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Windows

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Secret Screen. Page through just about any window manufacturer's marketing materials and you'll notice that very few windows are shown with screens installed. Why? Because screens obscure both the window and the view. Jeld-Wen recently began offering retractable screens on its Custom Wood Windows. Phantom Screens have veneered tracks and a wood handle that help them blend in even when they're fully extended. Phantom Screen upgrades can add 25-30% to the price of a window. Jeld-Wen, 800/535-3936, www.jeld-wen.com

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Rain Coat. Advances in glass coatings have made today's windows more energy-efficient than ever, and better able to protect interiors from ultraviolet light. Now there are products that can keep windows cleaner, too. The exterior coating on Andersen's Low-E4 glazing — which is standard on the.comany's 400 series product line — allegedly reduces dirt buildup and water spots. A clear film applied to both sides of the glass protects it during construction. Andersen, 800/426-4261, www.andersenwindows.com

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Expanded Palette. I remember when clad windows came in three colors. Now some window manufacturers offer upwards of 40. Take Windsor's Pinnacle units, which are available in seven standard and 30 feature colors, ranging from Appalachian brown and burnt pumpkin to sunflower and walnut. According to Windsor, the cladding is extruded and not roll-formed. Feature colors cost approximately 20 percent more than standard colors in awning, casement, and fixed units; in double-hungs and gliders, they cost about 30 percent more. Windsor, 800/218-6186, www.windsorwindows.com


Garage Doors

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Shelter From the Storm. Ever since 1992's Hurricane Andrew, garage-door manufacturers have been working on products that can stand up to high winds. Some rely on posts or other reinforcements that must be deployed by the homeowner before a storm hits — but Clopay's WindCode Garage Doors have internal reinforcement, so they're always prepared for bad weather. They.com with wind ratings from 90 to 150 miles per hour. Prices for the Coachman model shown start at $1,500 for a standard single door and $3,000 for a double door. Clopay, 800/225-6729, www.clopaydoor.com

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Control Central. The 398LM Smart Control Panel displays the time, the garage temperature, and updates on the status of the garage-door opener on a backlit LCD screen. The wall-mounted device can be used for programming controllers and has a built-in motion detector that turns on the lights whenever somebody enters the garage. I found it on the Web for $44. Chamberlain, 800/528-5880, www.liftmaster.com

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Rest Easy. With above-garage master suites and bonus rooms growing in popularity, quiet door-openers are more important than ever. Wayne-Dalton promises that its belt-driven Prodrive opener is 50 percent quieter than the.comany's other openers and 10 to 15 percent quieter than belt-driven openers from other makers. As a bonus, the device is.comatible with HomeLink and Car2U home-automation systems. Prices are determined by local dealers. Wayne-Dalton, 888/827-3667, www.wayne-dalton.com


Decking

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Faux Exotics. When it was first introduced, fiber.comosite decking was sold in only one or two boring shades, but since then it's gone through a rather colorful transformation. ChoiceDek's newest colors — Spice (left) and Driftwood (right) — are meant to resemble exotic species. The 5/4-by-6-inch boards.com in 12-, 16-, and 20-foot lengths. Original colors of ChoiceDek cost about $1.90 per lineal foot; pricing for the new hues had yet to be determined at press time. Weyerhaeuser, 800/951-5117, www.choicedek.com

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Groovy. Looking to shave some time off your next decking installation? Check out Veranda Tropics.comosite decking. A continuous groove on both edges of each board receives the.comany's hidden deck fasteners, eliminating the need for biscuit joiners or special installation tools. The decking.coms in jatoba (light brown) and mahogany (shown) and costs about $2.80 per lineal foot. Veranda, 800/230-7547, www.verandainfo.com

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Smooth Finish. Over the past 10 years, decks punctuated with nail or screw heads have been relegated to economy class. While dozens of hidden fastening systems have emerged, few — if any — are as easy to use or as secure as FastenMaster's IQ fasteners. The polycarbonate clips are screwed to the back of the deck board and then fastened to the top of the joist with an angled screw. No special tools are required. Packaged with drivers, screws, and an instructional DVD, IQ fasteners are sold in boxes that cover 25, 100, and 500 square feet of decking. Using them costs about $1.80 per square foot of deck space. FastenMaster, 800/518-3569, www.fastenmaster.com