strong side Western red cedar is one of the most enduring siding materials, says Mankins, who used it on this home. He chooses it for its "durability, weather resistance, and renewable nature," he notes. Easy to cut and finish, it weathers beautifully and contains natural oils that resist moisture. Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, 866.778.9096; www.wrcla.org.
clear and present Traditional architectural glass isn't clear enough for Mankins, which is why he uses PPG's Starphire Ultra-Clear. The company "removes the contaminant that historically makes glass green," he says. "This is truly clear." The low-iron product comes in standard and extra-heavy thicknesses. PPG Industries, 888.774.4332; www.ppg.com.
grout out When it comes to tiles, Mankins turns to Italian manufacturer Floor Gres for its wide range of products. Shown in this Substance-designed bathroom, the tiles are made "to extremely high tolerances, reducing the need for wide, ugly (and vulnerable) grout joints," the architect says. Floor Gres Ceramiche, 39.0536.840111; www.floorgres.it.