Get Unhinged: 3 Ways to Create Visually Striking Doors in Your Home

23703499_original(BPT) – Think of a door opening and closing.

Chances are you pictured it swinging on hinges, since that’s how most doors operate. But, more homeowners are choosing other door hanging hardware for a unique look with their interior and exterior doors.

If you’re looking for a way to make visitors to your home say “wow,” consider alternatives to hinged doors for an unexpected twist.

“Once you’ve chosen the door that’s perfect for you, it can be hung in a number of distinctive ways,” says Brad Loveless, marketing and product development manager for Simpson Door Company. “A pocket door, sliding barn door or a pivot door can add some personality and pizzazz to your home.”

Pocket Doors

Similar to closet doors hung on a track, pocket doors slide open and closed, but disappear into the wall when closed. Popular in home offices, bathrooms and utility rooms, pocket doors save space and can make a room feel more open. Using a pocket door in place of a hinged door saves about 10 square feet of floor space, notes home improvement expert Tim Carter.

Depending on the width of the opening, you can use either a single pocket door, or double pocket doors that slide into opposite walls and meet in the middle when closed. Because they don’t seal as tightly as hinged doors, pocket doors are largely limited to use inside the home, instead of as entry doors.

Sliding Barn Doors

Barn doors are a bit like pocket doors in that they slide open and closed, but they’re hung on tracks that are visible. When opened, the doors are located on one side of the wall, instead of disappearing into the wall. For large openings, such as between dining rooms and living rooms, you can even hang multiple barn doors on tracks in order to divide the spaces.

A number of companies offer high-end barn door track hardware, in a range of styles and colors. “People like the unexpected look of a barn door,” says John Golesh, president of door hardware manufacturer Goldberg Brothers. “They’re a great way to add a rustic, yet elegant look to your home. And with the wide variety of door hangers and handles, a barn door can complement any interior décor.”

In addition to the chic look barn doors offer, homes for sale with “barn door” in their listing sold for 13 percent more than expected and 57 days faster, according to research by Zillow Diggs.

Pivot Doors

Common in ancient buildings, pivot mounted doors are virtually unseen in North American homes. For homeowners who want an element of surprise, a pivot door is a good choice. In place of hinges or overhead sliders and tracks, pivot doors rotate open and closed around pins installed in the top and bottom of the door frame. The pins are set several inches in from the door frame, depending on the door’s size.

“For high-end homes with extra-wide doors, pivots are a great way to handle the additional weight, and will be unlike anything your visitors have seen before,” Loveless says. “We are making many different super-sized doors for this exact application.”

Some of these doors are huge – measuring up to four feet wide or more. As “large, simple rectangles,” pivot doors can be designed to look like the surrounding wall, so fit well in modern style homes, notes architect Bud Dietrich. Unlike pocket doors and barn doors, pivot doors can seal tightly to their frame when closed, so can be used as entry doors.

Houses: Building Them Better Than They Used To

23243213_original(BPT) – The phrase, “they don’t build them like they used to,” has been applied to nearly everything from cars to footwear, but most often it seems people say it about houses. In fact, this sentiment has become so common, that many believe the homes today aren’t built to the standards they were 60 or 70 years ago.

People tend to believe this because there is an undeniable charm to older homes – yet, the ones they’re often thinking of were built for millionaires. It’s hardly fair to compare the mansions and manor homes owned by the 1 percent a century ago to today’s middle-class subdivisions. The truth is, there were plenty of poorly constructed houses built back then. We just don’t see them, because they’re no longer standing.

Building materials, techniques and technologies have changed. Most often, these changes have translated into better, more affordable houses. Still skeptical? A quick look at a few examples will show that this urban myth is not too hard to dispel.

A Variety of Exterior Choices

For a time, vinyl siding dominated neighborhoods. It was the choice for new construction and remodels alike. Sure it was maintenance free and far less of a headache than wood siding, and cheaper than stone or stucco, but few called it an inspired look.

