USBP tours the Supa Doors manufacturing facility in Universal City, TX

Our friends at Supa Doors in Universal City, TX (outside of San Antonio) were gracious enough to give us a tour of their manufacturing facility last week.

 

[from company website] Supa Doors are stile & rail solid MDF doors that are built to order. Ideal for high-end single family homes, large scale residential, hospitality, assisted living, and religious institutions across North America, Supa Doors can be found in prestigious projects including the Plaza Hotel NYC, 15 Central Park West, The Hotel Bel-Air, The Austonian, Trump Chicago, Ritz Carlton Montreal, Four Seasons Residences – Austin among others.

 

Sheets of MDF are brought into the plant and cut depending on the customer’s specification.

 

SUPA-MDF-Cuts

Sheets of MDF cut and staged

 

After being cut, parts of the door are sent through a machine that routers the desired profile edges.

 

SUPA-Routed-Profiles

Creating the desired profiled edges

SUPA-Routed-Profiles

Supa Doors profiler

SUPA-Routed-Profiles

Supa Doors profiled edge…

 

If a particular run requires glass, glass is then installed into the doors.

 

SUPA-Glass-Installation

Glass installation in a Supa Door

 

The rails and stiles are assembled into a half door.  Then two half door frames are then glued together and assembled for final sanding and trimming.

 

SUPA-Glue-Assembly

Half door prior to glue up

SUPA-Glue-Assembly

Half door pieces during glue up

SUPA-Glue-Assembly

Final glue up prior to pressing, sanding, and finishing…

 

After assembly, the door goes through a press to ensure everything stays together prior to painting and/or finishing.

 

SUPA-Door-Press

Preparing the door for the press to ensure everything stays together prior to painting and/or finishing.

 

EVERY door goes through quality control.  Here, two carpenters look at each door and make any necessary last minute adjustments.

SUPA-Quality-Control

Two carpenters inspect a door

 

Supa Doors also manufactures fire-rated doors that can either withstand 45 or 90 minutes.  The inside of the door, pictured below, contains special material to allow that to happen, thus protecting the home or commercial property in the event of a fire.

 

SUPA-Fire-Rated

The inside of a fire rated door contains special material to provide additional protection to a structure in the event of a fire.

SUPA-Fire-Rated

Supa Doors manufactures fire-rated doors rated to either 45 or 90 minutes.

 

Doors for a particular job are stacked up and moved over to the finish area.

 

Supa-Stacked-Doors

Supa Doors staged in the finish area of the manufacturing facility

 

Sanding is next up.  Doors are sanded to remove any rough edges.

 

SUPA-Sanding

‘Supa smooth’ sanded Supa Door

SUPA-Sanding

Sanded Supa Doors

 

Next up is the priming chamber.

 

SUPA-Priming-Chamber

The priming chamber

 

A finished product!  If desired Supa Doors can also provide pre-finished doors with a durable baked on paint finish.

 

SUPA-Pre-Finished-Door

A Supa pre-finished door with a durable baked on paint finish

SUPA-Pre-Finished-Door

A pre-finished door with a durable baked on paint finish

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Wasco SageGlass

Need some privacy or additional shade? Check out Wasco’s SageGlass, dynamic glass that tints on demand!

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USBP @ LBMExpo

Kevin and Josh are on their way to the Lumber and Building Material Expo in Boston, Massachusetts. Stay tuned! #LBMExpo #NRLA

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Homebuilder Show Wrap Up

International Builders Show

During Design & Construction week, US Building Products hit the road to Las Vegas to visit the International Builders’ Show and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. We saw some great companies with great products. Here are just a few of the places we visited.

International Builders Show

International Builders Show


Spax Screws
A great German-designed, American-made product with a impressive product line. Spax screws have self drilling tips minimizing the need for pre-drilling and maximizing the screws holding power.

Spax Screws

Spax Screws

Spax isn’t just popular with carpenters, but artists also use Spax screws in their pieces.

Spax Art

Spax Art

Spax Art

Spax Art


For those who never want to get up during the big game…

Toilet Recliner

Toilet Recliner


Stealth Toilets
Stealth toilets by Niagara offers super low volume, heavily aerated flush toilets. They have optimized a 0.8 L big flush and 0.4 L light flush with their dual flush toilets that flush better than your average 1.8L flush toilet. Not only do they make the flushing system, they make the entire toilet too!

Stealth Toilets

Stealth Toilets

Stealth Toilets

Stealth Toilets


Chemcore
Chemcore has high quality sinks in a variety of materials – stainless steel, bamboo, and porcelain.

