Builder Matt Risinger Praises High-Performing Fenestrations of the Future

Matt Risinger
Photo source
FGIAonline.org

Date: 13 October 2020

A high-end builder in Austin, TX, shared the fenestration trends he has seen in the U.S. when it comes to building performance during the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) Virtual Fall Conference.

Matt Risinger is the host of the popular YouTube Channel, The Build Show, where he talks about building science, craftsmanship and best practices for building and remodeling. According to Risinger, there has been an increase in questions on his channel from builders about high-performing products.

Risinger, who previously spoke at the 2019 Fall Conference, has been in the construction industry for 25 years. Back when his career started, he said performance wasn’t talked about much.

“It was more about cost per square foot,” he said.

But, in 2001 and 2002, a black mold scare resulted in builders facing litigation nationwide.

“It was a critical time for me as a builder,” said Risinger. “We weren't paying enough attention to the details.”

This event sparked Risinger’s interest in building science and how to build better performing homes while preventing building failures.

“The biggest issue was water,” he said. “We were paying less attention to the control layer than we needed to, which does the waterproofing for a house.”

The control layer, Risinger explained, is meant to control four things: rain and ground water, air, water vapor and thermal.

“The protection layer sheds some of the rain, but not all of it,” he said. “We shouldn't have to rely on caulking to keep our buildings watertight. We needed to go to a higher standard. That's where your industry helps my industry.”

Risinger benefited from observing Milgard Windows and Doors, an FGIA member company, which uses the InstallationMasters® program. This FGIA installer training, developed from industry-accepted installation practices, emphasizes the importance of proper installation of windows and doors.

Risinger then shared some fenestration trends he has seen in the field that require particular attention to installation, including lift and slide doors, shed roofs and peel-and-sticks replacing traditional house wraps. He has also noticed homes without overhangs gaining popularity. However, he warned that houses with no overhang, or even ones with too short of an overhang, may be more susceptible to water infiltration issues.

“No overhang houses are doing bigger and bigger glass for a contemporary, modern style,” Risinger said. “But with that type of exposure, you better pay really close attention to the install.”

As far as trends in materials, Risinger stated his case for triple-glazed profiles and high-performing products in general.

“I want builders to demand a higher quality product that will perform better,” Risinger said. “I think people will be willing to pay for higher performance.”

In closing, Risinger said if manufacturers build such products, they would see the demand rise.

“People care about indoor air quality and having a healthy, energy efficient home,” he said.

About the Speaker

Upon graduating from Grove City College in Pennsylvania with a degree in Industrial Management, Risinger began his construction career at NVR in Washington, DC. In 2005, he and his growing family relocated to Austin, TX, where he started Risinger and Company. Risinger is dedicated to building science and is a recognized expert and thought leader in the industry.

Matt Risinger is a high-end builder in Austin, TX, and has built homes for some of the nation’s best-known architects. His building company, Risinger Build, has made a worldwide reputation for excellence because of his popular YouTube channel, “The Build Show.” His nearly 500,000 followers watch him weekly as he “BUILDs” to a higher standard focusing on durable, efficient and healthy construction techniques and products. He is also a Contributing Editor for the Journal of Light Construction.

More information about FGIA and its activities can be found at FGIAonline.org.

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