In My Own Words: Mike Venetis of Bigelow Homes

Mike Venetis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, of Bigelow Homes (2004 Builder of the Year) in Aurora,  Ill. gives us the five products that he will not build without.
By Contributing Editor | June 30, 2006

Solatube Tubular Skylights

Although today's buildings rarely have enough natural light, it's possible to change that with affordable yet advanced tubular skylights. Solatube's design allows homeowners to capture sunlight on their rooftops, redirect it down a highly reflective shaft, then diffuse it inside.

In My Own Words

"Solatube helps bring in a tremendous amount of natural light without the heat loss or gain associated with typical skylights. Home buyers like anything that they perceive to be new technology and energy-efficient. Not many Chicago builders use these products yet, which gives us differentiation in the market."

Milgard Classic Series Vinyl Windows

Milgard Classic Series vinyl windows resemble wood windows but have a fusion-welded frame and sash. Available in white or tan in 10 styles, these windows come with Milgard SunCoat Low-E glass for energy savings and the Milgard Positive Action Locking System for extra security.

In My Own Words

"From a marketing perspective, these windows have great perceived value. Milgard is one of the five largest window manufactures in the country, which gives buyers assurance that this supplier will be around if there is a problem. Milgard offers the highest quality for the price, and their products also have a lifetime guarantee. The company's Positive Action system automatically locks the window once shut rather then the homeowner having to turn the locks manually."

Schlage Accent and Flair Levers

Upgrade from ordinary doorknobs to Schlage's Accent and Flair levers for contemporary styling with the convenience of easy-to-operate lever entry. Schlage's Maximum Security handleset on front doors combines styling and security with its Ultima Lifetime Anti-Tarnish Finish.

In My Own Words

"Schlage hardware has a fresh, modern look to it that home buyers notice. It goes well with our modern floor plans. Home buyers think the hardware is a significant upgrade over standard door knobs, but the price difference is minimal."

GE Profile Oven/Range

The GE Profile 30-inch self-cleaning gas range with warming drawer has a large capacity oven and a deep recessed cooktop to contain spills and make cleaning easy. A center oval burner adds a fifth element to the cooktop. A non-stick griddle offers a flat cooking surface over the center oval burner for cooking several foods at once.

In My Own Words

"This GE Profile oven/range has a nice sleek appearance for our urban loft product. It is an easy upgrade for home buyers to rationalize making because it has many noticeable feature upgrades, such as the warming drawer and griddle oven top."

James Hardie Siding

Low-maintenance, noncombustible James Hardie fiber cement siding looks like wood, yet it resists rotting, cracking and damage from rain, hail and flying debris. Available pre-finished with a 15-year paint warranty, the siding also has a limited, transferable warranty for up to 50 years.

In My Own Words

"Home buyers recognize Hardie siding as a far superior product to vinyl. It has a high perceived value because of its durability. Home buyers think of it as equal to cedar siding but without the upkeep."

Preferred products for building

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PB-Building Materials