A new generation of synthetic wood siding promises to add not only quality, but authenticity to home siding options. Available in a variety of styles and colors, Cedar Impressions Shakes mimic the texture and rustic beauty so many prize in cedar, without the maintenance issues that turn so many away from natural wood siding.

Another important advancement in materials is in roofing, where more homeowners are choosing synthetic slate shingles. Slate, which has decorated cathedrals and mansions around the world, is as beautiful as it is difficult to maintain and afford. Its synthetic counterpart, made from recycled rubber and plastic, creates the appearance of a stone roof, while being stronger, more flexible and easier to install. It also lasts much longer than asphalt shingles – up to 50 years.

Interior Walls

Along with engineering advancements that have improved the structural integrity and resilience of new homes, interior walls have greatly improved as well. While many people have a nostalgia for plaster walls, the new drywall technology used in Habito by CertainTeed Gypsum brings the strength and durability of plaster into a modern drywall.

Incredibly strong, Habito drywall is not only able to stand up to extreme abuse, but it’s also able hold an incredible amount of weight, up to 30 pounds on a single wood screw. This new drywall eliminates the need to find a stud or install a wall anchor, and makes decorating and redecorating incredibly easy. It’s particularly handy for today’s modern lifestyle where televisions, speakers, pictures and shelves are mounted on the wall.

Of course, these more refined and stronger building technologies are only part of the story of why homes are now built better than ever. If you want to learn more and get inspired for your next construction or remodeling project, visit HanginWithHabito.com for more information on their revolutionary drywall product.

And the next time someone says “they just don’t build them like they used to,” you’ll say that’s a good thing.

How to Deal with Mold in Your Home

shutterstock_312910916It’s estimated that up to 300,000 species of mold exist on the planet. While most of this mold grows naturally outdoors — and is actually an asset to the environment they’re growing in — when mold grows indoors, it has the potential to do great harm. Not only is mold unsightly and smelly, but it’s often the byproduct of past water damage or unidentified moisture intrusion. Aside from this, it has the potential to greatly impact the health of household residents. Symptoms of mold exposure range from the likes of increased allergic reactions to respiratory illnesses.

With this in mind, if you suspect there’s a mold problem in your home, it’s important to take action quickly — before it spreads throughout the home and continues to wreak havoc on the health of your family.

  1. Have it tested/inspected. Some mold is more obvious than others. For instance, if you see dark spots on the walls or ceilings, or in your basement or attic, it is likely mold. If you smell a musky odor, it could be the sign of mold. Other infestations are less obvious, and these often grow undetected in wall cavities. While you can buy a mold testing kit to verify mold growth, consider calling a certified mold inspector or mold remediation contractor to fully assess your situation with professional certainty. Don’t assume that you can clean up the mold or remove the mold-infested materials yourself — you may be doing more harm than good.
  2. Identify the source. As noted above, mold needs water to grow, so if mold growth is occurring in the home, it’s because water is getting into or has gotten into the home. Perhaps you have a leaky roof or a pipe is leaking inside a wall. Or, water is getting into your basement. Perhaps storm damage led to the mold growth. Whatever the cause, mold will keep coming back unless the water source has been eliminated.
  3. Call your insurance agent. If your mold infestation is significant, you should rely on a professional mold remediation contractor to remediate it. Depending on the type of mold growth — and how it occurred — remediation may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. For instance, if a storm damaged your home and led to water intrusion that caused subsequent mold growth, you’re likely covered. That said, a phone call to your agent is never a bad idea.
  4. Hire a professional. A lot of unethical contractors prey on unsuspecting homeowners, especially “storm chaser contractors” that aggressively seek business after powerful storms impact an area. Noting this, it’s important to hire a certified, credible and professional mold remediation company. Such companies are normally part of accredited organizations, such as the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) or Restoration Industry Association (RIA), and remediate mold per the IICRC S520 Standard for Professional Mold Remediation. This work involves safely removing porous materials (i.e., drywall, carpet, etc.) that have been affected and cleaning contents and nonporous materials. It also involves proper source containment to eliminate the risk of mold spores spreading to an unaffected area of the home. Disinfection and sanitization are also included. Following remediation, testing will be carried out to ensure it was successful.
  5. Build back. Following successful remediation comes reconstruction (if applicable). If drywall or carpeting had to be removed and discarded, for instance, then a contractor will have to replace it. This work may be done by the same mold remediation contractor that did the mold removal if it is a full-service contractor, or it may be subbed out to another professional.

