Yesterday, I spoke with a construction
specifier who said that
his rule of thumb is to give a
product ten years in the field
before speccing it on a job. Too
many things go wrong, he said,
and too many products come and
On the other hand, I know
many builders who can't wait to
try out the latest insulation system,
heating system, high-tech
window, or low-flush toilet.
Some innovative products
work well and become standard
practice—low-e windows, for
example. Some, such as condensing
furnaces, have many problems
because they are brought to
market before they are ready.
Some, such as urea-formaldehyde
foam, are disastrous.
Nearly all innovations, however,
take extra time to get used
to—the so-called learning curve.