus and can be mixed in with the soil or compost to help fertilize plants. Wood ash also contains calcium carbonate and, much like lime, it will raise the pH of the soil making it less acidic. This can improve acidic soil unless you are growing acid loving plants, like azaleas or blueberries. (Watch Video)