Builder Blog from Integrity Windows and Doors

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Three must-see products at PCBC next week

June 18th, 2014 by Berit Griffin

We are counting down the days until the 2014 PCBC in San Francisco! Year after year, PCBC features some of America’s most prominent residential builders, developers, architects, building scientists, lenders, investors, marketers and product manufacturers. It also has become the go-to conference for thought leadership in green building.

Earlier this week, PCBC announced the winners of its Parade of Products (POP @ PCBC) Awards. The winning products were selected based on innovation and new product development in the homebuilding industry. You can view the full list of winners by visiting PCBC.com, but here are a few of our favorites:

 

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Fortifiber Building Systems Group — L7 Flashing
“L7 Flashing is a high-performance solution to flashing electrical boxes, vents, and other through-wall penetrations. Pre-sized in convenient “L” shaped pieces, and fabricated from advanced butyl adhesive and coated woven facer, L7 Flashing provides a simple, cost-effective way to flash critical intersections.”

 

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StoCorp — StoGuard
StoGuard is a fluid applied weather barrier that is easy for contractors to install. StoGuard can be sprayed on or applied with a roller – a similar process to painting – and requires no special training, reducing the risk of improper installation which can lead to moisture intrusion problems. Unlike some solvent-based building materials, StoGuard has low VOCs and complies with US EPA and South Coast AQMD emission standards for architectural coatings. StoGuard is fully adhered without a mechanical attachment, meaning it does not require the use of staples, nails, or other means of attachment to adhere to the wall. StoGuard is energy efficient and helps prevent air leakage, thus reducing energy costs, and qualifies for the following LEED credits – Materials & Resources (MR) Credit 1.1 and 1.2.

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Carrier Corporation — Carrier® Comfort™ Series ERV
The Comfort Series ERV leverages a streamlined, two-duct connection to offer a more straightforward installation process than traditional four-duct technology. In addition, the Comfort Series ERV does not require a separate wall control, allowing for easy integration into Carrier home systems. The unit’s small cabinet dimensions make the product more compact than others on the market, a benefit for today’s newly constructed homes. Contractors can simply connect the unit to the home’s furnace or the ductwork, eliminating the need to make additional room for a bulky four-duct ERV unit and its extra duct connections.

* * *

Be sure to visit the Integrity Windows and Doors booth at 2014 PCBC, where we’ll be unveiling our largest door ever! And if you’re a reader of the Builder Blog, let us know!



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Why homeowners are moving

June 13th, 2014 by Berit Griffin

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According to U.S. Census Bureau data, about 36 million American homeowners moved from 2012 to 2013. The top reason?

Housing.

A whopping 48% of movers said housing was the top motivator, followed by family (30.3%), employment (19.4%) and other (2.3%). The chart above digs into the specific reasons by grouping. Interesting stuff, huh?

The data — in case you don’t have time for a deeper dive — also suggests that males are more inclined to move for job-related reasons than females, and married respondents are least likely to move for family-related reasons. Additionally, several individual reasons, such as “change of climate,” “health reasons” and “natural disaster,” were each cited as the main reason for moving by fewer than 1 percent of householders.

To see more from the U.S Census Bureau, check out the release here.



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Why Integrity Can Offer Beautiful, Dark Exteriors

June 11th, 2014 by Berit Griffin

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We love this completely renovated Minneapolis house for its modest size, its simple lines — and its Integrity Wood-Ultrex windows in a Bronze exterior.

Builders and architects know what sun and heat do to vinyl windows. Shrinking and warping are common — vinyl windows have even been known to melt. That’s why you typically don’t find vinyl in dark colors — they absorb too much of the sun’s heat.

Our patented, putruded Ultrex fiberglass is as strong as steel and resists malformation in temperatures up to 350 degrees F. That’s why we can offer it in beautiful, dark colors like the Bronze you see here.

Check out more photos of this whole-house renovation at Houzz.



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Introducing the 4 Panel Sliding French Door

June 9th, 2014 by Berit Griffin

For those who need a strong, tough door, but crave expansive views, Integrity Windows and Doors offers the perfect solution: the new 4 Panel Sliding French Door.

The 4 Panel Sliding French Door brings together the beauty of wood and the strength of Ultrex in the largest Integrity door yet. The biparting four-panel configuration is available in sizes up to sizes up to 16’ wide by 8’ tall.

