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Brand Talk: Siding matters

Working hard to meet customers needs: By Ply Gem

John Buckley is President of the Ply Gem Siding Group, a business unit of Ply Gem Building Products (NYSE: PGEM). Prior to this role, he served as senior vice president of sales. Before joining the organization in 1999, Buckley held senior level management positions within building products manufacturing.

Ply Gem is a leading manufacturer of building products headquartered in Cary, N.C. The company produces a comprehensive product line of windows and patio doors, siding and accessories, designer accents, trim and mouldings, fencing and railing, stone veneer, roofing, and gutterware for the new construction and home remodeling and replacement markets in the U.S. and Canada. Its brands are sold through short-line and two-step distributors, home improvement and pro dealers, and big box retailers.

Q: Ply Gem is a North American cladding market leader and the largest producer of vinyl siding. How has your portfolio evolved over the past five years?
A: Ply Gem works hard to ensure we have the depth and breadth of products and solutions that meet the design, functionality and performance needs of our customers — and homeowners. As such, we maintain a portfolio of more than 20 product categories in numerous colors, profiles and options. We’re committed to the science and technology behind our products; this positions Ply Gem as an industry leader with one of the most differentiated product selections. For example, our patentpending Mastic SolarDefense Reflective Technology delivers unmatched color protection against fading and heat distortion for today’s boldest siding colors.

Q: While new materials have entered the marketplace, vinyl siding continues to command a majority market share. Can you explain why this is?
A: Vinyl siding continues to hold a primary position among cladding materials used for single-family homes because it cost effectively delivers on what builders, contractors and homeowners want: best-in-class cladding that is durable and easy to install, in numerous designs and colors. Vinyl siding, like Ply Gem’s Mastic line, offers all of this, as well as the assurance of virtually no maintenance over the product’s lifetime. The material never needs to be painted or stained and is resistant to rain, wind and sun exposure. In addition, manufacturers like Ply Gem continue to deliver on current market needs with advancements in design and performance.

“We’re committed to the science and technology behind our products; this positions Ply Gem as an industry leader with one of the most differentiated product selections.”

Q: In addition to vinyl, Ply Gem also manufactures steel siding. Are there specific cladding technologies or trends that are driving growth?
A: The biggest trends in cladding revolve around color and material choice. More than ever, homeowners seek low maintenance, durable exteriors that allow them to have custom curb appeal. For this reason, we introduced new, dark vinyl siding colors to our extensive collection earlier this year. We also launched the Ply Gem Steel Siding Collection, which is growing in popularity — especially in the western U.S. — because of its protection against hail, wind and snow, plus the sleek, contemporary look that is currently trending.

Q: What do you see as key emerging product and design trends that will drive the housing market in the coming year(s)?
A: We’re seeing that homeowners want a house that works for them — driving demand for more efficient features like automation and minimal maintenance. Vinyl siding is a great choice as an affordable upgrade that stands the test of time without the upkeep.

Q: In your experience, what do lumber yards, as well as dealers and distributors need to do to stay relevant and deliver value?
A: It is crucial to stay relevant and essential in the local market. As a manufacturing partner, it’s our role to deliver options through innovative, cutting-edge products, insights into customer and consumer lifestyle trends and finally, ongoing service and support. Ply Gem offers installation training, education and certification programs to ensure LBM dealers and distributors are informed, well-trained and skilled. This is how they can differentiate their business and deliver real value to customers, year after year.

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