Four Top Trends for Outdoor Living


According to Libby Smoot of the Trex® Company, blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors remains a strong desire for homeowners as we head into the 2015 outdoor living season. Trex talked with homeowners, contractors and industry experts recently to compile its annual list of top trends that will dominate the outdoor living landscape this year. Here’s what you can expect to see popping up in backyards across the country.

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The Connected Home Now Includes Windows and Patio Doors

With Andersen® E-Series/Eagle® products featuring VeriLock® sensors, windows and patio doors can now be part of today’s smart, connected homes. Only from Andersen, they’re your connection to security, convenience and peace of mind. Check out this video to learn more, and visit our Bohemia Design Center to see how this state-of-the-art system works in person!

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Are Your Deck Building Skills up to Code?

Take a FREE course courtesy of NADRA (the North American Deck and Railing Association) to make sure your construction techniques meet the latest version of the International Residential Code (IRC).


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How to Create an OSHA-Compliant Training Program

Setting up a solid safety plan doesn’t have to take up a lot of time or cost.

osha_logo_xsmDid you know that OSHA requires all contractors, residential or commercial, to have a written safety program? According to Mark Paskell. president of The Contractor Coaching Partnership Inc. and Remodeling Magazine contributor, many residential contractors balk at this, but it’s the law, and a written plan could save you a lot of trouble if OSHA pays you a visit.

While OSHA 30 training is the best place to get knowledge that covers the entire range of OSHA requirements, these are the six steps Paskell says are required to refine your safety program.

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Cosentino Introduces a Revolutionary New Countertop Surface


Everything to do with Dekton is extraordinary. Dekton employs exclusive Sinterized Particle Technology, a high tech process which represents an accelerated version of the metamorphic change that natural stone undergoes when subjected to high temperatures and pressure over thousands of years. The process uses up to 16 different decorative techniques which allow an endless array of design possibilities.


Dekton is:

  • Scratch, stain and abrasion resistant
  • Heat and cold resistant, thermal shock proof
  • Non-porous
  • Has 5 times the structural strength of granite
  • Color consistant and dimensionally stable
  • Available in Three Collections/15 Colors

Check out the video below, or visit to learn more.

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Two Little Words That Will Help You Sell More

Want bigger sales and better relationships? According to Minda Zetlin of Inc. magazine, try starting sentences with this powerful phrase…


“Yes, and … ”

That two-word phrase can deepen your relationships and make you better at sales. That’s the word from Isaac Rodriguez, CEO of Provident Loan, and an amateur improv performer. He learned “yes, and … ” as an improv technique for continuing or escalating a scene, but then discovered it was very effective in the business world as well. I’d never really thought about “yes, and … ” before he recommended it but now that I have, I see how it’s a surprisingly powerful tool. Here’s why:

It helps you upsell.
A customer says something like, “Your product is really working well for us.” Your first instinct might be to say something like, “Thanks! I’m so glad you’re happy with it.” That would certainly be my first instinct. But consider a “yes, and … ” response instead. “Yes, we’re glad it’s fitting your needs so well. And many of our customers also have good results when they pair it with this other complementary product.” Or, “Yes, and it’s available at a discount for a limited time, in case you’re interested in stocking up.”

It improves negotiations.
Consider concluding your next negotiation with “yes, and … ” rather than just plain “yes.” “I’m glad we have a deal, and I’m wondering if you have any friends or colleagues who might also be interested in this service.” Or “Yes, and I’m wondering if you can give me some extra help on terms.” Be judicious with that second usage. If you already have a done deal and there’s nothing left to do but sign the paperwork, you don’t want your “yes, and … ” to make it seem as though you’re reneging. If the answer is no, they can’t help you on terms, and you had a negotiated agreement, you should still go through with the deal. But using “yes, and … ” might get you extra accommodations or perks that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t ask for them.

It reduces frustration.
“In a negative situation, use ‘yes, and … ‘ instead of ‘but,'” Rodriguez advises. Sound advice. Listen to the difference: “Your work is great, but we couldn’t use it because you didn’t deliver it on time.” Instead: “Your work is great, and it would be really helpful if you could deliver it on deadline so that we can be sure to use it.” Removing the word “but” takes the opposition and conflict out of a sentence. It brings you closer to a cooperative solution to the impasse.