 

Bottom line? If you suspect or have identified mold growth in your home, it’s important to take action. Don’t sit on the problem, as it will only get worse over time, spreading throughout more of your home and costing much more to remediate. Of course, there’s also the toll that mold growth has the potential to take on your family’s health. Mold is no joke — and the best way to deal with it is to get rid of it.

 

 

Author bio: Bill Robinson is Vice President of Operations for DKI Commercial Solutions, where he oversees disaster relief operations for commercial large loss in the United States. DKI Services is a disaster remediation and restoration company that offers residential and commercial buildings emergency restorations. Some of Robinson’s efforts have been nationally and locally recognized in the media.

 

Does Your Door Lock Protect Against This Break-In Method?

29517548_original(BPT) – From self-driving cars to Snapchat, digital technology continues to transform almost every aspect of our lives. While these big-ticket smart items make the headlines, many homeowners are more interested in how smart technology can be used to increase their level of home security.

Today, advanced image sensors, indoor video cameras and DIY security hubs allow the average homeowner to install security systems that are directly linked to the police. Homeowners can also lock doors and check cameras from their phones, regardless of their location.

“No matter how advanced your security system, your home is only protected as much as your weakest link,” says Randy Johnson, a professional locksmith with Lock-Tech in Orange County, California. “Far too often, it’s the weak door lock on the door that thieves use as their entry way into a home.”

A rising danger

Recently, Good Morning America reported on the increase in the use of bump keys to break into homes.

Bump keys can be purchased online and fit into just about any door lock. A burglar needs only to hit the head of the inserted key with a hammer or a blunt object. This causes the pins in the lock to jump, allowing anyone to unlock the door and easily enter your home.

Because this entry method is not easily noticeable, many people don’t even know their home was broken into.

Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice found that household break-in rates regularly increase during the summer. Those findings are confirmed by F.B.I. data that show all criminal activity increases roughly 10 percent during the summer months.

These factors have led security experts to remind the public that not all door locks are the same and homeowners need to invest in bump-proof door locks.

Bump-proof locks

As summer crime spikes, the importance of having the right kind of door lock on your home cannot be overstated. Kwikset SmartKey locks are built with a patented BumpGuard technology that prevents would-be burglars from breaking into your house with a bump key.

Available in door knobs, door locks, smart locks, handlesets and more, there’s a Kwikset door lock with SmartKey security to fit virtually every door.

While there is no shortage of smart security options for your home, the Kwikset door locks specifically respond to a very real threat. This technology will be welcome news for moms and dads looking for the best way to protect their family and keep their valuables secure.

Separating Fact from Fiction: A Closer Look at American Hardwoods

23084782_original(BPT) – As home improvement projects take center stage, the search is on for products that will enhance, rather than jeopardize the health and well-being of our families and loved ones. Products made from American hardwoods have been the natural choice for healthy home and work environments for generations. Today is no different.

With so many options available in the current marketplace, Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Information Center, www.HardwoodInfo.com, suggests a little more research, in order to separate product fact from fiction. “Health-conscious and environmentally responsible consumers are challenged to recognize products and materials that are both aesthetically appealing and safe,” she says. “I encourage taking a closer look at U.S. products – especially flooring and cabinetry, furniture and moulding – made from American hardwoods. They’re uniquely beautiful, safe and a friend to the environment. And they have the credentials to prove it!”

