If your customers appreciate the appearance of cedar shingles but don't want to deal with the inconvenience of periodic painting and scraping, they might be interested in CertainTeed's Cedar Impressions. The polymer shingle panels come in four styles and eight colors; the manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty against fading.
CertainTeed, 800/233-8990, www.certainteed.com
Cellular PVC trim won't rot, mold, or attract insects — which goes a long way toward explaining its growing popularity. NuCedar Mills' Classic Clapboard cellular PVC siding is an attractive option for builders and clients who want the look of real clapboard without the maintenance hassles. The product comes with either a smooth or cedar-grained face and can be painted in any of 22 standard or 1,400 custom polyurethane colors. The company offers matching rabbeted trim pieces meant to hide the siding's cut ends while allowing for thermal expansion. Costs run between $350 and $450 per square.
NuCedar Mills, 866/393-8883, www.nucedar.com
The Real Deal
Think Cypress Sidig is no longer available? Think again: Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Buckley Lumber offers the clapboards in No. 2 and clear grades in board-and-batten, bevel, and channel profiles. With a minimum 1,000-board-foot order, the company will ship nationwide. Its most popular siding — a 3/4-inch-by-8-inch clapboard that provides a 6-inch reveal — runs about 80 cents per lineal foot in the No. 2 grade. The company also offers S2S and S4S boards; prefinishing is an option.
Buckley Lumber, 877/274-5685, www.cypresssiding.com
Low-Foam Poly Wood Glue
For years Gorilla has had a lock on the polyurethane wood glue market — but now other manufacturers are trying hard to get their share. One of the more recent introductions is Sumo from Loctite. The maker claims that the new glue sets faster than Gorilla — in 30 minutes on porous surfaces and in 90 minutes on nonporous ones. The company also says that Sumo foams less and cures fully in 24 hours. An 8-ounce bottle costs $13.
Loctite, 800/321-0253, www.sumoglue.com
Compatible with a wide range of materials, polyurethane-based construction adhesives continue to get better and better. Case in point: Titebond Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive is now suitable for temperatures down to 35°F. With only 20 grams of VOCs per liter, the 98-percent-solids formula complies with the nation's most stringent air-quality standards. A 10.5-ounce tube costs about $4.50.
Franklin Intl., 800/347-4583, www.titebond.com
Conventional woodworking glues and fillers don't work very well with PVC trim, so the emergence of several better-performing specialty products is good news. One that's received favorable reviews from several carpenters I know is Bond & Fill Structural Adhesive & Filler. It's waterproof, UV-resistant, paintable, and sandable. Plus it has more body than traditional PVC cement, so it's not as messy. A starter kit with applicator gun, 1.6-ounce cartridge, mixing nozzles, and instructions sells for about $54.
Bond & Fill, 877/822-7745, www.bondfill.com