Chemcore Sinks

Chemcore Sinks


InSinkErator
Ever want instant hot water right from your sink? Try the InSinkErator on demand faucet. Very cool product!

InSinkErator

InSinkErator


Lenova
Lenova also had some great sink products.

Lenova Sinks

Lenova Sinks

Lenova Sinks

Lenova Sinks


NyloDeck
If it looks like wood and feels like wood, is it wood? Nope, it’s NyloDeck! High quality PVC decking that will last a lifetime!

NyloDeck

NyloDeck


Schwinn
The folks at Schwinn have some really great, high-quality kitchen and bath hardware. They are worth a look if you are upgrading your home or building from scratch!

Schwinn Hardware

Schwinn Hardware

Schwinn Hardware

Schwinn Hardware

Schwinn Hardware

Schwinn Hardware


Ford Transit
Our friends at Ford let us drive a brand new Ford Transit around their track in the parking lot!

Ford Transit

Ford Transit


Bathco
More great sinks, specifically vessel sinks, from Bathco.

Bathco Sinks

Bathco Sinks


Other great manufacturers we ran into but don’t have pictures for:

Hercke Cabinets

Access Lighting

Contemporary Pull

Acorn

MNG Hardware / Strategic Brands

Azek

Better Home Products

Screen Tight

Better Than Barnwood

MR Direct

Semihandmade

Barron Designs

Maze Nails

Chemcrest

Materials Marketing

AGS Stainless

Feeney

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United Brotherhood of Carpenters Tour

United Brotherhood of Carpenters

During the International Builders Show in Las Vegas, US Building Products was fortunate enough to visit the United Brotherhood of Carpenters National Headquarters. The UBC has a membership of just over 500,000 carpenters around the country, with local and regional training centers to teach members the latest in technology, project management, and safety.

The UBC in Las Vegas is where trainers from around US come to get trained, then they go back to their local centers to teach carpenters, apprentices, and general contractors alike.

Each member of the UBC has a membership card with a QR code that, if scanned, brings up a website showing the various certifications and trainings that the carpenters has received to date.

United Brotherhood of Carpenters

United Brotherhood of Carpenters

United Brotherhood of Carpenters

United Brotherhood of Carpenters


The UBC offers a variety of specialized training seminars, including one tailored to the design and construction of a storefront.

UBC Storefront Training

UBC Storefront Training

UBC Storefront Training

UBC Storefront Training


Other specialized training includes hospital and medical center programs. Carpenters learn how to seal off and quarantine different parts of a hospital if there was ever some type of emergency. In the Las Vegas facility, they have constructed a mock emergency room complete with nurse’s station, front desk, patient rooms, and clean room.

UBC Mock Hospital

UBC Mock Hospital

Hospital Front Desk

Hospital Front Desk

Hospital Clean Room

Hospital Clean Room


Another specialized program is underwater welding and pile driver construction. The UBC has their own tank where carpenters can simulate working in real-life conditions.

UBC Underwater Welding Tank

UBC Underwater Welding Tank

UBC Pile Driver

UBC Pile Driver


They also have a class for scaffolding. Since the building is only so high, in order to really simulate a full set of scaffolding, the roof retracts so they can build scaffolding out of the roof of the building.

UBC Scaffolding Class

UBC Scaffolding Class


Robotics are becoming a more integral part of today’s society as technology evolves. The UBC is responsible for building the robotics for some of the largest car manufacturers in the US. Once complete, the operation and maintenance is then turned over to full-time specialists at the plant.

Robotics Equipment

Robotics Equipment


Carpenters can also receive several levels trainings on boilers systems, both gas and steam. Manufacturers such as General Electric work with the UBC directly to develop the training program because they know the product the best. The UBC then trains the trainers, who in turn train the carpenters.

UBC Boilers Systems

UBC Boilers Systems

UBC Boilers Systems

UBC Boilers Systems

UBC Boilers Systems

UBC Boilers Systems

UBC Boilers Systems

UBC Boilers Systems


Thanks to Jim from the UBC for a fantastic tour, and thanks to Ted from Blue Tarp Financial for setting it up!

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Wasco Skylights and the potential benefits to your health and well being…

Many people consider incorporating skylights into their home to increase the amount of natural light in their home.  It’s an energy efficient way to do so.  Many more people use ventilating skylights to help with air circulation as an efficient way to cool their home.  Both reasons are great for your wallet and the environment in the long run, but have you ever considered the impact skylights would have on your health and well-being?

Almost all living organisms depend on the sun and daylight for normal development and functioning.  Specifically for human beings, daylight has many roles in maintaining our biological systems.  It helps with the synthesis of Vitamin D (which occurs when daylight touches our skin), it helps with sleep regulation and our circadian biological clocks, and it even has an effect on gene expression!

