Trade Talk
SUMMER 2011
In This Issue
 
Win an Acer® Aspire One Netbook
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Send us your sales or installation tip, or send photos of your best work demonstrating CertainTeed siding and trim products used in an innovative way or a project that posed unusual installation challenges. If your tip or project is published, you'll win an Acer® Aspire One Netbook Computer. This small, lightweight computer can be used for in-home presentations or for travel when you don't want to carry a laptop.

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Congratulations, the winner is...
Ed Frateschi of Prosper Development Corporation of Nashua, NH. As our thanks for taking part in our spring survey, Ed will receive an Acer® Aspire One Netbook Computer.
New Restoration Millwork® Beadboard Offers
Industry-First Design

8-1/2" beadboard installs 30 percent faster than standard widths.

Wider Beadboard
Your choice in beadboard just got wider. CertainTeed has expanded its line of exterior trim products with the introduction of Restoration Millwork® 3TL, a new 8-1/2" three-bead beadboard and Restoration Millwork 2TL, a 6" two-bead beadboard. Restoration Millwork 3TL is the widest beadboard trim on the market, and it installs up to 30 percent faster than standard width beadboard. Both products feature TightLap™, a progressive notched shiplap design that allows a larger concealed nailing area. The TightLap edge allows two adjacent panels to seamlessly overlap; it provides better hold; and it features a reversible bead/channel repeat for a streamlined transition between panels.

The new 2TL and 3TL beadboards are excellent choices for larger exterior areas, such as porch ceilings, skirting, and deck surrounds.

“The 2TL and 3TL beadboard with TightLap join Restoration Millwork’s existing 5-1/2" beadboard with traditional tongue and groove, which is well suited for smaller accent areas, as well as the 4' x 8' beadboard panel with standard lap,” says Patti Pellock, senior marketing manager for CertainTeed Restoration Millwork. “The TightLap-enhanced beadboards allow installers to tackle large outdoor projects quickly with minimal installation headaches.”

Made from cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Restoration Millwork beadboards are engineered to look, feel and work like top-grade lumber. Unlike wood, however, the beadboards are made with a long-lasting, low-maintenance material that is resistant to rot, warping, moisture, and insects. It is offered in Natural White finish and can be painted to complement exterior colors. It cuts using ordinary woodworking tools and is fastened with nails or screws.

Restoration Millwork beadboards complement all siding materials – including vinyl, fiber cement, wood, stucco and brick. In addition, they are highly resistant to yellowing caused by UV rays, resist freezing during winter months, feature a Class A (Class 1) flame spread classification and are backed by a 25-year limited warranty.

Ask your building products supplier for more information about the full line of Restoration Millwork Exterior Trim or visit www.certainteed.com.

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New from the Vinyl Siding Institute

America Sides with Vinyl
Find live and on-demand seminars at vinylsiding.org.

On August 18, VSI will host a live webinar, Achieving Improved Energy Performance with Insulated Siding, which will explain how insulated siding complies with code and building energy efficiency programs, proper R-value testing, and the fundamentals of installation.

Can't make a live session? Be sure to check out one of the several on-demand webinars available at www.vinylsiding.org.

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Attacking the Future with a Purpose and a Plan

Identifying where you are today can help define what you need to do to succeed.

Phone waiting
By all indications, the U.S. economy is slowly beginning to recover. If yours is like many small businesses, the last three years have been about survival. Now the big question is, “Where will you be next year? Five years from now?” Whether you have five employees or 50, offer a wide range of services or just a few, it's hard to guide your company back to maximum profitability if you and your employees don't have a firm grasp on where your company is today.

Where Are You Today?
The first step to planning your future is evaluating where you are today. Take a look at your resources. Do you consistently come in under budget on certain types of jobs and often over budget on others? Why is that? Does it reflect the skills of your employees? Should you reevaluate the assumptions that your estimates are based on? Are your employees over- or under-skilled for the jobs you are chasing? Examining these internal forces can help you identify areas where you may need to rebalance your resources – personnel, skill sets, software, functional areas of your business – the entire chain of activities that allows you to deliver value to your customers.

What Is Happening Around You?
When you don't make as much profit on the job as you like, it is easy to assume that your business is the problem. However, it's always a good idea to look at external market forces. Are there too many contractors competing for the same customers? Are there too few local suppliers for the materials you use? Examining external market forces can help you identify old ways of doing business that may not work in a post-recession economy.

Target group
The investigation may reveal, for example, that your suppliers have shifted their product mix. Or, if the recession has caused some suppliers to pull back, close, or exit a product category, to obtain the products you need you may have to look outside your traditional market area.