This door answers the need for whole-house Integrity door projects, as a four-panel configuration is frequently used as a crucial design feature.  Large doors like the 4 Panel Sliding French Door let in maximum daylight and can help bring the outdoors inside. And, with a taller rail on the bottom panels, this door has a beautifully traditional look.

As an Integrity product, the 4 Panel Sliding French Door has a wide variety of options available including bare wood or a pre-finished white interior, six exterior color options (including darker colors like Ebony—something vinyl can’t match), divided lites, and LoE-180, LoE-272 and LoE-366 glass for optimal energy performance in all climates.

For remodel and replace projects, the 4 Panel Sliding French Door is also available in Special Sizes (1/64” increments). Precise sizing changes allow builders and remodelers to use this 4 Panel Sliding French Door in a wide variety of applications. And as part of the Wood-Ultrex line, the 4-Panel Sliding French Door coordinates seamlessly with the full line of Wood-Ultrex products, including the new Insert Double Hung.

Large sizing, top performance: the Wood-Ultrex 4 Panel Sliding French Door may very well be the perfect fiberglass door solution.

Want to see it in action? Check this out:



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How to win first-time buyers

June 6th, 2014 by Berit Griffin

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While we certainly hope you’re able to enjoy a few days of summer weather this weekend, we must implore you to check out BuilderOnline.com if you don’t mind mixing work with pleasure. The publication has outlined seven strategies for reaching the most finicky audience known to building professionals — first-time buyers.

Often times, their money is tight, their debt is considerable and they are scarred by what has transpired in the housing market over the past half-decade. But if you can win over first-time buyers, well, you can win almost anyone. It’s a hard-earned revenue stream, but here are the seven strategies laid out by BuilderOnline:

Are there any additional strategies you use to win over first-time buyers?



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Putting the house in warehouse

June 4th, 2014 by Berit Griffin

In case you missed the must-read feature in the Wall Street Journal, a number of urban dwellers are rather creatively putting the “house” in warehouse amid limited inventory in major U.S. cities.

WSJ’s Candace Jackson writes,

“Across the country, adventuresome and sometimes deep-pocketed home buyers are converting urban diamonds in the rough into one-of-a-kind residences with both modern conveniences and historic charm. Warehouse conversions are especially popular in space-crunched cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago, where the available inventory downtown can’t meet the demand for city living.”

Trucking garages, factory floors and manufacturing plants, each authentically vintage, have been converted into unmistakably modern residences. It’s good business if you can get it, but certainly these projects require a bold team of building professionals.

Have you ever undertaken a project like one of these? If so, what was the experience like? What type of surprises did you confront? What was the greatest challenge?



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It wasn’t so long ago “spending time in the yard” was interpreted as mowing the lawn, pruning shrubs and maybe even tending the garden. These days, more homeowners are looking to their outdoor spaces not as a reason for weekend labor, but everyday leisure.

The Spring Houzz Landscaping Survey of more than 4,5000 Houzz users was released earlier this week. The survey found a whopping 56 percent of homeowners are improving their yards for entertaining purposes, and among them:

  • 83 percent were turning outdoor spaces into regular entertaining spaces
  • 73 percent were using outdoor eating spaces
  • 53 percent claimed to have outdoor living rooms already

Some of the most popular outdoor features included:

  • Patios and decks (83%)
  • BBQs (48%)
  • Fire pits (48%)
  • Sound systems (19%)
  • Outdoor kitchens (14%)

The study also found seven in 10 homeowners are installing lights to illuminate their outdoor hardscape.



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Memorial Day weekend kicked off with some positive news this year: Sales of newly built, singe-family homes increased by 6.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000 units in April, according to new data from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Midwest region continues to be the country’s strongest for new-home sales with an impressive 47.4 percent increase. The South saw an increase of 3.1 percent while the West remained flat. The Northeast lagged with 26.7-percent decline.

“In a positive development, builders are adding inventory in anticipation of a further release of pent-up demand,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “We are only about half-way back to what could be considered a normal market, but relatively low mortgage rates and affordable home prices are other factors that should help keep starts and sales  on a slow upward trajectory in the months ahead.”

Here’s hoping the momentum carries through the summer building season!



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Five questions with Randy Burton of Burton Builders

May 22nd, 2014 by Berit Griffin

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With the June 26 entry deadline for the 2014 Integrity Red Diamond Achiever Award program a little over a month away, Integrity’s Builder Blog recently caught up with Randy Burton of Burton Builders to discuss his successful run during last year’s campaign. Andrews Residence, designed and built by Burton Builders, was not only named a Red Diamond Achiever Award winner, it also earned the People’s Choice for best overall project as determined by public vote.

