Best In Class
 Fall 2004
New Soffit Delivers Increased Ventilation

You know the numbers: Experts recommend and most codes require a balanced attic ventilation system: 18" of net free area of exhaust at the roof ridge and 9" of intake at the soffit areas on each side of the house. CertainTeed’s new InvisiVent Triple 3-1/3" Super Ventilated Soffit provides more than 10" of net free intake area per square foot. That’s more than the minimum recommendation and at least 50 percent more than most competitors. What’s more, InvisiVent will provide a balanced ventilation system with an overhang as short as 10"!

InvisiVent looks like smooth painted wood because the intake vents are concealed in deep, sharply-flared dovetails between the panel faces. The soffit has a low gloss, matte finish and is available in 11 popular siding colors. It installs with a new 3/4" F-channel, which comes in the matching colors. Installation instructions for InvisiVent are available at or through our convenient Fax-on-Demand service (800-947-0057; press 13 for CertainTeed and then 557 for InvisiVent instructions).

Contact your local distributor for more information about InvisiVent Super Ventilated Soffit, or call our Sales Support Group at 800-233-8990.

CertainTeed’s Frontline: The Sales Support Group

by Kelley VanDongen

CertainTeed’s Sales Support Group (SSG) is the frontline contact for all product inquiries. They provide sales and marketing support to all customers, including builders, contractors, architects, distributors, and homeowners. SSG can provide information about CertainTeed’s full line of products includ-ing sizes, colors, and options. They answer routine installation questions and can research recommendations for special situations. The group is also the homeowner’s primary resource for maintenance and warranty information.

The members of SSG are uniquely qualified to dispense this information because they have the highest level of cross-product knowledge within the company. “Our extensive product training enables us to talk intelligently about all of CertainTeed's building products. We are the ‘product experts’ on the other end of the phone for callers,” says Robert Clark, Manager of SSG. To help prepare for the calls and questions about CertainTeed’s variety of products, especially new products, the group continually participates in both classroom and hands-on training.

The classroom teaching includes time with marketing, sales, research and development, and the plants. In addition, new employees to the department must pass CertainTeed’s Product Knowledge and Education courses for each product group; these courses are followed by installer and architect/designer continuing education programs.

After the classroom training, several hands-on opportunities allow members of SSG to apply what they have learned. “We try to get as much installation experience as we can for new products and refresh ourselves on old products,” says Clark. “The training definitely gives us credibility when we respond to installers in the field.”

For answers to all your product and installation questions, contact the Sales Support Group at (800) 233-8990.


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Sell the Best First

By Doug Nyberg, Director of Sales Productivity, CertainTeed

Each issue, we include tips on selling from our Director of Sales Force Productivity, Doug Nyberg. If you have a comment or sales tip that you would like to suggest, click here to let him know.

Drive by a Ford dealership. Which truck is right out front? The 2005 F-150 FX4. Walk into any electronics store. Which television do you see first? A new 50-inch flat screen.
Why? Because retailers know the secret: Even though most sales come from the standard and economy items in their product line, customers are more likely to buy up or add extras after they’ve seen the top of the line.

That’s why you should be showing your top-of-line products—Cedar Impressions, Millennium, True Comfort, Monogram—at every presentation. Even though the vast majority of homeowners will choose from our Good and Better sidings, showing them the Best could open up a new conversation about the possibility of adding some special touches to a standard siding project.

Sell Up
Now don't get me wrong. There is obviously a place for the standard and economy segments; they are our bread and butter. But the opportunity to sell a premium product is always there. The upgrade may be Cedar Impressions on a gable or Millennium in a high-wind area. In extreme climates, True Comfort could be the solution to a drafty home. Whatever product you feature, it’s important to remember that homeowners can’t buy premium products if they don't know about them.

Demonstrate Value
You should be discussing your premium products on each and every sales call, even though price invariably comes up as an objection. That’s where your product knowledge and salesmanship can shine. Once you establish the relationship between price and value, homeowners are more likely to grasp the value of the product and consider using it. On your next sales call, present your top-of-the-line siding. I can guarantee that over time your sales of these products will soar.

Click here to send a question to Doug Nyberg

New Wood Treatments Require New Fasteners

Bob Werner is CertainTeed's in-house application specialist. A former owner of his own contracting business, Bob has over 30 years of experience in the industry.

n June 2004, the Southern Pine Council issued a new Advisory on fasteners and connectors for treated wood. The fastener recommendation has changed because the EPA recently banned CCA (chromated copper arsenate) as a preservative in some pressure-treated lumber. The new regulation, which was effective December 31, 2003, prohibits CCA-treated wood from being used in residential and general consumer applications like decks, fences and gazebos. CCA is still permitted in industrial items like utility poles and marine pilings.

