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Exterior Trim

Pure Grain. For folks who appreciate the look of wood but prefer the life span of vinyl, CertainTeed has engineered a middle ground. The company's Restoration Millwork exterior trim now includes a line of vinyl one-piece corners and trim boards molded after natural rough-sawn cedar for a more natural appearance. TrueTexture products carry a 25-year warranty and cut easily with traditional woodworking tools. Prices vary by piece. CertainTeed, 800/233-8990,

Paint It Black. Makers of cellular PVC exterior trim warn that painting their products dark colors can intensify the effects of expansion and contraction and lead to warping. However, Sherwin-Williams says its new VinylSafe paint has no such effect: According to the company, all 100 shades reflect light so effectively they can be applied to cellular PVC with no risk of warping. The paint costs $39 for flat, $42 for satin, and $43 for gloss. Sherwin-Williams Co., 800/474-3794,

Easy Newels. Looking for maintenance-free, ready-to-install newels and porch posts? Railing Dynamics' Endurance posts consist of aluminum columns — rated at 2,500, 5,000, or 8,500 pounds — covered by a molded vinyl sleeve prefinished in white, sand, or earth. They come with three mounting options: flush and through-deck mounts, and a wind-uplift kit. Prices start at $120 for a 4-inch-by-4-inch porch post and $150 for a 5-inch-by-5-inch porch post. Railing Dynamics, 877/420-7245,


Double-Bagged. Sometimes one layer of housewrap isn't enough — but who wants to buy two different products and double-wrap the building? For twice the protection from just one application, check out Benjamin Obdyke's Home Slicker Plus Typar. The maker claims that this combined rain screen and water-resistive barrier offers exceptional water holdout, water-vapor transmission, and resistance to sunlight damage. It costs $155 per 200 square feet. Benjamin Obdyke, 800/523-5261,

Good Exposure. Need a housewrap that can protect your project from the elements for an extended period? Johns Manville says its UV- and tear-resistant Gorilla Wrap is good for at least six months of exposure time. The translucent material keeps studs, nails and windows visible for easy installation. It costs $35 for a 3-foot-by-100-foot roll and $90 for a 9-foot-by-100-foot roll. Johns Manville, 800/654-3103,

Farewell, Fasteners. In areas where driving rain is an issue, fastener holes can be a source of moisture penetration. Grace has a solution: Its Perm-A-Barrier VP membrane goes on as a spray, no fasteners needed. The acrylic fluid cures into a vapor-permeable monolithic sheet that keeps out liquid water. A 5-gallon container sells for $135, a 55-gallon drum for $1,350. Grace Construction Products, 800/354-5414,