Recent Posts from All Categories


Stone Veneer Fireplace Ideas That Will Warm Up Your Home

Stone veneer adds an element of warmth to any room inside or outside your home. Here are a few ideas to incorporate stone veneer around your fireplace.

 

Ply Gem’s Engineered Cedar Shake Roofing is 2016 Architectural Record Product of the Year

Ply Gem is proud to announce our Engineered Cedar Shake roofing has been selected as an Architectural Record 2016 Product of the Year in the Facades category. Designated by a panel of six judges representing the nation’s leading architectural firms, Engineered Cedar Shake was chosen as one the best new products of the year from among hundreds of entries submitted for the publication’s 11th annual competition. 

How Much Does Stone Veneer Cost?

Have you considered adding some style to your home with beautiful stone veneer? We know a home remodel is a big step and can include costs that you may not think about. Though it can vary from project to project, read below for our breakdown of what stone veneer actually costs and how stone can enhance your home.

Stone Veneer: The Natural Choice For Your Home Remodel

Stone veneer easily incorporates style and sophistication whether displayed on columns on the outside of a home or as a stacked stone backsplash in a kitchen. Why do we love using stone? It’s easy to customize and gives a vivid pop of color and texture to any space.

Ply Gem’s Deck the Halls with Darius Rucker Sweepstakes

We’re kicking off the 2017 Home for Good project with Ply Gem’s Deck the Halls with Darius Rucker Sweepstakes.

Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Steel Siding

If you’re looking for a siding material that is built to last and withstand storms, steel siding may be a good option for you. According to Home Advisor, steel is perhaps the toughest, most durable siding presently available to homeowners. And when compared to other siding materials, steel rises to the top for many reasons. Here are five reasons steel siding is a good choice.

Choosing exterior house colors? Think outside the beige box.

Unlike interior house colors, exterior house colors are much harder to change, often requiring ladders or scaffolding. This results in many homeowners playing it safe with their house color – which too often means beige. I’ve been guilty of it. My last house was beige – in my defense, it was one of the first in the neighborhood. Bolstered with new confidence, my new house is blue.

If you’re faced with the unwieldy task of picking exterior colors, I have some advice for you that might make the process easier.

Darius Rucker is partnering with Ply Gem as the 2017 Home for Good project ambassador

Three-time GRAMMY Award winner Darius Rucker is partnering with Ply Gem® (NYSE: PGEM), a North American manufacturer of building products, as the 2017 ambassador for its Home for Good project to help hundreds of families build homes across the United States with Habitat for Humanity.

Color Cues: How to Choose Colors That Sell a House

Selling your home can be as exciting as it can be stressful. We have tips on how to choose colors for your home that will help you sell a house quickly.

How to Mix and Match Siding and Stone

So, you’re getting ready to choose siding and stone for your house. Where do you start? Do you pick out the stone first and then try to find a siding color that matches? Do you start with the siding and find a stone profile that complements the siding? Truth be told, there really is no set-in-stone (so to speak) method to mixing and matching stone and siding.

The post How to Mix and Match Siding and Stone appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Fall Decor: Elegant Ways to Decorate with Pumpkins

We scoured the most popular fall pumpkin decorations and collected different and unique ways you can use pumpkins in your home. Here are our favorite pumpkin decorating ideas.

The post Fall Decor: Elegant Ways to Decorate with Pumpkins appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

What Not to Do When Hiring a Contractor

In one of my very first blogs that I wrote for Ply Gem, I focused on how to hire a competent contractor.

I recently had an experience with a potential client that drove home how not to interview a contractor, which can be just as important. Remember, when you're interviewing a contractor, the contractor is interviewing you as well.

The post What Not to Do When Hiring a Contractor appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Create a Cozy Fall Outdoor Living Space Perfect for Gatherings

Summer time poolside with friends was fun, but fall is here and not a moment too soon! Fall brings beautiful leaves, blue skies, brisk breezes, and of course, football. It’s time to start thinking about gathering with friends around the TV to watch the games.

The post Create a Cozy Fall Outdoor Living Space Perfect for Gatherings appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Construction Safety: Learnings and Insights from a Construction Manager

Dino Tudisca shares his learnings and insights from this past year about construction site safety. Namely, when it comes to construction site safety there can never be complacency.

The post Construction Safety: Learnings and Insights from a Construction Manager appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Color Cues: How to Choose Colors for Your House Style

Choosing siding colors doesn't have to be intimidating. This color guide will help you choose the perfect siding color for your house style.

The post Color Cues: How to Choose Colors for Your House Style appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Architectural Eye Candy in the Big Apple

From the proud facades the history of our country oozes through walls like mortar between the bricks.

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Ply Gem associates help families across North America

Since our kick off in May, associates across the company have stepped up to coordinate local volunteer opportunities with their nearby Habitat for Humanity affiliate - working together to achieve our goal of helping to build 300 homes in 2016 for families in need of safe and affordable housing.

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The Mebane Family Discusses Their Home for Good

The Mebane family says, for them, having a Home for Good means having a fresh start and a place for their family to gather.

