In My Own Words: D. Dorrance & Son

Michael Dorrance Vice President of D. Dorrance & Son Custom Homes in Elgin, Illinois shares the five products he would not build without.

July 01, 2006

Casco Industries offers wood and vinyl windows and door products. The product line encompasses double-hung, casement, slider and awning-like windows, as well as patio doors and storm products.

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"Casco makes high-quality aluminum clad windows, and we can customize them any way we want, with only a two-week lead time for production. Casco is more cost-effective because our customers don't pay for the marketing as they would with some of the national brands. Also, when it comes to getting a window serviced, we're not waiting 30 days for replacement glass; Casco typically takes only three to four days."

CertainTeed Weatherboards

CertainTeed WeatherBoards fiber cement siding gives the impression of wood but doesn't require upkeep like wood. With a less porous surface that holds paint well, WeatherBoards is virtually maintenance-free and comes in various profiles and textures.

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"We like CertainTeed's Weatherboards for our exterior siding. The realistic graining pattern looks very natural — like cedar — considering it is a man-made product. We also like the fact that we can paint it any color we want; that gives us and our customers the ultimate in flexibility."

Kohler WaterTiles

Kohler's new WaterTile body spray offers a new aesthetic in custom showering. The product rids the showering space of visual clutter and creates a clean look that is nearly flush to the wall. That makes it possible to install the WaterTile body sprays in any number of combinations: on the wall, ceiling or at an angle to the intersection of the wall and ceiling.

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"We're starting to put Kohler's water tiles into our houses — four of them in a shower to create the whole spa experience. It gives us a nice, neat, flush-to-the-wall or ceiling look. Although the product is very new, I think it will be a new trend in shower systems in high-end homes. Overall, Kohler has great branding and name-recognition, and the plumbers can service it."

American Standard Furnaces

American Standard's Freedom furnaces range in efficiency from 80 percent to more than 92 percent. Every member of this product family is designed to provide maximum heat for minimum fuel usage, from single-stage to two-stage and variable speed Comfort-R furnaces.

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"We use the 90 percent efficiency furnaces in the American Standard line. It offers dependability, reliability and brand awareness. My HVAC guy believes in these products, and homeowners feel confident with them. They work, and that's all the homeowner cares about. The size of the line also allows us a lot of flexibility, and they are readily available."

CMI MiraTEC Exterior Trim

Made from the patented TEC process, CMI's MiraTEC treated exterior composite Trim combines the eye-catching beauty of cedar with the long-lasting performance of an engineered product. Because it is not hardboard, MiraTEC Trim will not delaminate. The product is moisture, rot- and termite-resistant and backed by a 30-year limited warranty.

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"MiraTEC exterior trim is realistic looking and is virtually maintenance-free. It also holds the paint, so we can stain it any color we want. It comes in 16-foot lengths, and because its nominal thickness is [1 inch], we don't have to build out our corners."

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