Treasured for Generations, and Forever Fresh

Enhancing our surroundings with products made from American hardwoods is a wise choice and a sound investment. In the kitchen or the bath, over the fireplace or on the floor, the sheer beauty, durability and timeless appeal of the products make a lasting statement everywhere. So paint it; stain it; repair it; refinish it; walk on it; restore it; love it; refresh it! The possibilities are endless.

Made in the U.S.A.

There is much to consider before making a purchase in today’s marketplace. What’s the product’s origin? Is it made of natural materials or is it a synthetic product steeped with chemicals and potential carcinogens? What health and/or environmental implications will its manufacturing process have?

In the U.S., quality standards and manufacturing practices are regulated and monitored by U.S. agencies and associations. Consumers can confidently choose products made from all natural American hardwoods knowing that the hardwood has been responsibly harvested and that manufacturing quality control standards have been met.

A Friend to the Environment

Flash back to seventh grade biology for a memory refresher about photosynthesis and long-term carbon sequestration.

* Growing trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, separate the carbon and oxygen atoms, then return the oxygen to the air.

* They use just the right amount of carbon to grow trunk, branches and leaves, and store or sequester the unused carbon for the life of the tree or the products made thereof.

That means using all natural American hardwoods for products like flooring and cabinetry, furniture and moulding contributes to the long-term sequestration of carbon.

Sustainability

For centuries, products made from American hardwoods have been providing lasting beauty, warmth and functional value to our homes and countless structures everywhere. Future generations can expect the same. The U.S. Forest Service reports that the volume of hardwoods in American forests today is 131 percent greater than it was in 1953 because more than twice as much hardwood grows each year as is harvested. That’s sustainability in a nutshell. We are not running out of trees – hardwoods are an abundant, renewing and sustainable resource.

Step into the world of American Hardwoods, www.HardwoodInfo.com, and take a closer look at the myriad of products made from this natural and healthy, uniquely beautiful, responsibly harvested and more-abundant-than-ever resource!

5 Easy Tips to Make a Bold Impression In Your Home

23186432_original(BPT) – If you are looking to make a change in your home, a small, inexpensive weekend painting project can transform your space and brighten your outlook.

According to a new survey by Nielsen and Sherwin-Williams, 72 percent of homeowners believe there is a positive emotional impact that results from painting a space. It’s no surprise, then, that nearly half of homeowners are enthusiastic about doing a home-painting project, and more than half of homeowners plan to paint an area in their home in the next 12 months, according to those same survey results.

A small project can make a bold impact on your home, such as painting a front door. Nearly half of all homeowners haven’t had their front door painted in two or more years, according to the survey.

Whether your project is big or small, John Gidding of HGTV’s “Curb Appeal”, “Dream Home” and Fox’s “Home Free” has five tips to liven up your space and make a bold impression:

Decide on Your Style

It doesn’t take much time or money to make a sophisticated, bold impression in your home. It has everything to do with finding your style. Paint is an easy and affordable way to define what makes you unique and personalize your space on any budget.

Find color inspiration everywhere

A color-matching app from Sherwin Williams called the ColorSnap Visualizer is a great way to help you bring color into your home in big or small ways. While traveling, snap a photo of something that inspires you and match the colors to Sherwin-Williams colors. Or simply upload a favorite photo and click on one of the colors from the image to match it.

Make One Change At a Time

You only have one day? That’s still enough time to make a simple change that makes a big impact. Spend a few spare hours on a Saturday painting a front door. It’s a fun project that is actually relatively easy and hugely rewarding. Small changes like this will make you feel a sense of accomplishment and give you the time to enjoy each improvement in your home, one small change at a time.

