Do You Qualify for FICA Relief?
The Jobs Bill could benefit your company if you hire.The 2010 Jobs Bill passed by Congress in March offers two tax breaks that can be particularly helpful to siding contractors. The first exempts employers from paying the 6.2% Social Security tax (FICA) on wages of newly hired employees who were out of work for at least 60 days prior to being hired. While the employee will still have to pay his share of the tax, employers are exempt until the end of 2010. If the new employee is retained for at least a year, employers will also get an additional $1,000 tax credit on their 2011 taxes. Click here for the full story.
New Lead Paint Regulations May Affect Your Business
The new rules went into effect in April.The Environmental Protection Agency's Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule took effect April 22, 2010. In short, the rule mandates that any company working in a home or child-occupied facility built before 1978 must be registered with EPA as a renovation firm. In addition, at least one employee from that company must receive eight hours of training from an EPA-accredited provider and then pass the test for Certified Renovator. The Certified Renovator is responsible for on-site job supervision, training other employees, and overseeing work practices and cleanup. With some exceptions, the rules apply to interior work that disturbs 6 ft2 or more of lead-painted surfaces and 20 ft2 or more of exterior surfaces. Consequences for not complying with the RRP can include penalties of up to $37,500 per violation, per day.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) have complained about a lack of trainers, a slow certification process, inaccurate test kits, little public awareness, and a general lack of preparedness on the part of the EPA. Industry and EPA estimates of the number of contractors already trained vary widely. To date, EPA says it has certified 190 training providers who have conducted more than 4,900 courses. An estimated 125,000 people in the construction and remodeling industries have been trained in lead-safe work practices. You can locate local EPA-accredited RRP training providers at the EPA website. For CertainTeed's perspective on the issue, read Matt Gibson's (Manager, Contractor Programs, CertainTeed Siding Products Group) blog on the issue here.
New WeatherBoards Siding and Soffit
New styles offer more design options and improved functionality.The number of options in creating eye-catching exterior designs using fiber cement siding continues to grow, thanks to the introduction of CertainTeed WeatherBoards™ Individual Shakes. The Individual Shakes round out an existing portfolio of fiber cement siding products that feature the beauty of cedar shakes without the drawbacks of wood. The new shakes open up multiple options for creating the rugged, dimensional appearance of cedar shakes without the upkeep that is required by wood siding.
The shakes can be installed with a straight or staggered edge and can be used in whole house applications or accent areas. For enhanced design flexibility, WeatherBoards Individual Shakes are available in kits that include 6-1/4", 8-1/4" and 12" widths. The shakes are primed with FiberTect® sealant, which ensures better moisture resistance because it penetrates into the siding and forms a "double bond" between the board, FiberTect, and the paint creating a longer lasting, better looking finish.
FiberTect finish is also available on our new perforated ventilated and our existing slotted ventilated soffit. Available in Cedar and Smooth finishes, the perforated/slotted soffit improves air flow while affording the low maintenance and durability of fiber cement. Both ventilated soffits are available in 16 colors with CertainTeed's ColorMax® Finishing System and in six premium stains.
If We Build It, They Will Come
Contractors are meeting with CertainTeed installation experts to brush up on old skills and learn new ones.
CertainTeed has hit the road with two new hands-on training programs designed to help expand your skills, capabilities, and profit potential. The Build-It Tour™ is a specially equipped trailer that brings training directly to installers, architects, and others through local CertainTeed distributors. It's a great hands-on opportunity to expand your knowledge of CertainTeed product features and benefits; brush up on installation techniques; network with CertainTeed personnel, your local distributor, and other contractors; and earn more money by learning to install value-added products. Matt Gibson, manager of the Siding Products Group's Contractor Programs, reports that this year, the Build-It Tour will conduct more than 100 training programs.
The Fiber Cement "Knowledge on Board" mobile training tour teaches proper fiber cement siding installation to contractors. At each event, Chris Hendrickson, National Installation Manager for the CertainTeed Fiber Cement Division, demonstrates proper fiber cement siding installation and fields questions from building professionals. Hendrickson covers several topics, including building codes; proper techniques for nailing, back flashing, and caulking; and the use of house wraps. Through the use of hands-on demonstrations, the workshops stress the advantages of fiber cement siding and the importance of proper installation. With this knowledge, contractors can avoid potential installation problems and maximize the effectiveness of fiber cement siding products.
Contractors interested in these half-day programs should contact their local distributor or CertainTeed territory manager.
CertainTeed Again Wins ENERGY STARŪ Partner of the Year
EPA honors CertainTeed for second straight year.
CertainTeed Corporation and its sister Saint-Gobain companies in North America have been selected as a 2010 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for Energy Management by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This prestigious award recognizes all of Saint-Gobain's North American businesses, including CertainTeed, for their accomplishments and leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.
In 2009, Saint-Gobain reduced carbon dioxide emissions released to the atmosphere more than 70,000 tons, a savings equivalent to the amount of energy required to manufacture wallboard to cover nearly 45,000 homes or insulate 100,000 homes.