The new “preserved” woods for residential use are treated with ACQ (alkaline copper quat) and CA (copper azole). These compounds are less toxic that CCA, but, because they contain more copper than CCA, are more corrosive to metal.

Corrosion Protection Required
Consequently, the Pressure Treated Lumber Industry has reemphasized that all metal products in contact with ACQ- and CA-treated wood be corrosion resistant. (The International Residential Code defines “metal products” as: flashing, termite shields, nails, screws, bolts, joist hangers, straps, hinges, post anchors, and truss plates.) The Southern Pine Council recommends hot-dipped galvanized steel, stainless steel, silicon, bronze, or copper. Only ½" (12.7 mm) or larger diameter stainless steel bolts are exempted.

“Hot-dipped” Recommended
Simpson, manufacturer of StrongTie Anchors, points out that hot-dipped and mechanical galvanizing are not the same. In the hot-dipped process, the steel is cleaned, pickled, fluxed, and then dipped in molten zinc, which bonds chemically with the steel. Mechanically galvanized steel is cleaned and loaded into a tumbler with non-metallic impact beads and zinc dust. As the tumbler spins, the dust mechanically adheres to the metal.

While mechanically galvanized metal has good corrosion resistance, hot-dipped galvanized is better because the zinc alloys with the steel. The important distinction is coating thickness—the thicker the coating, the more corrosion resistant the fastener.

Goggles and Gloves a Must
Just because ACQ and CA do not contain arsenate, you should not neglect using personal protective equipment. When cutting treated wood, use eye protection and a dust mask. To minimize skin contact with chemicals, always wear heavy-duty gloves when working with pressure-treated wood.

Click here to send a question to Bob Werner

Market Your Business with MarketZone

If you’re a typical contractor, more than 60 percent of your new business comes from referrals. So why not increase the number of referrals you get from every job? With MarketZone, CertainTeed’s proprietary lead generation program, creating your own direct mail program is fast and cost effective.

It’s Yours

MarketZone mailers work because they’re customized for your business. You determine exactly who you want to contact—by zip code, by neighborhood, by income, or by the age of the homes in a neighborhood. The mailers are delivered directly to the audience you decide is best for your products and services.

Choose a layout from a gallery of templates and personalize it for your business. Your name, your address, and your personalized message will appear on the mailer. There’s even a place to announce a special installation offer or product sale. If you prefer to create your own mailer or use your own pictures, the customer service personnel at MarketZone (866-840-9425) will guide you through the process.

It’s Cost Effective
For example, with a MarketZone mailer, you can contact every homeowner within a mile of your latest job site for as little as $.66 per household. Or, you can target an entire township by entering the zip code. If you calculate the value of your time, you couldn’t phone or mail every homeowner for $6.66 per person! More importantly, if you get just one job more than you otherwise would, the mailing pays for itself.

It’s Easy
If you’re web-savvy, you can create a brochure, select a mailing list, and order on line at If you don’t want to order online, you can fax your order directly to MarketZone. Just fax your request to 636-733-3320.

Don’t delay. You’re only as good as your last job—so turn you last job into a money-maker today.

Sticker Shock

The August 11, 2004, “Personal Journal” section of The Wall Street Journal featured an article titled Sticker Shock at the Lumberyard. In it, columnist Avery Johnson reported, “The wholesale price of low-grade boards and plywood ... is up 24% from June of last year . . . An ordinary 2 x 4... costs $2.95 today, up from $1.85 in January 2003... The biggest jumps have come in plywood... and oriented strand board... ” Johnson attributes the rise in the cost of building materials to “a collision of factors as diverse as the war in Iraq, trade with China, the strength of the dollar, the housing construction boom, and wildfires in the American West.”

Plan Now, Profit Later

If construction in your area slows down in the winter months, marketing your business in slow times can reap big profits in the spring. In The Remodelers’ Marketing Power Pak, Linda Case and Victoria Downing offer these tips for marketing your business.

Show off with an open house — Case and Downing remind us that clients are often delighted to show off a new home or project to their friends and neighbors. Arrange the open house at a convenient time, provide the refreshments, and have plenty of business cards available for prospects interested in hearing how you can improve their homes.

Donate your time — The next time a charity asks for money, donate your time instead. Case and Downing illustrate with the example of McDowell Inc., a company that “rebuilt the small building Santa sits in each holiday season.” For its efforts, McDowell was featured in the local newspaper and in a plaque on the Santa House that recognizes the company’s efforts.