And don't forget the potential customer base. Is the market changing? Are the homes that added upgrades such as finished basements 20 years ago ready for new decks, trim or siding? Are the owners looking to improve their home's curb appeal so the home can be sold, or are they considering staying in their homes? Depending upon what your research reveals, your choices are to either revisit the products and services you offer or identify new geographic areas that are a better fit for your company's strengths.

Pocket Money
Where Do You Want to Be in Five Years?
Once you've analyzed the internal and external business conditions, you'll be better prepared to match your business goals to your company's strengths and weaknesses. Will you offer the same products and services, or will you change the mix? How about personnel? Do you have the people in place to make the necessary changes, and are your employees prepared to adapt as the company evolves? How about administrative and support functions? Do you need to revamp some procedures or possibly invest in technology that will streamline those procedures?

While this process may seem cumbersome, once you've identified your strengths and weakness and aligned them with current market conditions, you can begin to think about the future. The process itself can generate ideas about how to strengthen your business and uncover new opportunities for expanding it.

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Medallions and More

Interlaced decorative designs fabricated from Restoration Millwork® sheets.

Medallion
This intricate fretwork, which was inspired by a window in a European cathedral, was created by RBK Building Materials of Lansing, Michigan. The company used a CNC (computer numerical control) machine to carve the elements from two laminated 4' x 8' sheets of Restoration Millwork® Exterior Trim. The fretwork can be carved as shown, or it can be carved through. Glass is then added to the back of the carved-through piece to create a custom window.

RBK's Terry Kleiman reports that the company's new "Lasting Details" interlaced decorative designs are being used to create long-lasting, maintenance-free architectural accents. The fretwork can be used to add eye-catching architectural details to new properties or to restore original details that have been lost from older buildings.

Reef Shark How did they do it? This unique and original work of art is a life-size reef shark crafted from Restoration Millwork by RBK.
The shark is comprised of 8 layers of CertainTeed Restoration Millwork, which is carved and then glued together. Thanks to the properties of Restoration Millwork, this shark is as waterproof as the real thing. Reef Shark


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Installing WeatherBoards™ Fiber Cement Siding over SIPs

by Bob Werner, CertainTeed Application Sales Specialist

Bob Werner
Every once in a while we encounter a project where the contractor wants to install WeatherBoards™ Fiber Cement Siding over Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). While this is a perfectly acceptable way to install fiber cement siding, it is important to remember that SIPs are a manufactured wall system and you should follow the wall system manufacturer's instructions for installing siding over it.

CertainTeed has tested WeatherBoards Fiber Cement Siding in accordance with ASTM E330 (wind load) and ASTM D1037 (fastener withdrawal and pull through) and determined that the following nailing schedule should be used when installing fiber cement over SIPs. As always, fastening fiber cement onto alternative wall systems must be in accordance with local building codes.

  Lap Siding ≤ 8-1/4" 9-1/4" Lap Siding Vertical Siding
Fastener 1-3/4" roofing nail, double HD galvanized with 3/8" dia. head 1-3/4" roofing nail, double HD galvanized with 3/8" dia. head 6d 2" siding nail, double HD galvanized
Fastener spacing 8" o.c. 8" o.c. 6" o.c. along edges
12" o.c. each way in the field
Fastening style Blind nailed Blind nailed Face nailed
Allowable wind pressure 40.44 psf
125 mph in "B" exposures up to 30'
32.22 psf
110 mph in "B" exposures up to 30'
18.67 psf
85 mph in "B" exposures up to 30'


  Lap Siding ≤ 8-1/4" 9-1/4" Lap Siding  
Fastener 1-3/4" roofing nail, double HD galvanized with 3/8" dia. head 6d 2" siding nail double HD galvanized  
Fastener spacing 12" o.c. 12" o.c.  
Fastening style Blind nailed Face nailed  
Allowable wind pressure 27.0 psf
105 mph in "B" exposures up to 30'
24.4 psf
100 mph in "B" exposures up to 30'
 


NOTE: Refer to CertainTeed Installation Instructions for additional installation requirements. All state and local building code requirements must be followed, and where found more stringent than CertainTeed Installation Instructions; state and local code requirements will take precedence.


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Freedom of Choice Website Invites Homeowners to Compare and Choose

CertainTeed.com/freedomofchoice lets homeowners compare siding and trim options.

Freedom of Choice
The CertainTeed Freedom of Choice™ website has been enhanced to include a new siding and trim selector that you can utilize to promote your services and the many options available to homeowners who want to customize their homes with CertainTeed siding and accessories.

The website features a video and side-by-side comparison guide that includes Cedar Impressions® Polymer Shakes, WeatherBoards™ Fiber Cement Siding, CedarBoards™ Insulated Siding, and the Vinyl Siding Collection. Homeowners can compare their siding options based on Color, Installed Cost, Maintenance, Sustainability, and Warranty. Embedded links take visitors to the complete collections so homeowners can evaluate their many style and color options.