Think Outside the Box and Do Something Unexpected

Go ahead and flip the room upside down. Change the color of your ceiling. Paint the frame or even the face of a mirror. Create an ombre or chevron design on an accent wall. The opportunities are endless with paint and color. The more imaginative you get – the better, bigger, bolder impression you will make.

Change Your Perspective

Have something in your space that you can’t change? An awkward window, or a family antique you can’t get rid of? Rather than hide it, own it. Put it on display. Small changes to something quirky will give your space character and instantly entertain your guests as they walk into the room. “I once had a client who hated the large column in her dining/living room area. I designed a dining table that wrapped around it, using the column as support,” Gidding says. “Success.”

For more tips on how to quickly and easily make a statement upgrade to your home, go to swpaintingweek.com.

National Painting Week survey, conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Sherwin-Williams, was a national survey of homeowners.

Cool Summer Renovation Ideas Keep Homes Comfortable When the Heat is On

23546249_original(BPT) – Once spring cleanup is done, you may feel ready to tackle some renovation projects this summer. If so, you’re not alone: 62 percent of homeowners plan to undertake a home improvement project this year, according to a Harris poll. Homeowners will renovate to improve their home’s appearance, livability and energy efficiency, the survey found.

It’s possible to make renovations that are stylish and also reduce your energy bill. With temperatures heating up this summer, take on renovations that not only make your home more beautiful, but make it cool and comfortable as well.

Here are a handful of projects that can accomplish those goals:

Replacement Windows

You’re probably aware quality new windows can help your home retain heat in the winter, but did you know they can also keep your home cooler in the summer? By tightening your home’s envelope and reflecting heat, energy-efficient windows can help maintain more even temperatures inside your home. What’s more, because they’re energy-efficient, new windows can help your heating-ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems operate more efficiently.

Air Conditioning

If you live in an older home, you may not have the space you need to install a traditional central HVAC unit with ductwork. Adding ductwork can be costly and troublesome, yet you probably don’t love the look of window air conditioners, either. Duct-free split systems like LG’s Art Cool Line provide plenty of cooling power from wall-mounted units that can be subtle or splashy, depending on your design vision. An outdoor unit works in tandem with up to eight interior units for individual room-by-room temperature control. LG offers three interior Art Cool unit styles, including a customizable picture frame, a flat panel with a modern charcoal mirror finish and a traditional unit in sleek white. All feature a hand-held remote control operation, varying fan speeds, quiet operation and auto operation modes for the utmost in comfort this summer.

Window Treatments

Limiting the amount of sunlight that enters and warms a room is an important way to supplement your home’s cooling units. Summer décor cries out for light, airy window treatments, but you don’t have to give up that bright look to better control sunlight. Window blinds or shades in a slightly darker hue can work well with a lighter looking window treatment while still allowing you to limit sun exposure when you draw them shut. What’s more, cellular shades also have an insulating effect to enhance your windows’ ability to reflect heat in the summer.

Cooler Lighting and Appliances

Electrical appliances and incandescent light bulbs all contribute to the amount of ambient heat in your home. As you’re renovating, replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient options that give off far less heat, such as LEDs or CFLs. Most light fixtures are now able to use these cooler bulbs, so replacing them is easy – and can also help reduce your electricity bill since they use about 80 percent less energy than incandescents, according to the Energy Star program. You can also reduce heat output from appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and dryers by upgrading to more energy-efficient models.

Outdoor Improvements

You can also make outdoor renovation choices that will enhance your home’s beauty and help keep the interior cooler. Strategically plant shade trees to shield windows from the hot sun in summer time. Or, consider adding awnings that will shade windows and doors. For patios and decks, choose materials that reflect heat away from your home and outdoor spaces. Finally, paint siding in a lighter color to help minimize heat absorption.

Summer home renovation projects can be exciting, beautiful and energy efficient when you keep a cool head about your design choices.

4 Ways to Make Your Home Comfortable and Safe for Your Pet

23683274_original(BPT) – For millions of Americans, pets are a member of the family. They provide companionship and countless memories that last a lifetime. Having a pet-friendly home increases the likelihood that these memories will be positive.