The post The Mebane Family Discusses Their Home for Good appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Color Cues: Overcoming the Fear of Color on Your Home

It’s time to make choices available to new home buyers, ranging anywhere between classic colors to bold, vibrant ones. Beige can still be an option, but let’s end the practice of restricting buyers from choosing anything other than some varying degree of it. Let’s use color to accentuate the architectural style and allow buyers to express their unique personalities with their house, not just their car or clothes!

The post Color Cues: Overcoming the Fear of Color on Your Home appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Top Instagram Accounts to Follow for Design Inspiration

Taking over the Ply Gem Instagram feed was really fun! I started the week posting all the way from Catacamas, Honduras, where I was designing a creative art center for a nonprofit called Touch A Life. Follow a few of my favorite Instagram feeds for the most hip design inspiration.

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Natural Stone Veneer Adds Awesome Curb Appeal to Your Home

From small touch ups to large renovations, projects such as replacing boring and beige with colorful vinyl siding and trim, updating entryways with bright front doors and shutters, and sprucing up outdoor living areas can make a big difference in the look of your home and neighborhood.

The post Natural Stone Veneer Adds Awesome Curb Appeal to Your Home appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Putting the Why in a Career in Construction

I have often wondered where my career in construction would take me. What I do has not changed much, but why I am doing it has much more purpose.

The post Putting the “Why” in a Career in Construction appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Summer is Here and the Time is Right for Outdoor Living

Summer is a fine time to kick back, have fun, and go outside. But for those that live in Florida (like myself) or anywhere similar, summers can be brutal. Beat the heat with shade and water to not only make the outdoors tolerable, but enjoyable!

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How to Define Your Garden Space with Style

With greater awareness of the food we consume, personal gardens are popping up everywhere! And “farms” are finding their way into our urban spaces.

The challenge is where do you plot your garden space? Backyards tend to be a shared space with family, pets and, at times, unwanted critters. How can you properly ‘plot’ your urban farm to make it a space you'll love? I have a few tips to help you define your garden space in creative ways.

The post How to Define Your Garden Space with Style appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Michelle Wilson Discusses Her "Home For Good"™

Michelle Wilson discusses the day she got the keys to her first home from Habitat for Humanity and how amazing it feels to have a Home for Good.

The post Michelle Wilson Discusses Her ‘Home For Good’ appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Tiny Living: From Sheds to Studios

Tiny spaces are making big waves across the US, but tiny living is no new concept. Let's look at some tiny spaces that make a mighty impact.

The post Tiny Living: From Sheds to Studios appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Color Cues: How to Avoid Common Color Mistakes

Color selection is one of the most important aspects of design. It is also one of the easiest things to go wrong. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when picking colors for your home.

The post Color Cues: How to Avoid Common Color Mistakes appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

4 Ways to Get the Character of Historic Window Architecture

The saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” rings true with architectural styles. We have smarter ways of building and the layouts have evolved with lifestyle changes, but historical and authentic design is only growing in demand.

The post 4 Ways to Get the Character of Historic Window Architecture appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

The Rule of Three: How to Choose Finishes for Your Home

With so many exterior building products readily available, it can be tempting to use as many as possible. It’s understandable, especially if you’ve had a house that was a single material, to want to add as much character as possible.

But before you go crazy, remember the rule of three; limit your exterior cladding choices to three materials.

The post The Rule of Three: How to Choose Finishes for Your Home appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Grappling with Green Building

For almost the last decade one of the big industry buzz words has been “green building.”

What exactly that means to manufacturers, consumers and installers is something that I, as an industry professional, grapple with often.

The post Grappling with Green Building appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Black Vinyl Windows are a Cool Solution with a Hot Color

Black vinyl windows add a dramatic accent to any building or home. But this is one hot color trend that poses special challenges to windows.

The post Black Vinyl Windows are a Cool Solution with a Hot Color appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Home for Good Project to Help Build 300 Homes with Habitat for Humanity

Ply Gem and country music icon Alan Jackson launch the Home for Good Project to help build more than 300 homes with Habitat for Humanity.

The post Home for Good Project to Help Build 300 Homes with Habitat for Humanity appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Spring into Outdoor Living!

Gathering around the fire with friends during those long winter nights was fun. But a new season is upon us, now is the time to start planning your spring outdoor living experience!

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What You Need to Know About Wood Windows

Windows can be made from multiple materials, mainly wood, clad, vinyl, and aluminum. Each material offers different benefits that may suit you and your home. In this post we're going to focus on wood windows and outline several benefits of this traditional window material.

The post What You Need to Know About Wood Windows appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

The 4 S's of Windows and Doors

When choosing replacement windows or doors there are four things you want to keep in mind. We call these the "4 S's of Windows and Doors".

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Winter Home Improvement Projects That Won't Leave You Cold

Many times when we think of home improvement projects we are drawn to exterior of our homes. Painting, siding, windows and landscaping. What do we do when the mercury drops, and being outside, well just hurts? No need to worry, plenty of upgrades can be done in the warm confines of your home interior.

