All-Season Doors

Storm-screen combination doors in custom sizes

The Combination Door Co. has been building wooden storm and screen doors since 1912, and its line of hand-built storm doors still provide elegant protection from the elements. The company's primary product line is the Easy-Change wood storm and screen combination door, which offers a patented tool-free locking mechanism that pulls either a glass or screen panel against a tight weatherseal. The door comes unfinished in a variety of styles and grille choices. It is available with lockset and hinges in brass, black, or satin aluminum. Since all the doors are hand built, custom sizes are easy for the manufacturer to accommodate. For more information, contact The Combination Door Co., 920/922-2050,

Tough Exposure

Wood doors that stand up to the weather

Coastal builders tend to shy away from wood exterior doors, because repeated cycles of rain, sunlight, and standing water typically lead to problems with leakage, rotting, and warping, especially of the bottom rail. The Simpson Door Co. seems to have risen to this challenge with the introduction of its Performance Series wood patio door, which reportedly can withstand the toughest weather exposures, including areas with poor overhang protection and wet and humid climates. These doors employ a combination of treated wood, wood sealers, and clear finishes, which the company says virtually eliminates the threat of rotting, splitting, and swelling of bottom rail and lower stile components. Performance Series doors are currently available in French door styles and can be ordered with insulated and impact-resistant glass units. The doors are backed by a five-year limited warranty. For more information, contact Simpson Door Co., 800/952-4057,

New Lows for Low-E

Super-energy-efficient windows and doors

Weather Shield's line of Zo-e-shield windows and doors offers a new glazing system that promises to improve a home's energy usage while increasing occupant comfort. The line includes a range of different double-pane windows and one triple-pane version. For ultimate energy performance, the Zo-e-shield 7 triple-pane system includes a gas fill in both air spaces. Along with multiple low-E coatings on two panes of glass (to block radiation coming in either direction), these units provide a center-of-glass U-value of 0.19 and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.25 — among the lowest (and therefore most energy efficient) in the industry. All the glazing in the line include warm-edge glass spacers made from flexible, low-conductive materials that will help reduce heat flow at the edges of the glass. (Note: In general, warm-edge spacers can reduce window condensation, but they are not a substitute for reducing humidity levels, which cause window condensation.) The manufacturer claims that these flexible spacers will reduce sound vibrations as well. For more information, contact 800/477-6808,

Taking a Stand

Rugged miter-saw stand

Trojan Manufacturing offers a portable miter-saw stand that's almost as rugged and quick to set up as the company's legendary folding sawhorses. The MS-2000 stand breaks down into a small, maneuverable package. The saw stays on the stand, secured to an MDF table, creating a compact assembly that can be wheeled onto the job on 10-inch pneumatic tires hat are big enough to roll up most stairs. At the job, the legs fold out, snapping into position with spring-loaded pins. The two extension wings, which can be adjusted to the height of any saw table, extend out more than 6 feet, providing support on each side of the saw. The wings include galvanized rollers that are less likely to rust than the usual steel roller supports. (Though, eventually, that coastal salt air plays havoc on just about any metal surface.) For more information, contact Trojan Manufacturing, 800/745-2120,

Engineered Conservatories

Sun structures built to withstand the weather

A complete line of sunrooms, conservatories, pool enclosures, greenhouses, and glazed canopies is available from Solar Innovations. Each enclosure is a "prefabricated custom" structure, meaning it comes ready to assemble but is tailor-made to each site. The company is used to working with builders and architects, and it is geared up to provide design help, engineering, shop drawings, and even project management to see the installation through to completion. The company's standard-issue enclosure is an all-aluminum structure, but aluminum exterior/wood interior options, featuring solid mahogany or southern yellow pine laminates, are also available. Special-order options also include even more structurally stable interior laminates, such as western red cedar, Spanish cedar, and Douglas fir. These interior wood options include aluminum weep control systems that reportedly isolate the wood from moisture to prevent water damage. For more information, contact Solar Innovations, 800/618-0669,

Safe Step

Pebble-finish rubber surfacing

GoldenLook International of Euless, Texas, offers a surfacing system called Pebble-Flex that's made with a thermo-plastic polymer and binder, which allows increased safety and durability for pool sides, sauna surfaces, and other potentially slippery surfaces. The colorful "pebbles" are actually aliphatic urethane polymers, so they provide a shock-absorbing and skid-resistant surface. The material is UV resistant, which helps reduce the chalking and fading often associated with colored concrete and polymer decking. The system is poured in place and can be applied directly over old, cracked concrete. According to the manufacturer, the topping meets all ASTM child safety and Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. For more information, contact GoldenLook International, 800/433-5397,

Anchor Bolt Holders

Perfect positioning for foundation hold-downs

Bolt-Rite Anchor Bolt Holders provide a quick way to keep anchor bolts — the nemeses of the concrete crew on pour days — clean and straight. These reusable plastic guides nail to form boards and accurately center 5/8- and 7/8-inch-diameter bolts on a 2x4 or 2x6 sill, suspending over the form prior to pouring concrete. The standard Anchor Bolt Holders are designed for 2-by sill plates, but sleeves are available for 3-by sill plates, if required. Single-sided versions are available for placement in structural slab forms. The double-sided models double as a form spreader. There is even a new version (shown) that includes a stand-off so the top of the foundation can be troweled around the bolts and under the holders before having to remove the form. For more information, contact 530/243-0181,

Dry Gear

Waterproof tool bags protect tools from weather

Custom LeatherCraft has introduced a line of waterproof gear bags designed to offer protection for tools against wet and humid weather. Six different bag configurations are available, including a 25-inch duffel bag and 18- and 14-inch soft-sided tool bags. All are made of a durable interwoven tarpaulin material and feature weather-resistant zippers and rugged polyester and rubber bottoms. Additional features include large external zippered compartments and padded antislip shoulder straps. For more information, contact Custom LeatherCraft Mfg. Co., 800/325-0455,

Timber Tamers

Stainless steel construction screws

With the corrosion problems associated with ACQ and other pressure-treated woods, why take chances with structural deck connections? Swan Secure offers a line of stainless hex washer-head screws in 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch diameters and lengths from 3 to 12 inches. According to the manufacturer, the "4-corner thread" form significantly reduces driving torque. The screws drive with standard 9/16- and 3/8-inch hex nut runners. For more information, contact Swan Secure Products, 800/966-2801,

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