These tips can make pet ownership simpler, and create a safer, healthier environment for your four-legged companion.

Pet-friendly flooring

Carpeted flooring can be a challenge for pet owners. Carpet traps unpleasant odors and is difficult to clean. Hardwood, bamboo, laminate and other alternatives – when properly maintained – offer a surface that’s easier to clean, doesn’t trap allergens and doesn’t hide fur or other debris.

Experts like Lumber Liquidators offer a wide selection of flooring options, so you’re sure to find a style and look that will complement your home and is perfect for your pet.

A Space to Call Their Own

Many pets seek shelter when startled by loud noises. Whether it’s the clap of thunder or a boisterous guest, an unexpected noise can send your animal fleeing (or peeing). Having a dedicated space for your pet, be it a mudroom, doorless closet or comfy bed, provides a safe place for your animal during times of stress.

Also, pets need a little down time every once in a while. A cozy nook away from direct sunlight provides a perfect place for them to relax and recharge.

Picking the Best Paint

Even the cleanest of pets can leave marks on your walls. Choosing the right paint can make the difference between a permanent stain and one that’s easily removed. Lower sheens can be difficult to clean, so opt for semi-gloss or satin.

Also, depending on your climate, you may prefer a light or dark paint color. Light colors can help keep your pet cool by reflecting the sun, while darker colors absorb the sun’s heat and can warm the home environment.

Protect Your Curious Pet

Pets are inherently curious. If it’s within reach, chances are it will be investigated with a detective’s attention. Even if the food is safe for pets, the packaging may be harmful. Medications, cleaners and cosmetics should also be kept on high shelves or behind a latched cabinet.

Most pet owners know to keep food and toxins off accessible surfaces, but it’s easy to forget something on a bedside table or the edge of a counter.

Pets require time, attention and love. They will return the favor more naturally in an environment that’s comfortable and safe. Consider these tips for creating a pet-friendly home.

5 Dream Projects for DIYers and the Tools You Need to Get Them Done

22755216_original(BPT) – For many Americans, the longer, warmer days mean an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get to work on a number of home projects. You may plan to plant some new trees, make a new dining room table or just keep up with the usual list of repairs and maintenance items that come with the change of seasons. But if you’re like many DIYers, you have your heart set on some larger projects.

We’re talking about the projects you spend a lot of time gathering ideas and drawing up plans for. The ones you block off weekends for and plan to take a few days off work in order to complete. If someone asks if you’re being overly ambitious, you may say, “Probably.”

Often, one of the logistical challenges with these dream projects is that they tend to require specialized equipment and tools even the most diehard DIYer doesn’t own. The upside is that it’s easy to rent this equipment at your local rental store.

If you’ve had one of the following dream projects on your radar, here’s a look at some of the specialized equipment that will have you building like a pro.

Be a grill-master on a brick barbecue. There are those who enjoy grilling out and those whose life revolves around grilling. For these grill-masters, nothing expresses their passion like a brick grill or oven. And just as satisfying as cooking on one, is building one. To lay the foundation, a concrete mixer is essential. To lay the bricks, you’ll also want to look for a mortar mixer.

Add value to your property with a fence. Cutting the posts and shaping the tops of the fence boards is fun, but the truly backbreaking part of putting in a fence is digging and driving the posts in. Using a pneumatic post hole digger or a power auger to dig those holes will not only save you time, but will save your back as well.

A deck: The essential DIY project. Many of these dream projects require careful site preparation before any hammer or nail makes an appearance. Building a deck requires lots of space, which means you need to clear a good-sized area and maybe remove a tree or two. Even small-sized shrubs can leave behind an unsightly stump that requires a stump grinder to fully remove.

