‘Overhyped’ building products likely to disappoint

Plastic gutters should not be on anyone's home improvement list

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Once again, it's time for an Architext tradition reaching back nearly a fifth of a decade: the Horrible Architectural Materials Better Off Not Existing Awards, or HAMBONEs. These, you may recall, go to the least durable, most overhyped, or most just-plain-pointless products on the home improvement market. First, though, a humiliating confession. To my disappointment, last year's Hambone Awards were not picked up by a desperate wire service, as I had hoped, and hence none of my predictions came to pass. I did not become an overnight media icon like Mr. Blackwell, nor even like Mr. Peanut. I was not invited to host a cable show on remodeling; was not asked to lend my name to a line of decorator paints; and was not tapped to advertise electric staple guns on TV. But as the Mets would say, there's always next year. I'm also sorry to report that last year's awards offended a few hapless homeowners who discovered they'd already purchased every single item in my little hall of shame, thereb...