Now, one may think that skylights couldn’t possibly have that much of an impact on all of these biological functions.  Maybe you may say people could just go outside when it’s sunny and gain the benefits daylight has to offer.  But our society, unfortunately, is no longer built to reside, work, or even play outside.  In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, most Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors!  Depending on the design of the building you work or live in, being indoors significantly reduces the amount of daylight you receive.  Another important factor to consider is the level of indoor pollutants you are exposed to.  Being indoors for such a lengthy period of time exposes our bodies to a higher concentration of pollutants; about 2 to 5 times more than if we were standing right outside of our home or office.  The EPA even speaks to indoor air quality and pollutants in the excerpt below:

In addition to pollutant sources, the air exchange rate with the outdoors is an important factor in determining indoor air pollutant concentrations. The air exchange rate is affected by the design, construction, and operating parameters of buildings and is ultimately a function of infiltration (air that flows into structures through openings, joints, and cracks in walls, floors, and ceilings and around windows and doors), natural ventilation (air that flows through opened windows and doors), and mechanical ventilation (air that is forced indoors or vented outdoors by ventilation devices, such as fans or air handling systems). Outdoor climate and weather conditions combined with occupant behavior can also affect indoor air quality. Weather conditions influence whether building occupants keep windows open or closed and whether they operate air conditioners, humidifiers, or heaters, all of which can impact indoor air quality. Weather also has a large effect on infiltration. Certain climatic conditions can increase the potential for indoor moisture and mold growth if not controlled by adequate ventilation or air conditioning (http://cfpub.epa.gov/eroe/index.cfm?fuseaction=list.listBySubTopic&ch=46&s=343).

Incorporating ventilating skylights into your home’s design is the simple and effective way to help increase the amount of daylight you receive to help maintain normal body functions by maximizing the amount of daylight your home receives, and it will also help to reduce the concentration of indoor pollutants that can cause allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions by offering a way to vent the pollutants out of the house while providing your home with an energy efficient air condition, otherwise known as fresh air.

US Building Products offers Wasco curb mounted manual venting, deck mounted manual venting, and deck mounted solar venting skylights to help you build a healthier home!  You may consider incorporating manual ventilating skylights if you’re on a budget or reside in a climate where opening and closing your skylight will be infrequent.  Solar ventilating skylights are perfect for reducing both physical and monetary energy costs.  Solar ventilating skylights are also eligible for a 30% tax credit as it falls under the category of a solar electric technology.

So there are many reasons to incorporate ventilating skylights into your home or office design; tax incentives, energy efficient lighting, and to have an effective cooling system, which will ultimately add more dollars in your pocket.  But the most important reason to have ventilating skylights may add years to your life.

Visit our website at usbuildingproducts.com to find the perfect solution to your health and well-being today!

 

References:

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/sleep-drive-and-your-body-clock

http://cfpub.epa.gov/eroe/index.cfm?fuseaction=list.listBySubTopic&ch=46&s=343

http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=US37F

http://www.usbuildingproducts.com/skylights/residential/deck-mounted/solar-venting/EVMS2246

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Custom Cape Exterior Renovation Part 3 – Wasco Skylight Installation

I do not think I can express how amazed I was by the speed and efficiency of the Sanville Remodeling crew.  The crew set up, stripped and prepped both 12 pitch sections of the front roof prior to lunch.  The guys are the definition of professionals and were a pleasure to work with.

Once the roof was stipped, the Wasco EV2238EMT skylight was un-crated; all labels were removed and was staged at the front of the house for the installation.

Staged Wasco EV2238EMT

Staged Wasco EV2238EMT

The roofing crew removed the step-flashing around the old Roto deck mounted skylight unit and then proceeded to remove the old skylight.

Old Deck Mounted Skylight

Old – Roto Deck Mount Manual Venting Skylight

Skylight Removal

Skylight Removal

Once the old unit was removed, the Wasco deck mounted unit was set into position.

Placing Wasco EV2238EMT

Placing Wasco EV2238EMT

Two of us went into the house and eyeballed the position of the skylight from the interior prior to installing the clips.  I placed a small piece of trim against the bottom of the framed opening to correctly space the skylight away from the opening as I plan to trim out the interior in the coming days.  The actual installation was so quick (approximately 10 minutes) it was difficult to snap photos of each step of the process along the way.

Interior view of Wasco EV2238EMT

Interior view of Wasco EV2238EMT

Not only are Wasco skylights incredibly easy to install, the deck mounted Wasco EV2238EMT also provides a bit of additional day-lighting in comparison to similar competitor skylights due to it’s edge to edge design.