The post Winter Home Improvement Projects That Won’t Leave You Cold appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Color Cues: Tips for Choosing Exterior Colors

Does choosing exterior colors for your home cause you panic? Let our architectural expert, Deryl Patterson, adjust how you think about color and offer tips on how you can more easily choose exterior colors.

The post Color Cues: Tips for Choosing Exterior Colors appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

International Builders Show Recap: 2016 Building Trends

When it comes to product innovation at the show this year, I was thoroughly pleased to see such clear shifts in the marketplace, proving that manufacturers are listening to the end consumer.

2016 is going to be a good year in the home improvement industry!

The post International Builders’ Show Recap: 2016 Building Trends appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

How to Enjoy Your Backyard in Winter

Homebuyers still value outdoor living if it is done correctly. Here are some outdoor living tips and tricks to make the season more enjoyable.

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3 Things to Consider When Buying Energy Efficient Windows

The single most important aspect of your windows is how they help insulate your home. Before you replace your windows we want you to be knowledgeable about what energy efficient windows can do for your home.

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Learn the Lingo: Window Balance

What's a window balance? A window balance is hidden window component sitting inside the window frame that assists with opening and closing your windows.

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The Gift of Giving Back Part 2

This past year has been one of significant change for me. In July, I applied for and was offered the position of Director of Construction for our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. This meant taking a step back from my business and concentrating my efforts on building affordable housing for families in my local area.

The post The Gift of Giving Back – Part 2 appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Good Bones: Modern Tuscan Architectural Style

May I introduce the Modern Tuscan? This style effortlessly pairs old world charm with modern materials and colors. Essentially the best of both worlds, especially when you consider it is more affordable than the ultra-contemporary styles which demand flat roofs.

The post Good Bones: Modern Tuscan Architectural Style appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Gather

In the season of entertaining family and friends, the holidays are a time of GATHERING. Many of us are flipping through family recipes, scrambling to the grocery store and wondering how this holiday came up so fast again. While there’s pressure to make our homes picture perfect for the family, in-laws and neighbors, let’s direct our focus back to what Thanksgiving was originally about: CELEBRATING THE HARVEST.

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You Can Always Go Home for the Holidays

This holiday season Ply Gem is partnering with Alan Jackson to give you the ultimate present – a flight home for the holidays.

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9 Quotes to Inspire Your Next Design Project

We know finding design inspiration can be difficult, so we gathered some of our favorite quotes about design to help inspire you during your next design project.

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How to Clean Your Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is extremely durable and virtually maintenance free. However, like anything that's constantly in the outdoor elements a little upkeep and attention can go a long way.

The post How to Clean Your Vinyl Siding appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Good Bones: English Country

This is a warm and cozy style with gobs of character, plenty of nostalgia and Old World Charm. The person drawn to it has a flair for the extraordinary. These homes embrace a bit of random informality as the result of additions and alterations over time – all attractions to escape from the mundane for […]

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How to Clean Your Window Screens Before Winter

Without regular maintenance and cleaning a window screen can become dirty, damaged and will eventually need to be replaced. It’s always less expensive to clean your screens than it is to replace them, so save yourself a little money and take the time to take care of those screens.

The post How to Clean Your Window Screens Before Winter appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

How to Save Energy During the Holidays

Little things can affect how energy efficient your home is in big ways. This holiday season keep your energy bill from skyrocketing with these simple tips.

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Winterize Your Home Before Winter

As the leaves begin falling, so does the temperature outside, reminding us we're only a few shorts weeks away from winter and increased heating costs. Before you get hit with a higher than normal energy bill, take a few minutes to prepare your home for the cold weather.

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Good Bones: Prairie

If you need one word to sum up Prairie style, go with “Sturdy”. Prairie style is a bold, masculine American style born out of the Midwest and represents a dramatic departure from other nostalgic, European styles.

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Learn the Lingo: Window Types

In this edition, we'll review different window types and how they can dramatically affect the functionality and style of your home. Factors that may influence the type of window you select include how you want to view the world through your windows, the amount of ventilation you desire, your climate and accessibility to the windows.

The post Learn the Lingo: Window Types appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Remodeling Realities

Having the opportunity to support renovation reality television shows through labor and product donations is something I’ve really enjoyed, especially when the outcome was life changing to the recipients. I learned a lot from the experiences, met great people, and came to understand that what you see on TV is not always the whole story. In this installment, I will try and pull the curtain back just a little.

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Character Driven Design Through Architecture

If you’ve caught me on stage at any of the PlyGem ProTalk series sessions, you’ve heard me harp on "Character Driven Design." In fact, this is my soapbox. It can be summed up in one word: PERSONALITY. How does this apply to the architecture of your home? Allow me to explain from an artist’s perspective.

The post Character Driven Design Through Architecture appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Good Bones: Georgian

When I think of the Georgian architectural style, I think of a style that says, “I’ve made it and I’m here to stay! I’m not a ‘One Hit Wonder’.” It’s a formal style firmly grounded in tradition.