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Important Upcoming Industry Events


NYC/LI NARI Trade Show
March 12, 2015 from 2 – 8PM
Huntington Hilton, Melville, NY

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LIBI Trade Show
March 18, 2015 from 3 – 8PM
Huntington Hilton, Melville, NY
More info:

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EPA/RRP Refresher Course
March 18, 2015 from 6 – 10PM
April 15, 2015 from 6 – 10 PM
Electrical Training Center
65 Elm Street, Copaigure, NY
NYC/LI NARI Members $150
Non-Members $175
Call NYC/LI NARI to register at 631-673-6274
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Need Design Inspiration? Check out the 20 Most Popular Kitchens on Houzz


See the cool features that made these kitchens stand out from all the rest.

According to staff writer Mitchell Parker of Houzz, there’s little doubt that simple, all-white kitchens top a lot of homeowners’ wish lists. But while some spaces in this collection of popular kitchens on Houzz certainly follow that aesthetic, a lot don’t. And besides, it’s the unique features that set these kitchens far above the rest out there. Things like a broken-china mosaic backsplash, a hidden kids’ fort and sea grass encased in resin to block a neighboring view make the following cooking spaces anything but typical.

See more:

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PRONetwork Learn & Earn

Learn & Earn

Get ProRewards bonus points each month in our new Learn & Earn program. Simply sign into your ProRewards account, take the monthly quiz and rack up points you can redeem for a wide variety of the latest electronics, fine jewelry, home and outdoor gear, and great travel opportunities.

This month’s quiz features Therma Tru Classic Craft entry door systems.

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Not enrolled in ProRewards? Sign up at

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Innovations in Moulding Technology Make it Easier than Ever to Add Value and Architectural Interest to your Next Project

Moulding Shot

“Moulding and trim options are virtually limitless today,” said Christopher Van Tuyl, President of Nassau Suffolk Lumber & Supply. “Technology has advanced so much over the last twenty years – there is now a wide range of materials and complex patterns to choose from,” he added. “Styles are moving back to the elaborate designs of years past, many customers are looking to replicate moulding patterns from one hundred years ago.”

Allan Sarfati of Garden State Lumber, one of the regions largest distributors of premium mouldings agrees. “Twelve years ago a typical moulding catalog was about 8 pages – now it’s over 90 and that doesn’t even account for profiles in multiple species,” he said.

Both men agree that the biggest innovation in the moulding industry is the quality of Ultralite MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) moulding. “Mills are making big, substantial patterns in long lengths with no bending issues at a really competitive price,” said Sarfati. “MDF’s smooth, no grain finish is ideal for painting as well,” he added. “Builders and remodelers are now purchasing MDF for its quality, not its price point.”

According to Chris Van Tuyl, proportion is everything when designing architectural details for any space. “For example, if you have a 6’8” door opening and an 8’ ceiling, using a 4’1/2” casing and 6-1/2” crown leaves only a few inches of wall space between the moulding, and that looks odd,” he added.

Here’s a general guide:

Ceiling Height Maximum Casing Width Maximum Base Height Maximum Crown Height
8 Feet 3-1/2″ Wide 5-1/4″ Wide 5-1/2″ Wide
9 Feet 4-1/2″ Wide 7″ Wide 6-1/4″ Wide
10 Feet Any Option Any Option Any Option

“Proportion is very important,” added Patrick Madigan, of Morgan Creek Construction, a Huntington, NY custom home builder. “It’s important to be respectful of the style of the house. Many of our homes feature a simple head detail on the doors which is more elegant than just casing alone,” he said. “We also pick one or two areas of the home to showcase moulding detail – usually the dining room, living room and foyer. Simple coffered ceilings, tall flat panel details and the classic lines of a Hampton’s beach style home are very popular,” he said. According to Madigan, Morgan Creek uses mostly MDF crown moulding because its stability provides for less shrinkage in a new home.

“We work with our customers to provide them and their clients with advice on the attributes of the many species available – from finger joint and primed pine, poplar, hardwoods, polyurethane and PVC mouldings – to matching an existing profile or suggesting profiles to meet a specific design style,” said Van Tuyl. “Architectural details really give builders and remodelers a chance to add value to their projects and create a unique look for their clients,” he added.

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