Wasco EV2238EMT

Wasco EV2238EMT Installed

After the new Wasco skylight was installed the roofing crew completed laying down ‘Ice & Water’ barrier, tar paper, drip edge, and shingles.

Exterior view of Wasco EV2238EMT

Exterior view of Wasco EV2238EMT

I could not be happier with the functionality of the skylight and the overall look of the new shingles and skylight installation.

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Custom Cape Exterior Renovation Part 2

The original 3-tab asphalt shingle roof from 1979 had been covered by a second layer of asphalt shingles in 2000. While the top layer of 3-tab shingles were still functional, the design life of 15 to 20 years was approaching and had likely been accelerated by the additional layer of shingles below. Several areas of the roof were displaying a moderate degree of wear with granular loss and some curling of the shingle tabs.

shingles deterioration 01

3 tab shingle – curling

shingles deterioration 02

3 tab shingle – granular loss

shingles deterioration 03

3 tab shingle – granular loss / deterioration

The replacement would require a full stripping of the house and utility shed prior to installing new lifetime architectural shingles.  We decided to work with Sanville Remodeling, LLC of Hebron, CT as our contractor for the renovation and roof  job.  Mark provided several sample shingle boards giving us a variety of color choices for the architectural shingles.  In the end we decided to go with a CertainTeed  Landmark™ PRO series Lifetime shingle in Heather Blend.

CertainTeed Landmark™ PRO

CertainTeed Landmark™ PRO – Heather Blend

As mentioned in our previous blog post one of the upstairs bedrooms had an older Roto model manual venting skylight installed. We decided to remove the old Roto skylight and replace it with a new deck mounted Wasco EV2238EMT.

IMG_2205

Wasco EV2238EMT – crated delivery

 

IMG_2211

Wasco EV2238EMT deck mounted manual venting skylight – open-crate

The decision to replace the old Roto skylight with the new Wasco skylight unit was a precautionary measure to prevent future water damage to the home if the old skylight was to fail (Note: water failures / leaking associated with skylights is usually caused by incorrectly installed and/or faulty/damaged flashing.  A few hundred dollars can offers the comfort of ‘piece-of-mind’ knowing that a new Wasco skylight will be installed along with the new roof providing many years of protection from the elements.  The new Wasco skylight arrived promptly via a freight carrier in a sturdy crate without issue.

IMG_2213

Wasco EV2238EMT – Manual Venting Skylight

 

IMG_2218

Wasco EV2238EMT – Side View

Almost time for the install…

 

All residential and commercial Wasco skylight products and accessories are available at US Building Products website: http://www.usbuildingproducts.com/skyilghts

 

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Custom Cape Exterior Renovation Project

Like all wooden structures that have been around for almost 35 years, this custom cape is in need of some routine exterior maintenance.  The planned project includes:

  • chimney pointing, crown replacement, and new stainless cap
  • strip and shingle roof (sheathing replacement and structural repairs as deemed necessary)
  • Roto venting skylight replacement with Wasco venting skylight
  • replacement of 300 linear feet of cedar clapboard
  • replacement of 90 linear feet of custom milled 1”x12’’ bottom trim board
  • replacement of several corner boards around the house
Custom cape pre-renovation

Custom cape pre-renovation with shingle sample boards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the line items from above are noticeable in the photo even at a distance.  Deteriorated, stained shingles, an aging Roto branded venting skylight on the front roof of one of the bedrooms, rot at the base of the trim and corner-boards as well as where the clapboards meet the lower roof.

We decided to start with the chimney repair in an effort to avoid damage that could be caused by falling bricks and mortar.  An initial visual inspection was done on the flues paying careful attention to the flue from the oil fired boiler to ensure it was not damaged.  All three flues were in satisfactory condition and did not warrant any replacement/repair.  The crown around the three chimney flues was easily removed along with about three courses of mortar and bricks that were loose.  The bricks were relayed with fresh mortar and a new crown was also installed all in the same day.  The cap was then installed several days later after the mortar and crown had set.  The cap provides protection from debris and water while also offering a nice aesthetic look to top off the chimney.

Next up roof, skylight replacement, clapboard siding, trim, and corner boards…

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Hello from US Building Products!

US Building Products is your premiere online retailer of Ferche Hardwood Moulding & Trim, Fairway Vinyl Railing Systems, PCA Products Aluminum Screen Doors, and Wasco Skylights. We carry the entire Ferche line, including the Ferche Decorator Series, Ferche Classics, and standard Ferche Moulding and Trim. Check back soon as we continue to add informative posts to our new blog!

 

-US Building Products Team

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