Drainage Panel. Properly flashing the bottom of a masonry cavity wall usually requires separate components, but Mortar Net’s TotalFlash Cavity Wall Drainage System combines everything — flexible flashing, a stainless steel drip edge, and nonclogging drainage mesh — in one precut, preassembled panel. The product comes in overlapping 5 1/2-foot-long pieces with sealant and screws and costs about $9.75 per linear foot of coverage. Mortar Net, 800/664-6638, mortarnet.com.
Spray-On. Icynene’s water-blown LD-R-50 Spray Foam Insulation expands to 100 times its applied thickness to completely fill wall and rafter cavities. It does double-duty as a built-in air barrier, and the open-cell foam is water-vapor–permeable. This new formula uses a castor-bean oil ingredient to reduce its petroleum-based content and has an R-value of 3.7 per inch. Installation by a licensed dealer costs 65 cents per inch thickness per square foot. Icynene, 800/758-7325, icynene.com.
Shower Seat. Built-in shower seat structures can be a challenge to make, install, and waterproof — there’s always the worry that water will get beneath the tile and compromise the wooden frame. ProSpec’s PreFormed Shower Seats are made of waterproof high-density foam and install with thinset mortar to avoid any fastener penetrations through the shower wall. A 22 3/4-inch-wide triangular seat costs $135. Other sizes and preformed wall niches are also available. ProSpec, 800/738-1621, prospec.com.
Three-Way Flashing. Faulty flashing installation can lead to water damage and mold, not to mention expensive callbacks. OSI’s solution is the Winteq Window Installation System, which comes complete with sealant for the window flange, rubberized asphalt flashing tape, and low-expansion closed-cell foam. All three components are chemically compatible — not always the case when you’re mixing products from different manufacturers, according to OSI. Flashing a 3-foot-by- 5-foot window with the product costs about $12.70. OSI, 800/321-3578, osisealants.com.
Skip the Crane. LiteSteel Beams offer the strength of steel at 40 percent less weight than standard steel I-beams or engineered wood beams, according to the maker. They’re also easy to saw on site and can be nailed into with a standard framing gun, says the company, which provides software on its Web site to help with sizing. An 18-foot long, 8-inch-tall garage-door header weighs 107 pounds and lists for $160. LiteSteel Technologies, 877/285-2607, litesteelbeam.com.
Green Drive. Not everyone wants a big expanse of asphalt or concrete dominating their landscape. Drivable Grass Mats by Soil Retention Systems provide better drainage and hold less summer heat than paved drives while looking a lot greener. The 2-foot squares can also be used for drainage erosion control. They’re made of 4,000-psi concrete for heavy load capacity, come in three colors, and cost $2.50 each. Soil Retention Systems, 800/346- 7995, soilretention.com
Push Fit. Plumbing supply lines keeps getting easier with products like Sharkbite Push-Fit Fittings by Cash Acme. With no solder or cement needed, these fittings make permanent connections in copper, PEX, and CPVC tubing, and they’re UPC- and IPC-approved for installation behind walls without access panels, says the maker. Unlike traditional fittings, they can be twisted into position while under pressure and can be easily removed and refitted. A 1/2-inch coupling costs $5.35. Cash Acme, 877/700-4242, sharkbite.com.