“A good contractor can take a flat, square house and dress up windows, doors, eaves and frieze lines with wide trims, triple stacks, dentil moulding or keystones for a fraction of the cost of other large scale effects that dress up the look of the house,” says Skoog. “Also, maintaining a current photo album of past projects and having plenty of ideation materials for homeowners will demonstrate their company is more than capable of designing and building the customized look that homeowners want.”
Shades of Green
“In terms of material trends, as with other product categories, customers are interested in being ‘green’ and understanding the ingredients and manufacturing process of our products,” says CMI’s Bob Merrill. “We find this to be a win, because MiraTEC is an engineered wood trim product made using wood that offers no commercial timber value. Their use in our product also promotes sound forest management.”
MiraTEC is produced using CMI’s patented and proprietary TEC manufacturing process for a trim board that is one solid piece. MiraTEC is available in 16-ft. long boards with 4/4 (3/4-in.) and 5/4 (1- in.) thicknesses, and widths ranging from 2 to 16 in. Factory-primed on four sides with a mildew-resistant primer, these trim boards can be machined to create striking and creative designs.
Windsor Mill’s WindsorONE trim boards are manufactured with total sustainability and life cycle assessment (LCA) in mind. Wood offers the benefit of being renewable, sustainable and environmentally friendly, and its LCA is far greater than many other building materials. In fact, Windsor Mill products even meet a range of LEED certification requirements and have received the Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) Indoor Advantage Gold certification — the most stringent indoor air quality (IAQ) certification in the industry.
RealTrim from Woodtone is a factory primed exterior trim and fascia product manufactured from the renewable forests of Western Canada. It is a beautiful tight-grained substrate that is manufactured to endure the elements. RealTrim features a 10-year substrate warranty and is available in several dimensions and several lengths (8 to 20 ft.) to reduce waste. The product is applicable for fascia, door and window trim, corner boards and facing columns.
“The best way remodelers can gain an edge in a tough market is to be educated about the new technologies and products that can help them win customers, save time and labor costs and stand out among the competition,” advises Azek’s Ralph Bruno.
“We are seeing an overarching trend in the building products industry toward the adoption of technology,” says Stephen Cork, senior vice president, business development for RenoWorks Software. “When we first came out with our visualization software eight years ago, it was rare for remodelers to have laptops and Web sites. Now it is commonplace. It is more economical and environmental to utilize technology for marketing objectives than to rely on print catalogs, door hangers and telephone listings.”
Remodelers and contractors can use RenoWorks software to show homeowners how their home will look with actual manufacturers’ products. Trim boards can be added to any image to give an idea of how a home will look with new trim.
With this product, a contractor or remodeler takes a photo of a client’s home and then imports that image into the software and applies manufacturers’ products to the image of the home. The company has made concerted efforts to make it as user-friendly as possible so that anyone can use it — not only those who are technologically inclined.
“The adoption of technology is more than a trend; it’s a new way of doing business,” says Cork. “The wow factor of being able to show someone more than a product sample can make a remodeler stand out on something other than price.”
The economy may be lagging but business doesn’t have to. By paying attention to current trends, CMI’s Bob Merrill advises that remodelers “can capitalize by designing projects that offer enhanced curb appeal. When trying to create diverse homes within a community, a little extra trim can go a long way to modifying and improving the overall look of a home.”