Faux Vs. Real Building Products

Some of the newest home improvement products on the market today aren't your typical sticks and bricks.

Numerous homeowners, builders and contractors are leaning toward faux products, otherwise known as synthetic building materials. The prices of the real and faux products in most of these categories are close, but the faux products will save the homeowner money over the long term because they are less vulnerable to weather conditions or in the case of faux bricks, will require less labor and other materials to install.

Danny Lipford, the host of "Today's Homeowner" and The Early Show contributor has several examples and puts co-anchor Rene Syler to the test to see if she can tell the difference between the real and their faux counterparts.

The following are the products featured:

Exterior Doors - When thinking about doors, most people have wood doors for the entry-way to their homes. Many homeowners love the look of wood, but not the maintenance or cost associated with this natural product. Fiberglass doors have become more popular. These doors require virtually no maintenance and won't sweat or warp in extreme temperatures.

JELD-WEN Aurora Custom Fiberglass Door
JELD-WEN Custom Wood Door
Available at

Decking - In the past, the most common material people have used for decking is treated wood. However, wood requires on-going maintenance, including cleaning and periodic staining and sealing. Plus, it will most likely need to be replaced over time. One of the most popular new decking materials is composite decking. Advantages to this low-maintenance alternative include strong product warranties, no slivers, no insect damage, and a variety of colors. Composite decking cost 20-30 percent more than treated wood, but the advantages listed above will require less maintenance and will last longer.

Timbertech Composite Wood Decking
Available at

Siding - Even though many homeowners love the look of wood siding, many neglect the upkeep; including painting, wood-rot and bugs that won't stay away. Fiber-cement siding provides a low-maintenance solution that does not sacrifice the character of wood. Plus, this siding can be painted, and it resists rotting, cracking and damage from rain, hail and flying debris. Plus, this siding comes with a limited warranty for up to 50 years.

James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding
Available at

Bricks - Many homeowners like the stately look of brick. However, traditional brick can be expensive, heavy and cumbersome.

Bricks are a great building material because they can't catch fire, lots of varieties are available and termites can't attack them. Manufactured brick has much thinner than traditional bricks, making them easier to install and more affordable.

Stone Mountain Brick
Available at - 888.955.3571

Flooring - American homeowners love real wood floors but can be intimidated by the cost, installation and maintenance. Laminate wood floors are now available in more realistic wood finishes and are relatively easy to install and very durable. Laminate floors look much more authentic than when they were first introduced. The cost is 10-30 percent less than wood floors.

Laminate Wood Floor, Estate Plus Collection from Wilsonart Flooring Available at

Trim - Wood trim pieces add a great decorative element to your home. These wood elements look great, but require a good bit of maintenance. Pieces that are not completely pre-painted can cause paint peeling problems. Like wood siding, wood trim is also subject to wood-rot and insect infestation. Trim pieces created from synthetic products (urethane, PVC and fiberglass) can help you achieve an elegant real wood look without the maintenance. You can also cut, drill and sand them with the same tools that you would use on wood trim. The cost of the faux trim is about twice as much.

Various trim pieces created from real wood and others made from synthetic products (urethane, PVC and fiberglass)
Available at Fypon - and Dixie Pacific -