Are you considering entering this year’s program? Burton answered some questions about what winning has meant for his company, and even shares a few secrets to success…

 

What made you decide to enter the 2013 Integrity Red Diamond Achiever Award program?

Randy Burton: “Having worked with Integrity products for several years, and knowing that Integrity products worked well to accomplish our goals, we believed that the Andrews Residence project represented the best of our collaborative efforts with our Integrity team. We believed this was a winning project in many ways.”

 

What was your reaction when you found out your project (Andrews Residence) was not only selected a winner by the judging panel, but also voted the 2013 People’s Choice by the general public?

Burton: “Having viewed the other winners and knowing that the Andrews Residence project was very traditional, and seeing that most winning projects these days are more modern, we happily flew to Minnesota believing we were fortunate to be in the top 5. Late in the day on the last day of our trip, we had the great surprise to find out we actually were the People’s Choice winner. Honestly, I was rather stunned, then super proud, as not only was this project a national winner, it had been fully designed in our office. Pretty cool!”

 

What has been the biggest benefit of being named a Red Diamond Achiever Award winner?

Burton: “The benefits have been many and varied. We have a great distributor (Super Marvin) and supplier (Atlantic Millwork), and they rolled out the red carpet for us. So, along with the press release info sent out by Integrity, which ran in several of our local print publications, our local distributor and supplier ran some pretty awesome full-page ads recognizing our achievement. Although we have been building beautiful homes for 27 years, the recognition as a national award-winning company has greatly increased our visibility and standing. This home, and therefore our work, has since then been featured in two magazines and other local media. Again, pretty cool.”

 

What is your advice to other building professionals who may be on the fence about entering the Red Diamond Achiever Award program?

Burton: “Get some high-quality photos done of your work, write a strong, brief description of the project, and make submit it. It’s well worth the effort. You will be paid back in spades.”

 

Is there a secret to your success that you are willing to share with fellow building professionals?

Burton: “The secret to our success as a builder is maintaining our own integrity and using Integrity products. The secrecy to winning once your in the top 5 is don’t hold back on crowing from the roof tops — it just might make you the People’s Choice!”



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FARGO, N.D.—Integrity® from Marvin Windows and Doors has been named the “Best Quality Fiberglass Window Brand” in a recent Brand Use Study conducted by BUILDER Magazine. 

The study, sponsored by publisher Hanley Wood and conducted by an independent third-party research company, surveyed more than 10,000 builders, developers and general contractors on their awareness and use of various brands in 69 different categories. Respondents were asked their overall familiarly with brand, usage and opinion of the manufacturer’s quality.

“This third-party validation backs up what we’ve known about the Integrity brand for years—that we lead the fiberglass category based on our product innovation and quality,” said Becky Felling, Integrity Director of Marketing. “Our Ultrex® fiberglass windows are a superior product that trade professionals and homeowners have really responded to. It’s tough, virtually maintenance-free and it looks great in any home, making it an ideal fit for a wide variety of projects.”

Integrity’s fiberglass windows are made with Ultrex—a state-of-the-art pultruded fiberglass that is eight times stronger than vinyl, three times stronger than wood/vinyl composites and as strong as steel. Integrity offers an All Ultrex fiberglass line of products, as well as a Wood-Ultrex line that combines an authentic wood interior with a virtually indestructible fiberglass exterior. Both lines are available with numerous design and glazing options for both new construction and the remodel and replace market, and are available in six exterior finish colors (including darker colors such as Ebony, which most vinyl manufacturers cannot offer due to durability and fading concerns).

The toughness of Integrity’s Ultrex is legendary, making it quite possibly the perfect building material. It beautifully resists rotting, warping, fading and chipping. Additionally, Integrity’s Ultrex is currently the first and only finish to have achieved 624-10 verification from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), and to have completed lab requirements for 625-10. These certifications mean that the industry’s best fiberglass finish has undergone rigorous testing and is proven to resist fading, chalking, scratching and cracking to keep your project looking good for years to come.

“We’ve always known how durable our finish is, but it’s great for our customers to have independent corroboration,” Felling said. “It truly shows that when you buy an Integrity window or door, you’re getting the whole package: beauty, durability, performance, outstanding service and support, backed by Integrity’s unmatched 10-day delivery to the distributor.”

For more information on BUILDER’s Brand Use Study, please visit builderonline.com. For more information about Integrity’s Fiberglass window and door options, please visit IntegrityWindows.com.



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