The website also includes links to Restoration Millwork® Exterior Trim selections, Fiber Cement Trim, and the Vinyl Carpentry® Collection of pre-formed decorative accents and trim pieces.

To view the Freedom of Choice Siding Selector, log on to http://www.certainteed.com/freedomofchoice.

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Top of Mind Awareness

Frequency, frequency, frequency the key to success is letting former and potential clients know you're there.

By Brandy Smale, Colorworks Graphic Services

Phone waiting
If you aren't actively and consistently marketing your company, you can continue to stare at the phone, but it's not going to ring! Frequently, contractors lament that they tried canvassing with door hangers, or ran an ad in the newspaper, or mailed some postcards... but no one called. They view their efforts as a waste of money and are certainly not going to do that again! Yes, it CAN be frustrating to spend money, especially in this economy, and not get a response. But, your money was not wasted.

One of the primary goals of any marketing or branding campaign, especially in a difficult economy, is to create what is known as “Top of Mind Awareness” (TOMA). This simply means that potential customers think of you first for the product or service that you are offering. In this economy, homeowners may not be ready to buy, but that doesn't mean that they aren't thinking or planning projects that they will do when things improve. When they're ready, you want them to think of you first. If they don't know you're out there, you won't even get a chance.
Stay in Touch


TOMA is not a theory... it is reality. So, what is the magic bullet: newspaper ads, canvassing, postcards, referral programs, sponsorships? There is no perfect marketing mix. The most successful contractors create a marketing strategy and then repeat it over and over again. What is most important is to create a process that's easy for you to implement and then stick with it. Keeping your name in front of potential customers should be your number one priority!

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The Yanks Are Coming!

Build-It Tour
The Fiber Cement Build-it Tour™ invades our Canadian neighbors, leaving a lot of good will and good advice.

Azilda meeting
CertainTeed's Build-it Tour™ invaded Azilda, Ontario, Canada and, by all accounts, the excursion was successful. Ontario Territory Manager Emilia Coghill reports that the training session, which was held at the Carpenters' Union Hall, was arranged by Guy Lamoureux of Kelly Lake Building Supply.

Installation demo
Application Specialist Steve Learman demonstrates how to install WeatherBoards™ Fiber Cement siding.
“There were builders and remodelers in attendance as well as representatives from TESC Contracting Company, a design/build firm that was recently awarded a $22 million contract to build a new 236-bed student residence at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. The 12-story building is one of the tallest to feature fiber cement cladding,” says Coghill. “TESC sent their installers and project superintendents to make sure everyone was up-to-date on the latest installation methods.”

While the Azilda meeting was the most recent of six Build-It Tour events in Ontario this year, Coghill is confident that there will be more. She reports, “We've had very good turnout for all the Build-It Tour events. Our architects, builders, and contractors are excited about using WeatherBoards™ Fiber Cement Siding.”

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Build-It Staff Quick to Help Remodeler

by Pat Sadler

Pat Sadler
The call came in from CertainTeed Territory Manager Randy Hitt: “Pat, I need you to call my customer. He is on the job site and has a problem.”

Whether it's about siding, fiber cement, trim, fence, deck or railing, we are ready to answer this type of call, which comes in regularly. The “we” that I refer to is the Build-It Tour™ staff. We specialize in installation practices and are always available to lend a helping hand to a contractor in a tight spot or a salesman who needs our support.

In this case, Matt Luby of Luby Construction in Connecticut was installing a Kingston railing system and had an issue with the angle of the stairs. I talked him through a solution to the issue and left him to do the work.

The next week I drove the Build-It Tour truck and trailer unit from Buffalo to Boston to do a training session with a distributor, so I followed up with Matt to see how things went with the install. He said that he had not finished the job yet and still had the money hanging out there, so I offered to swing by the jobsite and see what I could do to help.

Looking at the deck and railing construction, I could tell right away that Matt was a perfectionist. He had even gone so far as to frame in each step on the stairs so there were no exposed ends showing. The problem was that the stairs were coming off the deck at a 45° angle, and Matt needed to modify a bracket as well as a stair bracket cover. We worked through the problem and I left, but not until I was sure that he was okay with the resolution.

About a week later, Matt called to tell me how much he appreciated my help and that he had finished the job. More importantly, his customer was happy with his work and handed over the check.


CertainTeed's Pat Sadler worked with Matt to develop a work-around to accommodate the 45° angle of the steps.

Modifying a stair bracket and stair bracket cover helped Matt complete the installation.