Teach an adult education course — You be the expert. If your local high school or community college offers adult education courses, volunteer to teach one. The topic can be as broad as “Planning Your Next Home” or as specific as “Installing a New Kitchen Counter.” Either way, prospects will quickly learn that construction projects are complicated—and best left to the experts!

Mastering the Business of Remodeling, also by Linda Case, is available FREE when you complete two Building Solutions education programs. In addition to this valuable book, as a Building Solutions Specialist, you’ll receive a certificate that highlights the CertainTeed programs you have successfully mastered and preferential listing on our contractor locator site. For more information on the benefits of becoming a Building Solutions Specialist, log on to or call (800) 233-8990.

Best in Class

2003 Award of Excellence Winners Announced

The CertainTeed Award of Excellence salutes our best customers—the builders, contractors, and remodelers who create outstanding projects using CertainTeed products. The 2003 Grand Prize winners include: Ace Contractors (Hammond, NY), Window & Door Outlet (Edison, NJ), Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders (Luxemburg, WI), and Archadeck New Hampshire (Bedford, NH).

Ace Contractors is acknowledged for displaying creativeness, craftsmanship, and professionalism on a new home on the St. Lawrence River. A number of CertainTeed products were used on the project, including Cedar Impressions® Perfection Shingles,

Window & Door Outlet’s winning entry features 30 squares of Restoration Classic™ Double 4" Siding in Heritage Cream, Vinyl Carpentry™ Triple 2" Beaded Porch Soffit in Snow, and Vinyl Carpentry Window Crown Molding in White. Owner Jeff Aversa chose these Wolverine products because, “Restoration Classic Siding replicates the classic styling of this 100-year-old home.”

Vinyl Carpentry™ Triple 2" Beaded Soffit, Boardwalk® Composite Decking, EverNew® Railing, Landmark™ Roofing, and New Castle XT™ Windows. Ron Bertram and Grant Prud’homme, co-owners of Ace Contractors, worked closely with homeowners Vince and Carol D’Annunzio to choose top quality products to complement the beautiful surroundings of the their new riverfront home.

Jeff Aversa, owner of Window & Door Outlet, designed an award winning project that featured the Wolverine® brand of Restoration Classic™ Siding. Window & Door Outlet’s winning design included 30 squares of Restoration Double 4" Siding coordinated with Vinyl Carpentry™ Triple 2" Beaded Porch Soffit and Window Crown Molding. “Wolverine products allow us to beautifully restore historic homes,” says Aversa. “This home is more than 100-years-old, and Restoration Classic matched the house perfectly.”

Jeff Dorner, sales representative of Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders, managed an award winning new construction project that features CertainTeed’s WeatherBoards™ FiberCement Siding. The winning design used WeatherBoards Random Square Staggered Edge in Clay. “Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders has used CertainTeed products for many years,” Dorner says. “As the custom builder of choice for thousands of satisfied customers, we use only high quality materials from high quality manufacturers.”

Archadeck, the nation’s largest deck builder, was presented the Award of Excellence for a Boardwalk deck. Archadeck is a Virginia-based network of franchises that has 87 locally owned and operated offices in 31 states. Dan Catlett, Owner of Archadeck New Hampshire, designed the award winning deck, which featured 550 sq. ft. of Boardwalk Composite Decking and incorporated an aboveground pool and gazebo. “We recommend Boardwalk because of its well designed, complete decking and railing system and its low-maintenance,” Catlett says.

Award of Excellence entries are judged on creativity, craftsmanship, attention to detail, and overall presentation. Qualifying projects must feature CertainTeed or Wolverine Vinyl Siding, CertainTeed WeatherBoards FiberCement Siding, or Boardwalk Composite Decking and Railing. To submit your project online:      
          CertainTeed Vinyl Siding: Click here
          Wolverine: Click here
          WeatherBoards FiberCement Siding: Click here
          Boardwalk Composite Decking & Railing: Click here

The Winner Is...

Jeff Roberts of A1 Carpentry in Holden, Maine, is the winner of our summertime “Feast.” Jeff’s winning tip is a great way to distinguish your business from the competition.

Jeff says, “I offer free SuperCorners with every vinyl job. Also, I offer free shutters on the front of the house. The customer will usually buy shutters for the rest of the house, which covers the cost of the SuperCorners and the “free” shutters. I also install a free foundation wrap, which consists of taking scrap aluminum, bending an "L," and installing it at the bottom of the house sheathing.

Our own installation guru Bob Werner adds this advice: If Jeff put one more bend in the aluminum, making it a “Z,” water would run down the foundation, with no chance of it entering the house.

Thanks, Jeff. When’s the party?

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