New Restoration Millwork® Beadboard Offers
8-1/2" beadboard installs 30 percent faster than standard widths.
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.
New from the Vinyl Siding Institute
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.
Attacking the Future with a Purpose and a Plan
Identifying where you are today can help define what you need to do to succeed.
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.
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.
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.
Medallions and More
Interlaced decorative designs fabricated from Restoration Millwork® sheets.
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.
Installing WeatherBoards™ Fiber Cement Siding over SIPs
by Bob Werner, CertainTeed Application Sales Specialist
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.
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.
Freedom of Choice Website Invites Homeowners to Compare and Choose
CertainTeed.com/freedomofchoice lets homeowners compare siding and trim options.
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.
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
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.
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!
The Yanks Are Coming!
The Fiber Cement Build-it Tour™ invades our Canadian neighbors, leaving a lot of good will and good advice.
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.
Application Specialist Steve Learman demonstrates how to install WeatherBoards™ Fiber Cement siding.
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.”
Build-It Staff Quick to Help Remodeler
by 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.
NEW! CertainTeed QR Codes
CertainTeed is the first building products manufacturer to offer a branded QR Reader mobile app.
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.
Historic renovation utilizes fiber cement siding and CertaWrap™.
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.
Building Professionals Back CertainTeed Vinyl Siding for 15 Years Running
Top rankings awarded to vinyl and insulated siding.
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.
In Case You Missed It
Links to recent articles to help you grow your business.
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, 2011Big 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 2011Good Word: Business How To – Rewarding former clients and professional contacts for referrals is a cost-effective way to generate new business.
Remodeling Magazine, June 2011I 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 20117 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 2011Go 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 2011Benefits 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 2011Updating 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 2011Getting 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.