Nothing says summer like hot days and cold drinks in a gazebo. Even if you pride yourself on being able to drive in a nail with one hammer swing, if you’re building a gazebo, you might want to look into renting a nail gun. Not only does a nail gun offer precise placements and strong holds, it also saves an incredible amount of time, especially when it comes to putting the shingles on the roof.

Luxuriate under a pergola. Dating back to courtyards in renaissance Italy, the pergola has become a stylized source of shade in yards and patios across America. Because they tend to be more decorative than gazebos, they require specialized saws such as a miter saw to create snug joints and a router saw for round edges.

While you would need a few extra garages to store all the tools and machines needed to complete every project you want to do, RentalHQ.com can help you find a nearby place to rent the equipment. You’ll save money, storage space and never have to worry about not having the right tool for the job.

5 Innovations in Homebuilding Everyone is Talking About

23240434_original(BPT) – In the last 10 years, televisions have become flatter, video rental stores have nearly disappeared, and phones have become devices that are more like a computer than a phone.

There’s good reason that when most people think about changes in technology, they tend to think about the digital world. After all, with the news full of reports of driverless cars, it’s easy to forget that some of the most important technological advancements are happening around us in ways we may not be aware of – namely – in our homes.

From drywall to windows to insulation, home building materials have developed in a way that might seem like something from a science fiction movie. But as more homeowners are getting accustomed to living with these comforts, they wonder how they ever did without them. Here are five of the most exciting innovations.

Sound-dampening drywall – Everyone wants to go home to some peace and quiet, but in a busy household with televisions, video games and music playing out of surround-sound systems, it can be hard to find quiet. Some look to noise canceling headphones or sound-muffling curtains, but engineers at CertainTeed Gypsum have discovered that something as simple as the right drywall can do wonders in canceling out noise. Their SilentFX(R) QuickCut noise-reducing drywall puts a blanket over sound energy and significantly blocks the amount of sound carried through walls and ceilings.

A new lease on lumber – Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a material made by gluing together smaller pieces of timber to create large slabs that serve as an alternative to steel and concrete. As strong as steel, and in many ways even more fireproof, CLT allows for contractors to put up incredibly durable buildings incredibly fast. With computer-aided design programs, architects can design a building and send the exact specifications to robotic routers that cut the exact dimensions for each piece so that the entire building can be assembled like a big piece of furniture.

Quartz, an engineering miracle – While granite countertops and marble bathtubs may be at the top of everyone’s list, the cost can be prohibitive. Quartz, which is a name for stone that has been engineered by grinding quartz with resins, polymers and coloring, has emerged as a substitute that outperforms granite and marble, for a fraction of a price. Extremely durable and virtually maintenance free, modern engineered quartz comes in a variety of colors and patterns that mimic the erratic design prized in natural stone.

Air-quality control – People spend a lot of time and money ensuring their home has good air flow. However, most people aren’t aware of the role the right drywall can play in ensuring clean, breathable air. Common household products such as carpet, perfume, hairspray, candles, flooring and more actually give off formaldehyde that affects the quality of the air. As part of the new “smart” generation of drywall, AirRenew(R) with M2Tech(R) technology is a drywall that is not only moisture and mold resistant, but actively removes formaldehyde from the air and converts it into safe inert compounds, contributing to a healthier home environment.

Bio concrete – Though it’s the world’s most common building material, concrete ages quickly. Changes in temperature, the shifting of the earth, weather and chemicals all contribute to the inevitable cracks and deterioration. Several years ago, scientists in the Netherlands developed a kind of concrete that can repair itself by integrating limestone-creating bacteria that “heal” cracks. This process is similar to the way bones heal themselves when broken. The result for home builders is stronger foundations, less seasonal repair and more overall value.

While people may not line up outside a store to get these materials the way they do with the newest phone release, these technologies will have positive effects on people’s daily lives. So if you’re curious about what innovative drywall solutions are available today, visit CertainTeed.com/Silent-FX and CertainTeed.com/CleanTheAir.