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Learn the Lingo: Basic Window Features

It's important to be familiar with window and patio door vocabulary—understanding the basic terms will help in your conversations with contractors, remodelers, or home improvement store sales staff.

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Building a Realistic Remodeling Timeline

In our world, deadlines seem to be everywhere. When it comes to a home remodeling project, determining the end date of a project and identifying the steps needed to make sure you meet those targets is today’s subject.

The post Building a Realistic Remodeling Timeline appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Are You Throwing Money Out the Window?

Energy efficiency is important to all homeowners, both in the heat of the summer and the frigid temperatures of winter. However, there are some key solutions every homeowner can implement in order to increase the energy efficiency of their current or new windows that will help to keep their home the perfect temperature year-round. DIY […]

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Come On In, Y'all!

Just like a good, strong handshake or warm smile, our front door sets the tone for our homes. You can either lure guests in or bore them. Your front entry should be inviting and clearly say, “Come on in, y’all!” to everyone who sees it.

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Enhance your Home with Vinyl Fence & Rail

When looking to upgrade your outdoor space, you might forget to consider fence and railing. Whether privacy or picket, extremely detailed or clean and simple, there’s a fence and railing style that will help set the tone for your outdoor living space, front yard, stairs, deck or porch. Originally developed to be purely functional exterior […]

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Positive Influence

Hope is slowly being restored in the market; and though the numbers may not be close to what they were a handful of years ago, housing starts are popping up across the U.S. Another result of the recent recession is that current homeowners have decided they’ll stay-put and instead of making a move are choosing […]

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Good Bones: Folk Victorian

If you like elegance coupled with playfulness, then you’ll love the Folk Victorian style! Don’t let the name fool you. Unlike its Queen Anne and East Lake cousins, this Folk Victorian style is characterized by simplicity. I think a more fitting name for the style category is Picturesque – the name alone conjures delightful images.

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In Case of Emergency: Tips for Window & Patio Door Safety

Windows and patio doors are some of the most defining features of a home. They also play an important role when it comes to home safety, as they are typically the best escape routes in an emergency. Before an incident occurs, it’s important to take steps to prepare windows and ensure your most valuable treasure—your family—remains safe.

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Tips for Window & Patio Door Safety
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Serving our Community: Habitat for Humanity Home Builders Blitz

As part of our commitment to the community, Ply Gem once again participated in Habitat for Humanity of Wake County’s Builders Blitz by donating windows, siding and trim to help Habitat build five homes in one week. Each home is being purchased by a family who needs safe, affordable housing. We’re honored to partner with […]

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Habitat for Humanity Home Builders Blitz
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Color Adds Character and Curb Appeal

Whether we realize it or not, color evokes an emotional response in all of us. It’s often the subtle hints of color that add charm and character enough to elevate any home from just another house on the block to one that has the right amount of curb appeal. No matter where you fall on the color comfort spectrum, there are ways, small and large, to incorporate color and bring life to the exterior of your home. So, let’s paint the town!

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Home Design Trends

Exterior design trends have changed fairly significantly over the last several years. Homeowners want to embrace their need for change and feel positive about their home’s appearance, while at the same time remain financially and environmentally responsible. Changes in both the economy and consumer thinking have led homeowners to choose comfort over size in new […]

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To DIY or Not to DIY? When to Do It Yourself and When to Call a Pro

If the TV programming landscape is any indication, the DIY spirit in our country is alive and well. And it should be. As a country, we tend to be independent and self-sufficient. When it comes to home improvements, however, do-it-yourself may not always be the answer, so it’s important to know when to call in a professional.

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Why Vinyl Siding is Perfect for Your Neighborhood

Thanks to a wide assortment of styles, profiles. detail and trim, numerous design influences can be reflected and local character preserved with vinyl siding.

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Case Study: Minimizing Upkeep for Historic Baltimore Home

The suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland are home to many historical communities where natural slate roofs have been popular for more than a century. Natural slate is a top choice for both aesthetics and durability. However, it requires ongoing maintenance that can come with high costs. Aiming to replicate the durability of quarried slate and to preserve the historical appearance of this home, the homeowner found an ideal solution for his retrofit project in Ply Gem Roofing Engineered Slate, a high performance, more affordable product.

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Good Bones: Tuscan

The Tuscan style, with its casual, no rules expression, has become crazy popular. And why not? Doesn’t that capture the demeanor of today’s buyer? What makes this style so much fun is its rustic and often haphazard aesthetic.

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Top 3 Things to Consider When Buying the Perfect Patio Door

A lot of us put time and planning into the impression the front door makes or we focus on specific window features. But, selecting the right patio door does have a big impact on both the interior and exterior appearance of your home. Here's the top three factors to think about as you make this decision.

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The Costs of Building Green

There's a common assumption among some that it's more expensive to build green than to use traditional building materials and methods. Our partners at Proud Green Home turned to their Approved Contributing Experts, also known as ACEs, to share with us their thoughts.

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Founder's Day 2015

Every year on May 1, Ply Gem celebrates its history and committed associates by hosting Founder's Day celebrations at our more than two dozen locations across North America. From Calgary to South Carolina, each site brings its associates together for a meal to celebrate the company's legacy and recognize their good work. Check out just some the smiling faces of Ply Gem associates as they celebrated Founder's Day 2015.

