Residential siding is arguably a fashion-driven industry, led by large product manufacturers selling curb appeal and home distinction to the homeowner. Pull-through marketing initiatives focused on the look of wood and low maintenance in lap siding alternatives, ranging from vinyl to fiber cement to engineered wood, have built sizeable businesses in the siding category. And the homeowner, not the contractor, has been the primary target to establish the brand.
Specialty one-step distribution and lumberyards combined for 75% of unit volume sales of residential siding in 2014, with both channels evenly splitting this share of supply. Vinyl, stucco and manufactured stone account for most of the volume in one-step distribution, while lumberyards primarily sell lap siding products including wood, fiber cement and engineered lumber. Siding sales sold through the box channel are evenly distributed across many product types, and masonry yards sell brick and manufactured stone.
Regardless of how siding products are positioned and where they’re sold, the remodeling contractor remains a primary buyer and has the ability to drive the purchase decision.
Based on recent Principia research, contractor responses show that homeowners were overwhelmingly most decisive on color—95% rated “Always (4/4) or “Most of the time (3/4)”—followed by siding material and style, where 49% and 46% of contractors respectively responded that homeowners have a product in mind at the first meeting. Contractors also look to influence the choice of siding material, where 22% of contractors said that they attempt to influence homeowners. Nearly 40% of contractors mentioned that they were successful in influencing the decision on siding material.