Designing a functional living space for homeowners is only half the battle for remodelers and builders. The other half is making sure the home is structurally sound and protected from the elements. Many remodelers and builders are looking for products that work hard for the home and its residents.
“There are a lot of markets with new building codes which put an emphasis on energy savings and creating tighter homes,” says Roger Gilley, business development manager at Weyerhauser. “We’re seeing an upswing on insulated sheathing inside of homes.”
According to Sam Catling, CEO of Extremegreen, builders are looking not just at the cost of individual products, but focusing more on “complete installation” costs and what savings can be generated over the lifespan of the building. “People don’t want to pull out drywall when they get a bit of water damage,” he says.
Extremegreen produces an eco-friendly magnesium oxide board that the company says can be used as SIPs, subfloor, fire walls, ceilings, roof underlay, siding, and more. In many cases, Catling says, a single layer of Extremegreen can replace multiple layers of other products, like OSB and fiber cement for a subfloor. “It’s a low-energy manufacturing process,” he says. “Extremegreen goes through a natural exothermic reaction during its curing process, so very little energy is used. [The process] actually absorbs carbon dioxide.”
Being eco-friendly is important for some builders, especially those in areas where building codes are stricter, but that isn’t the only important feature. Jim Ash, global market segment leader–roofing at DuPont Protection Solutions, says customers are looking for products that have “dependability, durability, walkability, and [that] are easy to use at a reasonable price.” Ash further notes that he has noticed dealers being more selective in the underlayments they carry.
Gilley has noticed that some products are being engineered to limit damage to the home and issues for homeowners. “The new, popular thing with housewraps over the last few years … is products that have a rain drain on the exterior so they shed water more efficiently and faster,” he says.