Matt Luby, of Connecticut-based Luby Construction, called upon the expertise of CertainTeed's Build-It Tour staff to complete this Kingston railing installation.


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NEW! CertainTeed QR Codes

CertainTeed is the first building products manufacturer to offer a branded QR Reader mobile app.

QR Code
Demonstrating our commitment to innovation and sustainability, CertainTeed Corporation is the first building products manufacturer to launch a company-branded Quick Response (QR) code mobile smartphone app to simplify how industry professionals and consumers get information about the company's products.

The CertainTeed app instantly scans and reads a barcode, called a 2D QR code, when a user simply points a QR-enabled phone's camera at the code. Upon recognition of a QR code, the app rapidly processes and decodes the image, allowing users to view web sites, videos, and technical documentation; send text messages; make phone calls; and save contact information seamlessly without ever leaving the application. The application will also store a history of all QR codes that have been scanned on that mobile device.

Look for new QR codes being added to vinyl and fiber cement packaging, providing easy access to installation instructions. They'll also be popping up in advertising, on product displays, in literature and at trade shows throughout the year.

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Esteemed Makeover

Historic renovation utilizes fiber cement siding and CertaWrap™.

CertaWrap House
A historic home in Holden, Massachusetts, underwent a makeover recently courtesy of CertainTeed's CertaWrap™ weather resistant barrier and WeatherBoards™ fiber cement siding. "One of the great aspects of this job was the location – right on Main Street," explains Jay Cahalane, SPG Senior Territory Manager.

The home, built in the 1800s, is located in Holden's historic district. Holden Home Modernizing, a longtime CertainTeed vinyl siding customer, handled the exterior renovation and due to strict rules on historic restoration, made its first foray into fiber cement siding on the project. Products used were CertainTeed's CertaWrap housewrap and WeatherBoards 5-1/4" Cedar Lap siding with ColorMax® finish in Silverplate as a beautiful, low-maintenance alternative to the home's original wood clapboards.

Jay reports that the job turned out wonderfully, and both the homeowner and Holden Home Modernizing were quite pleased with the outcome.

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Building Professionals Back CertainTeed Vinyl Siding for 15 Years Running

Top rankings awarded to vinyl and insulated siding.

Rated No. 1
For the 15th consecutive year, CertainTeed vinyl siding was named brand leader by the readers of Builder magazine. CertainTeed vinyl siding was named first in brand familiarity, brands used in the past two years and brands used the most. CedarBoards™ Insulated Siding was named first for the seventh straight year in the categories of brand familiarity, brands used in the past two years, brand used the most and quality.

And for the second year, EverNew® decking was rated first in quality among composite/PVC decking.

The study, conducted by Readex Research, asked building professionals to rank products based on familiarity, frequency of use, and overall quality. CertainTeed vinyl siding and CedarBoards insulated siding were selected as the top choice across all criteria. CertainTeed EverNew decking was selected as the frontrunner in terms of quality in the composite and PVC decking category.

More information about the Brand Use Study is available at Builder magazine.

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In Case You Missed It

Links to recent articles to help you grow your business.
In Case You Missed It


Here are some articles we've come across in the last few months that we think you might be interested in.

Replacement Contractor Magazine, June 15, 2011
Big Scoop – A free offer to clean the gutters of former clients connects a Cape Cod company to past customers.

Digital Pitch – Moving from a pitch book to your laptop could be a game changer.

Relevant & Personal – Marketing experts agree that an email address can be more valuable than a phone number for keeping in touch with your customers.


Remodeling Magazine, May 2011
Good Word: Business How To – Rewarding former clients and professional contacts for referrals is a cost-effective way to generate new business.


Remodeling Magazine, June 2011
I SEO You – Even if a web developer works on your site, you should know enough about the value of search engine optimization (SEO) to be able to ask the right questions.


Qualified Remodeler, April 2011
7 Secrets to Improve Your Sales to Women Homeowners – Selling to women is not the same as selling to men, but if you use the techniques that work well with women, you won't hurt your sales to men.


Qualified Remodeler, May 2011
Go Ahead, Ask – Regularly surveying clients at the end of a job is a good way to identify your company's strengths and weaknesses.


Professional Remodeler, April 2011
Benefits and Challenges of a Remodeling Showroom – Professional Remodeler's Tom Swartz talked to remodelers Dennis Gehman and Bob Sturgeon about their experiences with showrooms.


Professional Deck Builder, May/June 2011
Updating Your Website – Your website should increase sales leads. But if your phone's not ringing, you need to evaluate whether your website is performing as it should and consider whether it's due for an overhaul.


Ontario Home Builder Trends 2011
Getting Social, Everything new will be old again – The shift to a more mobile web is one of the biggest factors in the explosion of social media sites.
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