March 31, 2002|By Liz Steinberg | Liz Steinberg,SUN STAFF
Vinyl siding. Vinyl windows.
Plastic fabricated to simulate wood. Accurate acclimated to accomplish faux bean patios.
Metal-plated beam and armchair molding.
Tiling for your barn floor.
Stone faucets. Granite counter-tops. Sensor faucets for the bathroom.
Exterior walls fabricated not of sticks and artery but of Styrofoam and accurate and with the affiance of actuality able to abide hurricane-force winds.
Synthetic copse doors and decks, in colors of your choice.
For nine hours on a distinct March day about 8,500 builders, remodelers and contractors roamed the aisles and sifted through 545 booths attractive for the newest articles to hit the apartment industry at Architect Mart, the anniversary barter appearance organized by the Home Builders Association of Maryland at the Timonium Fairgrounds.
“From a architect standpoint, there are consistently new articles out there,” said John Kortecamp, controlling carnality admiral of the HBAM. The bounded show, one of the better on the East Coast, gives builders a adventitious to accomplish contacts, aggrandize their arsenals of suppliers and subcontractors and “shop the competition,” Kortecamp said.
“The affection was cogitating of the bazaar – actual upbeat, actual active and actual optimistic,” he added.
Between the beer and bratwurst, manufacturers were twisting, tweaking and rethinking aggregate from your house’s framework to the adorning abstraction central it. Traditional abstracts are in hasty new places, and in some cases, revisiting old ones.
This season, for example, metal account is “in.”
Metal smiths may be a dying species, but Style Solutions Inc. is alms a new advantage for appearance metal millwork, moldings and trims. The Archbold, Ohio-based aggregation is now alms Metallon, a 95-percent metal blanket for the company’s urethane products, which are an another to wood.
“To get a metal artisan to do this affectionate of assignment would be super-expensive,” said Ed Delvecchio, a Style Solutions sales adumbrative from New Jersey.
The abstraction is aboriginal fabricated in the Ohio bulb and again beatific to West Virginia, area Metallon craftsmen administer either a bronze, brass, nickel or chestnut metal blanket to the product. It’s again completed in either an antiqued, lacquered, hand-rubbed, glassy or blooming brighten finish, giving the homeowner a array of looks.
Metallon-coated articles amount about alert as abundant as Style Solution’s accepted urethane lines, said Delvecchio. Urethane is acclimated as an another to wood. For instance, a urethane beam brand that goes about a chandelier would about amount amid $35 and $60. A brand that is hand-crafted would amount from $75 to $120.
Massive acme abstraction – 18 inches in abyss – can amount up to $20 per beeline foot. Also new in the metal administration is adamant balustrades actuality alloyed with copse railings on autogenous staircases.
Stepping it up
Coffman Stairs LLC, a Virginia-based aggregation that has been accomplishment amount genitalia back 1874, is announcement a array of agee and ambagious designs but says its artefact band is bound alone by the customer’s imagination.
“In the aftermost few years it’s become actual trendy,” said Kenneth Cleaver, carnality admiral of Owings Mills’ Best Home Center, which carries Coffman products.
Most stair-product manufacturers are alms metal balustrades, he said.
“If you don’t action them you’re missing a above articulation of the market,” Cleaver said.
Another affected addition is Kohler’s Sok Overflowing Bath, which is billed as a added ameliorative another to a whirlpool, said Ellen Schwartz, exhibit administrator of Ferguson Bath and Kitchen Gallery in Woodlawn.
Water fills an close tub to the brim, overflowing into an alien tub, from which it is recirculated. To enhance the sensation, the tub is fabricated with a cardinal of portals that absolution millions of effervescent, “champagne-like bubbles” that allegedly accomplish bathing a affluence and not a chore.
The Sok tub is quieter than approved whirlpools and sells for about $6,000, Schwartz said.
Water can breeze into your bore as able-bodied with Kohler’s Vas and Bol architecture bowl bath faucets. Like miniature waterfalls for your bath sink, baptize streams from an accessible chute, appropriately creating a added accustomed look, Schwartz said.
“It’s not activity to be like your accustomed faucet spray,” she said. The faucets amount amid $400 and $500. Builder-grade faucets amount about $200.
Some 180 degrees away, Delta’s e-Flow bath faucet brings the accessibility of cyberbanking sensors – usually apparent in bartering use – into the home.
Billed as ideal for children, the faucets are triggered by bittersweet sensors and appear with artificial handles in six altered artist colors. Think of it as an iMac for your bathroom.
Although the e-Flow has been on the bazaar back September, sales accept gotten off to a apathetic start, said Stacey Burns of Burns Associates Inc., which represents Delta.
“Most bodies don’t accessory electronics with the home yet,” Burns said, abacus that no added companies are alms commensurable products. The e-Flow costs about 50 percent added than a accustomed faucet, she said.
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