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Time for a Picnic

What better way to spend summer days outside than having a picnic? With the first day of summer and Father’s Day this Sunday, picnics are basically mandatory. To all the dads out there, happy day of celebrating you and all you do. Now let’s talk BBQ!

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Contractor Q & A

ProTalk expert contractor, Dino Tudisca, answers readers' questions about remodeling a kitchen, finding the right contractor, and the rainscreen concept.

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Brights Return to the Color Palette

Recession-era color trends—reflecting a need for comfort, familiarity, and order in a disorderly world—are picking up punctuations of stronger hues. Sherwin-Williams sees a similarly multifaceted future for color palettes through 2012, driven by a desire for self-expression rather than status. “Over the past few years color direction has been a mix of softer shades and […]

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Why Vinyl Fence is Right for You

Whether you are putting up a fence for the first time or replacing, even upgrading, an existing one, vinyl fence and railing can deliver the clean, attractive finish you want in a style to fit any home or neighborhood.

The post Why Vinyl Fence is Right for You appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Good Bones: Craftsman

When I think about architectural styles and personalities, I think of Craftsman first. The Craftsman style is confident and bold with its unique columns, broad gables, wide overhangs and expansive front porches. But there is also an artsy side to this style that creates a sense of individualism.

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Case Study: Beauty and Durability in Harsh Conditions

Nestled nearly 4,000 feet above sea level in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Blowing Rock, North Carolina is prone to harsh winters. With snow, sleet, ice and strong wind gusts wreaking havoc year after year, homes in this area take a real beating. Therefore, when homeowners John & Claire needed to replace their deteriorating asphalt roof, they decided to look for a more durable option.

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4 Ways to Transform your Backyard into an Oasis

Summer often means enjoying the outdoors with friends and family for a weekend barbecue or catching some sun by the pool. With warmer days on the horizon, you may be thinking about what can be done to spruce up your outdoor space to use for entertaining or for a little relaxation.

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'Tis the Season to Show Your Contractor A Little Love

Happy National Remodeling Month! As May comes to a close, you may be looking for a way to show your appreciation to contractor(s) working at your home, now or in the future. In this post, I’ll share some great ways homeowners have shown their appreciation to me and my team in the past.

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Windows: More than Energy Efficiency

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the heat lost through windows can account for 10 to 25 percent of a home’s heating bill. Ply Gem windows can come equipped with optional high-performance Low-E glass that helps reduce this energy loss. This can increase your home’s comfort while decreasing your utility costs. What Is Low-E Glass? […]

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Ready for Spring Cleaning? So are Your Windows

Clean, sparkling windows can make a great impression—inside and out. With Memorial Day barbeques, Fourth of July parties and summer get-togethers headed our way, it’s a true sign that “open window” season is here. Before your party guests arrive, here are some tips to periodically care for and clean the components that make your windows beautiful and functional.

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Tiny Home Living for the Everyday Homeowner

Homeowners are taking the plunge to downsize in major ways across this country, but there are two questions I’m always asked regarding the subject: Why? This is followed shortly by, “How?” Tiny houses are the growing trend in home building. Recently, I designed several houses for FYI’s “Tiny House Nation” and I’m convinced it can be a great option—yes, even for you!

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What You Need to Know About Vinyl Fence and Railing

From crisp bright white to wood grain, vinyl fence will stand up to the elements, resist fading, remain flexible and maintain its appearance for years to come.

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Crash Course: Vinyl Siding for Beautiful Home Designs

Manufacturers have made strides in research and development efforts for design and performance. It’s no surprise that vinyl siding is a hot home exterior material when you consider the facts.

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Good Bones: Low Country

As an architect in the southeast, I have the fortune to design many Low Country style homes. I can’t help but be attached to the design, imagining myself relaxing on the front porch drinking iced tea. It is this relaxed, friendly character that has made the Low Country a timeless favorite.

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Low Country
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Grass Is Greener

Happy Arbor Day! You know the old saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side?” Well instead of getting green with envy over your neighbor’s lawn, check out these practical tips that will help you create a landscape worth smiling about.

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When to live through a remodel and when to hit the road, Jack

Staying in your home through a major renovation can be one of the toughest things to endure as a homeowner. What many don’t realize is that renovations, even of just one area, will affect just about every aspect of your quality of life.

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Protecting Your Gutters

Gutters protect your home from damage caused by rainwater running off your roof and pooling around your home. But what protects the gutters from the elements? A gutter protection system. From systems that form a natural barrier to leaves and debris, to systems with the sole purpose of keeping gutters clear, there is a gutter […]

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Outdoor Living: It's All in the Details

Picture a home with an outdoor living space you find especially attractive. Is there one feature that stands out? The pergola? The interesting detail in the deck railing? A gleaming white picket fence. It’s usually not a single piece, but the combination that creates a truly memorable outdoor escape. Here are a few things to […]

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What to Look For When Shopping for Siding

Today’s vinyl siding has been re-engineered with advancements that make it durable, sustainable, realistic and absolutely gorgeous. If you haven’t researched it in a while, review this section - and prepare to be wowed.

