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Trussty Connection

Installing trusses on masonry walls usually means anchor bolts and treated plates. However, you can eliminate the additional step of plating and provide greater wind resistance with a new line of truss connectors from USP. The HLPTA 75 Embedded Truss Anchors are grouted right into the top-course bond beam and provide more than 2,000 pounds of uplift resistance each. Achieving the full load capabilities requires placing either one #7 horizontal rebar or two #5 horizontal bars for reinforcement. The 18-gauge connectors are G90 galvanized, and their 4 7/16-inch height makes them compatible with most low-slope roof profiles. A 50-count box has a suggested price of $82. USP Structural Connectors, 800/328-5934, www.uspconnectors.com.

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Pint-Sized Heating Plant

While its diminutive stature might fool you, the Munchkin Gas-Fired Boiler is a full-power residential boiler with input ratings as high as 199,000 Btus. It weighs about 100 pounds and has an extremely small — 31 x 21-inch — footprint, so it can fit in places where other boilers won't go. But that's not all that's noteworthy: The computer-controlled Munchkin has a stainless-steel heat exchanger and a 92% efficiency rating, and you can vent it through the roof or sidewall with 3-inch ABS, PVC, or CPVC pipe. Heat Transfer Products, 800/323-9651, www.htproducts.com.

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Air Superiority

When you start your compressor, the motor not only has to overcome its own inertia and the pump's, it also has to overcome crankcase oil that's thicker than normal. Both of these factors contribute to blown breakers and motor strain. You can reduce the demands on the motor by using an Automatic Air Inlet Controller. The small device replaces the standard air filter on your compressor and reduces the demands on the motor by "free wheeling" the compressor for a fraction of a second before it starts building pressure. According to the manufacturer, you won't notice any difference in performance, but the reduced strain makes cold-weather starts easier and blown breakers less likely. R. Conrader Co., 814/898-2727, www.conrader.com.


Metal Roofing

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High-Temp Underlayment.

Temperatures under metal roofing can get hot enough to turn some asphalt-based roofing products into a syrupy liquid — generally not what you want from your roofing materials. If you're concerned that your present underlayment can't take the heat, you might try Tarco's LeakBarrier PS-200. The SBS-based product can handle temps up to 260°F, which is about 35° higher than most peel-and-stick underlayments, according to the manufacturer. The product has a smooth face, so it won't scratch the finish on metal roofing, and a two-part release paper that makes installation easier. It's available in one- and two-square rolls and sells for about $25 to $28 per square. Tarco, 800/365-4506, www.tarcoroofing.com.

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Green-Free Copper.

When it comes to roofing, few materials can compete with copper for durability and a classic look. But the green of aged copper isn't for everyone, and it can clash with some architectural designs and color schemes. If your customer has no interest in going green, you could suggest Revere's FreedomGray Copper, which uses a zinc-tin coating to produce a neutral gray instead of green as the copper ages. The product has the durability of traditional copper, and unlike plain zinc, which requires ventilation to prevent corrosion, zinc-coated copper can be placed directly on the roof deck. In addition, the copper base makes it easier to solder and roll form, according to the manufacturer. Revere Copper Products, 800/448-1776, www.reverecopper.com.

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Metal Mania.

The market for metal roofing continues to grow every year. It's not surprising. The durable metal shingles have some distinct advantages over other roofing materials: They're noncombustible, lightweight, and offer excellent resistance to wind and hail. New, ever increasing color choices and styles allow homeowners to complement their existing architecture styles and exterior colors. Midnight Eclipse and Woodland Green are the newest offerings in Tasman's Decra Shingle Plus line, expanding the color palette to five offerings. The versatile product can be installed directly to the existing roof or on battens, depending on the installer's preference. Decra, 877/463-3272, www.decra.com.

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Beat the Heat.

Few building materials get as hot as a metal roof under a sunny sky, but you can beat the heat with a new reflective coating. BASF's Ultra Cool Coating increases the reflectivity of metal roofing about 13%, which reduces cooling loads and attic temperatures. Custom-Bilt Metals is one of several manufacturers using the new coating. The company offers the coating with its Last Time line of metal roofing in 24 colors. According to the manufacturer, the increased reflectivity also reduces expansion and contraction, making the roof panels last longer. The best part is that Ultra Cool costs the same as conventional painted metal roofing. Custom-Bilt Metals, 800/826-7813, www.custombiltmetals.com.


Skylights

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Sky Dome.

Custom skylights from O'Keeffe's could be called the ultimate in rooftop fenestration. This custom fabricator can make skylights in just about any shape or design that you or your architect can come up with. Domes, barrel vaults, and pyramids are just a few of the possible shapes. If the more typical offerings don't have enough jaw-dropping effect, what about a fully glazed roof that retracts with the push of a button? All products have engineering stamps and can be shipped almost anywhere. O'Keeffe's, 888/653-3333, www.okeeffes.com.

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Larger Than Life.

If your customer wants a skylight that provides a little more light and pizazz than the typical 22-inch model designed for between rafters, you might suggest the Architectural Series from Wasco. Offered in sizes from 4x4 feet to 9x12 feet, these huge expanses of rooftop glass are assembled from extruded aluminum frames in ten standard colors. Features like condensation gutters that channel water to the outside and thermal breaks to increase energy efficiency make them easy to live with. Several glass options are available, including low-e, tinted, and laminated varieties. Smaller units can be shipped completely assembled, while larger units are field-assembled to make handling easier. Prices start at $1,200. Wasco Products, 800/388-0293, www.wascoproducts.com.

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Plastic Fantastic.

Four layers of specialty acrylic glazing in ODL's Quad-Glazed Prismatic Skylights provide greater comfort and increased energy efficiency compared with conventional insulated glass, according to the manufacturer. A prismatic layer provides a uniform light and eliminates the shadows and hot spots often found in clear skylights. Another reflective layer blocks 98% of UV, which can fade carpets and fabrics and degrade finishes. Other internal layers prevent heat loss from the living space. Venting and nonventing models are offered. ODL, 888/384-7288, www.odl.com.

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Missile Defense.

Hurricanes and tropical storms can turn ordinary objects into glass-smashing missiles, so in coastal areas it's important to use impact-resistant glass, to protect not only the structure but its occupants as well. Velux's Impact FCM has laminated, impact-resistant glass that satisfies the requirements for most coastal areas (Dade Protocols excluded). The fixed skylight features low-e insulated glass and a curb-mounted design for use with a wide variety of roofing materials. The manufacturer says it also makes an ideal replacement for plastic bubble skylights. A 22x46-inch Impact FCM with a step flashing kit sells for about $300. Velux, 800/888-3589, www.velux-america.com.