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,
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,
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,
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,