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Protect Your Windows before the Next Storm Hits

With storm season upon us, it’s the right time to start thinking about how to safeguard your home and family before the next one blows through. In fact, one of the most important proactive safety steps you can take is protect the windows in your home.

The post Protect Your Windows before
the Next Storm Hits
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Good Bones: The French Country

This is by far my favorite style. It brings back memories of my summer in Paris while I was a student of architecture. This post will explore some of the key features of this elegant, seductive home structure.

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The French Country
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Choosing a Green Builder

Going green isn’t just a fad, it’s a near-future necessity.

The post Choosing a Green Builder appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

6 Surefire Ways to Know When It's Time to Replace Your Windows

It may seem like a daunting question, but you don’t have to be a contractor to know how to make this decision. We’ve laid out the top six things to look out for:

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Architects Share Design Trends

Financial considerations and Americans’ evolving lifestyles are driving preferences in home design. According to the latest Home Design Trends Survey by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), houses and lots in the United States are continuing to shrink, as is homeowners’ desire for high-end features and amenities. What’s growing is a wish for greater accessibility […]

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The NAHB Studies Characteristics of Single-Family Homes

Smaller footprints will remain popular beyond the recovery, and many other luxury amenities are becoming more rare. The long, deep recession of the past several years has taken a harsh toll on the nation’s home building industry at every level, even influencing the types of houses that are built and the features consumers are willing […]

The post The NAHB Studies Characteristics of Single-Family Homes appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

One Step at a Time: To Phase or Not To Phase

In the contracting business, there are few things I enjoy more than a phone call from a satisfied customer asking to have another project done.

Which leads me to my main question (perhaps one you have too!):

Is it possible to complete home remodeling projects over a period of time?

The post One Step at a Time:
To Phase or Not To Phase
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Your Window Glossary

Review our listing of common window terms and phrases.

The post Your Window Glossary appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Enhance Your Home with Stone

From rustic to traditional, old world to contemporary, perhaps no other material imparts an air of distinction quite like stone. Highly prized and preferred for centuries, a stone finish — whether inside or outside — remains a popular choice of designers, architects, builders and homeowners.

The post Enhance Your Home with Stone appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Green Benefits of Vinyl Siding

When a homeowner or building professional searches for building products, there are many ways to go green. In addition to energy-saving options look for products with green attributes throughout the lifecycle of a product.

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How to Make Your Home's Design Functional

When you are selecting a new home for yourself, remodeling your present home, or helping a client remodel and reconfigure their space, make sure the design actually facilitates rather than hinders effective use of the space.

The post How to Make Your Home’s Design Functional appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Tips for Working on a Historic Renovation

Historic renovations demand a building material with the versatility to capture the spirit, charm and character of the houses style, while providing the functionality and durability to last well into the future. So, it’s not surprising that communities across the country are choosing a siding material that’s in its fifth decade of advancement and use — vinyl. “Vinyl […]

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What is Certified Vinyl Siding?

Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling the exterior of an older one, the quality of the siding you choose is incredibly important. When faced with the wide variety of vinyl siding products on the market today it’s important to choose certified vinyl siding and to have it installed by a certified vinyl siding […]

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Curb appeal: Always the hottest home improvement trend

The busy home remodeling season is a great time for homeowners to focus on increasing curb appeal.

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The Gift of Giving Back

I have learned that making a difference is more important than making a dollar. Let’s build some pride in our communities together.

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How to Reduce Condensation on Your Windows

Have you noticed that the windows in your home are continually fogging up? Does it seem like they are collecting moisture? This isn’t necessarily your windows’ fault. In fact, window condensation may be an indicator of something entirely different.

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Myth Busters: Why Vinyl Siding is America's Hottest Home Design Feature

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, vinyl siding is a hot home exterior material, appearing on nearly one third of all new homes built in 2012, more than any other cladding material.

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Inspired Exterior: Barns of America

When designing the exterior of your home, I always talk about giving your house a “character.”

The post Inspired Exterior: Barns of America appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Questions to ask yourself about potential contractors

While it’s important to ask these qualifying and follow-up questions, it is just as important to ask yourself some questions during this process

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Blending old and new techniques for long-term performance

The Proud Green Home at Serenbe is a marvel of high-performance residential construction

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Homeowner Testimonial: Staying in the home they love.

Rusty and Melinda Kurtz talk about how their exterior home renovation changed more than just the curb appeal of their house...it changed their lives.

The post Homeowner Testimonial:
Staying in the home they love.
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Key questions to ask a potential contractor

When working with a contractor, it’s important to ask good follow-up questions. These help protect you and keep your project running efficiently.

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Home Remodel = Improved Energy Efficiency

Since their home just outside of Kansas, MO was remodeled, Rusty and Melinda Kurtz love the way their home looks, but what’s more is that are ready for the cold mid-western weather that’s just around the corner.

