Lock and Load.
The Trakloc Steel Framing System installs up to 50 percent faster than conventional steel studs, says the maker, because the telescopic studs — which lock into place without fasteners — don't have to be cut to length. According to the company, costs run about 25 percent higher than for traditional light-gauge metal studs. Trakloc
, 866/787-2556, www.trakloc.com
Mega Brace. Unlike many other manufactured shear panels, the iLevel Shear Brace can be trimmed to length in the field. Made from LSL lumber, it comes in 12- and 18-inch widths in lengths up to 20 feet. Predrilled holes help with mechanical installation; the mounting system allows some front-to-back adjustment. For pricing and availability, the manufacturer suggests contacting a dealer. Weyerhaeuser, 888/453-8358, www.ilevel.com.
Dormers To Go. Framing an eyebrow dormer can be difficult and time-consuming — so why not leave it to the experts? The Eyebrow Construction Co. specializes in preframed eyebrow dormers for projects nationwide. Standard models come with 3-, 4-, 5-, or 6-foot-wide windows, zinc-coated copper sill pans, and preformed casing. Prices start at $9,300. The Eyebrow Construction Co., 631/653-7800, www.eyebrowconstruction.com.
Johnson's original pocket-door kit has long been a favorite among carpenters and GCs who know their stuff, but until now there wasn't a version available for really heavy doors. The new Series 2060 pocket-door frame has a 300-pound capacity and can accommodate 21/4-inch doors up to 9 feet tall and 5 feet wide. It's made for a 2x6 wall. Prices start at $240. Johnson Hardware
, 800/837-5664, www.johnsonhardware.com
Hold It Together. It's actually pretty easy to pry open an entry door secured with a conventional lockset and deadbolt — unless Don-Jo's Wrap-Around Door Reinforcer has been installed. Available in six finishes, the 22-gauge metal plate resists prying and banging tools and keeps the door edge from splitting. In other words, it makes breaking in a lot harder to do. The product costs about $10. Don-Jo, 978/422-3377, www.don-jo.com.
Extra Security. If your clients want a door that seals tight and provides heightened security, suggest a model with a multipoint lock. Once reserved for big-dollar patio doors, three-point locks are now showing up on regular doors. Therma-Tru offers a Multi-Point Hardware upgrade on all of its entry doors. The company says multipoint hardware costs about $200 more than conventional lever sets. Therma-Tru, 800/843-7628, www.thermatru.com.