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IN DEPTH: Siding

Homeowners are taking a closer look at their homes’ exteriors and realizing they can create a personalized look that reflects their own style. They are using a wider range of colors, styles and materials and asking dealers and contractors for more choices. They also aren’t letting performance take a back seat to aesthetics, requiring low maintenance and long life as well as good looks. That leads to more questions about features and more inventory depth to meet every need.

“There’s a trend toward mixing materials,” says Jerry Blais, senior vice president for marketing for the siding group at Ply Gem. “Stone panels are being used more often due to the lighter weight and lower cost than real stone. We’re also seeing more board-and-batten profiles used in some areas to create a more modern style and accent specific areas. Shake and shingle styles also continue to grow.”

Chris Bartimioli, president of Coeur d’Alene Wood, agrees. “The times are changing, as homeowners want to give their homes a little personality, and they have chosen to use siding as a fashion statement.”

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Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem has introduced SolarDefense Reflective Technology, available on the company’s Ovation line (shown in Mahogany). The coating, which provides additional protection against fading and heat distortion, is backed by the No Fade, No Distortion Promise and a limited lifetime warranty. It comes in five colors.

Adds Ralph Bruno, president of Novik, “It’s becoming common to see stone, clapboard and shakes on one home. It plays perfectly to our line, and we’ve capitalized on that desire for more contemporary designs with multiple shapes and textures. They select a body color and then accent it with other options.”

Indeed, many companies are adding to their lines to meet these growing needs. “Customers are definitely looking to mix materials and personalize the look of their home more often today,” says Steve Booz, vice president for new product development at Royal Building Products, a division of Axiall Corp. “We’ve focused on meeting that need by expanding our options with lap siding, board-and-batten styles, and shakes. It’s a nice round package of options.”

The desire for new looks has become especially strong in remodeling projects, where matching the existing style can be difficult—so homeowners don’t try. “In the remodeling field, our products are used for contrasting cladding on a room addition or second-story addition,” says Daniel Franklin, product manager for Foundry and Grayne products at Foundry Specialty Siding, a Tapco Group company. “They’re great for transitioning the home when the homeowners can’t match the existing siding. They like that they don’t have to reside the entire home. It provides a nice upgrade to the home’s appearance.”

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Shakes have become especially popular. Royal, for instance, has introduced a 7″ shake in 18 colors to complement its lap siding. “It offers a nice accent but also can be used as a whole-house siding in coastal areas,” Booz says. ProVia also expanded its shake line this year, adding a solid 6-1/2″ product in 30 colors, says Kevin Mickle, brand manager.

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