The post Home Remodel =
Improved Energy Efficiency
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Habitat for Humanity: Ply Gem in the community

In June 2014, Ply Gem was privileged to contribute the materials to build five homes with Habitat for Humanity in Wake County, North Carolina.

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Ply Gem in the community
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Your Home's Desperate Cry for Color

  If I were the shutter patrol and collected $1 fines for every house that committed “shutter foul,” I would be rich.   What is “shutter foul,” you ask? It’s when the shutters adjacent to a window aren’t large enough to close over the window. You’ve seen it. Three windows joined together (also known as […]

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Evaluating a potential contractor

Asking good questions at the beginning will help set the tone and is necessary for any project to go smoothly.

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Home Design, Imagined (part 2)

One of my secrets in the home design process is this: I want to know what makes my clients tick. What inspires them? How can I make sure to incorporate their true personality in their new homes? So, I ask questions. Sometimes, really random ones! Below are a few of my favorite questions from the […]

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(part 2)
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

How to Avoid the Buffet Letdown: When Less Becomes More

When it comes to exterior home design, today’s buyers are confronted with a multitude of choices including siding profiles, window grille patterns, stone veneer styles, shutters, trim profiles, hand rail profiles and much more. And that’s before even getting to color! (There’s so much more out there than beige!) Deciding which components to use can […]

The post How to Avoid the “Buffet” Letdown:
When Less Becomes More
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Home Remodel: Before and After

Remodeling your home’s exterior can make a difference in the life of your family. At least that’s what we learned from The Peeks, who told us they used to be discouraged and embarrassed about the condition of their home exterior. After its renovation, they have a renewed sense of pride in this place where their […]

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How to prepare for a consultation with a remodeling contractor.

In anticipation of your upcoming home remodeling project, you likely have been watching home improvement shows on TV, visiting home centers, and reading many magazines to get ideas. Now you are ready to start that long awaited project, but are finding that getting ideas was the easy part. Some questions that may be running through […]

The post How to prepare for a consultation
with a remodeling contractor.
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Meet Dino Tudisca

Meet home contractor and renovation expert (& ProTalk contributor), Dino Tudisca, who will answer your home improvement questions and provide tips for your upcoming home projects.

The post Meet Dino Tudisca appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Meet the Peeks: It's more than just a house

In this week’s visit with the Peeks, we were honored to listen as they shared with us what makes their home special. and why it’s SO much more than just a house.

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Home Design, Imagined.

As I write this first blog entry, I’m literally in a bus riding through the countryside of Vietnam. For the last decade, I have traveled the country and world, exchanging inspiration through creativity and design. As I meet people and communities, see new landscapes and experience new cultures, I’ve really become a vagabond designer. I […]

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Meet Kim Lewis

Get to know former lead designer for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Kim Lewis. Kim is passionate about making home design personal and over the next several months she’ll inspire you to make your home a positive reflection of your family.

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Homeowner Testimonial: Meet the Peeks (p. 3), Low Maintenance

In part three of our visit with the Peeks, David and Michelle both talk about how the low maintenance quality of their newly remodeled home exterior allows them to have real peace of mind.

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Low Maintenance
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Homeowner Testimonial: Meet the Peeks (p.2), Energy Efficiency

The exterior of David and Michelle Peek’s home was completely remodeled. In this video, he talks about the improved energy efficiency of their home now thanks to the addition of replacement windows from Ply Gem.  

The post Homeowner Testimonial: Meet the Peeks (p.2), Energy Efficiency appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Six Online Resources for Home Renovation Planning

More than 40 percent of homeowners plan to update their homes in the next two years, according to the latest Houzz & Home Study. Of those who plan to remodel, 78 percent cite their motivation as improving the look and feel of the space. “With an increasing amount of home remodeling projects in the works, […]

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Homeowner Testimonial: Meet the Peeks (p. 1)

Meet David & Michelle Peek. Follow along over the next few weeks as they share their home remodeling experience.

The post Homeowner Testimonial: Meet the Peeks (p. 1) appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Change your exterior

Look around your neighborhood. You’ll likely see familiar home designs: split-level, ranch, colonial. Your neighbor’s house probably looks like yours, and yours probably looks like six others on the block. Mass-produced housing between the 1950s and 1980s caused many homes to lose the coveted originality and architectural appeal seen in prior decades. The lack of […]

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Questions to ask before replacing windows

With summer in full swing (and the air conditioning full blast), you may be thinking of home improvement projects that will look great, but also save energy (and keep that cool air in!). Window replacement is one project that will help increase the energy efficiency of your home and improve curb appeal in the summer […]

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Curb Appeal 101

Curb appeal is king. According to a 2013 report done by the National Association of REALTORS, 71 percent of homeowners say that curb appeal is critical when choosing a new home. Even if you’re not aiming to sell, a home with curb appeal can be a source of pride. A 2013 Better Homes and Gardens […]

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Good News Color is in Again

Hope is slowly being restored in the housing market; and while the numbers may not be close to what they were a handful of years ago, new home starts are popping up across the U.S. Another reaction to the recent recession is that current homeowners have decided they’ll stay- put and instead of making a […]

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What does it mean to build green?

