House Coat. Huber ZIP System wall and roof sheathing panels have breathable, water-resistant coatings — rated at 12 to 16 perms — so they need no housewrap or roofing underlayment. Seaming tape completes the seal. According to the maker, the sheathing delivers a rough dry-in period of 120 days, and no H-clips are needed for roof panels. It’s sold in 8-, 9-, and 10-foot-long sheets for $11 and up. Huber Engineered Woods, 800/933-9220, zipsystem.com.
Wood Counters. Craft-Art’s Heritage Wood Collection Countertops come in a range of species and designs. The company’s dealers template, fabricate, and install the tops, though sometimes they can provide simple pieces — fabricated only — based on your measurements. Installed tops cost $90 to $750 per square foot. Craft-Art, 404/352-5625, artisan-collection.com.
Utility Light. There was a time when closet lighting meant a light bulb and a string, but fire and electrical codes have put a stop to bare bulbs in enclosed spaces. Leviton’s Energy Star–rated #9860 Fluorescent Ceiling Lampholder is an affordable option for utility lighting. It has a 13-watt lamp that uses less energy (and generates less heat) than an incandescent of similar brightness and a tough polycarbonate lamp guard. It costs $15. Leviton, 800/323-8920, leviton.com.
Clean Edges. Azek’s smooth and rustic textured PVC trim boards are now available with the company’s Edge technology, which Azek says produces smooth, sealed edges that are truly square. The treatment also purportedly helps edges stay cleaner throughout handling and installation and makes them easier to clean afterward. Prices for 1x6 trim range from $1.85 to $2.20 per linear foot. Azek, 877/275-2935, azek.com.
Thick Trim. Versatex’s new 6/4 Trimboard is 1 1/4 inches thick — so you don’t have to laminate pieces to get thick trim. The cellular PVC boards come in nominal sizes in 10- and 12-foot lengths, and in 4-by-8-foot and 4-by-10-foot sheets. A 4x8 sheet costs $255. Versatex, 724/857-1111, versatex.com.
No-Bolt Anchors. With Simpson Strong-Tie’s embedded anchors, there’s no need to mark and drill sill plates. The new MASA Mudsill Anchors are a one-to-one replacement for heavier, 5/8-inch J-bolts. They work in stem-wall or slab foundations and attach directly to the edge of the forms. The 16-gauge steel wraps around the sill plate for nailing — or you can nail it up the side of a stud. The anchors cost 85 cents to $1 apiece. Simpson Strong-Tie, 800/999-5099, strongtie.com.
Corded Wrap. Some housewraps are crinkled to leave a drainage plane behind siding, but Pactiv’s GreenGuard RainDrop Housewrap has vertical cords to ensure that even the tightest siding installation can’t close the gap. It’s nonperforated to resist air and water infiltration, can be left exposed for 120 days, and has a perm rating of 10. A 9-by-100-foot roll costs $122. Pactiv, 800/241-4402, green-guard.com.