"CertainTeed is committed to preserving our environment through sustainable manufacturing and developing products that will improve energy efficiency," says Peter Dachowski, president and CEO of CertainTeed Corporation. "We are pleased with our employees' dedication to energy management which has made this year's ENERGY STAR Partner of Year award possible."
ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award winners include Fortune 500 companies and small businesses, all dedicated to reaching annual goals to shrink energy use. Introduced by the EPA in 1992, ENERGY STAR works with more than 17,000 organizations to improve the energy efficiency of products, homes, and businesses.
News from the VSI
VSI reality check on claims by James Hardie and Certified Installer recertification are featured in the VSI newsletterIn its recent fact sheet, Reality Check: Vinyl Siding vs. James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding, the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) sets the record straight regarding false claims that James Hardie Building Products has promulgated about vinyl siding for years. In addition to providing evidence of vinyl siding's excellent environmental performance, safety, wide range of colors, and excellent color retention, VSI also presents documentation associated with installing James Hardie silica-based fiber cement. Download the fact sheet.
Certified Installers can now recertify for VSI's Certified Installer program online as well as by mail, at the reduced price of $99 ($33 per year). The online option is available to Certified Installers who are required to recertify in 2010. Before their current three-year certification expires, installers will receive a notification letter, after which they can log on to the VSI website, update their information, and take the recertification test online. Results are immediate and installers will be mailed an updated certificate and ID badge within two weeks.
EverNew® Full-Line Catalog
EverNew Deck and Railing Systems available for download or order.In case you missed it, the 2010 EverNew® Deck and Railing full-line catalog is a wealth of information and images. The 46-page, full-color brochure features the Deck Collection; the Vinyl, Composite, and Aluminum Railing Collections; and Porch Posts, Wraps, and Columns. In addition to color photographs, available styles and colors, and suggested uses, EverNew Deck and Railing Systems (Code No. 40-70-428) includes a comprehensive matrix for easy access to available product sizes, colors, and styles.
Restoration Millwork® PVC Exterior Trimboards and Sheets Receive ICC Evaluation Services Certification
Weather and termite resistance, surface-burning characteristics, and structural wind loads evaluated.
Restoration Millwork® PVC Exterior Trim now meets ICC Evaluation Services, Inc. (ICC-ES) code requirements as designated in report number ESR-2922. The report confirms that Restoration Millwork is code compliant and meets strict criteria for exterior trim used in residential and light commercial construction. ICC-ES is a nonprofit, public-benefit corporation that is responsible for evaluating and ensuring building products meet code requirements, including compliance with the International Building Code® and International Residential Code®. The properties of Restoration Millwork trimboards and sheets evaluated by ICC-ES include weather and termite resistance, surface-burning characteristics, and structural wind loads.
New Booklet for Trim Adhesives and CementCheck out the new booklet about the cellular PVC adhesives and cements for Restoration Millwork® exterior trim. The 8-page folder provides all the information you need to know about Bond & Fill® structural adhesive and filler, TrimTight™ cellular PVC cement and TrimStick™ nail hole filler. Download the booklet here and then see your CertainTeed distributor.
Installing Cedar Impressions in Canadian Markets
by Bob Werner
Required furring strips make installation unique
Recently, the Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC) issued a report certifying that Cedar Impressions Polymer Siding complies with the Canadian National Building Code 2005. However, the report stipulates that the siding panels must be installed on furring over sheathing membrane and flashed at appropriate locations.
In Canada, Cedar Impressions panels must be installed so that there is drainage space behind the panel. This space will allow moisture to escape from the panels while preventing water intrusions from the exterior. To comply with the Canadian National Building Code, create drainage channels by adding battens to the substrate. Nail or screw 1" x 4" battens, 8" on center into a nailable substrate.
The Canadian code also states that "the system requires flashing at appropriate locations in order to drain water to the outside." This important step can mean the difference between a durable installation and repeated call backs.
Key to proper flashing is overlapping the flashing material so that water drains over the flashing. For example, when flashing a window, the flashing should be long enough to direct water over the nail flanges of the last course of complete siding panels. Flash the bottom of the window first, and then overlap the bottom flashing with the vertical flashing on both sides of the window. The top flashing should then extend slightly beyond the width of the vertical flashing.
The Winner Is...
Richard Auffant of Homecraft Exteriors Plus, Center Moriches, NY, displays a plaque he was awarded for being selected one of the top 15 most loyal remodelers in CertainTeed's Building Solutions Remodeler Program. Richard has been an active participant in the program since 1999, and as his truck reveals, he's also a certified 5-Star Siding Contractor, participating in that program since its inception in 2007
Richard is also this issue's winner of a 32" Viera HDTV for his tip on an innovative use of Restoration Millwork Cellular PVC Trim.
Richard writes, "Where two windows (one on the right side and one on the back of house) are too close to the corner to use a cornerpost and window lineals, try using Restoration Millwork trim to combine both windows and the corner into one full unit. If done properly, it puts your workmanship in a class of its own!"
Thanks Richard, and in our book, you're an all-round winner!