Going green isn’t just a fad, it’s a near-future necessity. In fact, when shopping for a home, an increasing number of homebuyers are searching for a builder who is making energy-efficiency a priority. Here are some questions to ask: Does the builder have green-specific certifications, such as LEED or NAHB Green? Some states also offer […]

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Budgeting for your home renovation

Planning an update to your home can be an energizing and exciting endeavor – the perfect opportunity to re-invent your living space to make it more usable, more comfortable, more attractive and, if done right, more energy efficient. Before you start the work it’s wise to draft a preliminary budget that defines the scope of […]

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Design Details Matter:Taking trim to the next level

When updating their home exterior, homeowners typically start with replacing siding or windows. Yet, even these projects will only look as their finishing touches – which help to complete the look. For instance, trim materials are designed to be used around windows, doors, eaves and gables, and for application on your home’s corners and porch […]

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Taking trim to the next level
appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Do it yourself energy audit

If you’re thinking about making energy-efficient changes to your home, it can be tough to gauge exactly how much money and what resources you’re actually saving. A home energy audit, however, can assess your home’s energy consumption and evaluate what else can be done to reach your highest green potential. Audits pinpoint exactly where you’re […]

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The families, the houses and the Designed Exterior

In the days that followed Sunday, May 22, 2011 residents of Joplin immediately cried out for help and who better to reach out to than Ty Pennington and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EM:HE). Thankfully, the show responded and in a way that no one might have expected – it wouldn’t just be one family, one house in one […]

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Joplin EMHE: The Gonzalez-Ely Family

As the storm loomed over Joplin on May 22, Scott, Natalie, and son Augie, huddled together in the bathtub. The three of them were protected only by the mattress Scott was using as a cover, and a bike helmet that they hoped would shield Augie from injury. The storm’s force overpowered Scott as it slammed […]

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Joplin EMHE: The Nguyen Family

Thang Nguyen was a member of the Vietnamese Air Force and battled together, alongside U.S. soldiers, during the Vietnam War. Afterwards, he and his family came to the United States in search of the American Dream. Thang worked for more than three decades at General Mills in Joplin and was starting to consider and plan […]

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Joplin EMHE: The Cogdill Family

Crystal Cogdill is passionate about helping displaced families find homes, which makes her ideally suited for her job at the Joplin Housing Authority. Ironically, after the tornado on May 22, Crystal and her youngest son found themselves homeless and grieving the loss of Zach – 9-year-old son and brother who perished that day. This progressive […]

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Joplin EMHE: The Whitely Family

Loving Mom of three young children and personal care aid for disabled and elderly clients, Crystal Whitely is known for putting others before herself. As the tornado slammed into Joplin, Crystal and family took shelter in the bathtub. However, within minutes their house was pulled from its foundation. While Crystal desperately tried to shield her […]

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Joplin EMHE: The Nevins Family

Every neighborhood has “that” house – the one where all the kids meet up, get their snacks and hang out. Prior to the tornado last May, that was the Nevins’ home. As the storm’s force overwhelmed the town of Joplin, Justin and Kari, along with their four children, Uriah, Avery, Cana and Rhoen, crowded together […]

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Joplin EMHE: The Walters Family

Tom and Emily Walters, with their daughter Chloe, moved into their house in 2006, looking forward to raising a family in the small town of Joplin.  Emily, a nurse, and Tom, a teacher and coach, have given their lives to nurturing others. When the tornado hit, the family took shelter in a bathtub and waited […]

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Joplin EMHE: The Howard Family

Kyle and Jill, along with their four boys, Keenan, Konnor, Korbin and Kaleb, will call “The Cabin” their new home. Kyle is firefighter who was on duty when the tornado struck in Joplin, Mo. on May 22, 2011. Before he was able to make it back to his own neighborhood to check on his family, […]

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Many Hands Make Quick Work

We heard it said several times, “An hour’s work here is equivilent to a week’s worth of work at a typical house build.” And we believe it. The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EMHE) team is a “well-oiled machine” and they were prepared, ’round the clock, when volunteers reported for duty. As soon as the Braveheart Marchers […]

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Braveheart

If you’ve seen the movie Braveheart, you’ll recall the scenes in which a mass of passionate warriors converged on one spot – a battlefield. It was with this mindset that hundreds of people – builders, professionals and caring neighbors – came together for the Braveheart March. This is the segment in each Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EMHE) episode when […]

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Day One - Joplin EMHE

We had the privilege of sitting down with the EMHE team, who up until now, we’d only spoken with in conference calls. They talked about the plan for the build and emphasized how important flexibility would be with a project of this magnitude, reviewed the dos & don’ts and gave us an impression of what […]

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Prepared for Joplin?

As carefully as the Ply Gem team worked to ensure we were thoroughly prepared and equipped – from a materials perspective – to be a valuable partner to Extreme Makeover Home Edition none of us were “ready” for the scenes we would witness or stories we’d hear in Joplin, MO. It’s likely a good thing […]

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